Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Family Values

"You are what you do when no one is looking." This is one of my favorite sayings and is true whether you're talking about spirituality or not. What is interesting though, is that it is so hard to put into practice.

Christian or not, there are "rules" for acceptable behavior in the public square- cussing at work is generally frowned upon, you can be ticketed for road rage, there are laws against public indecency, and so on. But at home, anything goes.

I'm guilty of this myself. I was talking with a coworker about an ongoing problem that was increasingly frustrating and I totally went off. I didn't cuss, but by my tone, I might as well have. He commented that he's never seen me so upset about anything before (he should see me watch sports). But I don't apply that filter at home with my own family. I'm quick to raise my voice at my children and vent my frustrations to my wife. While I wouldn't cuss in front of my boss, I don't have a problem cussing in anger in front of my family.

What that tells me is that I value my boss, my job, and others outside of my home more than I value my very own family. I care more about what coworkers think of me than what my children think of me. Now deep down that's not true, but that's what my actions say.

This came to me the other night during a discussion with other brothers about the fights they have at home, and it convicted the tar out of me. Why should I treat my family worse than I treat my coworkers, or even strangers on the street?

While the title of this blog is "Public Christianity" with the emphasis being to live and express our faith in the public square, our faith needs to be deeply rooted in our homes as well. "... choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15) The Bible is ripe with instruction on how to live and manage our homes. If what only mattered was what people see of us in public, then why include instructions to women in Timothy and Titus?

Sin is sin, regardless of where we indulge in it. God sees us in the privacy of our homes, just as strangers see our deeds in public. Don't think you're hiding sin just because it's not public. Value your family more than that.

"Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." (John 3:20)

"For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret." (Eph 5:12)

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