This idea has been stuck in my head for months: the home is society’s forge. What I mean is, the very societies we occupy and the changes that form them are the result of whatever happened (or didn’t happen) in the homes of that society in prior generations. Today’s heroes and villains, philosophies and ideals, aren’t created in a vacuum. They start somewhere, and I’d argue that somewhere is primarily the home (read: family unit).

In this brief post I hope to explore less of the anthropological claim itself (I’ll assume it’s true) and look instead at its implications for us as Christians. For us, the question is not whether or not societal change starts in the home; the question is, What sort of change will happen, and by what means?

Deciphering the times

With everything going on right now—deep unrest, a contested pandemic, injustice, riots, protests, clashing ideologies, chaos—where did it all start? While the answer to where is complex, I can say for sure that when it began was years ago.

I’d like to propose that where it started is in the home.

The Home as Society’s Forge

The home is a forge for hearts and minds—and not just those of your children, but yours as well. The moments and attention spent in the home lead you somewhere, and they will shape our future society.

Take an inventory of how most of your at-home hours have been spent in the past year. How has your attention been spent? Now, how have the at-home hours and attention of your children been spent?

It’s not just about avoiding YouTube and limiting your time on Netflix—those are symptoms.

It’s not about barring violent video games or sexually suggestive (or explicit) content—not good, but also symptoms.

How one spends their time and attention is a symptom of their heart’s affections. Our affections—our deep, persistent desires—will always drive how we spend ourselves. In that way, our affections shape our minds—our thoughts, attitudes, opinions, and values.

Created for more

How can we be surprised by chaos when entertainment, self-love, and personal validation are our primary affections?

  • You weren’t designed to be endlessly entertained.
  • You weren’t crafted to love yourself most.
  • And you weren’t created to find your validation in others.

Still, the sickness of our hearts—when not entrusted into the hands of the Healer—will steal our affections and eventually infect our minds.

The root of every broken pattern is an ultimate affection for anything other than God himself. Desiring God leads us to Christ, to his cross, and to our hope in him.

"How can we be surprised by chaos when entertainment, self-love, and personal validation are our primary affections? We were designed for more."

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Back to parenting…

It is our prayer that Christian homes would be places where our affections for God drive how we spend our time and attention. Does this mean that every waking moment must be prayer, Family Worship, Bible reading, or other forms of spiritual discipline? Not quite.

Instead, it means that our deepest affections and greatest energies are spent on Christ alone. Then and only then, can we gladly and diligently impart those affections into the hearts of our children. May we do so with sober, sweet urgency, hoping and trusting that God’s design for the home undergirds his design for a flourishing Church and Society.