In “Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood” Gene Veith teams up with his daughter, Mary Moerbe, to add another book to a small list of books that Dr. Veith has written on the topic of vocation. His book “God at Work” is a good introduction to vocation, the idea that God calls us to various callings in life and works in us and through us to bless our neighbors. The book “Family Vocation” applies this teaching to the callings that God brings us into in family life. The book is divided into three parts: The Vocations of Marriage, The Vocations of Parenthood, and the Vocations of Childhood.
This is an excellent resource that will help you see these family relationships in a new light. In addition to calling us to obedience to God’s commands in each of these stations of life, Veith and Moerbe also show how God applies the Gospel to us in these vocations. This way of presenting the material will shed God’s grace in your hearts in areas where we are often burdened with guilt and shame. Not every resource dealing with family life accomplishes that goal. God is at work in your network of relationships at home!
My favorite quote from the book encapsulates the main idea of vocation in the context of family life: “More common, though, is the notion that they have to do ‘spiritual things’ – church work or Bible study or witnessing – in order to serve God, sometimes at the expense of their families. This devaluing of ordinary life can be so firmly rooted in our expectations that many Christians will accept only extraordinary supernatural experiences as counting for their spiritual lives, while missing God’s presence in the ordinary and the everyday.” Vocation, I believe, is one of the hidden gems of Lutheran teaching. Veith and Moerbe don’t let us ignore or look past the countless hours of seeming insignificance in our lives. In this book we are shown how God works in us and through us in the ordinary moments as well as the extraordinary moments.
I would strongly recommend this book to any brother or sister in Christ as a resource to be strengthened in a biblical view of family relationships. When I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to teach “Relationship and Marriage” at the Free Lutheran Bible College, I have assigned this book as required reading.
// REVIEW BY PASTOR BRETT BOE