Recently as Alice and I were traveling, we saw this bumper sticker on the back of a vehicle:‘Home Improvement Begins With the King James Bible.’ We speak of home improvement in different ways. Perhaps we are painting or remodeling our home or maybe even building a new one. There are certainly many ways in which we can change our home to make it look and
perform better for us. But let’s change gears and think about the improvement that needs to go on inside the people who live in that home. I don’t agree totally with the bumper sticker because it said the improvement begins with the KJV. It really doesn’t matter which version one uses unless the truth is misconstrued.
But back to the “home improvement.” The greatest home improvement that can occur within a household is to mold character, thinking and action of the members of that home to comply with what the Bible teaches. The first duty of spiritual home improvement is to “love the Lord God with all your heart, soul and might” (Deut. 6:5). Loving Him means obeying Him.
Peter said that we must “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). That can only be accomplished by studying, learning, and obeying. Parents must teach and guide their off-spring in the Lord ‘s way. The Wise Man said “Train up a child in the way he should go and, when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). The “way he should go” is the Lord’s way. We read in Deut. 8:5-6, “As a man chastens his son, so the Lord, your God, chastens you. Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the Lord, your God, to walk in His ways and to fear him.”
There is no other way that can fulfill the promise of eternal life and peace. Parents must love and serve the Lord and teach their off-spring to do likewise. When that is done, true home improvement is accomplished. First Timothy 5:4 says, “If any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn first to show piety at home and to reward their parents for that is good and acceptable to God.” Although this is speaking of a widow’s offspring, all children should be taught to honor God and others, beginning at home. In teaching the duty of children, Paul taught “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with promise, that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth” (Eph. 6:1ff).
True home improvement occurs when the hearts, minds and personalities of all those in the home honor God as the great Creator that He is. That home improvement comes about only by studying to know God’s will, doing what He says and teaching it to all those in the home. We read a most touching story when Paul, in speaking to Timothy, spoke of “the unfeigned faith that is in you which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice, and I am persuaded that in you also” (2 Tim. 1:5). Paul was confident that young Timothy had received the home improvement that he needed from his faithful mother and grandmother. If we want our offspring to know, love and serve God, we must set the example. God bless your home improvement!
Royce Pendergrass ( adapted)
Central Avenue Church of Christ