As of late, my family and I have begun to do Family Worship time at least five nights a week(we do not do it on Wednesdays and Sundays, as we attend church on both of those evenings). However, something happened this past Sunday night that really made my day. You see, my children were sick. One of them made it to Church Sunday morning, but, that night, neither of them made it. So, a short while after I returned home from the evening service, my oldest daughter began asking when we were going to have Family Worship because we didn’t go to church. It was a nice surprise, realizing that we should have it because we didn’t go to church as a family that evening. Jonathan Edwards is quoted from one of his sermons as saying:
“Every Christian family ought to be as it were a little church,…”
(The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. I, p. ccvi.)
And this is how it should be. And this is how I am going to try to lead my family, as if we were a little church. We are commanded in Deuteronomy 6:
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 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. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6–9, ESV)
So, we need to teach our children these things, and talk about them a lot. All the time, really, because what is more important to a parent than the eternal salvation of his or her child? Our only priority is our relationship with God and doing everything to honor and glorify Him. And out of that, we teach and raise our children in the ways of the Lord. And, there are many other things that we do out of that, such as evangelize and tithe and serve, but, for here, we are talking of teaching the family about God.
Now our family time doesn’t consist of anything special, we don’t really even follow a plan or a book, as many suggest. We spend time in prayer, followed by singing two hymns. We sing the same two hymns for a week at a time so that our children will become somewhat familiar with them for when they begin to come to regular services with us. After hymns, we sing a couple children’s songs, like “The B I B L E” and “Deep and Wide”. It helps keep the kids more attentive by burning off a little of that excess energy they have. And, we finish it by reading from God’s word. We began by reading Psalms, but, we have since switched to reading the Gospel of John, one pericope at a time, with brief explanations of what they are talking about. And, we’ll ask our oldest what we just said. She can’t/doesn’t grasp everything that is in Scripture, as she is very young, I still like to know that she’s paying attention. For example, in the beginning of John 3, we asked her, after I was done reading the passage, “Who was Jesus talking to?” And, she said “Nicodemus.” And, if she’s not paying attention, I usually will start reading the passage over. I can only image that as she begins to learn to read better, she will start doing some of the readings, as well, to help her get used to reading from the Bible.
Now, I am not endorsing any specific way to do family worship, as long as it gets done in a way that glorifies God and edifies your family, the little church. Needless to say, my favorite time of my days are in the evenings, around 7:30pm, when we gather in our living room to pray and sing praises to God and read His Word, as a family. It is relaxing, comforting, and purely joyous. I thank you God for all that you have done!
Soi Deo Gloria!