When I gave my life to the Lord in 1989, I was all-in. I was discipled under some of the very best, and I knew what I wanted: a Spirit-filled home and family. I began to pray, and God soon led me to the man who would be my husband. We began praying together from the very beginning of our relationship.
The Bible has so very much to say about home, family, and relationships, and today I want to share a little about how we can have the “home of the righteous.” I believe we set the standard, the example, and the atmosphere in our homes. So how can we create an atmosphere that will bring God glory?
3 Steps to Building a Godly Home
“The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous.”Proverbs 3:33, NIV
The Proverbs are principles to guide us in our life. This verse tells us that God blesses the home of the righteous.
To be righteous means to be in right standing with God through faith in His Son Jesus. This means that we love the Lord and walk with Him in obedience to His Word and with true repentance when we fail.
“Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.'”John 14:23
When God makes His home in us, we desire to make our home all about Him. Building our home and family on anything less is a waste of time.
“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”Psalm 127:1
The word for house here means “domestic shelter,” so Solomon was not referring to the house of the Lord but to our actual homes we live in. If we are in right standing with God, then we should allow His Word and His Spirit to build our home. So how do we let the Lord build our house?
First, we must take authority in our homes.
“But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”Joshua 24:15
In the context of this passage, Joshua is urging the Israelites to turn away from idols and false gods and choose to serve the Lord. He points out that each of them has free will to choose whom they will serve, but Joshua doesn’t just declare whom he will serve–he declares whom his household will serve.
Obviously, the members of Joshua’s household had free will as well. If we married an unbeliever or came to the Lord after we were married, we may have an unbelieving spouse. Certainly, they have the autonomy to choose whether or not they will serve the Lord. We may also have children who will have to decide for themselves if they will follow God.
But the spirit behind Joshua’s statement is that as the authority in his home, he was the one who would set the tone and the standard for what was acceptable. In other words, as far as it depended upon Joshua, his family would be serving God. There would be no idols is his house. Their family prayer time would be to the one true God.
We, too, need to take authority over what we allow in our homes. If we have an unbelieving spouse, Scripture gives us instructions on how we are to behave (1 Corinthians 7, 1 Peter 3). If we are blessed to have a spouse who also loves the Lord, then together we decide how our family will put God first and honor Him in our home.
We can’t save those in our households, but we can choose to follow Him, make him the center of all we do, and be an example of His ways so that those in our homes will be drawn to Him.
Second, the Word must have priority in our homes.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 was a guiding principle for our home when our kids were coming up:
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”Deuteronomy 6:6-9
We wanted to impress the Word of God on our kids’ hearts from an early age. We had devotions with them at night. When they got older, we had family devotions at the dinner table and discussed the Word. I decorated our home with lots of Scripture so the Word would always be around us.
Don’t think we had it all together. There were days I probably needed verses tied to my hands and across my forehead. There were many opportunities for “I’m sorry” and forgiveness and grace. But we did our best to be in the Word, to be real, and to own up to it when we failed.
“‘Therefore anyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.'”Matthew 7:24-25
To build a home that will really stand the storms of life, we have to not just hear the Word, but put it into practice. We won’t always get it right, but if we strive to live out the truth, we will be establishing a house on the right foundation. That’s a home that will be blessed.
Third, worship and prayer must be the majority of our atmosphere.
So much can enter the spirit realm of our homes. From television, music, and the internet, Satan can unleash spirits of rebellion, sexual immorality, disrespect, strife, and such. We have to guard against those things in the spirit. We set the standard for our families. When we sense a spirit not of God, we should rebuke it in Jesus’ name and then fill our homes with prayer and worship.
One thing I respect about the virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 is that “She watches over the affairs of her household” (27). She closely watched over the ways of her family so that she could speak truth over her home.
“She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.”Proverbs 31:26
I love the story in John 12 of Mary’s anointing Jesus’ feet with a jar of expensive perfume. Scripture says, “And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume” (3b).
Fragrance and incense in the Bible represent prayer and worship. What if we turned off the television’s noise and let worship fill our rooms? What if we put away our phones at dinner time and read a devotion? What if prayed with our kids when they had a problem, instead of just telling them what to do?
If you realize you have failed to take authority, to make the Word the priority, or let prayer and worship be the majority in your home, don’t despair! You can start now.
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). This word is to encourage you because it’s never too late. Here are some steps you can take to make a clean sweep and fill your home with the fragrance of Christ:
- Begin praying with your spouse. If he is not a believer, ask him if he minds your praying with him each night before bed. Tell him you love him and want to pray for him. Don’t use your prayers to point our his failures but to encourage him in the Lord.
- Begin praying with your children. Again, make your prayers positive affirmations of what God says about them and what He wants to do in and through them.
- Prayer walk your house. Go room by room and ask the Lord to cast out any spirits that are not of Him. Remove any articles–music, magazines, books, or recordings of television shows–that you believe bring an ungodly spirit into your home. Invite God’s Spirit to dwell in your home.
- Play worship music as you clean, cook, or do other activities as a family.
- Confess the Word over your home and your family. Look up Scriptures that you can claim for unbelieving family members, for protection, provision, and for God’s Spirit to permeate your home. (I’ve included some Scriptures on my resource page to get you started.)
- Have family dinner at the table with no electronic devices allowed. Do this as many nights of the week as possible with your schedule. Talk to your family; let your children participate by reading or sharing a devotion or Scripture. Hold hands and pray together.
The family is the first institution God ordained, even before the church. If you are in Christ, you are made righteous by His blood. You are in right standing with the Father through the Son. So let that righteousness impact your home and family by building your house on the Rock. Storms may come, but your family won’t be shaken.
We don’t have to always be on the defense, reacting to the problems in our homes with fear, depression, or anxiety. We can go on the offense with Christ-given authority through the Word, worship, and prayer, and take back what the enemy has stolen from us.
So, put Jesus first in your house, and your home and family will be blessed.