I’m so thankful my husband began family worship in our home so many years ago!
The transition was hard in many ways. My proverbial gears were definitely grinding (I’ll save that for another post). Yet persevering through the change and implementing family worship as a discipline had a profound impact on our home.
I love family worship for so many reasons. Here are the top three:
1) I love family worship because it’s a simple, practical way to obey.
Christian parents are commanded to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This takes many forms throughout the whole of our lives. It’s bigger than taking our kids to church, bigger than devotions or family worship, bigger than a heart-to-heart conversation. Bigger than any element or tool on it’s own.
Yet these individual tools and moments are profoundly helpful to parents as they seek to disciple their children. In our experience, family worship is one of the most helpful and practical.
Often, when we only go with the flow and try to remember to fit in some Bible teaching, the spiritual stuff so easily falls through the cracks or is relegated to Sunday morning. Family worship provides a consistent, predictable time to take in and learn from God’s Word together.
Not only that, family worship is one of the ideal situations for kids to explicitly see and hear about their parents’ faith. One of the biggest predictors for children continuing in faith is the influence of parents whose faith is real and tangible. Again, that influence is bigger than family worship, and the zeal has to be seen in the greater context of life. However, family worship provides one stage for deeper discussions about what mom and dad believe, and why. It allows children to hear mom and dad cry out to God in prayer and be moved by truth in song and Scripture.
2) I love family worship because it gives me a consistent heart check.
My biggest problem is the sin in my own heart. No question about it.
The challenges of life expose my sin. This includes the challenges of family worship. I’m usually tired, maybe even a little grumpy.
As we sing I become aware of the tension in my neck. The inconguence between my heart and the rich words we sing. And I have the opportunity to cry out to God for help and mercy, and to thank Him for it. I’m able to shift my focus to Him. His sufficiency.
As challenges with children arise, temptations assault me and have to be beaten back and laid at the foot of the cross. As I open up to allow my husband to lead us, I wrestle with whatever unresolved irritation might be festering inside me, and I make a mental note to resolve it before our heads hit the pillow that night.
As we preach the gospel to ourselves and to each other, I’m awed again by God’s grace. On my best days, and my worst days.
This time before God alongside my family is deeply enriching for me in a way that is distinct from personal spiritual disciplines and church services. And I love it.
3) I love family worship because it (potentially) builds deep familial relationships.
Yes, there’s also potential to wreck relationships. But when approached with humility, patience, repentance, and gospel, gospel, gospel, family worship has the potential to knit together the hearts of a household.
I attribute our close relationships with our teenagers and grown children in large part to family worship. That doesn’t mean our children are all Christians – they’re not (Lord willing, just not yet!). It also doesn’t mean that they agree with my husband and I about everything – they don’t.
But through family worship we have developed communication skills that allow us to have civil discourse that overcomes differences. We’ve been able to be deeply transparent about our spiritual thoughts and feelings, and demonstrate our love for one another where we are each at. We’ve been able to discuss topics we likely would have never brought up otherwise.
These skills and bonds have supported our familial relationships through some really, really hard stuff.
This is a treasure.