The Difference Between a Household and a Family

Fun episode today we call this one the how-to or the fatherhood verse of the week that Jeremy will read in a second. But the question is why build an entire household? Now, I think this would be interesting for you to realize that we consider this different than just a direct nuclear family. Jeremy, I’ll let you talk about that and maybe share the verse for the day.

Yeah, a lot of times people don’t realize the distinction between a family and a household. And in ancient times there was a really, really clear distinction. And a lot of times, again, one of the ways I think about this Is you think about Abraham and you hear that he is leaving his father’s house and heading off on his own, and you might think to yourself, well that’s just Abraham and Sarah. They don’t have any kids. Maybe just the two of them are out there just cruising along in the wilderness trying to find the Promised Land. And that picture is not accurate. In fact, we discover very early in the story in Genesis 14 how large Abraham’s household was. There was him and Sarah; they didn’t have any children yet, but in Genesis 14 after his nephew Lot, if you guys know the biblical story, was actually kidnapped.

Abraham decided he wanted to try to get his nephew back from these invading kings. And what we learn in Genesis 14 is it says, “When Abraham heard that his kinsmen Lot had been taken captive, he led forth his trained men born in his household, 318 of them and went to pursue as far as Dan, which is really far to the North.

That’s an army.

Man, yeah, he had trained an entire army. Just if you do the math, Abraham had 318 trained warriors in his household. How large was Abraham’s household? It was massive, right? You know that there had to be at least 1,000 people if there were 318 trained men that were of military age in the household. And what does this mean? And what does this look like for us? This is also a big theme in the New Testament. There is a verse that’s constantly used in the New Testament for household is the word, oikos. That’s the Greek word. It also is named after the Greek yogurt. If you guys ever have that, it’s delicious. Oikos-

Are they all Greek? It’s Oikos, Chobani. They’re all-

Taking over the world.

Yes. Yes.

When you hear about things like it takes a village to raise a child, but it also maybe another way to think about this from a biblical lens is it takes a household. What’s involved in a household? Usually, in ancient times, what you had was you had your immediate family, then you had your employees. There’d be household servants or people that were working for the family business. Then you tended to have extended family members that were attached to the household. This could be single people, this could be younger people, older people, maybe parents, aunts, uncles. And then you also had often spiritual children. This happened within the New Testament church where you had others that were really adopted into the family,, so to speak as disciples that were being trained.

this whole group would be a household. One of the things that we just want to ask you guys is when you think about the future, and don’t be overwhelmed by this, don’t think that if you’ve got two little kids and you’re barely keeping your head above water, you need to go out and build this giant household, but one thing to consider is as you get more traction, as your kids get older, as you get to a place of more strength, your culture really is getting more solidified, is bearing more fruit. What’s the next step as your family’s really thriving? And one of the next steps, and one of the things you might want to be aiming towards, is the building of a household, not just a simple family. Jeff, how have you guys thought about this?

Yeah. I feel like another way that’s really helpful to think about it just with our language, it’s not the identical thing, but another way that’s helpful to think about it is almost like a building a board of directors, which I would say is the family versus building an organization or a company underneath that. There is a level at which there’s the nucleus in the family, but then once we do that I think then it’s you then are encompassing all those talents to then build a company or an organization that will have a lot of different ranges of people in the closeness or transition or coming in and out, but yet that are still helping and supporting the bigger last name per se up on the building. And I think that really fires me up and excites me.

I’m like, oh, what would it look like to build a, for lack of a better term, organization out of the family? And I mean that more is even a metaphor. I don’t mean go build a big company, even though you might want to. And to me I think that’s really cool and I think it logically goes there. We’re already three kids in now with our dreams and our hopes and our visions we have are starting to feel that segue of like, okay, we need more help and not just more help, like immediate help in the sense of meet the immediate needs, but actually then you start seeing the blessing then of how then discipleship plays out in the home. Then you start seeing how the organic nature of just passing on things goes in the home.

You see how stuff locks into place of like, Oh this is how it should be. A more multilayered, multi generational connectivity that is pushing outwards from a strong family. And there is layers and steps there. I feel like fathers first have to realize, man, have I built, have I leaned into, taking care of myself, right? And getting myself to where I need to be. Then loving a wife well, then having kids well, training them well. And of course none of us is perfect, but then you do know of like, oh yeah, this is absolutely just going off the rails, or it’s going where it should be. And then the next step I think then is that household kind of idea of then building even another layer outside of that extended family.

Maybe it is employees, maybe it is help in the home. Maybe it’s a younger married couple. Maybe it’s a younger single that you bring in the home. Whatever it is, I think that’s the next layer. And I think that’s really powerful. Most people, if you’re listening, most people don’t think beyond just having the kids and being done. And that was the challenge we’d give you today is what could God dream up and what can be the vision for your guys’ life if you actually understand that it’s not just about having a family, but also having a household?

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