The Power of a Christian Household Culture
There has been a lot written and spoken about the Christian family and Christian homes in recent years. One reason for this pre-occupation has been the weakening of the family as an institution generally through society. The Christian community has made a determined effort to march to the beat of a very different Drummer and build families that are strong and biblical, even as more and more families fall apart within Athens.
In answering the question, How then should our families live? at times there has been an over-emphasis upon details and techniques of family living. This has sometimes occurred at the expense of a focus upon the culture of a particular family. Every household has a particular culture (an atmosphere, an environment, pervasive themes, emotional climate, etc). Family cultures shape and inform everything that the family does.
This culture is as important as any particular, and it behoves families to become culture conscious, to “stand back” and think about their household culture, and what it ought to be like.
Here are ten themes that we suggest should should colour every Christian household, informing and shading everything that is done within the family.
1.That Christ is the Head of the household—that the household belongs to Him and is dedicated to serving Him.
2.That the household is distinct and different from others. There should be a sense of the household having been marked by the Lord, of all members of the household having been set apart by the Lord and belonging to Him.
3.It should be clearly evident that the Word of God is over the doorposts and lintels of the house.
4.The dominant corporate family activity should be worship. The household needs to be imbued with a culture of family worship. This activity should be more fundamental and important than anything else which the family does together.
5.The Sabbath should be the household's highest and greatest joy. It should be a day of celebration, the high point of which is the family worshiping publicly together in the congregation of the Lord.
6.There needs to be a deep, shared sense that the whole household is beloved of the Lord, and that all members enjoy His favour and grace.
7.There should be a deep sense of the household being part of a long and noble lineage; that the household is part of a nation of kings and priests to God
8.Children should grow up knowing that the whole household has been appointed to the role and responsibility of being a steward in God's greater household. Consequently, each household member will therefore come to have particular and special callings and responsibilities given by God. These callings in life will be a high privilege. Every member of the household will end up making a special, unique contribution to the glory of God's Kingdom.
9.There should be an undergirding theme that work is sacrament—an honour, a privilege, and a great spiritual blessing.
10.There must be a conviction throughout the household that it will be loyal to the death to Christian brothers and sisters. As we have opportunity, it is our privilege to serve them.
This culture should be pervasive. Any particular instruction or encouragement needs to come to children within that general context. As parents build the household culture described above, all particular training and instruction will become much more powerful and effective.
As parents draw back from the particulars and the day-to-day details of family life, as they work to build a culture and context for Christian living, and as they establish a strong Christian culture within their households, the daily particulars will have all the more point, power, and meaning.
That is one reason why the Sabbath is such a powerful means of grace. It helps us establish and build a strong Christian culture within families—provided we use it and exploit it, the way the Lord intends and has directed.