What unites a family is certainly physical DNA. But what unites a Christian family is spiritual DNA. Gospel DNA. Jesus-is-king-and-Lord-of-this-home DNA. Does this mean your kids all grow up and become missionaries or even Christians? Does this guarantee harmony? No. No more than it guarantees this in a church. Plenty of churches erupt in division. But if there is ever going to be sustainable unity, churches and families need a uniting vision and purpose.
What is the point of our family? When the gospel is the point and Jesus’ glory is the goal, the byproduct is that God provides spiritual resources and blessing in a home that is trying to serve him and glorify him. Displace God and enthrone education or your kids’ sports career as the functional god of your home and see what happens.
One tip here. Since this is so important, why not write out a purpose statement for your home? You may say, that sounds silly. Yet people do this all the time and hang banners in their home that say, Live, Laugh, Love. I would recommend you not get your vision for your family from Walmart. I got mine from Hobby Lobby. Well, then that’s different…. We are all for living, laughing, and loving. Feel free to keep that on the wall.
I’m encouraging you to aim higher. If not on the wall, certainly the wall of your heart. Joshua said it well, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15 ESV). Or you’ve probably heard, love God, love people. Or Micah 6:8, “act justly…love mercy…and walk humbly with your God” (NIV) Our church’s statement is Bethel Church exists to make disciples whose lives are all about Him.
My brother in law’s family took this seriously and painted the list right on their wall in the stairwell where it would be seen every day (see picture at left). These need to be biblical, aspirational, and they should call your family upward to a higher love, God-honoring choices, and kingdom of God priority living.
How does this help with harmony? When you have the right thing as the main uniting thing, it allows diversity in a family in the lesser priorities. Now you can discuss but you don’t have to argue. The family zone is a safe zone to disagree. Discuss. Laugh. There can be differing opinions on music and the arts and politics and a host of other perspectives, yet we love each other. The gospel provides the glue. Get the foundation right and you tend to get the others right too.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Additional Scripture quotations taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
© 2021 by Steve DeWitt. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that: (1) you credit the author, (2) any modifications are clearly marked, (3) you do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction, (4) you include Bethel’s website address (www.bethelweb.org) on the copied resource.
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