Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Home is a Mission Field

I should have loved the post. It was featured on a website I adore ( It was on a topic near and dear to my heart.  It was about an issue I continue to struggle with and always need encouragement about.  It was by a blogger who is craftier than me by a factor of 10 so I can learn an enormous amount (Go check Stacy out at  What was bothering me?

It was this sentence.  "I'd forgotten that homemaking is holy and that home is a mission field."  In context the sentence simply called on us to see our homemaking in light of God's redemption as work in his service.  So what was bugging me?  I couldn't figure it out.

So I asked my husband.  He has a way of cutting through my confusion and making things clear.  He listened and then said, "It is not the sentence, honey.  It's what comes after."

Of course. 

In my experience here's the longer unspoken sentence that is the extension of the short version "Home is a mission field."   Since there are lost people at home (either in my own home-children or family members or in my neighborhood, school, workplace or PTA), not only do I not have to go out, maybe I shouldn't. The implication is that there are more than enough lost folks to go around.

I don't want to write a defense of missions. There's no need. We all know that there are places in the world today where people literally have never heard the name of Jesus and we know that in this era of wealth, easy communication and smooth transportation, we should all be ashamed of that fact. But the reasonable question remains- "What about the lost at home?"

Or maybe the better question is this: what's the relationship between Jesus who came to seek and save the lost, me as redeemed wife and homemaker, and the people near and far who don't know him?  How can I start from my as a home base to spread the good news? 

1. By creating through love, submission and hard work, a home that honors the word of God.  We might like to tell each other that submission is residual nonsense from the days when women were chattel, that equality in the workplace necessitates equality in housework and that love is a two way street.  Like social lies we've examined before this one may have elements of truth. Nonetheless, Paul told Titus that women who are disobedient, poor housekeepers and contemptuous towards their husbands cause the word of God to be dishonored (Titus 2:3-5).  Surely that is exactly the opposite of spreading the gospel. 

2. By creating homes where both the lost and those seeking them are welcome.  Hospitality is a basic tenet of Christianity.  The early Christian women were praised for both washing the saints' feet (a basic act of welcoming someone into your home) and offering hospitality to strangers (1 Timothy 5:10).  John has very harsh words in 3 John for those refusing aid and hospitality to itinerant gospel preachers (3 John 5-10). 

3. By raising children who are not only prepared but supported as they go out and fulfill the mission of the church. (Mark 10:29-31) I know Jesus says that our children may have to leave house and lands as well as their families for his sake.  My children will not leave without my blessing. 

4. And sometimes by making a home far away.  The best and most necessary missions in our world today are incarnational. Just like Jesus left heaven to be come one of us, whole families are needed to commit to living out decades of their lives, working where the lost work, eating what the lost eat, and becoming all things to all men.

She was right.  There's no getting around it.  Home is a mission field.  


Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE(R), Copyright(c) 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. 

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