“You say, ‘If I had a little more I should be very satisfied’. You make a mistake. If you are not content with what you have, you would not be satisfied if it were doubled”
When I say the word “home” to someone it could mean a many different thing to a many different people. For the stay at home mother, home is the battleground, the learning center, the recreation room or the mission field. For the father, home is the refuge from work, the sanctuary built by his duties or the reflection of his ministry. For a child, home is the place where they are safest, the school or even the playground.
The common factor in the way home is thought of is that it’s personal. We don’t invite surly strangers into our homes. We usually store our valuables in our homes and we tend to lock our doors or set our alarms when we are going to be away for a time. We often associate our homes with our treasures (regardless of the intrinsic value of those items) but we can also often forget the treasures that last longer than the television or the couch.
When we think of our ministry I would wager that most of the time we think of something outside of our homes. We think of the church or perhaps a homeless shelter. We think of a far off place in a country we’ve never been to or a child we sponsor through an organization. All of those being good things yet sometimes taking priority over the Five Feet of our home.
As parents we can forget about the way we interact with each other in our homes. We fight in our homes, we argue or say hurtful things to each other or the children. We act more comfortable because we feel safe but we forget about the repercussions of those actions seen by maturing eyes and heard by young ears. We take for granted that the place we have felt the most safe in ourselves can be a place of discomfort for our kids.
We glorify God in church with our Bibles in hand and then place them down on the shelf at home only to pick them back up again next Sunday. Instead the home should be the tilling ground for the rich soil that God has given us to cultivate. That soil, starting with ourselves then nurtured in our children. The way we talk about the Lord and His goodness or the way our kids see us diving into scripture can make the biggest difference in the future of our homes and the legacy our children carry on into theirs.
Men and women pray to God to give them a ministry as their children rot away watching the latest YouTube video or cartoon. We trust the Youth Pastor or nursery worker to teach our children at church then when asked the hard questions at home we don’t know the answers. It’s no wonder so many young kids spend their time being discipled by others online instead of learning and growing via their parents. How can we be trusted with the well being of adults when we can’t tend to that of our kids.
This isn’t just simply a cry for parents to take up the mantle of mentorship at home but also for husbands to do the same for their wives. Statistically speaking, churches are filled with women and children far more often then with fathers and their families. At a very minimum if a man does attend church it’s usually at the behest of his wife that they may spend time together growing spiritually. Now, I understand this isn’t the case for every man and woman who attend church and certainly not all churches fall into this statistical folly. There are many men who stand at the head of their homes and lead from the front by example, but this isn’t the status quo.
The problem with churches and the way they cater to certain audiences has been addressed by many books that delve into the reason that so many women and children attend church more often than their husbands. Quite frankly I don’t have the expertise to go into depth on that topic here, but there is enough evidence to suggest we have a problem with men taking responsibility as the head of their home. Laying down his life for the sake of his family the way Christ laid down His life for the church.
Our homes are the first place that we as sons and daughters of God, heirs with Christ, can begin our ministry. Do not take for granted the role you have and the influence you have over your home whether father or mother, husband or wife. We are called to the places we are and the home must be the first place we start. We start by seeking the wisdom of God through scripture and prayer for ourselves and then we pass that knowledge on to those we have a charge over. The Five Feet we have in our homes should be the breaking point of ministry in order that by our doing, the safest place we have, the place where our treasure is stored and protected can continue to thrive long after our Earthly ministry is over.