by Bart Day
In the midst of all the busyness of life–running kids to soccer practice, making supper, getting to confirmation, buying groceries–we run the risk of losing our firm grounding as families if we forget about what binds us together as a family under God: not the blood of kin, but the waters of Holy Baptism.
In a society where families crumble at a rapid rate, where traditional Christian family values are increasingly less popular and frequently under direct attack, it is all the more important to remind ourselves that we are only as strong as the faith that unites us. The world simply cannot grasp the great benefits God has given us in a loving, committed, monogamous marriage between man and women, who fruitfully fill the earth with their children (as they are healthy and able). God makes our families through the natural order of creation, He sustains our families with His many gifts and He commands us to make our faith in Him central to the life of our families, lest we forget about these great blessings to us.
One way to emphasize this is by incorporating faith into your family devotional life, especially the Small Catechism, which was designed for that very purpose. When Luther wrote his Small Catechism, he introduced each part with the phrase, “As the head of the family should teach them in a simple way in the household.”
- To remind us that fathers (and mothers) have a responsibility for bringing their children up in the faith.
- To remind children that they have a far greater Father in heaven who can do for them what their sinful, frail parents cannot.
- To remind us all that our families are only as strong as the bond we have in Christ.
So use the catechism for that reason. Read it, talk about it, pray about it, find in it something that will make your family stronger and healthier spiritually, just as God intended it to be.