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Households of Faith

Practicing Family in the Kingdom of God

by Emily Hunter McGowin

Households of Faith
  • Length: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: January 28, 2025
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A0006
  • ISBN: 9781514000069

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A Holistic Vision of Family in God's Kingdom

The Christian world tends to have a blueprint for what families should look like, and these models of the family can be hard to live up to. In some circles, picture-perfect families are idealized and even idolatrized. Many Christians have a gnawing sense that this "traditional family" model is problematic or outdated. But is there an alternative way of understanding family that's neither idolatrous nor revisionist?

Theologian Emily McGowin casts a holistic vision for what family can be in light of God's kingdom. Jesus is our first teacher about families in the kingdom of God, and families rightly understand themselves only in relation to God's kingdom and the church.

In Households of Faith, McGowin

  • recovers biblical portraits of households of faith that are not limited to just the biological nuclear family, that can be multigenerational households of married and single, with or without children,
  • acknowledges the realities of how sin and trauma damages families and communities, and
  • calls Christians to practice family as apprentices to love who discern the times and improvise faithfulness together.



Part 1: Rediscovering Family as Household of God
1. Searching for the Biblical Family
2. Beginning with Jesus
3. God's Kingdom and God's Family
4. Families as Apprentices to Love

Part 2: Signs of the Kingdom in an Evil Age
5. Families, Sin, and the Unjust Status Quo
6. Apprentices to Love in a Fallen World
7. Singleness and Marriage
8. Children and Childrearing

Part 3: Practicing Family in the Already and Not-Yet
9. Sabbath
10. Baptism
11. Eucharist

Further Reading


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Emily Hunter McGowin

Emily Hunter McGowin (PhD, University of Dayton) is associate professor of theology at Wheaton College. She is the author of Quivering Families and Christmas, and coeditor of God and Wonder. Her articles have appeared in Christianity Today and The Week. She is a priest and canon theologian in the Anglican diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others. She and her husband, Ron, also a priest, live in Chicagoland with their three children.