God has designed the church to support and extend the ministry of the family for the nurture and development of children. The church supports and models the character qualities we desire in our children. This is especially important in today’s culture where everything our children hear is contrary to Christian values. The culture does not support biblical structures of morality, ethics, or authority. Consider the ways that the church provides essential support for the family.
Corporate worship in which God is reverently and joyfully honored with thanksgiving gives weight and significance to the family’s practice of Bible reading, singing, and prayer. Family worship is daily practice preparing both heart and mind for corporate worship.
The normative authority of the Bible is foundational for the teaching, life, and practice of the household of God. Just as you work in your household to follow the absolutes and principles of Scripture and apply them to the “stuff” of life, so the church underscores God’s law as satisfying and necessary for an edifying and productive life.
Concepts of hierarchy and accountability to God and to the authorities that He has established are important in the church as in the home. Being accountable to God-ordained authority is necessary for successful living. As parents submit to the leaders God has placed over them in the church, children are being taught to submit to mom and dad. Children, like all of us, need loving authority for protection from our own sin and folly. Submission is a beautiful concept that yields the fruit of a biblical sense of well-being, protection, fulfillment, and security to all who understand the blessing of God’s order in the world. Christ modeled submission for us by always doing the will of the Father. Both family and the church illustrate that submission is not servile but dignified and noble. Roles define the practice of submission both in the home and in the church. All human beings are equal in value and dignity, but God has established differing roles for us to fulfill. Christ’s submission to the Father in redemption shows that submission does not mean inferiority.
Both the family and the church bear concern for “the least of us.” Our homes and the church are gracious and welcoming. We have compassion on people who suffer in all sorts of trials. We rejoice in diversity of persons, gifts, and abilities.
Many other examples of ways the church and home are interdependent could be marshaled to illustrate the importance of both in the Christian’s life. The educational function of the church is essential for the educational vision of the family. The familial nature of relationships between brothers and sisters in the church model and mirror godly relationships in the family. Active participation in the household of faith encourages and motivates attention to schedules and priorities that yield productive lives.
I trust the interdependence of the household of the family and the household of faith is apparent. The family cannot be effective and productive without the church.
I have presented an ideal to strive for. It is not achieved by assenting to concepts and ideas. It is a work of God within. The grace for these things is found in being “renewed in the spirit of your minds,” as Paul says Ephesians 4:23. In Christ, we “put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (v. 24).