“The family has truly become a little church, or as it is better known, a domestic church.”
The term “domestic church” captures the holiness of marriage and family life as a vocation and a response to the invitation of the Lord to “Follow Me”.
The Scripture teaches that the people perish and are lost where there is no vision (Prov 29:18) We live in a day and age where there the Biblical vision of marriage and family is under severe and sustained attack (cf. John Paul II: Familiaris Consortio, 3).
The Judeo-Christian understanding of marriage and family has been severely distorted and largely rejected in modern society. This rejection has led to a severe destabilization of the family. This sustained injury to the domestic church has led to the pervasive growth of a culture of confusion and death. The greatest need in the modern world is the recovery of the Biblical vision of marriage and family
What is the domestic church?
The Early Church described the family as the “domestic church.” This meant that it was not just a sociological unit. Rather, the family was created to play a specific role in God’s plan of salvation.
Thus, the family is deeply associated with the Church in both its nature and structure. In the Old Testament, the family was so central that without it, there simply was no covenant. In the New Testament, the family reached its proper fulfillment in Christ. The family became the place where the Holy Spirit works out the salvation of each member and provided stability and structure for life’s journey.
The modern recovery of this understanding of the family took place during the debates in the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). The council realized that the smallest articulation of the church was not the parish, but the Christian family. The baptized family is the first place where the essential teachings in catechesis, prayer, and morality are carried out to help in the conversion and development of growing Christians.
Because the Christian family is the Church in miniature, it also shares the nature of Christ. It has a priestly, prophetic, and kingly dimension to it. The family offers Christ and intercedes for its own members and those around it (priestly); the family is a sign of Christ’s love and faithfulness to a world that is enmeshed in the culture of death (prophetic); and the family serves its own members and those around it sacrificially (kingly).
By participating in the saving and redemptive nature of the Church, the family is profoundly rooted in the Church’s mission. The family has truly become a little church, or as it is better known, a domestic church.
What is the purpose of this website?
TheologyOfTheFamily.com serves to communicate the Biblical vision of marriage and family to the modern world. This website aims to provide solid intellectual exploration of the Scriptural foundations for the domestic church. Over the coming months, this website will develop a series of essays to apply these teachings to the concrete, practical daily life.
TheologyOfTheFamily.com is only in its beginning phase. Please stay tuned in the coming weeks as the features on this website are rolled out.
God’s will for marriage and family is found throughout the Holy Scriptures. By opening ourselves to God’s Word, we can find the antidote to the destructive and confusing forces surrounding us. This recovery of the Biblical vision of marriage and family is essential for the well-being of our individual families, our society, and the Church as a whole.