Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Cast Iron Gospel

Seasoned to Perfection
Some of you may not know, but I love to cook. I love good quality food and even enjoy grocery shopping. Nothing’s more relaxing than wandering through Whole Foods or Publix with my headphones on and some good music busting my ear drums. With all of that said, it’s a travesty that I just purchased my first cast iron skillet yesterday. Cast iron skillets are a great way to cook food. (Pro tip: if you’ve got a good steak, but no grill, use a cast iron skillet for a great sear and finish in the oven.)

I realized the error of my ways after “borrowing” my mom’s cast iron skillet for a few weeks (Really until she took it back by force). That cast iron skillet will someday be mine. It’s been passed down a bit you see. It was her mom’s cast iron skillet before. My mom started using shortly after getting married in the late 70s and who knows how long my grandma had it. I will inherit it sometime in the future and will pass it down to one of my daughter’s.

It’s not just that the skillet is seasoned to perfection. It’s also got some family history tied into it, some love. It’s a tangible expression of one of our core family values actually. My family enjoys gathering together to eat. My grandmother had eight children and the entire family (kids, cousins, and anyone else close enough) would regularly pack into her small home for a huge fiesta. Serious. Burritos. Enchiladas. Refried beans. Probably more things than that that my memory from childhood can’t remember. My parents kept that tradition and my sister and I have followed suit. We all get together once or twice a week to eat, fellowship, and let the young kids destroy our homes.

The Cast Iron Gospel
I’ve written at length about making the gospel central in your home. It’s absolutely necessary. There’s good and necessary consequences for including certain things like prayer, Scripture, fellowship, and teaching into every day activities. The practicals work themselves out a thousand different ways. So I was thinking about how I might do something special for my girls and I had, what I think, are two helpful ideas.

I talked earlier about the family history imbued in a passing down a cast iron skillet. I wonder if we can get at some of that in connection with the gospel? Here are my two ideas. If they seem helpful, use them. If they don’t, then find some way to ensure you are passing down the gospel as a legacy in your home.

First, purchase a Bible with wide margins and as you read through the Bible make notes directed to each child. I’ve got three girls. I’m going with three ESV Single Column Journaling Bibles. Trace the gospel story through those Bibles and as you get to know areas where you children struggle make sure you connect the dots back to the gospel for them. What a treat to give them when they get married or launch out on their own.

Second, keep a journal (physical or digital--it matters not) of answered prayers. Hearing stories of George Müller inspires me. I’m currently reading An Infinite Journey and Andy Davis shares how Müller always prayed boldly and expectantly. He did so because he knew God answered prayers. I wonder if that would make a difference for our children entering adulthood to have a book of prayers that have been answered for our families and possibly specifically for them? If you do keep a digital journal, technology makes formatting this and turning it into a book easier than you may think.

I hope that’s helpful. I hope that gets your juices flowing. Think of something for your family. Something that makes sense for you, but don’t neglect making the gospel central in your home.
Mathew Sims is the author of A Household Gospel Fulfilling the Great Commission in Our Homes and also writes for CBMW Men’s blog, Gospel Centered Discipleship, and Servants of Grace. He also works as the managing editor at Gospel Centered Discipleship. They attend Downtown Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Greenville, SC.
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