Dads, Are You the Head of a Christian Home? – Part 1

“Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27).

Have you noticed how there are so many Christian “this” and Christian “that’s”? There are Christian radio stations, Christian music, Christian businesses, Christian schools, Christian curricula, and Christian you name it! Would you agree there are many things labeled Christian that it becomes an increasing stretch of the imagination as to whether they are any more Christian than the “world”? For example, many so-called Christian songs on the radio sound just like the world’s music. If you doubt it, turn the volume down until you can’t hear the words, and compare it to a secular song. Christians have welcomed the world so much there is little distinction between what most consider Christian and what they would consider the “world.” We must bear in mind that the Lord’s standard for judging is not as fuzzy.

Most of us have known Christian families where the older children have rebelled. People will then say, “I just don’t understand it as he/she was raised in a good Christian home.” Usually, the observation is based on a superficial judgment, and indirectly the Lord is being blamed in that situation. It is almost as if the Lord failed in some way. May it never even be thought! We can be sure that is not the case at all. God is always faithful.

I wonder if you have ever asked yourself just what is a Christian home. “Christian home” isn’t directly mentioned in the Bible, but the Bible does have plenty to say about what a Christian home is. Before we proceed, what do you say? Is your home Christian, yes or no (no lukewarm voting)?

How exciting to see that God’s Word is definitive on every aspect of our lives. Even though our concordance might not list “Christian home” as a selection, the concept is very clearly dealt with.

In 1 Chronicles 17, David is telling Nathan, the prophet, about his concern that God should have a fitting “house.” Then in verse 10, God said through Nathan the prophet, “. . . I tell thee that the LORD will build thee an house.” Here God ties David’s loving concern for his God to God’s blessing of David. God draws a parallel between His house and David’s house (family). If we want to learn what the basis is for a Christian home, we need only study God’s home on earth–the temple.

We will continue this for the next several months’ Dad’s Corners as there is much practical direction for our homes. Each step of the way I will encourage you to evaluate your home to see if it is really a Christian home or not. There is no middle ground. It is either a home where the Lord Jesus is glorified, or it isn’t. If it is in the middle, it is lukewarm. “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16).

Dads, may we provide a loving, nurturing environment, which is conducive for children becoming mature, equipped, dedicated Christians serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

Summer Schedules

Summer is almost upon us! For many homeschoolers this means a change of pace. Some will take a total break from schoolwork, while others will have a modified school schedule. There are also those who school full time, all year long, with breaks spaced throughout the year. May I encourage you to begin to pray and plan now for those summer hours so that you can maximize them.

I love to use this month of May to occasionally close my eyes for a few moments and ask the Lord what He desires for our summer. I will make lists of things I would like to accomplish, what I could do special with the children, areas of character growth I want extra teaching time in, and new tasks that I will train the children toward. If the Lord gives me a vision and goals for our summer, how will they be managed? I find that developing a summer schedule helps me to make the most of these precious summer days, without letting them slip by.

I like to schedule one hour per summer weekday for cleaning and organizing tasks that are too large to tackle during the school year. I keep a running list of these jobs as I come across them, usually when they have bothered me in some way. During May, I will also add to this list tasks I know I do during the summer. Here are a few of mine: organize and sort school work and school boxes, organize and mount photos in albums, clean all the closets and kitchen cupboards, organize book shelves in the basement, wash walls that really need it, and plan for the next school year!

This cleaning and organizing time ends after an hour whether I feel like I want to stop or not. It is amazing how much can be completed in just one hour! Often jobs are less daunting when we know they will only last for that one hour. This helps us be willing to jump in to tackle them.

In our home, we have older children play with the younger ones during cleaning time. With only little ones, it is more difficult to make this time productive, but it can still be done. Using an evening when Dad is around to watch the children is a possibility. If not that, then try working in an area where you can directly supervise the children.

It is also a good idea to assign the children their own age-appropriate cleaning and organizing chores for summertime. I would rather have their work scheduled for a different time than mine. This way I don’t have interruptions from them asking how to do the job or whether it passes inspection.

Often during the school year, I won’t have time to teach a child new chores. However, scheduling a half hour a day for this through the summer months is very practical. You could rotate children through this time, as most jobs won’t take more than five or ten minutes a day to learn. Usually a child is ready for new cleaning skills after a year of practicing the ones they learned the previous summer. When this is in our schedule, we are assured that the summer doesn’t pass by and all of a sudden we realize there have been no new practical skills learned.

Summer also lends itself to extra playtime and one-on-one time with my children. But do you know what happens if I don’t plan this into a written schedule? I will end up doing one of two things. I either keep busy with my own personal projects, or I sit and do nothing at all. This time with the children is very important to me, and when I put it into my schedule, I have the accountability of the children’s enjoyment of the time to hold me to it.

For our family, summer allows us to get a jump-start on our school year. We will continue with our reading and math so that we can take those subjects off on Fridays throughout the year. This helps give the children another constructive activity for their extra time, and it keeps their reading and math skills at peak performance. Fridays are looked forward to, almost as a weekly vacation day, because of the lighter school schedule.

Another high priority for summer hours in the Maxwell home is character and habit training. Here again, if the time isn’t set aside in our schedule, we will take the path of least resistance, and character won’t be a focus of our summer. The month of May is when I begin seeking the Lord for the areas in which we have the greatest need, and how we could spend a half hour a day tackling them. It usually isn’t difficult to come up with a character and habit training list with just a short amount of prayer. Once the list is generated, it is exciting to continue to pray about which Scripture, songs, stories, practice sessions, discipline, and reward system will best help us toward our goals.

Making a summer schedule will assure you that your summer days are maximized and that the hours are going toward the goals the Lord has called you to for this particular summer. I think you will discover your children have a more peaceful, productive summer with a schedule too. So often moms are ready for school to start again in the fall because of the chaos that results from the lack of structure without the school routine. Compensate for not having the school schedule by making and implementing a summer schedule. I think you will find it most worthwhile!

Posted in: Mom's Corner