The family is the centerpiece of God’s work in the world.
We often look to churches and corporations and non-profit organizations as the chief method by which God carries out His work in this world, but that is a human way of looking at things. The place in the world that the gospel is most at work is in the family relationships.
If the gospel is not functioning within your family relationships, with your spouse, your children, and your parents, then you really have no business trying to live out the gospel in any meaningful way anywhere else.
If there is mistrust, hate, discord, anger, jealousy, and shame at the center of your family relationships, the truths of the gospel need to be planted within your family so that the gospel can begin to grow and flourish there. Self-sacrificial and forgiving love must be at the center.
We must love those in our family as God loves us. We must, as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13, be patient and kind. We must not envy or boast. We must keep our tongue and actions in check so that we say no evil and do no evil toward others. We must allow ourselves to be wronged while always forgiving those who wrong us. We must rejoice in the truth and always hold forth hope, always believe in others, and never let our love fail.
This is a tall order, and will consume most of the gospel energy of most people. But that is the way it should be. The home is the frontline of the gospel.
If Christians worldwide only sought to live out the gospel in their own home and nowhere else, our entire world would be completely different. The entire world would be Christian within a few generations if the gospel was only lived out in our homes. After all, if the first Christian had all simply passed the gospel down to their families, and this had continued through all history, then everywhere the gospel has spread (which was all the way to Asia within a few centuries) would continue to be Christian to this very day. But many of first century strongholds of Christianity (Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, etc.) have very little Christian presence today.
I believe that maybe 98% of the way you live out the gospel should focus on the gospel taking root in your own life and in the lives of those in your family. If Christians simply did these two things, the entire world would be transformed by the gospel.
At the same time, if the way we live out the gospel fails in the home, then we should not feel pressured to live out the gospel outside of the home either. If your home is not filled with gospel truth, gospel faith, gospel grace, and gospel love, then do not think you are called to live out the gospel anywhere else to anyone else. Make the relationships in your own home the primary target of your gospel life.
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