A Happy Home Begins with You!

1 10 2007

By Norman S. Lao

Text: Luke 10:38-42

“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.  She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.  But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Introduction

We are still in our theme for this month Happy Family Life. Three Sundays ago we talked about How to Have a Happy Home. We talked about the important ingredients for making our homes happy. The most important or the most foundational ingredient for a happy home is God. Remove God and the home will never be as happy as it should be. Then, there’s forgiveness, appreciation, respect and contribution.   I just would like to underline the ingredient contribution.  The greatest contribution that a lot of children can make to make their homes happy homes is obedience.  Parents do not expect children to contribute in the family finances, especially for children who are still in school . Many times obedience and cooperation is enough.

Two Sundays ago we talked about things that cause Unhappiness in the Home with a sermon entitled Do Not Bring Your Family to Sodom: Wrong Decisions, Wrong Priorities, and Wrong Standards.  And of course we heard a different but related message last Sunday during our anniversary on the Church is a Family.

    

Why do we talk about making happy families so much?

(1) Family harmony is very important since we spend most of our time in our homes. There are 168 hours each week. For those of you who are active in church, you spend between 13-15 hours in church every week. For those who are working or going to school you spend between 40 to 50 hours each week at work or in school. Subtract also times you are out of the house (let’s say 3 hours a day or) 15 hours a week. That leaves you with about 85-90 hours for home. 56 of those hours are spent sleeping. You still have about 34 hours left.  Just imagine, if your family is an unhappy, miserable family and you spend most of your time there…

(2) Family harmony is important because a dysfunctional family breeds all kinds of bad things. Homosexuality is related to a broken home; early pregnancy, criminality, substance abuse, etc. There are studies that show that most of the criminals in jail come from unhappy and broken homes.

(3) Family happiness determines individual and personal happiness.

“Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.”  Proverbs 15:17

“Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” Proverbs 17:11

“Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” Proverbs 21:9

    

You have heard it said that a house is not a home or that a home is different from a house. The house, I would like to believe, is the material that make up the structure: wood, glass, concrete, etc. However, the home speaks of people and not just people, but the quality of the relationship of the people living together in one house. Home speaks of loving and caring for each other. You can buy a house, but you cannot buy a home. Homes are made, they are not bought. That means that a beautiful house does not necessarily make a home. Today, many people have big houses, nice houses, expensive houses, but, unfortunately, what they have is not a home, it’s only a house.

As a pastor I dream, desire, pray and endeavor to the best of my ability to have a quality church. But I have discovered and realized that the quality of the church depends on the quality of our family life. If all of us have unhappy families and go to church on Sundays, do you think that we will have a good time?  The answer is quite obvious.

    

Let us go to our text…

Our text says Jesus was welcomed into the the “home of Martha.”   Martha had a home, not just a house. A home is where people just don’t live, but they live together.  Not an Apartment or a condominium.  Some people live in the same house, but they are apart from each other, they are separated from each other.

A happy home is where they have some important things in common. Happiness in the family goes beyond having a common family name. There are so many people who have a common family name and are also miserable. Someone said, “Happiness is having a loving and caring family in another city.”

We see the following common things in the home of Martha:

1. They had a common Lord.

2. They had a common Faith.

3. They subscribed to a common Word.

4. They had a common Value System. 

5. They had a common Service.

    

Things to understand about your family in order to help it become a happy family:

Mindset is important to happiness. How your mind is set largelys affect the quality of your happiness. How can a millionaire be unhappy while a person who earns just enough be happy?  Answer: Mindset.  Paul put it this way, “But godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6) I am persuaded that contentment is a mindset.  Of course we must understand that there are two kinds of contentment: Positive and Negative contentment.  The problem with many of us is that we are contented and discontented with the wrong things.  We are content to go by a mediocre Christian life.  We are content with a three-minute-a-day prayer life.  We are content even when we have not seen the insides of a Bible for months at a time.  We are content to be spectators in church.  Then, we are discontented with the size of our Telvision set, the brand and/or model of our Cell Phones, MP3 players, DVD players, iPod, etc.  We are discontented with our cars, our houses, the way we look, etc.   I say we are a confused generation!  We have a habit of putting last things first and first things last!

    

Develop the following positive mindsets that will help you become a blessing to your family.

    

1. You have to understand that your family is imperfect.

Members of your family are bound to make mistakes. There will irritable and sensitive times. There are bad times. There will be slips. Menopausal times. Expect less. Be ready to forgive.

    

2. You have to understand that your family is unique.

Don’t compare. Don’t envy. Each family has its own peculiarities. Accept your family as they are. Acceptance.

    

3. You have to understand that your family is for life.

Friends are made by choice.  Wife and Husband are made by choice. But I believe, membership in a family is made by divine appointment.

Friendships may end, and sometimes marriages may end, too, but family will always be.  We are family for life!  Learn to be thankful and learn to appreciate your family.  After all, you are stuck with each other for life!

    

4. Your family is one of your greatest possessions.

Nothing can replace your family.  Take care of it.  Invest in it.  Be careful with your relationships in your home.

Prepare for the long haul. Instead of complaining about the things that are done badly, make yourself available to make things right.  It has been said, “You can’t do anything about your ancestors, but you can do something about your descendants.”

    

5. Your family is the only one you’ve got.

Give it your best shot.   Don’t be a “joy rider.” Be a real part of it.   Help in any and every way you can.

    

Conclusion

You are the key to you family’s happiness.  Be a blessing to your family.  Be an encouragement.  Be a source of joy.  Be a source of strength.  Be a source of inspiration. Be a source of love and care and concern.

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