Perhaps one of the most tragically overlooked purposes of the home is that of the very gospel—making disciples. John Piper, in This Momentary Marriage, speaks pointedly to this important function of marriage and home:
“Marriage Is Meant for Making Children . . . Disciples of Jesus
There is a double meaning in that title that I hope will help you remember the point. Marriage is for making children—that is, procreation. Having babies. This is not the main meaning of marriage. But it is an important one and a biblical one. But then I add the words disciples of Jesus. Marriage is for making children into disciples of Jesus. Here the focus shifts. This purpose of marriage is not merely to add more bodies to the planet. The point is to increase the number of followers of Jesus on the planet.”
I’ve written many times on this subject because I can’t think of a whole lot more important, more world-changing, than a parent’s command to disciple his children. “Let the children come and do not forbid them, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven”, Jesus rebuked even His own disciples.
How do we disciple?
- In every way, every day, in every circumstance. This is the powerful part of being with our children. From the time they wake, until they go to bed, the day presents a multitude of opportunities to bring them to the cross, to demonstrate God’s love and forgiveness, His holiness and His sovereignty, His authority and His goodness.
(From the beginning of time until only a few hundred years ago, it was ludicrous to think children could adequately prepare for life (much less be discipled) by spending most of their day with peers or anyone else besides the older generation; it was considered the only logical setting in which to pass down the wisdom and education that prepares for life.)
- In the midst of strife (have you ever wondered why strife does seem to be more prevalent among family members?) we look to Scripture for how to deal with each other, with our own emotions and reactions, and day by day, we are slowly conformed to His image.
- In the midst of trial, we look to Scripture for the proper responses, we gather together and petition the Lord for His guidance and help, and our faith is strengthened as we wait and watch for His provision.
- We reach our hands to those around us, with our children, and “pure religion” becomes part of them.
- Even in the most uneventful of moments, we point to creation and marvel, with our children, at the immense brilliance and imagination of our Creator, and we remind them that they, too, are a product of that brilliance, fearfully and wonderfully made. We teach them of their purpose in life and show them how they can use all the faculties of their being to glorify the One for whom they have been made.
What Did Jesus Do?
We, in essence, follow our perfect example. He walked, and talked, and taught, and lived and prayed and was always about His father’s business and all of it was pure discipleship. And His few, close disciples went on to start a fire that changed the world. That’s our goal.
What is evangelism if it doesn’t start with being faithful to fervently disciple our own children? Home: the center of the gospel that grows and burns and spills out to the world.