Be Strategic About the Spiritual Life of Your Home

We think that it’s really important for every family to have a strategy for how do you get spiritual life in the home and this is tough, you guys. We know that in our culture, a lot of us grew up, if you grew up in a Christian family, a lot of you probably saw your spiritual life primarily happening at church. That’s the way that a lot of us were taught and even if you are a new believer, you’re going to see that as sort of the primary way that people think about their spiritual life. And so, is it important to have a spiritual life in the home?

So one of the quotes that always has stuck out to me here is Jonathan Edwards. We’ve talked about him before. He’s a famous theologian from the early part of America’s history. He said, “Every Christian family ought to be as if it were a little church.” Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church. Is that true? And how have you guys thought about what it’s like to develop a family in this way?

Probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever read about the requirements or where the bar could be set for what it looks like to have a spiritual life in the home was set by the Church of Scotland. So they had a directory on family worship that was written by sort of the elders of that church and this is way back in the 1600’s and so let me read this to you guys. I’m curious how you respond to this, Jeff.

He says, having required that the minister and ruling elders make diligence search, whether there were families under their care, neglecting this matter of family worship. The assembly went on to say, “And if any such family be found, the head of the family is to be first admonished privately to amend his fault.” This is saying, so if there was a father who is not leading his family spiritually in some kind of family worship experience, privately to amend his fault. And in case of his continuing therein, he is to be gravely and sadly reproved by the session. After which reproof, if he be found still to neglect family worship, let him be for his obstinacy in such an offense, suspended and debarked from the Lord’s Supper until he amend.

So multi-tier process for how to, first of all, be searching for these fathers who are not leading their families spiritually, to be requiring them to initiate some kind of rhythms in the home around family worship times, and if they don’t then this process of like reproving and bringing them before the session. So that’s kind of intense. I know a lot of us don’t live in church traditions that have this kind of a rigorous discipline structure.

But what I think was really helpful and it’s kind of inspiring is that I was imagining an entire country or whole cities of believers where every single household was expected to be kind of like a little mini church in the way that they did spiritual rhythms in the home. I think we’ve just come a long ways away from this idea.

That is, I mean, I love that. What’s crazy too, is there’s two things there. One, first of all, I feel like, man, what would that even do for the western church today? I think that’s our biggest crisis is that fathers and men just don’t lead. Even if they love Jesus, they just don’t lead. They don’t have that capacity. They don’t think about it. They’re very passive.

Christianity is sadly a woman’s and mother’s sport in America, for lack of a better term and that’s the problem. So what would this look like because I actually think a lot of dads would receive this well. I think a lot of dads aren’t being nudged and aren’t being challenged and aren’t being encouraged, but I think a lot of workplaces do this really well. Now, of course you can do this in a really over bearing way, et cetera, but there’s a way to do this really, really well and gently, I think, and I’m really surprised by this, that they actually wrote this down to have this as a rule.

What I love too, though, is then also from a pure strategic standpoint for the church, I love how the church is implicitly admitting, this is really, really important that our Sunday gathering is not the thing. That our congregation of 200 people is not the thing. If we want to be a healthy 200 person congregation, we absolutely have to have high level accountability and challenges at the five person thing, which is the table in the home. That is what the 200 people make up is a bunch of little households.

So that I love is that they strategically and are implicitly saying, this is actually how we’re going to make sure we stay faithful and build the church, by making sure we’re on top of each household being obedient and faithful and honoring and living into God’s full design for us as a family team. So, yeah, I love that.

So dads, I mean be encouraged or maybe be challenged today, whichever you take from that. But could you say you would pass the Church of Scotland directly if a family worship… Directory of family worship tests? I don’t know. Would you? I know I’m going to think about that later today for sure but I hope it encouraged you.

Latest Episode

Listen To Our Latest Podcast



Start Building a
Multigenerational Family Team

Live events







Family scouting report