God has ordained and established three great institutions:
- the home (Genesis 1:27–28; Ephesians 5:22–31),
- the church (Matthew 16:18; Acts 2:41–47), and
- government (Romans 13:1–7).
There is no question regarding our belief that the church and state (government) should be separate and distinct. Each is a unique entity, not to be consolidated. Our Lord Jesus Christ stated as much in Mark 12:17 when He said: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
But what about the church and the home? Is there cooperation . . . or competition? To be specific: Has your home lost its identity? Has the role or responsibility of your home been lost in the “religious shuffle” of the church?
How very many churches you and I could name that plan a calendar of events so involved for its members that a meaningful home life is virtually impossible! “Something for everyone, every night” is a slogan that must be considered as an enemy to our homes.
If you are involved in church or religious activities to the point that your home life is hurting, you’re too involved—and you’re heading for trouble. The law of diminishing returns is soon to catch up with you. Somewhere down the busy religious road you’re traveling, a dead-end sign will appear, forcing you to stop, turn around, and return to the place of balance and restful blessing . . . at home . . . if it’s not too late.
One sage put it this way: “Too much of our religious activity today is nothing more than a cheap anesthetic to deaden the pain of an empty life.” Does that describe you? If so—if your involvement is an escape from home—stop where you are. Look at what you’re doing in the light of eternity. Listen to what God says about activity that is done simply in the energy of the flesh:
Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw; each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality [not quantity] of each man’s work . . . . If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss [loss of eternal rewards]; but he himself will be saved.(1 Corinthians 3:12–13, 15)
God, you see, is primarily interested in the quality of our fruit. He looks behind our hurry and hustle . . . He probes and penetrates down to our motive, our inner purpose . . . and on the basis of that discovery, He plans our eternal rewards.
What if He examined your home life today? What quality of fruit would He find? We’ll talk about that tomorrow.