As this series comes to an end, it strikes me that nothing I have written has been complicated. In a sense, it has been, well…basic. And yet, simplicity is not the same thing as easy. It is simple to understand the importance of servanthood in marriage and using gentle and gracious words with our kids. The difficulty lies in the application of these simple truths. Without question, we will fail over and over again. But praise God, He gives us more grace (James 4:6).
In regard to my salvation, I know that I am a sinner saved by grace and that I was justified by faith the moment I trusted Christ. I know my eternal inheritance is secure and that nobody can pluck me out of my Father’s hand. And yet, as long as I’m on this earth I will remain a sinner in need of grace. But God, being infinitely rich in His mercy and grace, lavishes these upon His children (Ephesians 1:8). By His word, we know that He is gracious to forgive and that we receive grace upon grace from the fulness of Christ (1 John 1:9, John 1:16). Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and that His mercies never come to an end; indeed, they are new every morning.
To think that I could apply the truths in this series flawlessly and without fail would be a grievous (and blasphemous) error. Whenever two imperfect, sinful people are in a relationship with one another the relationship will also be imperfect. Sin is sure to abound! We will never cease to be sinners in need of grace. But as the above verses demonstrate, it is impossible to out-sin the mercy and grace of our great God. And not only that, He Himself will supply us with the strength and ability to carry out His commands. I assure you, as sinful people, we go off the rails when we count on our own strength and willpower to apply these God-given truths and principles! These can only be done through the power of His Spirit.
It is the work of the Spirit to sanctify the children of God; to conform them more and more into the image of Christ by growing them in holiness. As we continue to abide in Christ through time in the word and prayer, and as we ask the Spirit to govern our hearts and minds, He will produce within us the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control- all that is needed to rightly love our spouse and children.
All of this is for one purpose only: to bring glory to God and point others to Christ. When we build our homes upon the firm foundation of Christ and the gospel; when we apply the simple truths that create a home environment of emotional safety and joy, our Heavenly Father is glorified. Moreover, our homes become a ministry- first and foremost, to our spouses and children- and then to the outside world. By His grace, we will persevere in the mission of building our homes.