23 August 2021

One of the things that the Orthodox and Puritans teach quite clearly is that the family is a little church. It may be that this is one of the reasons that the current rainbow government wants to destroy it.

“Every home a little church.” Most of what I will share in this message is 300 years old. The concept of the home as a little church was made famous by the Puritans. They believed the father should be the pastor in his home the same way an ordained minister pastors the church. One writer called the home “the seminary of the church.” The Puritans went so far as to publish elaborate directories of family worship. They were so serious about this that if a father neglected the spiritual training of his family, he could be brought before the elders for church discipline and if he refused to take his proper leadership role, he could be disbarred from the Lord’s Table. Such a thought seems extreme to us, which perhaps says more about our laxness than it does about the strictness of the Puritans.
It is also worth noting that whenever true revival has broken out, it has always led to family reformation. You can have family worship without revival but you can’t have genuine heaven-sent revival without a lasting change in the spiritual atmosphere of the home.

Godly parents who want their children in heaven with them must do whatever it takes to implant the Word of God in the hearts of their children.
This explains why the Puritans valued long sermons, family worship, catechisms, personal meditation, and Scripture memory. They understood that if the Word of God is tattooed on the hearts of children, they are much more likely to come to Christ. They thoughtfully planted the seed of the Word, knowing that in due season, they could trust the Holy Spirit to bring about a harvest of salvation.
Richard Baxter, a noted English Puritan pastor, said that if parents did their jobs correctly, children would be converted at home and the Sunday sermon could be used for the conversion of those outside the church. That has certainly been the experience in our home. All three of our boys came to faith in Christ outside a Sunday worship service. Family worship in its broadest sense is the ordinary means of family conversion

And among the Orthodox:

If there is one thing that we do often in church that we need to do more at home it’s pray. I’ve heard priests say that in Orthodoxy we “pray before we pray.” In essence, the Divine Liturgy is one long prayer to God. We continue saying “again and again in peace let us pray to the Lord” followed by “Lord have mercy.” We insert petitions for specific people (clergy, president, country, all civil authorities, homebound parishioners, those celebrating birthdays, etc.).
We can begin our dialogue with God with any familiar prayers we know. Whether it’s the Lord’s prayer, O Heavenly King, or the Jesus prayer, we have multiple avenues to commune with God. When we want to connect with God we can use these prayers followed by our private devotions.
By having set times for individual and family prayers, we bring the sense of order found in the church into our homes. Do you pray with your family before meals? At the beginning of the day or the end? No matter when you choose to pray (and you can certainly pray more than once) it’s good to keep it consistent.
There is no more powerful way to raise your children in the faith than to instill the importance of regular prayer time. When you make prayer a regular habit, your home will feel like a “little church.”

Both of these are worth reading, for the same things continue to be there: regular devotions, prayers, bible reading, songs. But underlying this is that you need to submit ourselves to God and do our part.

Ephesians 5:21-6:9

21 and subject yourselves to one another in the [b]fear of Christ.

22 Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands also ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are parts of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, as for you individually, each husband is to love his own wife the same as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 so that it may turn out well for you, and that you may live long on the earth.

4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 With goodwill render service, as to the Lord, and not to people, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, he will receive this back from the Lord, whether slave or free.

9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

These things really matter. Our society is imploding, and te should take this as a time of confidence. We can live for each other. But we can live in a matter that cares for each other, and respects the role of each other, without any permission from any government.

We need to stand, and we need to stand as families. This means that we need to have a right understanding of our roles as husband,wife, son, daughter, mother, father, master and slave, but also that we have the courage to apply them, particularly when the times are tough and our enemy makes us fear.

Fear is never of God. Fear is never a way to run a home. Love is.

If you have no backbone when things are tough then you have no backbone at all. If you wear shirts saying how “brave” you are, and how you’ll “defend freedom” while you bow to the worst tyranny America has ever seen then you will defend nothing. If you won’t speak up now then you will probably never ever speak up. It is time to start only “hanging out” or associating with others who are brave. Allan Stevo said recently that if another person is not brave then no matter how much else you “agree” with them on paper, it means nothing. We are in an era where the same people who burned their draft cards are now supporting “where’s you vaccination card”
And when you realize that abortion kills more humans than any 20th century dictator could have dreamed of you HAVE to realize that you are currently living in what we see in history books as “horrible times”. You must nit give up! You must be brave upon brave! Surround yourself with other brave people even if you disagree with them on some things. You must begin to realize that a coward agrees with you on nothing.

So, we need to preserve our families as much as possible. This is difficult when they are grown and gone: it is more difficult when their teachers tell them comforting lies.

I find that hanging with believers helps. Man of them disagree with me on points of theology. But they have the courage to follow Christ. They are part of the greater family of God.

And we must cover our brother’s back. This is war.

UPDATE

Thanks to the brother who phoned me about the typos in the last paragraph.