I firmly believe in my heart that the family, and particularly the "home," is a top priority in Jesus' heart.
When Jesus was experiencing the most excruciating way of death on the cross that is known to man, He still could look down from His pain and suffering, and say to John (His special disciple), "behold your mother" and to Mary his earthly mother, "Behold your son."
John 19:26-27 (NKJV), "When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home." That is how precious the family unit is to Jesus.
When I was a very young man in my early twenties, I was working on a Hereford beef stud ranch in Australia and I had to find accommodation in the small village close to the farm. The accommodation I chose was with probably one of the poorest families in the village. The father was working on the roads as a laborer and the mother was a waitress in a road house after hours. Yet I had enough finance to be able to get better accommodation, but I chose to stay with this family because they had a number of small children, and I was so desperately homesick for family (I'm a family man). I shared a room with two little boys. One slept on the top bunk, the other on the bottom bunk and I had to slide in to the middle bunk, but I was so happy because of the family atmosphere.
There is nothing more precious than the family. I would really appeal to those reading this article: do not take your families for granted. Billy Graham said: "If he had to live this life again, he would spend more time with his family."
I remember very fondly the first outreach campaign that I ever had, which we planned in 1989 in Ladysmith. The meeting was held in the town hall and it was a big step of faith for me. I will never forget that first night when I made the alter call, a total of six people came to the front to give their lives to Jesus, which was a great miracle to me. After the service was completed, a fine looking young man came up to me and said that tonight he had committed his life to Christ, not because of the fancy music, or even because of the preaching, but rather because he saw me standing on the platform with my dear wife Jill, and my five children. The smallest one was still in her mother's arms and that touched him so deeply, because he came from a broken home, and that is the one thing he desired more than anything else.
"A Nation is only as strong, as the family unit." We really need to guard our homes with our very lives. In fact, Jesus said in Mark 8:36 "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul (family)."
We need to be careful because some of us are so busy building our "empires" at the expense of neglecting our own families. We don't bring them up and school them in the principles of The Bible and as a result when they grow old they fall by the way. That is the exact opposite of what Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV) tells us to do, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."
When we grow old and our children have to inherit the fortune, or the Empire that we've created, and we built it at their expense, they will squander it because they've never been taught by you to look after it and they have no experience of managing it. Solomon the wisest man that ever lived said in Ecclesiastes 2:21 (NKJV) "This also is vanity and a great evil. For what has man for all his labor, and for the striving of his heart with which he has toiled under the sun." It is a waste of time to leave all your labor and vanity to a man (your family) who has not labored for it, because it won't last. It is all chasing after the wind.
The only thing that you and I will take to Heaven one day, are the souls of men and nothing else. None of our empire, not our riches, not our successes, not our trophies, and not even our fame - only souls. What a tragedy it would be if we died and went to Heaven, and our families perished in eternal damnation, simply because we did not tell them that "Unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3). Let us spend more time building our families.
Watching television, the other night, a child specialist who deals with terminally ill children did a survey and ask the children, "What is the most important thing they would like before they died?" and they said, "To spend more time with their families and of course ice cream."
God bless you,
Angus and Jill Buchan