How much it would please God if our theology came alive in our kitchens and bedrooms and backyards – the places where we spend time together. Life and doctrine in a gospel-centered home. A place where Scripture, in all its depth and richness, is believed and lived anew each day. Where Christians are formed and reformed daily, where those who have yet to believe can see the influence of the Lord Jesus, morning and evening. – Peter Schemm, Jr.
FOUNDATIONS OF THE THEOLOGY OF FAMILY
1. God created man and woman in His image (Ge. 1:27).
2. God blessed man and woman with the gifts of marriage, sex, and family (Ge. 1:28; 2:24).
3. God gave parents the primary role of spiritually discipling their children (Dt. 6:4-9).
4. God calls husbands to love and serve their wives and calls wives to submit to and respect their husbands (Eph. 5:21-33).
5. God’s design is for marriage to be lifelong (Mal. 2:16).
6. God wants to use our families to reflect Him and bear godly offspring (2 Cor. 5:20; ML. 2:15).
7. God’s design is for families to unite and partner with the local church for the mutual purpose of evangelism and discipleship (He. 10:24-25; Gal. 6:1-2).
HABITS OF A GOSPEL-CENTERED HOUSEHOLD
Spiritual habits and disciplines are hollow apart from a genuine love and affection for Jesus Christ. They tend to take on a “new bondage” if not. The spirit of the Christian household is inspired by the love of God. It is a disposition that consistently reflects God’s love through grace and forgiveness. Our disciplines become a good means to a greater end. The spirit of the Christian household is a spirit of redemption.
1. Reading the Scriptures together.
· Scripture is the most important source for training. The primary means of Christian formation.
· Bonhoeffer taught that reading Scripture must be foundational to life in community. A child hears and learns the Bible for the first time in family worship, the adult Christian learns it repeatedly and better, and he will never finish acquiring knowledge of its story.
On the importance of systematic reading of chapters of the Bible . . .We must admit that the Scriptures are still largely unknown to us. Can the realization of our ignorance of the Word of God have any other consequence than that we should earnestly and faithfully retrieve what was lost?
· Reading Scripture must always be a priority in the Christian household – no matter what age a believer is, seven or seventy.
· Read it regularly together – not necessarily daily but consistently.
· Make it a goal for the habit of Scripture reading is “life together under the Word.”
2. Practice catechesis together – formally or informally.
You have three priorities: teach, teach, and teach. Evangelical churches are weaker than we realize because we don’t understand the confessions and doctrine. Set new standards in teaching. Understand the word “catechesis” and practice that art. – J. I. Packer to pastors
A catechism is a summary of Christian doctrine put in the form of questions and answers.
One excellent catechism resource is Training Hearts, Teaching Minds by Starr Meade
3. Talking at the table together – the family table.
Perhaps the most underrated means to forming one another in Christ the family table. Sharing a meal together as a family has fallen on hard times, and we are suffering the consequences. Recover one of the most basic, most ancient ways of sharing life together – eating together dailiy – as a means of spiritual formation in the Christian household.
Martin Luther called meaningful conversation over a meal as “table talk.”
Some of Jesus’ most important conversations took place around a table – looking at each other, eye to eye, and eating together (Mt. 26:17-29; Mk. 14:12-26; Lk. 22:7-23; 24:13-35; Ex. 12; Rev. 19).
Our conversation in table-talk may vary from the mundane to the profound. Talk about the weather and the big game. Talk also about the gospel and repentance and God’s faithfulness. It should not seem awkward or out of place when we talk about weighty and substantive things. If it does seem awkward, that probably reflects the absence of regular, meaningful conversations. Here are some questions that may help us to form one another at the Family Table:
What was your day like? What were the highlights of today?
What was hard for you today? How did God take care of you today?
How can I pray for you today? How can we serve and honor each other this week?
Here is what I read in my time with God today. What did you read or learn from God?
4. Declare His wonders to your children (Ps. 71:17-18).
It’s the personalizing of what the Lord has done for us that really carried impact and weight with our kids. When wisdom from the Bible can be paralleled with a parent’s personal testimony – it registers biblical truth for a child in a way that nothing else can. Telling your family’s tribal stories to your kids makes the work of God active and alive to them and helps them recognize that His blessings are available today. – Jack Hayford
a) Tell your children how the Lord saved you (Ex. 12:24-27).
b) Tell your children about the Lord’s provision for you (Ex. 16:32).
c) Tell your children how you’ve failed but the Lord forgave you (Nu. 16:38).
d) Tell your children how God has guided you (Jo. 4:5-7).
e) Tell your children how God has delivered you (Est. 9:26-28).
f) Tell your children about God’s judgment and mercy (Joel 1:2-4).
5. Speak blessings on your children (Prov. 18:21; Nu. 6:24-26).
We can bless through an arm over the shoulder, an embrace in a time of disappointment, a pat on the back, a whisper in the ear, a snug tucking in bed, or a kiss on the cheek. However, the most affirming are spoken blessings. Words that affirm and approve, words that compliment, words that speak love and affection, words that give hope and confidence, words that answer pain and disappointment with support and faith. Life is transmitted through spoken blessings!