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Most of us yearn to be part of a strong and healthy family, but what exactly does that look like? Perhaps we imagine a warmly lit room with family members sitting together. In our modern, urbanized society, the family home has become a place of retreat from the world. During the day, individuals scatter to their separate places of work and study; in the evening, they regroup at home to relax. “Family time,” to most of us, means leisure time.
But this vision of family life is relatively new. Before the industrial revolution, the family was a productive unit: the home was a place of work. What bound families together was not simply being together, sitting face to face, but doing together, working side by side.
Christians - Families - Mission - God—to - Point
What’s more, as Christians, our families have a mission from God—to point others to their Creator by stewarding his creation, passing on his covenant promises, and carrying out his Great Commission. When husbands and wives work together in love and unity, it tells the world something about Jesus and his bride. When parents bring their children up to work and worship alongside them, it tells the world something about the Father and his spiritual children.
While family movie or game nights have value, our families also need a shared mission. Working and worshiping together not only strengthens our family, but also strengthens our witness in the world.
Times - Family - Mission - Necessity - Families
In pre-industrial times, a family mission was an economic necessity. Families ran farms, businesses, and shops from their home base; home was also where they educated children and cared for the elderly. Nancy Pearcey explains how this practice strengthened family relationships:
For husband and wife, it meant they inhabited the same universe, working side by side in a common enterprise (though not necessarily in identical tasks). For the mother, the location of...
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