Ministry in the Family

Teach Your Children Christ

God designed the home for ministry. This is a fact that can be easily overlooked as families set about the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The kids need to get to this event, mom has this meeting, dad is running late from work. The struggles never seem to cease. Even when the family is collected all together, it can be a temptation for mom and dad to simply let them be. A quiet, or occupied household can often be a treasured treat. And yet, the Lord tells us that the home is for more than just running errands, making it to practice, doing chores, etc. The Lord created the home for intimate, gospel-centered ministry. Read these words about parenting…

...that you may fear the LORD your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey. “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. (Deuteronomy 6:2-7)

From this text, we need to see three things.

  1. The Lord has spoken about the culture of the home. Every home, and every family creates a culture for itself. The reality is the Lord calls parents to create a culture of discipleship in the home. If we are honest, there is a tendency is to create a culture of business, but God calls us as parents to be intentional and and consistent with the gospel in the lives of our children.
  2. True flourishing comes through living according to God’s word. His commands bring life and flourishing, so it is foolish to think that filling our lives, and the lives of our children with activities, clubs and the like can bring flourishing. Producing “well rounded” children is not the primary goal of parenting. Producing children, by the grace of God, who treasure Christ is! And this comes most intimately through the home.
  3. The Lord demands intentionality in the home. “Bind [His commands] to yourself” literally entails making them the lifeblood of our homes. God designed the home for the gospel.

As parents, we must understand that we are always teaching our children about God. We are either teaching them to love the Lord in and through all things, or we are teaching them to relate to God passively. When we treasure Christ in our own lives, we will desire that our children do so too. Therefore, we will teach them to love God in and through the everyday activities of life. We will teach them the beauty of God in human relationships as we interact with our spouse, themselves and their siblings. The flipside, however, is also true. If we are not being intentional in teaching the beauty of Christ, we will be actively teaching an apathetic approach to Christ. Our children watch us. They emulate our lives. They will learn to love what we love, do what we do, and so on. This is why God calls all parents to treasure and teach the gospel in their homes.

 

Give Your Children Christ

Just as God designed the home for teaching His truths, He also designed the home to be where Christ is entrusted to children through family life. Read the words of Ephesians 5:22-33:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

From this, it is clearly seen that God intends human marriage to be a display of gospel grace and mercy. True marriage does not exist apart from the gospel in these ways:

  1. Husbands redemptively loving their wives, bearing with them in sin, and exhorting them towards Jesus will be seen. Kids will see that “daddy sure does love mommy.” And if you are faithfully teaching children the truths of God, they will see that “daddy sure does love Jesus.”
  2. Wives submitting to their husbands “as to the Lord,” will be seen be kids as treasuring Christ. The reality is that every marriage teaches something about the gospel. Marriage are either teach deep, sustaining truths about God, or a wrong view of God in failing to treasure Christ and the gospel.
  3. Everyday parents teach children about Christ. The Lord designed the home for the entrusting of His truths through godly marriages. Parents are either entrusting Christ to them every day through our marriage and parenting or are entrusting the world to them.

Be intentional for the sake of the gospel with your children. Be consistent with treasuring Christ before them, and invite them to do so with you. The home is fertile ground for the glory of God. Let’s not waste our parenting.

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