One of the most important activities in the Christian home is family worship, a time set aside to talk to and about God together. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most neglected. Christian families know they should be worshiping together regularly. The Bible makes that clear. And parents hear messages on the subject at church. They also read books that encourage them to develop the habit of daily family worship. But there is a lot of frustration associated with this activity because families have a hard time making it meaningful. Why? For some families it’s a matter of time. They either don’t have time, or they can’t arrange a time that’s convenient for everyone. If families are too busy to worship together, they may be too busy! Other families plead ignorance. They just don’t know how to do it. Then there are those families who have no concept of the importance of family worship. Other things are more important.
I’ve heard parents say, “We’ve tried, but the kids don’t get anything out of it.” They underestimate the ability of their children to enter into worship. Other parents express fear that they will turn their kids off with too much emphasis on spiritual things. But they don’t seem to worry as much about “turning them off” to sports, video games or hobbies.
To incorporate worship into a busy family life requires three things: devotion, discipline and determination. The more devoted your family is to the Lord, the greater will be your commitment to worship Him. You will also need discipline. Many families just don’t have the discipline to be serious about family worship. Discipline means saying no to less important things while making family worship time a priority. Then there must be determination to continue in spite of setbacks. It helps to identify a convenient time and a quiet place for your family to worship. Distractions can be disastrous.
It’s easy to get discouraged and feel it’s not working. That’s exactly what Satan wants you to think. He knows the importance of family worship and will do anything to stop it. If you are faithful in your devotion, discipline and determination, God will bless you and you will reap the fruit of faithfulness.
You may be thinking, “We really need to have family worship, but how do we go about it?” Consider the elements of congregational worship, and employ them. Start with God’s Word. Worshiping God in His Word helps family members learn how to do things God’s way (Ps. 119:105). God will speak to your family from His Word if you keep it simple and practical.
Prayer, especially praise and thanksgiving, is another essential to a group worship experience. Keep a family journal to record any family requests, and then note when and how God answered. This will lead to praise and thanksgiving, and will highlight the power of prayer for your family.
Singing can also be a very meaningful way to worship God together. But be sure to use songs that the children can relate to, maybe those from their Sunday school classes. Parents should encourage the whole family to sing.
God commended Abraham with these words: “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him” (Gen. 18:19). God is pleased when we are faithful to give our children spiritual training.
Too many Christian parents are committing to the church and/or the Christian school what God has commanded them to do: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). Family worship can be one of the most meaningful and effective ways of developing a heart for God in your children. The secret to getting started? Do it!
By Jack Palmer
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org