Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. —Psalm 128:3-4
We could paraphrase these verses like this: “Walk in the ways of the Lord, and the fruit of your labors will be a happy home.” In these verses, we see that when the people in the house fear the Lord, the wife, who is the heart of the home, will be fruitful in the things that make the home a refuge. If children are present, they will be reflections of their parents, much like sprouts from a mature olive tree.
We also see that the blessing of the home ultimately depends upon the man who fears the Lord. Proverbs 18:22 reads, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the Lord.” Men, did you ever stop to consider that when your wife feels like you see her as an expression of God’s favor upon you, the heart of your home will bear fruit all around your table? I’ve sometimes heard people say that in a marriage God takes two people’s decisions to marry and makes it work. I don’t believe that, although I believe that God is involved in every Christian marriage. I believe that He gave me my wife—not just a wife but the wife that He had for me. She is strong where I am weak, compassionate where I am stern. I didn’t marry from happenstance or coincidence, but I obtained favor from the Lord when my wife, Teri, and I said, “I do!”
Peter wrote, “Husbands . . . dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Pet 3:7). Husbands, do you practice courageous fear at home? Your home will be blessed if you do. Your wife will blossom as the heart of the home, and your children will be like olive plants around your table. In fact, a home that fears the Lord will be a safe haven in an evil world.
Let me ask some direct questions here: What’s more important for you to teach your children: how to win souls or how to play soccer? (You know the answer, but is that really what receives the most attention?) If your child were asked, how would he or she answer that question?
Remember the Bible illustration of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet? He wasn’t instituting foot washing. He was offering an example of how to take the position of the lowest of household slaves, washing the dirty feet of the guests, saying to the disciples, “You’ll be blessed if you follow My example.”
Husbands, love your wives like Christ does the church, giving Himself for her. Wives, respect your husband as head of the home. Let your God-fearing home become a safe haven from the storms of life in this wicked world. Our homes need to be places where there’s no fear that the children will be exposed to pornography, where wives feel safe, and where husbands can enjoy seeing the fruit of courageous fear around the table. This can be true as well for the single home! Our home should be a haven where, in a world that dishonors God, God is honored by all that takes place there. It should be a place where the Lord is sought first, and the other necessary things of life are added unto us by Him. There’s no greater benefit to your home than the fear of the Lord. (See Psalm 25:14.)
Your home can become a haven that is blessed by the counsel of the Lord and a place of intimate relationship with Him. Creating a haven from the storm begins with courageous fear and will yield a safe place for all who enter it in the midst of an evil world.
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