House Rules

Leviticus 27:14 “‘And when a man dedicates his house to be holy to the LORD, then the priest shall set a value for it, whether it is good or bad; as the priest values it, so it shall stand.”

The way a home is established will determine the pathway it leads all who inhabit it. If it is established in conflict then it will be by conflict a family is divided. If a home is firmly planted upon the foundation of the Rock of Christ Jesus, then it is upon that rock it shall not be moved.

The evaluation of a home in ancient times was affirmed or denied by the priest of the Lord. The priest represented God to the people and it was by God’s standard of Holiness it was evaluated. Today, our high priest is Jesus and it is by His Kingdom that Jesus affirms that which we hold as our highest goal. It is our future heavenly home that He is establishing and He will establish our home if we will only let Him.

Hebrews 5:9-10 “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,”

There was a man named Martin Luther, a 16th century Augustinian monk who confronted the corrupt Catholic church of his day and helped in development of the reformation.

Martin Luther coined a term he named ‘Haustafel’ which literally means ‘House rules’, or a table of rules, made for a christian home. These rules eventually became a summary table of specific actions members of each domestic pair in a household are expected to perform.

The Haustafel

Colossians 3:18-4:1 identifies the earliest traceable form of the christian household code with later development found in Ephesians 5:21-6:9, Titus 2:4-10, and 1 Peter 2:18-3:7. The main foci of the Household Codes are upon husband/wife, parent/child, and master/slave relationships.

The breakdown in christian homes today is directly related to the failure of maintaining and holding these standards as a priority on a continual basis.

A review of Colossians 3 & 4 gives us God’s view of relationships:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them.

Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord.

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.

Masters, give your bondservants what is just and fair, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

The art of Submission

In each of the relationships described there is a form of submission that is occurring. Husbands submitting love to their wives, while wives submit their respect to the husband. Children honoring their parents in submitting to their authority, while fathers in humility recognize their children’s value as people and not exasperating them by the way they rule. Bondservants submitting to the authority of their supervisors as good workers and the master showing respect to those under their care.

Peter later reflected on these truths while reminding believers that it was God they were ultimately subjected to and thus it was by His authority they were to show love toward one another.

1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

Submission is not a value the world holds dear…

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a radical feminist representative in Congress was quoted as saying

“The reason women are critiqued for being too loud or too meek, too big or too small, too smart to be attractive or too attractive to be smart, is to belittle women out of standing up publicly. The goal is to critique into submission and that applies to anyone challenging power.”


A conclusive statement like this is meant to pigeonhole those who hold godly values as outdated, chauvinistic, or it’s simply a way to devalue others opinion so that they appear as being hateful and repressive. The 21st century response to anything that doesn’t affirm is to label it as hate.

A biblical mandate for relationships honors the individual while recognizing their value in the roles God has placed them in. Jesus modeled this standard by the way He instructs His people and the way He lived it out n the flesh.

John 13:3-5 “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”

Jesus modeled what a standard of submission looks like, He left a position of power and took upon Himself the position of a servant—He has called His people to this as well. Regardless of whether christians have liberty by God’s grace, many still fail to show respect for others in how they live. Believers are called to a different standard for the purpose of honoring the Lord and establishing His Kingdom.

When believers live by the Word of God and Jesus is lifted up as the High Priest and worshipped as Lord and Savior, their homes will undoubtedly take the form of His countenance and all who enter will rejoice.

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