TheDaveYoung / May 9th, 2016
Everywhere I go it seems like “revival” is everyone’s favorite topic. And as everyone’s favorite topic, it often means a huge variety of different things to different people.
Some are hoping for a political revival. They love to talk about God and country! Some are hoping for exciting services. They love camp meeting atmospheres! Some are hoping for things to “stay as they are” and not get any worse. Still others are just hoping that we can return to the way things were somewhere in the not so distant past.
Although revival can certainly mean a variety of things to different people, one area should be of concern to all of us. That is the condition of our homes and families within the church. Would it be safe to say that we certainly need a revival in many of our homes and families? I think it most definitely would. So what would a “revived” home look like anyway? Walk with me through Ephesians for a moment and consider these verses in light of revival in our homes and family.
1. A revived home would be a place of humility (lowliness), gentleness (meekness), and patience (long-suffering): “…Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness, and meekness, with long-suffering…” (Eph. 4:1-2).
Is there humility in your home? Humility causes a man to apologize to his wife and kids when he is harsh or impatient or wrong about some matter and to take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Humility will do the same in the wife and kids as well. Gentleness governs our responses to the inconveniences and potential annoyances that are a normal part of life. How do you respond to irritations? How do you respond to the kids and to your spouse or to your parents and your siblings? Are you patient? Paul wrote that “Charity suffers long.” That is patience.
2. A revived home would be a place of love and peace: “…Forbearing one another in love: endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:2-3).
We are to “forbear one another in love.” That means we tolerate each other and gently “put-up” with each other. Our homes are characterized by a loving, gentle, Christ-like atmosphere of peace.
3. A revived home would be a place of honesty: “Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another” (Eph. 4:25).
We wouldn’t lie about our finances or about why we reacted to something the way we did. We would strive to be honest with one another.
4. A revived home would be a place without anger: “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:26-27).
This seems to be a major issue in our day. When husbands and wives fight and yell, they have an anger issue. When parents become irate at their children and berate them and belittle them and “take out” their frustrations on them, they have an anger issue. When parents only discipline because they “have had it,” they have an anger issue. Paul is telling the church at Ephesus that anger leads to sin. We say things and do things we should not say and do because we are “exploding” or “simmering” instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. He is telling them that anger tends to linger longer than it should. When our emotions get the better of us, we are to take care of it that very day. We will likely need to repent, to apologize, and to renew our mind so that the Holy Spirit can change us from living like “the old man” to living as “the new man” God saved us to be! Notice that anger also leaves an open door for the enemy to attack our homes. It “gives place to the devil.” Perhaps there is an explanation here as to why so many Christian families tend to lose their children! It may be related to unresolved anger issues.
5. A revived home would be a place of edification: “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Eph. 4:29).
“Corrupt communication” here refers to speech that tears down and damages rather than that which edifies and ministers grace. When we belittle and berate and are short with one another we are using corrupt communication. When we are unwisely sarcastic we are using corrupt communication. When we are harsh and negative we are using corrupt communication. Compare Proverbs 12:18: “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword; but the tongue of the wise is health. Our homes would be a vastly different place if we practiced these two verses.”
6. A revived home would be a place of kindness: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32).
Simple kindness goes a long way. Husbands and wives who treat each other kindly will have a happier marriage. Parents who show kindness to their children will be more Christlike as parents. Children who show kindness to their parents and even to each other will help the home to be a happier and more Christ-like place. It is somewhat simple, but powerfully true!
7. A revived home would be a place of purity: “But fornication, and uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints” (Eph. 5:3).
Purity demands that adultery or pornography or many of the “rated” movies of our day never have a place in our lives. It would demand that we zealously guard what our children can see on the internet and the television. It would demand that we teach our children how to be pure in the ungodly society in which we live and that we model that very purity in front of them. Purity would demand that we teach and model issues of modesty. It may mean that our children cannot have a smart phone or an iPad or spend the night at other children’s homes. It may mean that we cannot have cable or satellite TV in our homes. Certainly, a revived home would be a place of purity!
8. A revived home would be a place of singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19).
A home filled with singing that affects our heart is a happy home. Sing the word of God and hymns and spiritual songs! Because the TV and internet devices are on continually in many of our homes, we are in danger of having homes filled with a steady diet of “unspiritual songs” that convey thoughts contrary to God’s Word and God’s plan for our lives. So examine your home and make corrections and changes.
9. A revived home would be a place of thankfulness: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20).
Complaining and griping and sighing and so forth are usually evidence of a lack of gratitude. Thankfulness, on the other hand, is revealed in contentment, in expressions and prayers of thanks, and in worship and praise! How thankful would you rate the people in your home? Undoubtedly, many of us could use a revival in this area!
10. A revived home would be a place of successful and happy marriages: “Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Eph. 5:33).
When a husband loves his wife and the wife respects her husband they are modeling a successful and happy marriage. In fact, I am convinced that one of the greatest gifts that we can present to our children is the memory and example of this very thing. Do you have a sweet marriage of love and respect? Are you best friends? Are you genuinely in love? Are you kind and romantic? How would your spouse rate your marriage? How about your children? Perhaps these are questions we should answer.
There would be much more that could be written from these chapters. A revived home would be a place of obedience and respect. It would be a place where children are not harassed and angered, but instead trained and disciplined properly. It would be a place where children are being nourished in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” And so forth.
So how is your home? Based on these verses in this letter to the Ephesians, does your home need revival? I would suspect that for many of us, the answer is yes. Why not spend some time evaluating your family and examining your home? Why not spend some time seeking God for the revival you need? I think He would be pleased to give your home a revival!