Rethinking the Home: An Outpost for the Kingdom
Updated: Oct 20
You know a chapter I've never found in a theology book? I've never seen one written on a biblical theology of home. And yet the subject of home is found in the first and last chapters of the Bible. In today's culture, a house is often seen as a private retreat from the chaos of daily life. We lock our doors, relax with our loved ones, and recharge for the next day's adventures. Our front door marks a clear division between our private and public spaces. What else is this private space for if not for indulging our desire to let our hair down and "be ourselves." But have you ever considered constructing a biblical theology of the home? What does the Bible reveal about the purpose of a house? Does it depict it as a shelter for indulging personal preferences?
This is where contemporary culture and biblical teachings diverge sharply. Most likely without intention, Western Christianity has chosen to follow the worldly path when envisioning the home. The Bible, however, has a different vision of our family homes: they are outposts. An outpost is a forward operating base of a particular government, and, interestingly, our homes are meant to be forward operating outposts of the kingdom of God.
When we turn to the New Testament, homes are depicted as hubs of community and hospitality. Here are a few examples: (I would encourage you to actually take your time, turn to these passages, read and meditate on these texts.)
Luke 10:5 reveals that homes were used as hubs for proclaiming the kingdom.
Mark 10:29 Jesus says that each house is a part of the new community he's establishing.
Acts 3:32-34, nobody considered their houses as solely their own.
Romans 12:13 tells us that houses were hubs for hospitality.
Romans 16:5 shows that houses facilitated the gathering of the church.
Titus 1:8 identifies elders whose houses provided lodging and meals.
Genesis 18 - The biblical example of such hospitality is seen in the story of Abraham, who jumped into action with his wife Sarah to feed three strangers in a spontaneous and amazing meal. New Testament believers are explicitly commanded to follow his example (Hebrews 13:1-2).
Now, imagine what would happen if every Christian family thought of their home as an outpost for the Kingdom of God instead of a retreat center? Creating these hubs is something that every family can embark on. The unique functioning of each outpost will greatly depend on the season of life the family is in, but the essential question I would like to explore is this: is the goal for our homes to be an a retreat center or an outpost?.