Household Priorities

Household Priorities

In 2 Chronicles 34, we find the beginning of the reign of King Josiah as well as many acts during his reign. A parallel passage to this is foud in 2 Kings 22-23.

Josiah begins reigning at the age of 8. We have multiple ages recorded in the Scriptures. 

  • In verse 1, he is 8 years old when he begins to reign. 
  • In verse 3, it’s the eighth year of his reign, which means he is sixteen. 
  • In verse 8, it’s the eighteenth year of his reign, now a decade later, which means he is 26. 
  • In 2 Kings 22:1, we find that he reigns 31 years, putting him at the age of 39 when he died.

The decisions that Josiah made for the kingdom of Judah can provide a unique comparison to priorities that a Christian home should make.

1. Prioritize seeking after the God of the Bible. (vv. 1-3)
There are truly many things that can be sought after. In fact, there are many gods that can be sought after. Josiah chose to follow after the "God of David his father". Each family ought to priortize seeking after God as He reveals Himself in Scripture, not as we desire Him to be or create Him to be in our minds.

2. Prioritize keeping sin out of the home. (vv. 4-7)
Josiah tore down the wickedness which his predecessors had allowed to be built up and in some cases built themselves. Keeping wickedness out seems like it would be common sense in Christian homes, but it is not. And, even where a home is guarded against sin, it must constantly be on the lookout for it. I heard a preacher once say, sin has always been sin, but Satan knows how to alter the appearance to make it look even more appealing. Parents ought to stand on guard against this deliberate attempt to break down households by the enemy himself.

3. Prioritize attending the House of the Lord. (vv. 8-11)
Josiah ...repaired the house of the LORD his God. Hours could be spent on this point alone. It's already a command in Hebrews 10:25 that we ought to be following. However, outside of a command, church is critical for the Christian family. It is the hub of sharpening, exhortation, encouragment, fellowship, love, acceptance, purpose, and so much more. As the mystery of the church has been revealed in Scripture, it makes absolutely no sense for a Christian home to call themselves Christian and not attend a local New Testament church. Christian homes are doing themselves a disservice and living well below their privilege when they do not attend church.

4. Prioritize participating in the work of the Lord. (vv. 12-13)
And the men did the work faithfully... This should definitely start with the fathers, but participation in the church is not just for husbands or fathers. Find a place of service and bring your family along. Recently, my son wanted to throw some football. I was excited to do it, and he was excited to do it. He needed to run inside to change from his flip flops into his tennis shoes. In the mean time, I headed out to a sign our church has and started pulling weeds, always trying to utilize my scraps of time! My son came out and told me he was ready to throw, and I asked him to finish weeding the area with me. He pulled up a weed and in the process flung dirt all over my head, down my shirt, and in my shoes. (They were big weeds!) We laughed, finished, and then threw some football. I'll never forget that memory, and it will probably be with him for a while as well. Every moment of service with my family is quality time with my family, even to a higher degree than what recreation or relaxation can give us. 

5. Prioritize giving to the Lord. (vv. 9, 14, 17)
Giving to the work of the Lord not only resumed but also proper handling of the incoming finances resumed as well. Churches ought to be above board, transparent, and unified when it comes to the handling of finances--certainly a topic for another time. However, we as individual families within the church ought to give. There are so many promises from the Lord to us in our giving. I heard one preacher mention recently, "Giving is like shoveling. You shovel it out, and God shovels it in. However, God has a bigger shovel." This is such an important part of a family's priorities. Matthew 6:21 reminds us, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. When we give through the local church, we are not giving to the people or the pastor, though a portion of the money goes to provide a salary to the pastor and benefits to the people. When we give through the local church, we are giving to the Lord Himself. This is part of a home's worship and ought to be prioritized in a Christian home.

6. Prioritize reading the Word of God. (vv. 15-19)
I have found the book...And Shaphan read it before the king... It's sad in Christian homes that children know more about the latest sports statistics or Hollywood movie than they do about their Bible. This is not the fault of the child. It is misplaced priorities on the part of the parents. Authentic Christianity cannot exist well without the Word of God. An emphasis on the Word of God, along with all these priorities, cannot exist efficiently without the leadership of the parents in them. The Word of God is a "discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart". Individual Christians need the Word of God and Christian homes need the Word of God.

7. Prioritize responding to the Word of God. (v. 31)
And the king...made a covenant before the LORD... "Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only." It doesn't make sense to priortize the reading of the Bible if we are not going to do anything with what It says. This is why I think altar calls in a church are still valuable. It is a time for an individual response to what the Holy Spirit of God did in one's heart through the preaching of the Word of God. This is why you'll sometimes hear of family devotions in the home called "Family Altar". It is because we don't just want to emphasize the reading, but if there are things in the home that need to be altered, we take the steps to do it. A focus on the Word of God will help mom and dad keep a closer eye on the possible entrance of sin and wickedness into the home. As they see it, they can make necessary steps to guard the home from it. Individual soul liberty means that I cannot make my child respond to the Word of God. But I can sure teach them the importance of it and demonstrate it both in the church house and at home.

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