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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)

Whether the head of household reads to the whole family or individuals read the Bible on their own, we have a promise from the Lord that His Word will never return empty, but shall accomplish the purpose for which He sends it (Isaiah 55:11).

The Bible includes many other promises and blessings for those who read, such as:

  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • “The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” (1 Peter 1:24-25)
  • “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3)

Family and personal devotions might follow a variety of Bible-reading plans, including:

  • Previewing (before the service) or reviewing (afterward) the texts appointed for the Divine Service each Sunday as well as on major festival days.
  • Reading topically, such as reading all of the parables of Christ, or all of His miracles, or working through a concordance to read every reference to angels in order to learn more about that topic.
  • Reading sequentially, whether from Genesis to Malachi and from Matthew to Revelation or else following a chronological sequence for the events referenced in the Bible.
  • Reading the entire Bible in a combined thematic and chronological fashion: Thematic Bible Readings: A Four–Year Cycle for Christian Homes.

Of course, each family may settle on a different pattern, and that pattern may vary from year to year. For those aiming to read through the entire Bible, in whatever sequence, we have provided a Certificate of Completion (PDF download).

Suggested uses:

  • Celebrate when the head of household has completed reading the entire Bible aloud to the family.
  • Encourage and congratulate children who have read the entire Bible on their own.
  • When presenting this certificate, be sure to emphasize the power of God’s Word: reading the entire Bible is not something we do to show off our own (supposed) greatness, but rather something that we do gratefully because reading the Bible reveals God’s great love for us.
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