Oikos

Oikos

Acts 16:31-34 – And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. 

As I was praying before preaching this short series on worship, I felt God telling me that I should focus on four areas of worship – the Kingdom of Heaven, the church, our home, and our lives. When it came to worship in our home, I wasn’t exactly sure at first which direction in which to take the sermon.

Preparing for the sermon particularly on worshipping in our homes, God brought to mind a particular Greek word – oikos. It’s the word you read in a lot of these passages in Acts that means “house” or “household”. Let me give you an example.

My wife Grace and I have five kids, the “fab five” as we called them when they were younger and sometimes still to this day. There were seven people in our family. As they’ve gotten older, two of them have gotten married and have started their own families. This is an important distinction I made to them as they prepared to get married – one or the other isn’t joining the other person’s family but they’re instead starting their own, new family.

Now, there are three families – Grace and I and our three kids who are yet unmarried make up one family and our two married kids created two new families with their spouses. One day, when they’re all married, there will be six total families!

One of my favorite parts of the entire week is on Sunday evenings when the three families, plus Grace’s mom Linda, all get together at our house for dinner. This type of gathering would be this Greek word – oikos – meaning house or household.

In stories where it says households of believers were saved, there were likely many families represented there. You could liken this more to an extended family reunion or a life group meeting together with multiple families under one roof.

My hope, prayer, and goal, now that my kids are starting to meet and marry their spouses and start their own families is, while I can’t mandate or make decisions for them anymore, that I’ve been a caring and present-enough dad that they’ll cherish and ask for my advice. They’ve never been married before now and have never been parents before and, if they ask for my advice, I’ll ask Grace because she was an incredible parent.

The idea of houses and households meeting together is sacred and special and something that God used to change the trajectory of history throughout the New Testament and the home is a special place He continues to use to affect legacies.

If you’re married or your kids are starting to get married, remember that you’re now separate families and, while you still love each other and are extended family, it’s healthiest for kids to “leave and cleave” as Ephesians 5:31 says.

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Mark Driscoll
hello@markdriscoll.org

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