Monday, August 18, 2008

Family Worship

Deuteronomy 6:7, speaking of God's commands and His works for His people, tells parents: "You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." We are to teach our children diligently and consistently about God and His ways.

I had never heard of "family worship" until a few years ago, but it is something that has been done for countless generations in Christian families. Family worship is simply getting your family together to sit down, read Scripture, talk about it, and pray--every day. I'm sure that as parents it is tempting to let Sundays be the day your family worships God and to just leave it at that. But why not during the week? Your child(ren) and your spouse can tell what is important to you by how much time you dedicate to it and the expectation level you have of them in regards to it.

If spiritual things are not explicitly discussed, Bibles are not opened, and God is not intentionally worshiped by the family during the week, kids will naturally conclude that worshiping God is only a "Sunday morning thing." We teach our children what is most important to us by what we make priorities. Maybe you think vacations are important, so each year, you are sure to get that one or two weeks away with your kids. Maybe you think eating meals together is important, so you have your family gather together around the table at least three or four times a week for dinner. If sports are a priority, you don't let them miss a practice. If something is truly a priority, you will make it a habit in your family.

There are a few obvious benefits to family worship:

1. Your family will be in the Word daily. By reading half a chapter or even a full chapter or two each day together, you will cover a LOT of ground biblically over the long haul. You can have some really interesting discussions as you come across stories or teachings that are challenging, difficult to interpret, or that you have never really come across before. Kids will ask some great questions!

2. Your children and spouse will see that worship of God is a daily practice. We do our families a disservice if we indirectly teach them that worship can only be done with the church body on Sunday mornings.

3. Your family will sense togetherness on a daily basis--and it will be centered around the worship of God instead of a television show, sporting event, or meal.

4. This would be a perfect opportunity to discuss some of the struggles that you and your children are having in your journeys. Your children can see that mom and dad are sinners, who are saved only by God's grace in Christ. You can hear what's going on in your children's lives and encourage or challenge them as needed.

As for the how-to's of this:

1. Keep it simple! Richard Cecil said to keep it "short, savory, simple, tender, heavenly." If it gets too long, kids will get stir crazy.

2. Fathers should be the ones to initiate and lead family worship. Based on Scripture, it is he that leads his family spiritually. Mothers, if this is something you are interested in, discuss it with your husband and try to persuade him of its value--even if it takes a while. Do not undermine his authority.

3. Read through books of the Bible. Don't jump around from book to book every day. If you just make your way through books, you'll teach your children that ALL Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim. 3:16)--not just the parts we find particularly helpful.

4. Let them ask questions, and don't feel bad if you can't answer right away. Use these as learning times for your kids and yourself.

There is much more that could be said, but if you are truly interested in this, check out this article: CLICK HERE.

If you have any questions, email me:

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