I want to speak briefly on family worship and how to make this lost treasure, once again a staple in as many Christian homes as possible. But there are lots of questions surrounding family worship and so many resources it can be difficult to know where to start. Hopefully, this short article will alleviate some of the anxiety that comes with family worship. If you are a parent in this crazy mixed up world then you would have noticed almost immediately two things.
Before we get started let's look to scripture for our basis of authority on this matter. In Genesis we have Abel, (the second son of the first couple to live on Earth) bring his offering to the Lord. Look at the text.
3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; 5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.
Abel knew what was required of the Lord. God required the best and the first. Abel would have learned that from his parents.
In obedience to the Lord, Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac his son. On the way to the place God would show him, Isaac asked his father, "My father! Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Isaac knew what God required and noticed that something was missing, the lamb. Isaac knew this because Abraham his father taught him. It was a regular event in Abraham's household. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 says,
4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up."
Paul reminds us in the new testament book of Ephesians "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger but bring them up in the disciple and instruction of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)
God is very clear in scripture that the parents are to be the primary disciple makers of their children. But this can be tough if we do not know where to start or how to implement this practice in our homes. We will address a three step approach to implementing family worship in the home.
Be a Disciple Yourself
I cannot stress how important number one is. You and I cannot impart that which we do not have. A disciple is an active follower of a person / teaching. Therefore, Christians are disciples of Jesus. That is we follow Him and learn through regular interaction with His word, prayer, and obedience. We do this in an attempt to implement what we learn in our own life. This is why you must be a disciple in order to train your children. If you do not have a regularly scheduled time that you spend with the Lord than maintaining family worship once implemented will be difficult. We must spend time with God through interactive prayer, Bible reading, worship, and obedience. If you unfamiliar with how to get this started click the title link How To Grow Closer To God in 30 Minutes of Less.
Do What Works For Your Family
I cannot stress this enough. There is not perfect way to conduct family worship in the home. Aside from opening the Bible or a devotional book, interacting, and engaging your children, there is no specific format. This is one of the most freeing things about family worship. You have the freedom to make it your own. Tailor it to your family's needs and dynamics. For example, we have 4 children ages 16, 13, 11, and 5. The 11 and 5 year old color while we read the Bible or devotion and then engage when we discuss the questions or scripture for that evening. Some children need to keep busy during these times and that is okay. We have found that they tend to pay attention with more aptitude.
Rinse, Recycle, Repeat
Once you have found what works for your family and get into a steady routine, you will notice that your child(ren) may become restless or disengaged. This could be a tell tale sign encouraging change. I would suggest that you rinse off what does not work and recycle what does. Then repeat, repeat, repeat. If you need to go from Bible study to short video based devotionals, do it! If you need to add in a small simple craft or activity to keep little hands busy, do it! The main thing is to continue family worship at whatever cost because in the end, this is of eternal value.
Can I say that you will have struggles, you will experience difficulty and you will get frustrated? But take heart, this is only because it is something new. Think about exercise. No one goes from couch potato channel surfer to a max dead lift of 300, or six-pack abs without hard diligent and consistent effort. Family worship is no different. If you are willing to put in the work, sacrifice the worthless things that consume our time you will find that the practice of family worship pays huge dividends.