Culture is one’s way of life. It is not limited to the arts or the refined elite. Rather, culture points broadly to the collective experiences and achievements of humanity. It captures a society’s beliefs, rituals, habits, knowledge, language, traditions, skills, leisure, food, stories, and clothing. Culture derives from the Latin word colere, which means to tend, inhabit, worship, and adorn. Colere indicates the process of tilling the land and making it sustainable for growth. It conveys the sense of settling down and creating a private space of residence. Colere describes the act of honoring something. And it signifies beauty and aesthetics. These various meanings contribute to our idea of culture, and they emphasize the diverse ways a society can express itself and thrive.
What is Christian culture? Unfortunately, we too often see negative descriptions of Christian culture. The louder voices of society, at times, portray Christianity and its people as extreme, self-righteous, hypocritical, self-serving, judgmental, and exclusive. But this is not the true culture of Christianity. As believers, we are called to a way of life that points to the gospel. The person and work of Jesus Christ should permeate and inform every aspect, from what habits we form to how we dress. The salvation we did not deserve but graciously received through faith in Jesus should be the foundation upon which the Church builds its culture. This culture may be built in the public square, but it is most often built in the places where we tend, nurture, and protect. It occurs in places where we privately worship and create beauty. These places are our homes.
God has called His people to establish a culture within their homes. This principle goes back to the ancient Israelites, who, as a community, were instructed to perform rituals and traditions that would remind them of the Lord’s faithfulness. Deuteronomy 6:6–9 says, “These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.” The Israelites were called to tell stories of God’s miracles in Egypt and His provision in the wilderness. They were to teach the younger generation to follow the Law and to only worship the Lord.
The principle of a godly home culture continued throughout redemptive history and into the establishment of the early church. Acts 2:46–47 says, “Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” The early believers were known for their generous and sacrificial lifestyle as a result of the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit and the hope of the resurrection.
Bible verses that highlight gospel-centered culture
As believers today, we can have a godly culture in our homes by intentionally expressing gospel-centered values.
Below are some of the values we can express:
· Holiness and Peculiarity
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” — 1 Peter 2:9
“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining.” — 1 Peter 4:8-9
· Sacrifice and Generosity
“Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” — Ephesians 5:1-2
“Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life.” — 1 Timothy 6:17-19
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” — 1 Peter 1:8-9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” — 1 John 1:9
· Grace and Forgiveness
Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person. -- Colossians 4:5–6
“Let all bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” -- Ephesians 4:31–32
What are the gospel-centered values you want to highlight in your home? Write these values and their corresponding Scriptures in your living room, kitchen, or bedroom. Teach them to your children or your sons and daughters in Christ. Establish traditions and tell stories that celebrate the Lord’s salvation. Form habits and rhythms in your schedule that reflect the accomplished work of Jesus. Through it all, cultivate a way of life that stewards the kingdom of heaven, dwells in the presence of God, reveals the beauty of the gospel, and honors our Savior and King.
Additional resources for creating a gospel-centered home: