Saturday, December 20, 2008

0 A Family Devoted to God

As the Westminster Shorter Catechism says in its first question and answer, 'The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.' Indeed, this being our individual chief end, it must also be the chief end of all institutions - the marriage and family being the next two institutions of God in number and/or size. As a father and husband, this weighs on me now and again as I look at the shortcomings in my own fulfillment of the grand duty of glorifying and honoring God Almighty. Matthew Henry in an essay entitled 'A church in the house', found in Family Religion writes the following as reflecting the commitment of the head of a household, if he rightly understands his responsibilities before God:
Let all I have in my house, and all I do in it be for the glory of God; I own him to be my great Landlord, and I hold all from under him: to him I promise to pay the rents - the quit-rents - of daily praises and thanksgivings; and to do the services - the easy services - of gospel obedience. Let holiness to the Lord be written upon the house, and all the furniture of it, according to the word which God has spoken (Zech. 14:20-21), that every pot in Jerusalem and Judah 'shall be Holiness to the Lord of hosts'. Let God by his providence dispose of the affairs of my family, and by his grace dispose the affections of all in my family, according to his will, to his own praise. Let me and mine be only, wholly and forever his. (p. 32, Family Religion, Matthew Henry, Christian Heritage Press.
If we truly understand our place before God, can our thoughts as husbands and fathers be any but these? How would our churches break forth in the light of Christ if all of us relinquished the pride of autonomy and dedicated our homes fully to His glory? Let it begin with me and my house.



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