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I hope you guys are having a great summer.
I’m happy to report that our video production team is doing a fantastic job. We’ve already completed seven videos and are almost done with post-production.
As I mentioned earlier, all Phase 1 videos are specifically for individuals and families who receive biblical counseling from a TLP Counselor.
However, if you’re a pastor or biblical counselor who would like access to those videos for training purposes, our plan is to start a page at the TLP Store dedicated to such resources. As our video library grows, you’ll have more and more content from which to choose.
And then Phase 2 — which we hope to film before the end of the summer — will be a video course to which counselees will have free access and that other families can pay to watch.
Things are going along well, and we’re very excited to share them with you!
But, for now, let’s remind ourself of the amazing resource this podcast is. I don’t want to toot my own horn, but I praise God for the content TeamTLP creates. We’ve been receiving some very encouraging feedback from families who are new to TLP.
One of the most frequent observations is that the content is so incredibly robust . . . especially considering that it’s free!
So, thank you for joining us today. We pray you’ll come to know God better while you’re here.
And don’t forget to follow us on social media. We’d love to redeem your feed with Christ-honoring family content.
And also don’t forget that the only way we can only produce this robustly biblical family resource is when our listeners financially support the show.
Please visit TruthLoveParent.com/donate to discover how easy it is to give to this non-profit and — in turn — be a blessing to families all over the world.
Okay, so today we’re going to talk about how the omnipresent God may be excluded from certain parts of your home . . . or — worse yet — from your entire home.
In episode 92, Christian Parenting 101, we discussed one of the most important parenting passages in the Bible, Deuteronomy chapter 6.
Today, I’d like to extrapolate an important truth from that passage, but I strongly encourage you to listen to Christian Parenting 101 for a foundational understanding of the passage since we don’t really get to that today.
First, though, let’s take a moment to consider God.
Many of you know that God has both incommunicable and communicable attributes. His communicable attributes are the ones that we, as humans, can exhibit in our own lives — though not to the extent that God can. God is love, and we can love. God is perfectly merciful, and we can be merciful. God is amazingly creative, and we can be creative too.
But it’s His incommunicable attributes that make Him God. And one of His more interesting incommunicable attributes is His omnipresence.
Omnipresence is basically this: all of God can exist everywhere at all times simultaneously. He’s not inhibited by time nor space.
Psalm 139 teaches us the undeniable fact that there is nowhere we can go to be separated from God.
Still, His omnipresence can manifest itself in different ways.
For example, though God is everywhere at all times, He uniquely indwells believers. The Holy Spirit coexists with our spirit in a way He doesn’t with those who are not born again. That doesn’t mean He’s not with, near, nor pervading the space in which an unbeliever exists, but He defiantly does not indwell them.
It’s also been said that the worst part of the second death in the Lake of Fire is the fact that unbelievers will be separated from God for all eternity. But since God is omnipresent even hell is not off limits to Him.
And Jesus makes an interesting claim in Matthew 18:20 that where two or three are gathered together in His name, He will be among them in a special way.
All of this to say, that though God is everywhere, He exercises a special presence in some places and not in others.
And that’s the topic of today’s discussion.
Does God’s presence pervade your home, or are their corners of your house where God cannot be found?
What do I mean? Well, let’s start by rereading Deuteronomy 6:4-9: “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Though this passage doesn’t name every possible place a parent can proclaim the glory of God, this representative list clearly communicates the scope of our parenting.
We must speak the Truth of God at every moment of the day and in every venue in which we find ourselves.
So, what places in your home haven’t heard the Truth of God for quite some time?
It’s so easy to fill our houses with selfishness and lies. The kitchen and dining rooms exist to slake our lust for food and drink. The living room stands as the center of worldly philosophy and pagan entertainment. For the parents, the master bedroom can simultaneously be the room where self-idolatry exhibits itself through selfish sexuality and marital strife. And each of the kids’ bedrooms stand as a repository of personal pleasure, materialism, and selfishness.
How many fights break out on opposite sides of the bathroom door? How many squabbles are initiated in the hall way? How many garages house the car that feeds our pride? How many lawns are used to bolster our insecurities?
Every tile and shingle and piece of drywall can either be used to feed our own will and stoke our own glory or herald the supremacy of Christ.
Now, I admit I just painted a pretty dire picture, but that’s the state of most of the homes in the world.
I’ve watched a few episodes of Fuller House, and it’s just sad. This show is one of the tamer ones out there, and yet every person in every room at every moment of the day is trying to live their lives for their own happiness. God is nowhere to be seen.
And too many Christian homes have followed suit.
On the opposite side, however, there are many homes where the families attempt to glorify God in all they eat and drink in their kitchens and dining rooms. Many a Christ-honoring conversation has been had at the foot of many beds. Forgiveness has been sought in numerous rooms, and unselfish play has been enjoyed in many nurseries. The Bible has been studied in dens and living rooms and around countless tables. Biblical advice has been given in garages and backyards and hallways all over the world. And even bathrooms have been use to glorify God as people have made decisions for the Lord. While on the bathroom scale they decided to lose weight, while standing in front of the mirror they chose to clean up, and while in the shower they planned to introduce a friend to the Gospel.
So, what about your house?
Walk through every room of the house and try to remember the last time you diligently taught your family members the Truth of God while in that room. Move from room to room and try to remember the last time you made a personal decision to glorify God while you were in that room.
You may find that you are a very selfish person while in the bathroom and kitchen. You may come to realize that God is never glorified in your den or family room.
Consider your children. Where do they struggle the most? Is it in front of the TV? Is it with the game system? Is it in the tree house?
On our last episode I talked about the potential danger of forts, hideouts, and secret places that children claim as their own. Even screenwriters know that that if a boy is going to look at a wicked magazine, he’s probably going to look at it in a tree house, fort, bathroom, or bedroom.
Much of the world’s cultures encourage us to think of those places as personal spaces — places where we can do things about which no one else knows and where no one else gets a say.
Is God glorified in the bottom drawer of your daughter’s dresser. You know, the drawer in which she keeps her diary? Is God glorified under your son’s bed? Is God glorified on the digital devices in the home?
Is God allowed to reign over the garage? Is He free to exercise His will around the dining room table? Is He master of the front yard? What about in the car? Does He control the radio and have a say in where the car goes? Does God’s Word dictate what happens in the bathroom? Does it affect what we watch on TV?
So, what happens if you realize that there are rooms in your home that haven’t seen God in months?
Here are five practical examples and suggestions that I hope will help.
1. Share this episode with your family. Have everyone sit down and listen. By the way, if you’re doing that right now and the whole family is there, Hey, guys! God loves you and your parents and He knows that life doesn’t work when you live it for yourself. His Word has everything you need for life and godliness. I recorded this episode because I love your family too, and I’m not encouraging your parents to do this because it’s easier for them or because I want to see your family struggle. No. I want God’s best for your family. I encourage you to listen to your parents when they share the Bible with you.
There’s nothing more powerful than a unified family. Even Abraham Lincoln knew that a house divided cannot stand.
2. Go into every room and part of your home and pray that God would help you do three things when you’re in that room. Jesus prayed that His Father’s will would be done on earth as it is in Heaven. A. Ask God to remind you that it’s His will — not yours — that should be done in that room the way it is in Heaven. B. As you read His Word, ask Him to make it clear to you how you should glorify Him in your home. And C. Ask Him to give you the wisdom you need to teach your family how to glorify God in each of those rooms.
Now, there’s nothing magical about praying in every room of your home, but I suggest it because it can be visual reminder. It will be hard to forget that you took a chunk of time praying in each room of your house.
I encourage you to be specific in your prayers as well. Pray about the unique ways you can glorify God in your bedroom, in the kitchen, in the parlor and in the bathroom. Pray for the other people in you home and for the ways they struggle when they’re in those rooms. Let me give you an example:
“Dear Lord, this living room has been a center for idolatry for too long. Lord, help me to remember that I shouldn’t place any wicked thing in front of my eyes. Give me the wisdom necessary to parent my children when they’re unkind to each other while they play their video games. Also, help me to teach them how to use their time in profitable ways so they don’t waste their day away on games and videos. May your will be done in this room as it is in Heaven.”
Now, that’s just an example. Please personalize it for your family’s needs. And remember, this isn’t just for mom and dad either. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone in the house did this?
Now, depending on the size of your house, this may take some time. But don’t rush it. You don’t have to do it all at once. Take your time. Maybe start by finding the one room out of which the majority of your family members have kicked-out God and start there.
3. Study God’s Word so you know how better to glorify Him. It’s great to want to obey the Lord, but if you don’t know what He expects, you can neither obey Him nor teach others to obey Him. One of the best ways to redeem the bedrooms or living room or dining room is dedicate a time each day for every member of the family to individually and corporately study God’s Word.
Okay, so step one was share this episode with the family so you’re all on the same page. Step two was to pray through your home. And step three was to get into the Bible so you know exactly what God wants your family life to look like.
4. Put up reminders. At TruthLoveParent.com we have photo quotes. You can easily print out a copy of The Communication House if you’re part of the TLP Family. There are hundreds of companies that sell decor with Bible verses. You can often find them at Walmart.
My mom used to write cryptic words around the house. I remember a time when she had the word “reevaluate” on the bathroom mirror and on the refrigerator. I’m still not sure of what she was reminding herself, but it was there to help her glorify God when she was in those two places. You could even print a sheet of paper or handwrite a note with bullet-points. Each point could enumerate a mindset or belief everyones should have when they’re in that room. It could also include Christ-honoring activities in which everyone can participate when they’re in that room. Don’t forget to check out today’s episode notes at Taking Back the Family. I designed them to help you accomplish this step.
5. When you’ve discovered how to glorify God in that room and set up reminders, consciously seek to obey Him when in that room and leave no space behind. Don’t allow any room to become a buffet for the flesh or temple for self-worship. No man cave, no computer desk, no refrigerator, no drawer is off limits. Intentionally look for opportunities to speak of God. Have a premeditated plan to parent your children in each room of the home. For you kids, you can come up with a plan to encourage your siblings. Whether you’re walking or sitting or standing or lying down, regardless of where you are in the house, commit to keeping the words God commands and teaching them diligently to each other.
Now let’s think big for a moment. Imagine taking these same principles and applying them outside of your home. We talked about your car, but what about your cubicle at work or your locker at school. What if you sought to obey God and be a testimony for Him at soccer practice or dance class?
What if you invited the omnipresent God of the universe into every space you inhabit?
Deuteronomy 6 sets a pretty high goal for our family life, and it’s so easy to miss that goal because we’re often ignorant of Truth or too selfish to care.
And the house is the one place where we feel comfortable to “let down our hair” — which is just code for “be selfish.”
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve formatted today’s episode notes to help you invite God into each room of your home. They may not be pretty, but today’s notes include a page of questions. You can post a copy of these questions wherever you like in your house to help remind the family.
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