Archive for the ‘family’ Category

The Family is a Church

The Puritans believed and taught that your family is your church. Every man has a responsibility to pastor his wife and his children. 

Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church, consecrated to Christ, and wholly influenced and governed by his rules. And family education and order are some of the chief means of grace.

– Jonathan Edwards

A man ought to look upon himself as obliged to act in three capacities:

  • As a prophet to instruct
  • As a priest to pray for and with
  • As a king to govern, direct, and provide for them.

– George Whitefield

Love Your Wife as Christ Loved the Church

Pastoring your family begins with loving your wife as Christ loved the church. Through our marriage, we are examples of the gospel to our children and to our church.

Family is the Seminary of the Church

Puritan Thomas Manton said:

A family is the seminary of the church.

The Puritans believed that the home was the primary place of learning the Bible and moral instruction. They also believed that it was a parent’s spiritual responsibility to disciple and teach their children about the faith.  The Bible instructs us, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Regularly Practice a Family Day Off

Puritans were a great example for spiritual rest because they had a rhythm of work and rest and service and worship.

Source: http://www.acts29network.org/acts-29-blog/five-lessons-from-puritans-on-family/

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mature masculinity

“at the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a man’s differing relationships”

source: John Piper, Recovering Biblical Manhood, 35.

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I have included Matthew Henry’s “A Church in the House” also titled “Family Religion” in the Downloads section on the right.

It is a very good sermon by the Puritan pastor in 1704.

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“The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing.

But in our culture, we apply for a curse and reject blessings.

Something is wrong with this picture.”

Doug Phillips, Vision Forum Ministries

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Masters of families, who preside in the other affairs of the house, must go before their households in the things of God. They must be as prophets, priests, and kings in their own families; and as such they must keep up family doctrine, family-worship, and family discipline: then is there a church in the house, and this is the family religion I am persuading you to.

Keep up family doctrine. It is not enough that you and yours are baptized into the Christian faith, and profess to own the truth as it is in Jesus, but care must be taken, and means used that you and yours be well acquainted with that truth, and that you grow in the acquaintance, to the honour of Christ and his holy religion, and the improvement of your own minds, and theirs that are under your charge. You must deal with your families as men of knowledge, 1 Pet. 3:7, that is, as men that desire to grow in knowledge yourselves, and to communicate your knowledge for the benefit of others, which are the two good properties of those that deserve to be called men of knowledge.

That you may keep up family-doctrine, you must read the scriptures to your families, in a solemn manner, requiring their attendance on your reading, and their attention to it: and inquiring sometimes whether they understand what you read. I hope that there are none of you without Bibles in your houses… But what will it avail you to have Bibles in your houses, if you do not use them? to have the great things of God’s law and gospel written to you, if you count them a strange thing? You look daily into your shop-books, and perhaps converse much with the news-books, and shall your Bibles be thrown by as an almanac out of date? You have great encouragements to read the scripture; for notwithstanding the malicious endeavors of atheists to vilify the sacred things, the knowledge of the scriptures is still in reputation with all wise and good men. You have a variety of excellent helps to understand the scripture, and to improve your reading of it; so that if you or yours perish for lack of this knowledge, as you certainly will if you persist in the neglect of it, you may thank yourselves, the guilt will lie entirely at your own doors.

Let me therefore with all earnestness press it upon you to make the solemn reading of the scripture a part of your daily worship in your families. When you speak to God by prayer, be willing to hear him speak to you in his word, that there may be a complete communion between you and God. This will add much to the solemnity of your family-worship, and will make the transaction the more awful and serious, if it be done in a right manner; which will conduce much to the honour of God and your own and your families’ edification. It will help to make the word of God familiar to yourselves, and your children and servants, that you may be ready and mighty in the scriptures, and may from thence be thoroughly furnished for every good word and work. It will likewise furnish you with matter and words for prayer, and so be helpful to you in other parts of the service.

If some parts of scripture seem less edifying, let those be most frequently read that are most so. When you only hear your children read the Bible, they are tempted to look upon it as not more but a school book; but when they hear you read it to them in a solemn, religious manner, it comes as it ought, with more authority.

Those masters of families who make conscience of doing this daily, morning and evening, reckoning it part of that which the duty of every day requires, I am sure they have comfort and satisfaction in so doing, and find it contributes much to their own improvement in Christian knowledge, and the edification of those that dwell under their shadow.

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