A Sanctified Family
"But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: The LORD will hear when I call unto him." Psalm 4:3
The word "SANCTIFIED" means to be set apart. God wants us to be sanctified, or set apart to Him. However, he is looking for those who are willing to be set apart, for those who are willing to be godly in who they are and how they live. This requires someone who is willing to be a little different from what is considered to be the normal in their society. Being godly requires us to act a little differenty than those who are ungodly. Indeed, we are called to be different, and promised that we will be received or sanctified to God if we do seperate ourselves in our living from the world. "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you," (II Corinthians 6:17)
What is true for the individual regarding this thing of sanctification is true for the family. God is looking for families who will seperate from the wicked ways of this world and be sanctified to Him. A sanctified family begins with leadership. We cannot expect our children to be sanctified if we do not teach them, and lead them, down a road of godliness. How then can we lead our family to be sanctified to God?
#1 RESPECT THE LORD - "Stand in awe, and sin not:..." (Psalm 4:4) When is the last time we were truly in awe over God and who He is? Do we respect our Heavenly Father, or have we relegated His name to a expretion of surprise and take His name as a curse word more than in actual reference to His Diety? When is the last time as a family we opened the Word of God and stood in awe of what God has said? This is where godliness begins. This is where sanctification begins. Sadly, many Christian families go through the motions of being godly in their outward appearance but their respect for the Lord is lukewarm within the walls of their home. Such lukewarmness in the home will result in a crumbling of family morals and a departure from God rather than a sanctification to Him.
Where is the family altar of generations past? Where is the family devotions? Is it no longer important for a father to read the Scriptures to His children? Is it no longer important for parents to teach their children to pray. Our children will fall by the wayside if we do not teach them to stand in awe and respect of Who God is and what all He has done.
#2 COMMUNE WITH GOD - "...Commune with your own heart on your bed, and be still." (Psalm 4:4) That word commune means to talk together with familiarity. How familiar are you with God? How familiar is your family with God? If coming before God in prayer is awkward than it indicated that their is a lack of familiarity with God. We need our families to be close to God. Parents, God has given you the responsibility of teaching your children how to be close to God. Here is a question I want every parent to thnk about for a moment. "WHAT AM I DOING TO TEACH MY CHILDREN TO BE CLOSE TO GOD?"
We are loosing our children because of a lack of sanctification to God. Our children are not sanctified to God because they are not truly familiar with Who God is. All our children know about God is that because of God they have to do this and they can't do that. Therefore, our children begin to see God as no more than a reason for a list of rules. We need to teach our children to have a relationship with the Lord so that they know Him. This is the responsibility of the parents. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)
#3 LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY - "Offer the sacrifices of righteousness..." (Psalm 4:5) If the last two points are the heart of being sanctified to God, here is the skin. Our actions ought to be actions that are right. Our appearal ought to be apparel that is right. Our words ought to be words that are right. Our thoughts ought to be thoughts that are right. This is what it means to live righteously. It is when we, as Christians, live in a way that is right and pleasing to our Heavenly father. Therefore, in order to do what is right we must educate ourselves in the ways of God. We need to learn what we should do, what we should say, what we should wear, what are clean thoughts. All of these can be learned from God's Word. They are learned by reading and studying God's Word. They can be learned by the counsel and teaching of God's Word, as well as by the preaching of God's Word. Therefore it is important to keep you family in God's Word. Read the Word as a family every day. Listen to the teaching and preaching of God's Word at church and grow to live in a righteous manner before God.
#4 TRUST THE LORD - "...And put your trust in the LORD." (Psalm 4:5) We need to have faith in what God can do for our families. This faith is passed down from the parents to the children. When I was growing up I saw my parents faith in God. I saw that they had answers to their prayers. This then instilled in me that I can have faith in the same God that took care of my parents. Too many Christians have faith for salvation, but then fail to trust God to take care of anything else. Therefore most Christians fail to tithe, for this requires faith. They fail to sacrifice, for this requires faith. They fail to be faithful to God, for this requires faith. Therefore, their lack of faith causes them to fail in pleasing God. "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6) When we talk about God, but fail to truly trust in God it causes our children to know about God, but to lack in trusting Him. Therefore, when they grow up they look at God as someone who is one the sidelines of their life, instead of someone who actively wants to be involved and help them in their life. We must teach our families to have faith in God. This must begin with the leadership of the family having trust in God.
There is a great lack in our churches of families who are willing to be sanctified to God. It is not easy to do, but it is truly rewarding. We will find the blessings and power of God resting on our households when we are living godly, and sanctified to our Heavenly Father.