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Living Out the Gospel at Home

05.01.17 | by David Smith

    We’ve all been there before. You get home from the end of a long day and you’re so tired you just want to do something that’s completely mindless. You may be physically, mentally, and emotionally drained, and the last thing you want to do is…just about anything!

    And maybe you’ve been in a similar position when you’re finally home, your spouse or family member reminds you of something that you had said you would do, and you reply in a short, frustrated tone. Maybe it ends there or maybe the interchange grows to a full conflict, with hurt feelings and things you wished you hadn’t said. What happened? How did the Scripture, “let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19) suddenly go out the window when you got home? How did the Gospel not apply to your home life?

    I recently came across this article that was a much-needed reminder that the first place we live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ is in our home. The author, Chap Bettis, writes,

    “My first field of service is my home. My wife and children are my nearest neighbors, and Jesus commands me to love my neighbor. Home is the first place I’m called to display the love of Christ. How I act there matters to God.”

    “If we’re honest, however, home is often the most challenging place to live out the gospel’s implications. We say things to our children that we would never say to anyone else. We express anger to our spouses that we hide from others. Laziness others don’t see is obvious to them. Family relationships, which God intended to be a blessing, can become a war zone.

    In his grace, God is using those close quarters to shine a floodlight on my own idols. He is revealing my true heart condition in order to mold me into the image of his Son.”

    At the end of the article, he gives five practical steps for how to live out the Gospel at home:

    1. Receive your children and spouse as God-given instruments to shape you into Christlikeness.

    Trust that God is working in small (or large) family trials to conform you to Jesus.

    2. Slow down and observe your own actions and reactions.

    When our families are running from event to event, it’s easy to minimize self-reflection. Blowups are quickly forgotten. Slowing your pace of life allows for deeper self-reflection.

    3. Stop excusing your sin.

    It is easy to blame our reactions on others. But we must realize no one causes us to sin. How we treat our families exposes our “real” selves and how much we love God (1 John 4:20). Even when we’re sinned against, we can still learn to please our heavenly Father (1 Pet. 2:233:9).

    4. Search the Scriptures.

    The Bible speaks to the issues you’re facing at home. Simply reading James 1 with your family in mind, for example, will remind you that you need wisdom, as well as the need to remain steadfast in trial, to be slow to speak, to be a doer of the Word, and to bridle your tongue.

    5. Know your children are watching.

    Hypocrisy from spiritual leaders—including parents—is the number one reason prodigals give for leaving the faith. Our children are watching how we act under the pressures of home to see if our Savior makes a real difference in our lives.

     If our home is not the first place we’re living out the Gospel, how can we expect to live it out truly anywhere else? As the author writes, “Home is the first—and maybe the hardest—place we live in light of God’s grace.”

    I’d encourage you to read the full article here: