Perspectives on Christ-Centered Family Discipleship -- By: David Schrock

Journal: Journal of Discipleship and Family Ministry
Volume: JDFM 04:2 (Fall 2014)
Article: Perspectives on Christ-Centered Family Discipleship
Author: David Schrock


Perspectives on Christ-Centered Family Discipleship

David Schrock

David Schrock (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) pastors Calvary Baptist Church in Seymour, Indiana. He is the husband of Wendy and the father of Titus and Silas. Additionally, he is the book review editor for the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, as well as CBMW’s book review channel. He has contributed many articles and reviews for The Gospel Coalition, Credo Magazine, and PureHope Ministries. He blogs at ViaEmmaus.wordpress.com.

In this article I will argue that Jesus has given believers a “key” that promises to help them glorify God in their families. It is a priority that is plainly spoken, but one that is easily missed when well-meaning Christians sinfully put their family above God. Though this “key” may at first seem to be at odds with loving our families in a way that glorifies God, it will be shown that only by loving Christ in a way that looks like hate towards our families can we actually glorify God in loving our families.

From two passages in the Gospels, I will show how Jesus’ call to discipleship, “to hate [one’s] own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters” is the key to glorifying God in family relations. While the Bible does not guarantee that our discipleship will result in the conversion or improvement of our families—sometimes it promises the opposite (Matt 10:34-35)—God’s Word does promise that when Christians abide as true

disciples, God will produce fruit in their lives (John 15:5, 7-8), often with positive effects on their family.1

The Key

The key to glorifying God in the family is found in two parallel passages.

Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:37-38)

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)

For those who care about the family, these words seem shocking. Since the family was God’s idea, we might expect Jesus to say something more like this: “If anyone comes to me and does not love ...

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