Effect of Faith on the Home
The importance of the impact
of faith on home cannot be overstated. John Harper had a
wonderful home, a place where faith impacted every decision
he made and every member of his family. But in a strange
turn of events, his wife died and he was left to raise his
Today, in a village near Glasgow,
Scotland, you can find Harper Memorial Church. It's named
after its founder, John Harper. This Baptist minister felt
the call to preach at the age of seventeen. For nearly six
years after his calling, he worked in a paper mill during
the day and preached wherever he could find an audience
In his early twenties, Harper
became a full-time pastor and started several churches.
He later moved to London and enjoyed such success that he
was invited to preach a revival meeting at Moody Church
in Chicago during the winter of 1911. The meeting went so
well that he was invited back the following spring. On April
11, 1912, Harper boarded the S.S. Titanic to return to Moody
Church. The thirty-nine-year-old widower traveled in second-class
with his six-year-old daughter, Nana. When the ship's fate
became evident, Harper wrapped his daughter in a blanket
and made certain she got on a lifeboat. He then began calling
out, "Women, children, and the unsaved into the lifeboats
first!" He took off his life jacket and gave it to
A man who was later saved by
the S.S. Carpathia gave even greater detail to the faith
of John Harper. He said he saw Harper struggling to stay
afloat. The minister called out in the dark, "Are you
saved?" The man replied, "No." Harper then
quoted Acts 15:31, "Believe in
the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved." This
survivor gave no response and the waves soon separated the
two men. Shortly thereafter, the currents brought them near
each other again. Harper repeated his question, "Are
you saved?" The man declared, "No, I can't honestly
say that I am." Harper once again quoted from Acts
before the two drifted apart in the sea. Not long afterwards,
Harper sank to his death.
This man who had encountered
the sheer strength of Harper's unfailing faith said, "There,
alone in the night, with two miles of water beneath me,
I believed. I am John Harper's last convert." May such
bold faith be found in us all! (Baptist
Standard, June 3, 1998, p. 12).
Faith's impact on family is
tremendous. But what makes a family? Let me ask you this:
Just because two parents live in a house with their three
children, does that make a family? Yes, by the technical
definition of a family, I suppose it does. But it doesn't
necessarily make a home. In the previous article (click
here to read) we explored the foundation for our homes.
We learned that the home that honors the Lord is built on
the sure foundation of the Lord God, has as its blueprints
His Word, is set on the cornerstone of Jesus Christ, and
will, if it is a God-honoring home, rise up as a temple
unto the Lord. Today, we add to our understanding of the
home as we consider why home works and how it is
impacted by faith.
In Heb. 11:9-10, we find tucked
away in the hall of faith a little verse with a big punch.
The Bible says, "By faith he
made his home in the Promised Land like a stranger
in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and
Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For
he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose
architect and builder is God."
That the Bible would tell us
this is so very significant. I mean, here it is, the establishment
of a home included in the hall of faith, one of the Bible's
most exclusive lists.
There are four aspects of this
verse that have a bite to them. Think with me about the
first one today.
The Making of a Home
Consider the phrase "by
faith he made his home." Now, as it relates to home,
why is there a connection to faith? It doesn't take faith
to make a home, does it? Non-believers do it everyday and
they don't have faith. Does it take faith? For the believer,
We have to pray about everything,
especially as it relates to home. Why is faith such an important
element in the establishing of a home? Because the approach
you take to faith and its inclusion or exclusion in your
home will determine, not only the environment your family
will live in, but also the persons they turn out to be.
Faith is that important.
Faith is central, faith must
be central, to everything we do as believers. We've got
to get out of bed by faith. We've got to have our appointments
with God by faith. We've got to put on the full armor of
God by faith. We've got to eat and drink and walk and drive
and work by faith. Why? Because, as the Bible says, "Without
faith, it is impossible to please God."
And we've got to especially make our homes by faith.
Have you ever walked into a
place like Olive Garden and the smell of Italian food permeated
every square inch of the place? Your mouth watered and your
stomach growled as you anticipated eating a dish of your
very own. Just like that smell permeated the entire restaurant,
so faith must permeate your whole being until there's no
room for anything else. It's not enough to say our home
is a home of faith, each person must be permeated by faith
in order for the home to be permeated by faith. Otherwise,
we'll have areas void of faith moving here and there in
our homes creating a faith-vacuum that's not easily overcome.
By faith, Abraham raised his children and provided for their
needs and… introduced them to the Father.
Next time we'll consider the
second one. Until then, give some thought to the place you
have given faith in your home. Is it prevalent? Is it primary?
Is it bold? Does it permeate everyone and everything? If
not, why not? Ask God to show you today.