Individualism rules the day. Make that individualism rugged and even better! Other generations have better understood how to live in community. We need to relearn those lessons. Norman Shepherd defines covenant helpfully in his little book, The Call of Grace: "Covenant describes a divinely established relationship of union and communion between God and His people in the bonds of love and mutual faithfulness." What is true of the way God relates to us, His people needs to be true of the way we relate to one another in our families. We are covenant people. We must learn to live in covenant in our relationship to God, to the church, and to our families.
Given the choice between religion by rote and some dry dusty sort of religious conformity on the one hand or a strong individual relationship with Jesus Christ, we would all rightly choose the latter. Yet these are not the only alternatives. We can have both. We need individual believers who love and fear the Lord, who pray privately, and who take personal responsibility for their own growth in grace. But we also need the community of the church and the community of the family, living in covenant each with the other.
No one can rightly relate to God as a Christian unless he or she also loves, forgives, receives correction from, and worships alongside other believers in the church. The same is true in the home. Christian covenantalism is a forgotten art for many today. Too often we live as individuals for ourselves and by ourselves. To recover a proper sense of vibrant Christian corporate life we must begin at home.
The home is the ideal environment in which to learn the disciplines required for life together in covenant community. Learning to worship around the family table, to show respect for authority, to forgive and reconcile with one another when offended, and in general to put the needs of others above our own, are all skills best learned first at home. The resources available on this page are designed to guide and direct toward these ends.
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