The Reformation, Parenting and Lasting Legacy

For those to whom family’s been given, the ministry we’re called to live out as believers must begin and end at home. As both a preacher and a family man, God reminded me this morning during a one-hour walk after midnight of the importance of being a husband and a dad first. Of all the challenges given to men discipled by Jesus, there’s perhaps no more weighty charge than that given to husbands that we: “love [our] wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25. What an amazingly difficult command! But nothing produces more fruit in our lives than obedience to it. This is to be my primary ministry. I need the Holy Spirit to do it. Everything else I do is to be a distant second.

I currently live in southeast Germany. The beautiful Bavarian region I’m in is dominated by the Roman Catholic religion today. Little saddens me more than to think that the doctrinal work of the Reformation in this region has been all but forgotten here in 500 years. I’m certain there are many believers here as a result of the German Reformation, but the country as a whole seems to have either gone entirely liberal, or worse, back to the hellish enslavement of Romanism. How many of their great grandchildren here still believe as they once did I wonder? Are their creeds and confessions read in anything but mockery, deconstructionism or confusion today by modern Germans? Their departure from the Cross did not occur overnight. Where will my church’s confessions of faith be in 500 years? Will my great grandkids wonder what I was so excited about, or will God save them and use what I recorded to strengthen them? I pray it’s the latter. None of us can know what the future holds for certain, but one thing’s for sure- if we don’t do what God commands us to do in our own homes as parents then we’re already failures no matter what.

What does a lack of fidelity to the confessions of the reformers in this land today have to do with me being a husband? Everything. Everything in that what it reminds me of is my primary duty to be a believer over my wife and kids. Even if that alone were to endure as my legacy then I say amen. Many of the reformers were parents. As was common in that time many of their children did not survive into old age. For those who had kids that did, their ministry in the home was to be their most important work. What they did outside their homes, even those as big as identifying the blasphemy of Rome, were works above and beyond. With all they had going on, I wonder how they did as parents? Did Luther love his wife as he was commanded?

God calls us to faithfulness. Reformation has to be at work in our homes to effect anything outside of us in ways that both please God and foster our greatest joys. What will our kids think of us? Will we leave strong creeds and have only embarrassing grandchildren? Only God knows. I’m not accusing anyone of failure as a parent. I’m simply reminded today of what I’m sure they knew as well.

Parents, let’s keep our homes alive in Bible truth. Let’s let its great truths educate our kids along with everything else they’ll learn at school. Let’s love our wives as we’re commanded no matter what.

So long as we’re faithful in these things we’ll at least be doing our primary work in ministry.

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