The Threefold Cord
Take a Look: Deuteronomy 31:9-13; Ephesians 4:11-14
It has been said that it “takes a village” to raise children. Indeed, many can attest to this. In like fashion, it is important to understand that God sought to utilize three primary institutions to preserve and prosper His words, works, and the identity of His people. These are as follows: the family, the church, and the ministry. In the Old Testament, it was the family, the Tabernacle (called the church in the wilderness) and the Priesthood.
Too long we have prioritized these three institutions as a “one-two-three” system. We can’t do this! Instead, all three function as a threefold cord (see Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). When we speak of family we should also be speaking of church and ministry! When we speak of church we should be speaking of family and ministry. When we speak of ministry we should be speaking of family and church! The church and ministry ought to be a natural part of the family. Fellowship, fun, prayer, worship, and every major facet of our lives ought to be interwoven into this threefold cord. However, everything begins and is solidified in the home! In your family, the Bible must serve as the cornerstone of its foundation and the narratives, moral guidelines, doctrines, and overall unified themes of the Bible spoken, discussed, and taught organically by parents who, in turn, are consistently developed, aligned, and instructed by a pastor in a local church that is supported by an anointed ministry team.
It is important that you discuss this threefold cord in your home. It is important that you are praying these three things together as a family. Build the church and ministry up in your family.
It is important to understand the role the family plays in society. The family is where we prepare our children to enter into the world. Remember, children learn about fatherhood, motherhood, masculinity and femininity, and every other vital ideal that aligns with a biblical view of humanity from the family. It is crucial that we rescue the family from neglect, sin, and worldliness!
In regard to the Word of God, the family serves as the touch- point of truth. To put it another way, the family is the medium for the message! The success of Scriptural permanence and Apostolic identity depends upon the family’s responsibility to develop a natural rhythm in the home where, as noted before, the familial structure was to impress upon future generations the words of the God as an engraver etches words into stone or granite. The heartbeat of securing an Apostolic culture depends upon the consistency of mothers and fathers teaching the commandments of God “when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up” (Deut. 6:7).Furthermore, God’s laws were to be written upon the posts of the doors and gates of the home and fastened, via phylacteries, upon their hands and upon their foreheads further establishing the necessity of God’s words to govern man’s mind and man’s strength.
Final Challenges for Parents
This week sit down as parents and give your testimony. Don’t highlight or glorify your sinful background, but instead, talk about when you first felt God. Discuss when you received the Holy Ghost or life-changing sermons or services you remember. When you give your testimony or tell these stories, present them in such a way that creates generational solidarity (see Exodus 12:27; Deuteronomy 6:20 and usage ofus and we). Instead of telling them “God delivered me,” tell them that “God delivered us!” This helps to establish in their hearts a sense of belonging. They become a part of what God has done in the past and they shoulder the task of continuing this in the future.
Connect and Convey
Take time to discuss what your pastor preached throughout the week. It is your responsibility to ensure that God’s message delivered in your local church becomes a part of the rhythm of your home. Maybe your children are too little to understand what your pastor preached? Well, find a way to discuss the main points with your children in a way they will understand. The dinner table is a wonderful place for these discussions to happen.
Finally, make sure that you sit down and engage with your family. Look at some of the synonyms of engage: capture, attract, gain, win, captivate. Make sure you pray together, read the Bible together, and worship together. Yes, sing songs
and worship together in the home! Play board or card games, take hikes, connect with other church families, be at the church for every event possible, and make gadget-free time for each and every member of your family. Remember, everything rises and falls in the future on the present strength of your family.
This devotion was developed by Timothy Hadden, pastor of a church-plant in Portland, Oregon. He, along with his wife Amber, have three boys (8, 5, and 3). Two of their children were born with permanent hearing loss and, without the aid of Cochlear Implant devices, are deaf. As such, he has made a concerted effort to understand and recognize ways in which the Word of God and the Apostolic culture can be established and preserved in his children, even though there have been struggles to convey meaning and conversation due to the hearing loss two of his children have. Like you, they are striving to build a home that is erected on a biblical foundation and, while life is full of unseen and unknown events, it is possible to establish a threefold cord that tethers family, church, and ministry to create an unbreakable bond.