Family Vision — Holiness

We desire for our family and our children to pursue holiness and purity. 1 Peter 1:15-16 says
15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.””
How do we teach holy behavior in our families? First we have to define the word holy and what it means for us as believers. One definition of holy is to be “dedicated or devoted to the service of God” we are “set apart” for God when we are holy.
As believers we are to be different from the world around us. Often times the question  asked by those in the world and even in the church is “What can I still get away with and be a Christian?” rather than “How holy can I be?”
Romans 12: 1-2 says “1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
It’s not only about our behavior though, it’s about what is in our hearts. Proverbs 4:23 reminds us that we are to “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life”. If our hearts are either pure or corrupt, so will the rest of our lives be as well.
We try to teach our sons to guard their eyes and their hearts at all times. We work to contrast the Biblical standard with the worlds standard for living. What God says vs what the world says. An example would be for dress. Even though we haven’t been blessed with daughters, we teach our boys what is acceptable dress for both men and women. We have a code word in our family that anyone can say when there is something inappropriate in the line of sight. Someone can call out “Nike” (which means victory in Greek) and we will all look at our shoes or avert our eyes. When the coast is clear someone will say “all clear”.
I can’t tell you how often as a mother I have been thankful we’ve taught our young boys this practice. Whether it be a magazine cover (I wish they had isles in the store without magazines in them) or a girl walking down the street with immodest clothing on, I have been thankful that we are able to teach our boys to guard their eyes and their hearts. We don’t use it to judge those around us, but to set ourselves apart from the world. What the world sees as acceptable and right is not in line with God’s standard.
We carefully screen the videos, games and other media that comes into our home. I have been disappointed at how much is snuck into games or TV programs that doesn’t align with God’s word while still being seemingly “innocent”. An example would be a popular TV show on public television. It depicts a young girl as a super hero. It’s educational, it’s engaging, but she lies to her parents. Or a movie that doesn’t have profanity or nudity, but a character uses God’s name in vain. A movie our family recently watched was based on a popular children’s book. In the opening minutes it depicts a sister and brother fighting, a mother engaging in an extramarital affair and a young boy being disobedient and disrespectful to his mother. Out the movie went and into the trash. We talked with our boys about how, while we enjoy the children’s book, the movie contradicts the biblical standard God has for our family.
Philippians 4:8 is a verse we have memorized and have hanging in our kitchen to remind us “8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
Being holy and pure before God isn’t about comparing ourselves and elevating ourselves above those around us with our pious behavior. It’s about living in such a way that we are different in thought, in word, and in deed from the world that contradicts biblical teaching. Being holy and pure is about being striving to be more like the God to whom we belong.
Read my other family vision posts here