“And out of this relationship (of husband and wife) the first thing to arise is the household…”
According to Aristotle, the household arises naturally. But even plants that grow naturally can be hindered, or destroyed, by adverse environmental conditions. When we are losing the human inheritance of our civilization, we should exercise extra-ordinary intentionality to preserve, or rediscover, what should rightfully have been ours.
The household: Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas go so far as to say that there isn’t human happiness without it. In so many ways this little community encapsulates what we what to be and to achieve in our lives. For most of us, the household will be the context in which we, and those we love most, either becomes ourselves or do not.
But it is more and more difficult to know what a household is and how to make it ‘work.’ Times have changed so much—including in ways that directly militate against the integrity of this most basic of communities. We find ourselves wondering: just what should we intend to do in our homes? And how can we bring these good intentions to fruition?
Some things do not change, such as basic truths of the nature and ends of the household. But given all that has changed, we need to consider carefully our current situation and come up with a plan. In other words we need to be intentional about our households, if the people in them are to flourish. This will require study, discernment, discipline, and prayer. Especially important will be our joining with others of like mind, both in deliberating about and in executing our plans. Our good intentions, supported by humble work, dedicated commitment, and collaboration cannot but be blessed with great fruits.
Today we are announcing our next Bethany Weekend, October 28 and 29, on the theme ‘The Intentional Household.’ If you might be interested in joining us, please see this page: Bethany Weekend, also reachable by the tab at the top of LifeCraft. I am also busy writing a book with the same title as this workshop. I thank you all for your kind prayers and encouragement.
Image: Ferdinand de Braekeleer (1792-1883), A Peasant Family Gathered Around the Kitchen Table
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Husband, father, and professor of Philosophy. LifeCraft springs from one conviction: there is an ancient wisdom about how to live the good life in our homes, with our families; and it is worth our time to hearken to it. Let’s rediscover it together. Learn more.