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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)

Through conversation, we bond with our family. We learn about one another and instill values in our children. But conversation does not come easily for everyone. If you would like some “talking points,” here are some questions for starting conversations with your family. Along the way, practice “salting” your conversation with pertinent truths from God’s Word.

What We Learn

  • Tell us one thing that you learned today that you think we don’t yet know.
  • If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
  • What new thing would you like to learn to do? Why?
  • Did you learn a new word today? Can you tell us what it is and what it means?

What We Value

  • What was the nicest thing you did for someone else today?
  • What was the nicest thing that someone else did for you today?
  • If you received a $100 gift, what is the first thing you would buy?
  • What is the best present you’ve ever received from someone?
  • Describe what it means to be a  friend.
  • What is your favorite thing to do?
  • What is important? What is not important?
  • Who is your favorite person in Bible history, and why?
  • What is your favorite animal (or tree, or flower), and why?
  • What is your favorite room in the house, and why?
  • What is your favorite movie, and why?
  • What special talent do you have?
  • What three words would you use to tell another person about yourself? Why those three words?

What We Remember

  • What is your earliest childhood memory?
  • Is there something that you memorized long ago and still remember?
  • If you were an animal, what would you be?
  • It will always make me smile to remember the time when _____.
  • What is the funniest thing that has happened to you today?
  • What is the best (or worst) thing that has happened in your life?
  • What are you most thankful for in life?
  • What is your favorite Bible passage?
  • What is your favorite story, and why?
  • What is your grandfather or grandmother’s middle name?

What We Dream

  • If you were president, name three things that you would change about the country right away.
  • If you could invent something, what would it do?
  • If you were running for mayor, what would be your campaign platform?
  • If you could meet a person from history, who would it be?
  • If you could invite a famous person to dinner, who would it be, and why?
  • If you could have any job in the whole world, what job would it be and why do you think you would enjoy it and do well at it?
  • Which person would you like to see more often than you do now?
  • What superpower would you like to have? What would you do with it?
  • Name three things that you have never done, but would like to.
  • When were “the good old days”?
  • Share with us the character of the man or lady whom you would like to marry when you grow up.
  • What kind of wedding would you like to have when you get married?
  • What kind of a house would you like to live in when you get married?
  • If you were given a day that you could do anything you like to do, what would you like to do and why?
  • If you could have whatever you wanted for dinner, what would you choose?
  • If you were able to travel to another country, which one would you choose, and why?
  • What is your dream and vision for your life?
  • In ten years,  I want to be _____.
  • If you were going to be a missionary, to which country would you like to go to serve the Lord? Why?

What We Regret

  • What makes you angry? What do you do when you’re angry?
  • What scares you? What do you do when you’re scared?
  • What do you wish you could do over—or never do at all?

What God Expects

  • The toughest decision I’ve had to make lately was _____.
  • The last time I told the truth when it was tough was _____.
  • The last time I kept a promise that was hard to keep was  _____.
  • What are our family rules? Why do we need them?
  • Is it OK to steal from a thief? Why or why not?
  • What do you think of this statement? “I’m not so bad as long as others are worse.”
  • Real loyalty to a friend is doing what is in his truly best interest long-term, even if I lose his friendship. Being truly loyal means I’d:
  • Integrity means walking my talk and talking my walk. One-way I can make my words and actions better match my beliefs is:
  • For me, the hardest part of trustworthiness is: _____.
  • The way I treat others shows more about who I am, than it shows about others, like the time:
  • A test of character is how we treat people who (we think) can’t help or hurt us. For example:
  • Respond: Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
  • A model citizen in this community is: _____.
  • One thing that helps me make a good decision is to think about: _____.
  • How do you know when you’re grown up? 
  • Is lying always wrong?
  • What does charity mean? What’s a good kind of charity? What’s a kind that isn’t so good?
  • In what way would you like to serve the Lord when you grow older?
  • Is there someone you know whom you would almost always be willing to do what he or she says? Who is that person?

What Would Be Better

  • At home, we could share responsibilities better if we: _____.
  • This family couldn’t function without me because: _____.
  • We could make things fairer in this family if we: _____.
  • To be better, this community needs: _____.
  • Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, once said, “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” Was he correct?
  • How does this relate to nations of the world today?
  • Edmund Burke, an Irish political philosopher said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Was he right? If so, what could we do to make a positive difference?
  • Ronald Reagan, an American president, said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” Is freedom worth preserving? If so, what can we personally do to help preserve freedom?
  • Is there somebody you know who could use some help? Is there a way that you could help them?

What Makes a Family?

  • A special trait I like in each family member is: _____.
  • What is good about having brothers and sisters? What is good about being an only child?
  • What is the difference between work and play? How are they alike?
  • Tell us what you think is special about older people.
  • Tell us what you love about babies.
  • How do you think our words can affect other people?
  • A person who has had a positive, strong impact on my character is: _____.?
  • I know you love me because you’ve: _____.

How We Bear Witness

  • If someone said to you, “I don’t believe in God!” how would you answer?
  • How would you respond if someone said, “Human life is meaningless. We evolved from apes, and it all started with the Big Bang. We’re just one big cosmic accident.”?
  • 2 Timothy 4:2 says, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.” How does God prepare us to speak for Him in every occasion?
  • Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good words and glorify your Father in heaven.” How does God prepare Christians to be the salt and the light of the world?
  • If someone said to you, “How can I find God?” how would you answer?
  • How would you reply to someone who said, “God cannot forgive me. I have done too many things wrong.”?


Mrs. Marie K. MacPherson lives in Mankato, Minnesota, with her husband Ryan and their children, whom she homeschools. She is a certified Classical Lutheran Educator (Consortium for Classical Lutheran Educators), author of Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood (2018), and editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More (2016).

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