Home or Hallway?

Difficult Doctrines: Predestination

 A Sobering Reality 

Under the watchful eye of all that is unholy, Satan has quietly and incrementally turned our homes into hallways. Allow me to explain.

There was a time when going home at the end of a long day was not only the goal, it was also the reward. It was the physical and emotional validation of our labor, the safe place and sanctuary where all things truly meaningful were stored. Though not perfect, home kept us sane. The Norman Rockwell vision of American life truly thrived.

But that time is no more. For most, home is no longer the goal, the validation, or the sanctuary. It has become just one more event along the very lengthy corridor of an already too crowded schedule. The Divine blessing of a collective meal has been replaced with the soccer mom's taxi service that runs the family past the nearest drive through window. Genuine conversation has been reduced to a Facebook post or a texted emoji. Family stability has been so devalued that many children are forced to alternate weekends with two sets of parents. Many live out of two or more bedrooms and never really feel like they have a place of their own. 

Then think about the insanity of our daily schedule! The forced pace that pulls our children out of bed before daylight, rushes them to school, pushes them through class after class after class, on to sports, dance, band, into the fast food lines for supper, down the road, back to that hallway we call a home, but not to find peace and calm. Instead, they are hurriedly put through the paces of doing their homework while checking social media and sitting before the glowing one-eyed media monster, with its rapid sound bites and fast-paced programming, until they finally collapse in bed.

This is the reality of the average American family!

Q: Can you relate? If so, the following challenge is straight from God and ready-made for your family. 

A Positive Challenge

"Be the type of woman that
when your feet hit the floor each morning
the devil says, 'Oh no! She's up!'"

Homemaker - A Holy Terror!

I first saw this quote posted online and it has forever changed the way I look at the woman who stands guard over my home! She is indeed a holy terror.

Nothing is more important to the success of a Christian home than holiness. It is the key to our fellowship with God and the criteria upon which He bases our level of blessing. When a woman is free to pursue holiness, the blessing it incurs naturally flows over the entire family. Notice the following passage.

1 Corinthians 7:14 (NIV) "For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife... Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy."

Although some parts of this passage may be difficult to understand, the general message is clear - a holy woman shares her holiness with her family. 

1 Timothy 4:5 tells us that a Christian woman impacts her surroundings by consecrating it through "the word of God and prayer." (NIV)

 This important verse offers two ways for a homemaker to pass along her holiness to her family.

First, she must be a loyal student of the "word of God." Having time and taking the time for personal Bible study is essential to a woman's protective powers over the home. To be effective, she must know her weapon - the "sword of the Spirit." (Ephesians 6:17) 

Many men encourage their wives to carry a gun in order to keep themselves safe. But how many men arm their wives with time at home to immerse themselves in a study of God's Word? Imagine the impact a woman could have on her circle of influence if she just had the time to study. She could plan daily family devotionals that have real depth. She could address her family's questions with answers from Scripture rather than opinion. She could send inspirational messages to her children throughout the day as well as notes to inspire her husband's spiritual focus. She could conduct online Bible studies with folks around the world and devote real time to her Sunday school classes as well as becoming an outstanding ladies' Bible class leader. She could actually challenge her family and her community rather than always playing catch-up with her faith. The possibilities are endless. With a little vision, a woman could become a very intimidating, sword-wielding guardian of the family. She could literally become a holy terror to Satan and his forces! Think of the protection she could offer if only she could stay home and study more deeply.

According to 1 Timothy 4:5, the second way a woman passes on her holiness is by blanketing her family in prayer. 

What if, after rushing through the insane pace of morning preparations (wake-up calls, bathroom conflicts, a thousand questions about "What should I wear?!", the rush to eat breakfast, and the sprint out the door), someone on the team could remain behind? What if that person was designated to collect herself and find peace on behalf of the rest of her family? What level of protective power could this team member generate if she had the time to calm herself, then blanket her family in prayer? Imagine the great impact she could have.

In the movie "Facing the Giants," a minister made it his habit to walk the halls of a local school, stopping at each student's locker, and praying for a blessing. The impact was overwhelming.

What if a domestic guardian had a schedule that permitted her to do the same in her home? What if each day, before the family returned, she had the time to visit each room of the house asking the Lord to place a special blessing on that part of the dwelling? In the bedrooms, she could ask the Lord to make the room a place of peace and rest. In the living room, she could ask the Lord to guard the family from unwholesome conversation and entertainment. In the bathroom, she could seek protection from vanity. In the kitchen, she could seek wisdom for nourishing the temple of the Holy Spirit. What if every home had a security system that blanketed the entire house in PRAYER?! Think of the blessings that would flow! Every home needs a full-time domestic prayer warrior - a holy terror of prayer!

The first and most important responsibility of a godly wife and mother is the passionate pursuit of holiness. When she is given sufficient time to grow in this area, the protection and blessing she brings to her home will be limitless.

The second most important responsibility of a godly wife and mother is to stand guard over her household. We live in a world that smugly mocks women as being weak and lacking initiative if they have chosen homemaking as their full-time career. (Note: With regularity, this same mocking attitude is often demonstrated even with the church.) Biblically speaking, nothing could be further from the truth. Women who invest themselves in becoming full-time guardians of the home are nothing less than lethal warriors on the front lines of the Lord's army.

A Shelter Guardian

Proverbs 14:26 (NIV) "Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge."

Guarding the Husband 

Every day, Christian husbands travel into a world of intense sexual temptation, materialistic distractions, and spiritual discouragement. From tanning salon billboards and online pornographic popups to sex-filled TV shows, suggestive song lyrics, and flirtatious co-workers, your husband is constantly being pulled toward a very dark world of infidelity. Having a safe haven to which he can retreat at the end of the day is priceless. Having a wife who understands this threat and makes it her full-time job to maintain this shelter is nothing less than Divine intervention. 

Few things are more important to marital fidelity than a well-managed fortress called the home. A full-time domestic guardian is essential to the maintenance of this safe haven.

Guarding the Children 

No one is more vulnerable to the social diseases of our culture than the children. 

Insane, non-stop schedules rob their minds of the opportunity to process and grow within a context of serenity and peace. Rapid sound bites, television commercials, and fast-paced movie transitions push their little brains to overload. Attention deficit disorders are the result.

The temptation to be sexually active begins in grade school. Beauty pageants, enticing superhero characters, boy bands, an entire television industry targeting their young minds, rob our children of their innocence. It pushes them past their formative years without allowing them to form sufficiently. As a result, a pattern of bad relationships builds until, one day, they apply this misinformation to their own marriage. A 50% divorce rate is the result.

Materialism is also preached from every medium. Cruel competition is found in every sphere. Humanism (the worship of self) is the unabashed god of the culture in which our children must survive. Nothing is more important to their development than a safe haven in which they can discover God.

The wise man said this about the godly woman who provides her family with a safe haven. "She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. ... she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. (Proverbs 31: 10-12, 21, 25, NIV)

One key word jumps out of this passage more than any other - "confidence." Why can this woman laugh at the days to come? Because she knows that her home is a fortress of God. Her family has a shelter to run to in times of trouble. She is the manager of this fortress (1 Timothy 5:14) and she has made it her lifelong career to keep it strong.

An effective shelter depends upon two things, the barrier it presents to the enemy and the quality of existence within its walls. Every day, a homemaker must assess the challenges her family will face when they leave the fort. She must then make preparations to encourage, console, and close the gate securely behind them when they return home. It is no less than a full-time job to make these preparations. The moral crisis within our culture demands a strong fortress. A strong fortress demands constant attention. Imagine the intimidating fortress a woman can build when she is allowed to become a full-time shelter guardian. She could truly be a holy terror!


A Game Changer!

In every game there is a moment, there is a decision that changes the momentum and the direction of the contest. Very often, it is that single moment that alters the entire game and changes the final score. Many Christians are praying for America to find that game-changing moment. 

On every front, God's plan for a civil culture is being undermined. Nowhere is that seen more clearly than the attack on the home. In this great contest for America's cultural dominance, the fundamentals of a Christian home must be reasserted!

In Titus 2:5, God places Christian women on the front lines of this battle for righteousness. In that passage, the Holy Spirit gives this assignment: Be "keepers at home" (KJV), "workers at home" (ASV), "busy at home" (NIV), or to "take care of their homes." (NLT) He then concludes by pointing to the vital importance of their work "that the word of God be not blasphemed." (KJV)

Q: Would you say the American culture typically honors or blasphemes the word of God? What does Titus 2:5 clearly say is the key to this cultural crisis?

If there were one person I could pull off the bench and put back into the game, it would not be a man. It would not be an elder of the church or a preacher in the pulpit. If I were looking for a game changer, my choice would be a woman. A woman's influence in the home is unrivaled. Her impact on generational momentum is without equal. The most skilled game changer sitting on our bench is the full-time, God-fearing domestic guardian. Scripture calls her the homemaker! (Titus 2:4-5)

Whoever said, "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world," captured one of the most profound truths of the human experience. God has placed within the heart of a woman the potential to not only shape a child, but to revive a culture and move a nation. 

Some are movers,
Some are shakers,
But none compare
To homemakers!

When Paul instructed women "to be busy at home... so that no one will malign the word of God" (Titus 2:5), he was affirming the world-changing impact of a homemaker. Guarding the home is a woman's Great Commission. (1 Peter 3:1, Titus 2:4-5, 1 Timothy 2:15) The importance of a homemaker must not be underestimated. The hand that guards the home, shapes the world!

The first and most important step Christian women must take on the journey toward a restored culture is this - get off the bench. America needs a game changer and, in this situation, a woman is God's star player. 

Think of this article as God's way of looking down the bench, catching your eye, and calling your name as He points toward the court. It's your turn to shine. You have been chosen by THE COACH. Our team desperately needs to have the ball in your hands! Please don't wave Him off. Rush onto the court. Take the shot. Be a holy terror!

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