We ALL want to have a healthy home. We all want our kids to turn out “right“. But as we get some mileage on our lives, we find out it’s harder than it sounds… to find some answers, I’ve been studying in the book of Exodus, looking at the patterns of God for the home in its history and content.
The old testament tabernacle emerges as a symbol of the home. Resembling a huge modern-day tent, it exemplified the pattern of worship, law and common-unity for the nation of Israel to grow up and around. This same tabernacle housed the presence of God in its Holiest inner chamber and clearly expressed the heart of God to be with man, in a home.
That mobile and temporary tent structure was replaced hundreds of years later by King David’s son Solomon who erected a massive stone temple that more properly honored and reflected the blue-print that God had described in Exodus for a dwelling place on earth. Even it in all it’s glory, the temple was still an imperfect demonstration of the heart of God towards man….
When Jesus Christ shows up on the stage of history in the Roman era, we begin to see more of the original architects intended design for a Heavenly home. What had been a magnificent stone representation (temple in Jerusalem) of the covenant between man and God was now being transitioned to a new covenant. No longer would the covenant be based on a man to God approach (outside in) but on a much firmer foundation, that of a God to man (inside out) approach. With this new covenant came a new blue-print for God’s home. In this new pattern, His presence would no longer be containable in a physical structure like a tent (tabernacle) or temple. Instead He would live in the very hearts of those who accepted and followed the teachings and ways of His only son, Jesus.
This created a new focus,a shifting of attention from the external behavior or appearance of people, to the internal reality of their hearts and minds.
Skipping the deeper theological tenants for the sake of brevity, suffice it to say… this new covenant still modeled the ancient blueprints of God’s plan and purpose to be in relationship with man, but it no longer required us to experience God through a surrogate (Moses, Priests or Prophets)…always one relationship away from God’s presence. Instead we were granted the most precious gift of all… of being allowed into the presence of God for ourselves. So what’s this have to do with a healthy home?
Simply this… for us to fully experience a peaceful and vibrant life we will need to back away from having an over focus on the exterior of our homes. Struggling to maintain the outside appearances of our families to others is not going to work… it’s exhausting and impossible to accomplish in our own human strength or wisdom.
When we try to live to maintain the “status quo” of what we believe is proper we major on a minor theme. If we as parents find ourselves overly concerned with “what they (others, neighbors, friends, church) might think” of us, it suggests we might still be “stuck” in the old covenant of “earning our way” back to God by our external behaviors.
Jesus calls us to abandon that “old” way of living out faith, and instead as parents to make it a priority to spend time with Him first. If we spend that time alone with Him on a regular basis… it allows Him permission to write His law on our hearts…and when it’s in our hearts, it transforms. Families will begin to experience a perceptible shift, completely from within, starting from the top down, and spreading naturally from the inside out. Just like Jesus said it would.
Such changes are not temporary or transient, but eternal and reflect the heart transformation that can only occur when we are in the presence of God. When we focus on our own faith and our own heavenly father first, we may just discover that our ability to be Christ to our kids will suddenly expand and watch in amazement as our and their “hearts” re-arrange themselves into a healthy and purposeful pattern… which is a divine BLUEPRINT for a HEALTHY HOME 🙂
Peace out RTP!