The Opportunity of the Home
In Part 1 of our series on worship in the home, we introduced a little word known as paideia. We didn’t really go into much detail about the word (This was intentional), but today we will look at this term a bit more deeply, and we will continue to press it out over the weeks to come.
What the heck does this word mean anyway? We know in the Greco-Roman model of education, paideia was a cultural education of “good men” for the future of the city-state. It referred to the upbringing of children through training in literacy, numeracy, virtue, and ethnic history. However, what does this have to do with our homes, our Biblical training, and our true worship of Christ?
Worship is the Whole Shaping of the Heart…
Let’s consider the Hebrew use and understanding of paideia by considering Proverbs 22:6:
Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
The word for “train” in this verse is paideia, and it refers to the whole of a person. Parents are to train up their children in emotional, spiritual, intellectual, social, and physical maturity. We might understand this in our present day as training up the “heart” of a child. The “heart,” used over 815 times in Scripture refers to the whole of a person. The paideia is the whole of the person. In coming week’s we want to break down each facet of our growth as humans and help families to more thoughtfully and worshipfully enrich their homes in paideia.
Yum, that’s tasty…
For now, we won’t go too in depth, but we want to leave you with a couple thoughts. First, worship and discipleship are to be aimed not at the singer/songwriter/musician, but at the shaping of the “whole of every person.” Secondly, this word paideia in Proverbs, in the times of Solomon, was also used to refer to the “palette” or tastes of an individual. In Solomon advising his sons to train their children and homes, he was advising them to develop a home that must be full of elements that are of the highest “taste and beauty.”
Solomon wanted his sons to craft their families’ palette, and to make them connoisseurs of knowledge, learning, music, artistry, poetry, wisdom, creativity, character and craft.
Our job as parents of our homes and children, as well as of those that are around us under our influence, is to expose to them not only what we’re against, but what we’re for. Many Christians and churches pride themselves on exposing evil and going after things they are against, but often in this pursuit, we leave out the need to communicate to our families and those around us all that is good, beautiful and enjoyable in God’s world. When we taste and see that the Lord and his ways are good, it spoils us for any lesser loves–and this is worship. Shaping the paideia is our worship for ourselves and unto others because it protects us from sin, it ensures that the best of God’s kingdom shines through us and in us, and it gives a way to live amongst God’s people and out in the world in a way that demonstrates what is most beautiful and tasty.
Join the conversation:
What are some things you do in your family that enrich your palette and taste for beauty and truth?
Can you see ways in which the church is missing the mark in shaping “The Whole of a Person” in our discipleship and worship practices?