There seems to be a growing epidemic of Christian wives that are striving so hard to meet a Christian standard in their home that they fail to meet one of the most important standards of all, joy.
Romans 14:17 teaches:
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”
I love this verse in that it teaches us that joy and happiness are a key characteristic of those filled with the Holy Spirit. I also love Romans 14:17 because it tells us that joy is spiritual, and, if I may, godly.
Some wives seem so dead set on making sure that their marriage and their home meet a certain standard that they sabotage their own success by failing to create an atmosphere in the home where people are free to be happy.
Having been a pastor and a counselor to a number of men and women desiring God’s best for their home, I have witnessed the above mentioned scenario on many occasions. In fact, I have seen some work so hard at having a godly marriage and obedient children that they almost cast a mountain of perfection before themselves and their family members that is nearly impossible to climb. Consequently, many of the members of the home start to resent both mom and her Christian views.
Though I am not against striving to be the best that we can be by the grace of God, I often counsel people that it is better to perfect joy in the home more than anything else. In fact, it’s better to overlook a little imperfection in the home and have joy than to have perfection without it.
Here are a few reasons as to why I encourage this:
1. I believe the scriptures teach this concept.
Proverbs 10:12: “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.”
1 Peter 4:8 : “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.”
Though we are to be holy as God is holy, we are also commanded to be gracious in our dealings with others, especially our family members. In fact, it is our ability to show grace to others in our homes that will bridge the gap and fill in the holes that our imperfections leave.
In other articles I define marriage as such: Marriage is the unified journey of two forgivers that realize that they should be as gracious to one another as God has been to them. I believe this is a scriptural approach to marriage as no marriage can survive and especially thrive without the presence of forgiveness.
2. Joy is Strength
If you want a strong Christian home, you will want a home that excels in the area of joy.
Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength, and a joy shared between husbands and wives and moms and dads will pave the way to better handle the more terse moments.
3. Joy is Attractive
I once heard Bill Gaither say that if you want your children to come back home after they leave out into a cold, dark world, you should be sure that the fires of love and joy are burning bright in the home. When they are older, they will want to come back home and warm themselves up next to that fire.
4. Joy is a Sign of Obedience to God
John 10:10-11 says, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.“
Much Learning Hath Made Thee Mad
Though I am all about reading good books (like mine – ha ha), some wives forget that authors and speakers teach perfect principles, yet they themselves are in a state of imperfection.
Though I have been speaking and writing on marriage and parenting for years, let me clue a few of you in on a few things:
* My wife and I do not always get along.
* Sometimes, we violate our own teachings.
*We are not the cornflake couple.
* I am not always a good dad.
* We do not wake up with music playing in the background.
* We have problems and the problems we have are not solved in 90 minutes or less as they are on the television.
* Sometimes, I get angry.
* Sometimes, my wife gets angry.
* My children are not always obedient.
*Where we fall short, grace makes up the gap.