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Hausvater: /HAUS-fah-ter/
noun (German)
1. Housefather.
2. Spiritually responsible head of household, including the housefather as assisted by the housemother.
>> Example: "As the Hausvater should teach it [Christian doctrine] to the entire family ..."
(Martin Luther, Small Catechism, 1529)

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Mothers and Their Great Influence


In 1 and 2 Kings, mothers are a major influence on the kings of Israel and Judah. Sometimes they are named. When they are, they are notably a strong influence.

One mother of a king of Judea must have had a great1 influence on her son and thereby on the future. Abijah (or Abi, as recorded in 1 Kings) was the wife of the terrible king Ahaz. Ahaz is one of the worst kings in the history of the Bible. His faithlessness, when further tested by threats and pressure from his enemies, lead him to the worst kind of idolatry. Not only did he allow the worship of the Canaanite gods, he participated by burning his own son as an offering.

We must speculate some to fill out the story of Abijah. She must have been horrified at the wickedness of her husband and, doubtless, sought to protect her son, Hezekiah. As her name implies (“The LORD is my father”) she put her trust in the Lord and raised Hezekiah under the influence of godly men at the temple. Upon his coming to reign he put into action a plan to restore the prominence of the temple that his mother had raised him in and the Lord that she had taught him to love.

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Breasts and Hands


Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.

(Isaiah 49:15–16)

In this passage, God speaks to His children with all of the warmth, tenderness, and reassurance of a breastfeeding mother. Women who have nursed a baby understand that, even if distracted by a project or travel, her body will not let her forget to nurse or pump. When her breasts fill to capacity with milk, there will be physical consequences for her—an unwanted milk letdown, inflammation, or even pain and infection. But, even if a nursing mother could forget her child, God cannot forget His children.

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The Gentle Childhood: A Path Toward Home for Mother and Child


If you have been homeschooling your children for longer than 3 days, you have inevitably been faced with THE QUESTION from well-meaning family, friends, church members, doctors, dentists and neighbors; “How DO you DO IT?”

Or, better still, the “I could NEVER” statements.

“I could NEVER teach my children at home!”

“I would NEVER have enough patience!”

“I could NEVER get that kind of respect from MY children!”

When I am feeling charitable, I remind myself that people don’t MEAN to be stupid! But when I am feeling less so, I plaster my long-ago-perfected, slightly smug smile on my face and say: “Thank you!”

All the while SCREAMING in my head: “Are you KIDDING ME?!”

“Do you honestly think that just because these cute little demons have enough training in basic manners to stand straight, look you in the eye, smile and say ‘Yes, sir’ and ‘No, ma’am’ that they don’t possess the same black hearts as your little monsters?”

“Or do you think that MY black heart is somehow less sinful than YOUR black heart?”

I know what you know and what every home educating parent knows: it is only a profound sense of duty and vocation that holds us to this commitment we have made and returns us to the family altar again and again; day after day. This sense of duty coupled with our desires for our children and ourselves will form the basis for my article. But before delving into these ideas, I’d like to get up on my high horse for just a moment.

Homeschooling Perspectives

I would like to take just a moment to address not only homeschoolers, but pastors and teachers as well:

Home educators

Do not be too hard on people for comments like the ones above and don’t be discouraged by it. When people misunderstand what we are about in this business; love them. Answer them gently. Pray for them . But also, tell the truth. Do not romanticize the homeschooling life; to them or yourself. Defend your choice with gentleness and respect. Speak truth about the daily grind and ask them for their prayers for your family. Be humble and be honest.

Pastors

Your parishioners who home school are doing a hard thing and a good thing and a Godly thing. Support them. Pray for them. Seek to understand their decision and the thought and prayer that goes into it and encourage them with God’s Word for their strength and comfort when the days are long. Homeschooling mothers, especially, wear the weight of the world on their shoulders. Lead them to repentance and remind them that Jesus bore that weight in His hands and it is unbelief to place it in theirs. Point them away from the endless homeschooling blogs and Pinterest sites that make them feel “less than” and point them toward the Lord’s Table where they can be renewed and refreshed and forgiven; emboldened to face another week.

Teachers

We are not judging you or your abilities as a teacher by choosing to homeschool. We respect your vocation and seek to emulate it. When a homeschooling mother or father comes to you with questions or insecurities or when life circumstances require that they put their child in your classroom, do not make them feel like a failure for the gaps that will inevitably exist as if no other child in the history of mankind has ever struggled in math except a former homeschooled child! Share your knowledge with them. Empathize with the struggle. Show them grace.

We in the church too often allow dividing lines to be drawn between those of us in church schools, public schools and home schools. We forget that we are all on the same team: team HEAVEN. We should be 100% united in our support of families and our prayers for the good of the other should be frequent and robust.

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The Creation Foundation


For our time together in God’s Word today we’re going to study the implications of Jesus’ words in our Gospel reading from Mark 10, specifically these words:

But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. (Mark 10:2–12)

We don’t have time to appreciate the fuller context of what’s going on here because these words of Jesus are going to require all our time. In fact, all our time will be focused on these questions: Why and how does Jesus’ use of these verses from Genesis matter to us today? What does it teach us about marriage, about identity, about sexual ethics? And here’s what we’re going to find, Jesus is teaching us how to think about these things. He teaching us how to answer the following questions: Who am I? What is marriage? How do I know what is ethical when it comes to sexual matters? All of which are incredibly relevant questions today.

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God’s Design in Gender and Marriage

Let’s start where Jesus starts – in the beginning. Why do you think Jesus starts there? What is it that God teaches us there? What phrase gets repeated over and over again in the creation narrative? It was good. Then, it was very good. Now, that’s a fascinating word because it carries with it more than an ethical connotation, so good vs. bad or wrong, but it also carries with it a aesthetic connotation, so good as in pleasant or beautiful. So, God is saying, this is good, this is pleasing, this is beautiful.

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Thank God for Mr. Anonymous!


His Example Brought Me Closer to Jesus

I don’t recall his name. I can’t even remember what he looked like. But I will never forget what he did. His example changed my life forever. Through me, that young man influenced hundreds, even thousands of others. I wish I could thank him. We all should thank God for him.

I was fifteen years old at the time. My older brother and I had traveled to Colorado Springs, a town at the base of Pike’s Peak. There, in an oldish-looking boarding house, we spent a couple of weeks at the Summit Ministries youth camp. Knowledgeable presenters instructed us in how to preserve our Christian worldview against the assaults of ungodly philosophies. Some of their lessons I still remember, but the person who left the most far-reaching legacy was my roommate—the roommate who disappeared each morning.

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Encouraging Daily Devotions in the Congregation


How can pastors encourage their parishioners to live out the Word of God every day of the week, using the Sunday Divine Service as a foundation? The Hausvater Project invited Pastor David Mumme of Trinity Lutheran Church in Waterville, Minnesota, to explain the resources he uses to promote the prayer life of his congregation.

 

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“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16 ESV).

 

It is essential to our life in Christ that we heed those words of St. Paul both in our life together within a faithful Christian congregation and in our life together within a faithful Christian family and home. We pastors spend a significant amount of time planning and preparing for this in the congregation by choosing hymns and preparing bulletins for Divine Services. But how do we help the members of our congregation let the word of Christ dwell richly in their homes and families? Every pastor encourages his members to read the Scriptures, to pray with and for their families, to sing hymns together, and to learn by heart Bible verses and the texts of Luther’s Small Catechism. But how do we help them to actually do this?

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Who Is This Who Stands a Sojourner


Who is this who stands a sojourner
Hated by the world she sees
Longing here for her Beloved?
It is He she longs to please.
He is Christ the world’s Savior—
And His love will never cease
Evermore and evermore.

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