Welcome Home: Choosing our Firm Foundation

 After 40 years of wilderness wandering the Israelites had finally entered the Promised Land.  Before his death- and before he dismissed them to their inheritance- Joshua gathered the people and reminded them of their great history.  He spoke of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the crossing of the Red Sea and of Jericho.  He then exclaimed, “But if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served, which were beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD,” (Joshua 24:15).  The line was drawn, and Joshua boldly declared his choice.  Like Nehemiah building the wall, he was resolute in his decision.  

And so for us.  The foundation of cultivating a biblical home culture of emotional safety and joy starts with a decision to serve the Lord.  

While I’m guessing most of us aren’t trying to decide between serving God and serving the gods described in the above verse, I suspect our choice instead comes down to a matter of intentionality.  Are we going to intentionally follow Jesus, building our homes upon the rock? (Matthew 7:24)  Or, are we going to build our homes on the sands of complacency and worldly values?  The choice is ours.  But of one thing I am certain: the latter happens with ease yet results in despair; the former takes consistent intention but results in great reward.    

Once the choice has been made to build the foundation of our home on Christ, the question then becomes, “How do we do this?”  Let’s examine 4 practical ways:

  1.  Preach the gospel daily.   Choosing to serve the Lord starts with intentionally maintaining a gospel focus.  As I’ll discuss in upcoming posts, everything flows from this!  As Martin Luther famously said, “We must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.”  Reminding ourselves and our family of the truth of God’s love for us in Christ is vital to both our individual and family lives.  Why?  Because when we reflect on Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection we are filled with hope and joy knowing that we are sinners saved by grace, wholly and dearly loved. In this reflection we are simultaneously humbled yet filled with confidence.  But most importantly, our affections for our Heavenly Father are raised and He receives glory.    

Whether through time in prayer, listening to worship hymns/songs focused on the gospel, or by reading Scripture, I encourage you (and myself!) to take a few moments of the day to reflect on the gospel message.  Some of my favorite passages of Scripture for reflection are: Romans 5:1-11, Romans 6:5-14, Romans 8, Galatians 3:26-4:7, Ephesians 1:3-14; 2:1-10, and Colossians 1:21-23; 2:9-15.     

  1. Abide in the word.  To abide in Christ means to remain, or to stay, continuously in him.  One way we do this is through time in Scripture.  As Jesus said in John 8:31, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples.”  To be sure, setting aside time each day to read God’s word is a discipline.  But making Bible reading a daily habit is one of the best ways we can know our triune God.  Reading one chapter a day is a great way to start.  (I recommend picking one book of the Bible to read through at a time.)  Keep a notebook to jot down any observations or questions you have about what you are reading.  

While individual reading is of course great, this can also be done with your spouse or as a family.  Even if you don’t read together, feel free to share with your spouse and/or family what you’ve read and learned from your time in the word.    

  1.  Obedience to the word.  We build our homes on Christ not only by reading his word but by obedience to it.  1 John 2:6 says, Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”  True abiding results in being a doer of the word and not merely a hearer (James 1:22).  Although future posts will discuss obedience in greater detail, for the time being let this be said: it is the responsibility of the parents to lead by example for the children- and it is the responsibility of the husband to lead by example within the marriage.  

As you read through Scripture, pick one command/principle to intentionally focus on obeying.  Then, clue in your spouse/family so they can lovingly hold you accountable and pray for you.  Which leads to my final point…         

  1.  Prayer.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to pray without ceasing and Romans 8:6 tells us that the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.  Prayer is vital.  It is through prayer we invite the Holy Spirit to govern our minds and lead us in all wisdom and discernment.  Without a doubt, prayer is part of building our homes on Christ!  By continuously staying in prayer we strengthen ourselves, our families, and bring joy to our Father.  

The great thing about prayer is that it can be done anytime, anywhere.  I encourage you to pick one time per day to consistently be in prayer.  For me this is when my head is on the pillow- both as I’m going to sleep and when I turn off my alarm in the morning.  I also consistently use the times I do dishes and commute to work for time in prayer.  Again, whether it’s on your own or with your spouse and/or family, the importance of prayer cannot be overstated!    

As I conclude this post I challenge us all to choose this day whom we will serve, counting both the cost and reward of choosing Christ.   I pray we find the reward far greater than the cost, that we may choose a life committed to building our homes on Christ our firm foundation; that we may walk with him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith (Colossians 2:6-7).    

Published by Nicole Byrum

Hello! I have been a therapist in the community mental health field for the last 13 years. During this time I have worked with numerous women in recovery from substance abuse. It was this work, along with my relationship with Jesus, that inspired me to write my first book, Remade: Living Free. I have found writing to be a joy and it is my aim through this website to continue to share my faith, insights, and hope with my readers. Some fun facts about me: I have been married for 15 years and have 2 children; I love to read, run and cook; Even though I have lived in Ohio for most of my life I am not a fan of cold weather!

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