catechizing

Catechizing without Words

Joe Willmann Teaching the Faith at Home Leave a Comment

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There is something that I have come to realize in my short time on this planet in the vocation of both husband and father. I was reminded of it on Memorial Day as my wife and I attended the wedding of a dear friend. During our pastor’s homily, he took us straight to Ephesians 5, where Paul lays out the picture of a Biblical marriage:


Wives and Husbands

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is Himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:22-33 ESV


Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her - Ephesians 5:25 Click To Tweet

Self-sacrificial love is what we are called to as husbands. We are to love our wives as Christ loved the Church. In the same love that Christ gives us, we give to our wives. We put her needs in front of our own. We care for her, we love her, and we lay down our lives for her.

What does this have to do with catechesis?

As a sports nut, I listened to a lot of Mike and Mike every morning on the radio. I remember listening to Greeny talk about how Lou Holtz gave him some advice once. He said something to the effect of, “The best thing you can do for your kids is to make sure they know how much you love their mom.”

Fellow dads, we should heed this advice and take it a step further. By our actions, we should make sure that our children have an example of Christ loving His Church by exemplifying self-sacrificial love toward our wives.

Obviously, we catechize our children with words. We teach them God’s eternal truth in His Word. We must also realize that what we do confesses something. This means that we also catechize our children through our actions, whether we realize it or not. We should embrace this reality and make sure that our children have the picture and example of this love, not only so they will be good husbands and wives one day, but also that they see the love that Christ has for them in His Church.

God’s blessings as you teach the faith once for all, delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. 

 

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About the Author

Joe Willmann

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Joe Willmann is the Senior Instructional Designer for Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis, MO. A former teacher and administrator, Joe has a passion for education and learning theory. He earned his Bachelor's Degree from Ball State University and his Master's Degree from Concordia University - Ann Arbor. He lives with his wife, Nicole, his daughter Ava, and his son Carter. You can read his latest posts here.

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