The Fight For A Gospel-Centered Home
I find Luke 6: 27-36 haunting at times..“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
Jesus distinguishes between the one who has been touched by the mercy of God and those who have not. I am haunted because I often act like the one who has not been and in doing so, I am no different in my actions than the unbeliever. In fact, they can look more “Christian” than I can.
And so it is with parenting. Why is it that those without Christ as the center of their home can parent so well and we who have Christ can do so poorly? There is an ingredient available to the Christian that can be distinguished from all other homes. It is the gospel. There is a difference in a gospel centered home and the unbeliever’s home. There is even a difference in a gospel centered home and many Christian homes.
How is the difference distinguished? The gospel centered home will be focused on how the gospel informs every aspect of our living and not on behavior modification. Some ways to know a home is ruled by the gospel:
1. Everyone will know that Jesus is our redemption and has set us free from the slavery of sin. Discipline will be Christ-centered with the focus rejoicing in Christ, our Redeemer.
2. All will understand that Jesus is victorious over sin, Satan, and death. It is a home where the strength to deal with tough issues will be nourished by the finished work of Christ.
3. Knowing that we are all justified in Christ where our sin has been taken away and the righteousness of Christ given to us so that we will not be weighed down by the guilt of sin but will deal with it confidently in Christ.
4. The family will know that Jesus has cleansed us from all our sins that we have committed and all that have been committed against us. The obstacles of broken relationships have been removed so that forgiveness and reconciliation are possible.
More to come….