Marriage and family have been under constant attack in our current culture. It seems not a week goes by without hearing about the so-called redefinition of marriage or the concept of a modern “family”. Yet, it is exactly in times like these we need a proper and biblical understanding of the family. Clint Archer has delivered on that in his book The Home Team. Using various sports analogies, Archer speaks on the importance of marriage and family. He looks to Scripture in describing the roles of husband and father (chapter 3), wife and mother (chapter 4), children, both little and in their teens (chapters 5-6), as well as addressing the singles and para-family support (chapters 7-8). In short, he looks at God’s game plan for the family.
While so much could be said about this book and its wisdom taken from God’s Word, it will have to suffice to point out three necessary markers for a Christian family: (1) the foundation of grace, (2) the priority of mission, and (3) the responsibility of training.
The Foundation of Grace
In desiring to obey God’s Word, there is almost always a temptation to turn it into a to-do list and try to make yourself better. However, from the beginning, Archer reminds us to seek Jesus and His grace in marriage and family. He warns us against legalism (Archer 24) and finishes up the book on the importance of a family praying together and relying upon the Holy Spirit to work in their lives (Archer 132). Without the Holy Spirit, we are helpless in trying to live out God’s will and word for the family.
Our families do not exist for our own sake. Marriage is not just about what is going on between a husband and wife. The mission is not to merely be happy. This mission, the goal, is to glorify God. The married couple and family must be on the same page (Archer 11). A family’s mission is to glorify God in all they do and enjoy Him together (Archer 34-35). Clint Archer makes a great suggestion when he says to “write out God-centered goal for your family” (Archer 35) so that you may be intentional in living them out. I also appreciated the chapter on singleness and the family of God. So often, singleness does not get discussed in books on the family but Archer realizes the importance singles can have on a family and how they should not be look down upon but seize the opportunity to spend their season or life in undivided devotion to the Lord (chapter 7).
The Responsibility of Training
The responsibility in training children does not fall to the school, church, or even to extended family. The responsibility for training kids in the Lord is entrusted to the parents. Specifically, the father, as the spiritual leader of the home, is to teach and model the way of the Lord to his children. He is to protect and provide for his family while his wife submits to him in love while being a steward of the home and working if that is the case (Archer 63). Case in point, it is the job of the family to raise their children in the spiritual disciplines and training them in a biblical worldview.
While not everything matter is addressed in The Home Team, it does a better job on explaining and challenging the family to live out what God has called them to (see “Ask Yourself” questions at end of each chapter) than any book I have read on the family. This book will give you a solid biblical foundation for understanding and living as a family.
I received this book for free from Shepherd Press via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.
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