We’ve been talking about The Family Workshop lately. It is a writing project that came out of a living project that changed our family. The LORD brought us to it slowly, over years, and I am trying to share it here with you. If you want to join me and my family, as we build our house upon the Rock, you can start with this post today. I am compiling a notebook, starting with this Home Builder’s Agreement, which I am sharing over the course of a few posts. Won’t you consider compiling your own notebook?
I am enjoying using the Homebuilding process as a model because it has made me think very intentionally about how to put this program together. As with any important project, we must begin with all the parties in agreement as to the terms. In this case, it is really about defining our Worldview.
As I have mentioned, I grew up with a Marine Corps officer for a father and I am married to an Air Force officer now. Military life means lots of moving, and I have had to learn to get rid of a lot of “stuff” through the years. Though I do occasionally stash treasures away in boxes, I only have one birthday card in my top dresser drawer. It is from my big sister. She is a godly wife and mother, a witty soul, and a snappy dresser. She’s three and a half years older than me. On the front of this card, there is a picture of a woman, who looks a lot like the actress Vivian Leigh in her prime, gazing at herself in a mirror. Above the picture, it says, “There’s a new cream that makes wrinkles disappear.” Inside, the card says, “Just smear it on the mirror.” I keep this card because I still snicker whenever I see it, and it reminds me of my sister and how we are growing older, together. But what makes me laugh, also makes a profound point. What we see changes, depending on what we are looking through. Each of us has a lens, whether we know it or not; and our lens determines how we see our lives, our God, and ourselves. This lens is our Worldview.
The long and the short of it is that we, Christians, should have a Biblical Worldview…a way of interpreting life that is based on the teachings of the Bible. However, many believers form a worldview without any knowledge of doing it, or any intention to do so. I know I did. Some people use the lens of their own experience to view life. I know I did. Our culture also influences us in many ways, some more obvious than others. It happened to me without me even realizing it. Political and social values can form our worldview. This was me in college. All of these influences can lead us to skewed perspectives. Skewed perspectives bring us to heartbreak and drive us away from the Truth. Sadly, the next step is using this faulty worldview to interpret the Bible, rather than using the Bible to interpret life and inform our worldview. Compare that to this perspective: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16).
So back to our goal here, which is to build a life, a family, and a house upon the Word of God. Whether you are unmarried without children, a single parent, a married couple with children, or your children are out of the house, it is the same for each of us. We must all begin with some basic assumptions. But if you are a couple, or a family, you must all agree on these assumptions, because they lead you to an intentional approach of building your House. This is really a statement of your worldview. Stating your worldview can help you to determine your vision for the future and formulate your goals; it can help you respond appropriately to the challenges that we confront on a daily basis; and it can be a touchstone to return to periodically to evaluate your family, professional and spiritual life.
In a larger sense, your church may have something like this that is called a Statement of Faith. Or your church may hold to certain confessions – my church holds to the Westminster Confession. This is doctrine: the set of standards agreed upon and taught. Some people think doctrine is for theologians. Theology is the study of God. So think about it, you engage in theology when you read the Word or listen to sermons and think about the nature of God, and whether you realize it or not, you hold to a doctrine, a set of beliefs…and if you have children, you are teaching them something of a doctrine, whether you mean to or not. All of this is to say – let us be intentional about the way we approach building our House and living our lives.
So, keeping in mind that you may choose to use your church’s statement of faith, or an entire catechism in you prefer, we begin ours with this first set of ideas that we have agreed upon:
1. As an individual, I will glorify God by my thoughts, words and deed.
- I know that my primary purpose, the reason I was created, is to accurately reflect God’s image.
- I search His Word to learn the Truth, of who God, is so that I may imitate Him.
- As husband or wife, father or mother, leader or follower, I commit to embodying the character of God by my words and example.
- I am determined to demonstrate my obedience to God and to His Word in my everyday behaviors (how I behave and speak, how I spend my time and money).
This important idea was based upon the Westminster Shorter Catechism’s (WSC) first question. Q: What is the primary purpose of man? A: To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The Westminster Shorter Catechism has 107 questions, but don’t worry – I will not be giving you a synopsis on all of them! We have five main ideas in our Home Builder’s Agreement and this is just the first one. I have written many posts about about how we are meant to reflect His image, here is the most recent one. This idea is fundamental to the way we relate to Jehovah God, and to ourselves, and to others, and so it seems important to begin with it.
Tell me, are you going to build a notebook along with me?