Covenant Theology and Family Life
The church elders and I have recently seen the need to strengthen our grasp of the doctrine of the covenant and its ramifications and applications to our relationships in the family. We are convinced that godly families make a godly church. So we prayed and keep on praying that the families in church would grow not only in their knowledge of God and His covenant dealing with us but also in godliness in the home and in the body of Christ that we might not blaspheme the Name of God.
Thus beginning October 2011, the elders decided to change our Sunday afternoon worship service into a Bible study with the focus on God’s covenant and its implications to marriage, family, and parenting. I have been using the materials of Dr. Joel R. Beeke – both his writings and audio lectures – as our study guide.
Since almost all of the members of the congregation did not grow up in a Reformed family with covenantal perspective, the Sunday afternoon Covenant Bible study has enriched our understanding of Covenant Theology. All the more we appreciate our rich heritage as Reformed believers. Some of the topics we have covered include 'How to View our Covenant Children,' 'Family Worship,' 'Building Convictions in Our Children,' 'Cultivating Healthy Relationships Among Children,' and 'Raising our Children as Gatekeepers'.
Here's what Dr. Beeke says in his lecture on Building Convictions in Our Children:
"Teach your children to seek communion with God in the face of our Lord Jesus Christ. You want to stress with your children through evangelizing [and catechizing] them that all of life is empty without God and they must be always seeking God. What’s important in everything in life is that we seek God’s will. Seek communion with God...All of life revolves around God. Without God all of life is empty. That’s the conviction you want to instill upon your children.
Then there is nothing other than the conviction of the motto of the Reformers that says, “Coram Deo,” which means “In or before the face of God.” You want your children to live with the consciousness that God is always present. That will keep them not only not to commit sin but also help them to seek the Lord’s presence and the Lord’s will. And if that is foundational in their lives, ultimately when you teach them to live on praying ground and to living lives seeking God, and God the Holy Spirit blesses it, you’re 90% on the way home in terms of childrearing because your children leave your home seeking God, knowing to pray spontaneously over everything. It’s going to be alright. They are going to be alright. They’ve got a good foundation. They’ve got built-in convictions. So this is absolutely critical – to be seeking God and be aware of God’s presence."