Hi! Welcome to Redeem the Commute. I’m Ryan, your host for the Daily Challenge. Today’s Tuesday; it’s the day we explore in the Bible the topic that we introduced yesterday. We’re in a series called, “Reset” right now, looking at how deciding to follow Jesus resets some really important areas of our lives. We’ve looked at several and this week we’re looking at how it resets our view of family.
So what is family for, if following Jesus comes first in someone’s life?
Does this mean not loving family at all? No way. Here’s how Pastor Tim Keller put it: “If we have made idols of work and family, we do not want to stop loving our work and family. Rather, we want to love Christ so much more that we are not enslaved by our attachments.”
One Christian author, Stanley Hauwerwas said: For Christians do not place their hope in their children, but rather their children are a sign of their hope . . . that God has not abandoned this world.”
We can see this in how the Bible set out the requirements for an overseer – a pastor or bishop. They were written by a church leader named Paul, addressed to his protégé, Timothy.
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? (1 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV)
You can see where leadership is supposed to be practiced: at home first, then in the Christian community. This isn’t saying every leader needs to be married – Paul himself was not. But if a leader is, they need to be leading at a Christian home already. The most important line is, “if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”
A family is a miniature church of sorts. Martin Luther said centuries ago ago: “A house is actually a school and a church, and the head of the household is a pastor in his house.”
Family is a place to learn essential skills for Christian living, learn to follow Jesus. This is one reason among many churches baptize children. We are celebrating that they are starting school, not graduating. A Christian family commits to teaching the basics of following Jesus when their child is baptized.
Family becomes a training ground for the kingdom of God. How does that look in pracitce? Look at one example from ancient Israel that surely informed early Christians as well:
Deuteronomy 6: 4-9: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Their faith was meant to be everywhere in family life, so children encountered it daily.
Question: How do this? What skills do you think are essential for Christians, and learned in the family?Read the Bible in Sync Today