A few weeks ago I shared a post that I originally wrote for In the Quiver somewhere around Father’s Day that talked about Family Worship (click for original post). And after I shared it, I began to get some very interesting and quite frankly, expected comments:
- -We’ve never done that [Family Worship] before.
- -Our kids could never be able to sit there for [Family Worship].
- -I want to do it, but I don’t know how to do it.
- -Do we follow a formula each time to make it work?
- -What if mess up and teach our kids something wrong?
- -That sounds good, but we will never have time for something like that.
Initially upon hearing each one of those, I did not have very much compassion (primarily as my wife will attest, compassion is my lowest rated gift–fortunately for our family, and my kids, it is her highest matching gift) and I was in all sincerity thinking of each one of those questions and comments as a big fat EXCUSE.
I am being serious when I say that many phrases from my childhood came back to me in a flash of annoyance: “Hogwash,” “That is a bunch of bull malarky” (because my saint of a Christian mom would never say the other words that follow bull), “you have got to be joshing me,” “Well pin my tail and call me a donkey,” “Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,” and “Bless your heart.” AND YES, these are all phrases that a young man growing up in North Carolina may experience from time to time when he is being rambunctious or trying his mother’s patience……the reason is they all mean the same thing: “Don’t Be Ridiculous.” Thankfully by the grace of God, I did not respond with any of these phrases being spoken to anyone.
However, I did respond with a familiar maieutics process called answering a question with a question. Here are some examples of questions that I asked:
- Do you want to worship God?
- Do you want to worship something else?
- How many hours are in a given week for expressing our worship to a deserving Savior?
- How can I help you?
You see, I believe this to be of utmost importance because of our design as human beings. In agreement with the first statement of the shorter and larger Westminster Catechism:
The primary purpose of man is to glorify God, and enjoy Him forever.
It is true that you and I, believers and non-believers, old or young, male and female–we were all created and designed to worship. AND, we all worship, something. Think of this, the last time you had a great meal at a new restaurant in town, did you keep it to yourself and think, “I hope no one else eats here?” OR, did you tell your family and friends about it. Of course, we told others–for me it was a new place called Pieology, I ate there for lunch with some friends, and then took my family back there the very same day for dinner. For a brief moment of time, I was worshiping that food–and to be honest, besides saying a blessing for the food, I unfortunately gave God no credit for the food or for creating individuals that make such great food. Take another example that will be prominent in the American life over the next several months–college football. Literally thousands and 100s of thousands will converge upon football stadiums in every state and cheer and scream and “worship” their team and coach and favorite university. Why? It’s not because they can even remotely change the outcome of a game, but because for a moment in time they are enjoying the “worship” of something besides God. Many people that are unbelievers have made this a God in their lives–often bragging about how many home games they have attended in a row, or how many generations of their family have owned season tickets to the games. Why? Because we were designed to worship–and we will always worship something–as believers, that should always be our savior, Jesus Christ.
Now we come to the reason for Family Worship: it allows us to train our kids, model for our families, and encourage those that are closest to us to be worshipping the Lord. When we are awake, when we are tired, in the mornings, in the evenings–when we feel like it, and even when we don’t feel like it (Deuteronomy 6:9). As one of those Facebook memes going around states:
A little progress each day adds up to BIG RESULTS.
So to help some of you, I made these simple ideas to get you through an entire week of Family Worship, after that–It’s Up To You:
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:11, and spend time going around the “circle” allowing each member of your family to say something encouraging to the other members.
Play or sing the song “Amazing Grace.” Read Acts 15:11 and discuss it.
Talk about fads or popular things from your childhood and explain how all of those things are different now (YouTube/Netflix replaced DVDs, Playstation replaced the Nintendo or Atari, parachute pant were thankfully replaced by any other pants). Then read Hebrews 13:8, and discuss.
Read the poem “Created” by Lisa D. Scott and discuss this in light of the verse Jeremiah 29:11.
Read the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), then spend time praying for each member of your family
Ask the question, “How did see God at work in your life today?” Give time for each family member to discuss and interact. Play or sing the song, “Good, Good Father.”
Talk about the importance of worshipping the Lord together with other believers. Read Hebrews 10:23-25. Then, go to church and worship with other believers.
IF YOU TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN THESE, then comment and share other ideas with all of us so that we may be continually experience Family Worship.