Scriptures: Ephesians 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 3:4; Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Titus 2:7; 1 Corinthians 14:1; Psalm 127:1

What are some of the secrets of a healthy home?

I. Be a good parent

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother - which is the first commandment with a promise - that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land. And fathers, don't stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:1-4).

Listen closely to the Apostle Paul’s instruction.

  • Obey: to follow the commands or guidance of

  • Honor: reverence, profound respect mingled with love, devotion, or awe

  • Exasperate: to stir up purposely

  • Training: to form by instruction, discipline or drill; to teach so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient

  • Instruction: gentle or friendly reproof; counsel or warning against fault or oversight.

You don’t have to be a great parent to have a great kid. You can be a good parent and have a great kid.

II. Manage well

The marketplace teaches us that success or failure in any business or venture depends on effective management. Effective management is not doing things right; it is doing the right things.

The same is true for families. And Dads, the Scriptures inform us, that is your responsibility. “One who manages his own household competently, having his children under control with all dignity” (1 Tim. 3:4).

III. Take time for each other

“Listen, Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deut. 6:4-9).

The key words in this text are

  • Impress: Like a printing press imprinting the characters of letters on paper impress a love for God on your children.

  • Talk: Conversations

  • Sit: When you are together

  • Walk: Or drive in the car

  • Lie down: at bedtime

  • Get up: breakfast

  • Tie them on your hands: tattoo them on your hands

  • Bind them on your foreheads: Tie a string around your finger

This teaching of God and instructing in his love must be a fulltime job that uses every opportunity to communicate the love of God. In a real sense, we all are home schoolers.

IV. Set a good example

“Set an example of good works yourself, with integrity and dignity in your teaching” (Titus 2:7).

V. Let love be a way of life

“Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you may prophesy” (1 Cor. 14:1).

No home can be healthy without love. It is the force that holds everything together.

VI. Put God in his rightful place

“Unless the LORD builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain” (Psa. 127:1). The secret to a healthy home is a personal commitment to Christ. This verse is not saying you do not build your home - you do. Rather, it is a warning against the idiocy of trying to build your home alone.

I encourage you to scrutinize your family values. Anything other Jesus in his rightful place in your home is too weak for permanent cohesion. A personal commitment to Christ, backed up with positive examples and living according to Biblical principles, should be the family’s goal.

Rick Ezell is the pastor of First Baptist Greer, South Carolina. Rick has earned a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Master of Theology in preaching from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Rick is a consultant, conference leader, communicator, and coach.