Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Family Worship

Proverbs 22:6
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

The whole idea of family worship was new to our family a few years ago. We certainly had an understanding of personal devotions, but family worship time was something entirely new to us.
Once we got started, it has been a great time together as a family. We have done many different things with our kids, and it's never really the same twice in our house.

First, I want to stress that it should be simple, at the level of understanding of your children. Our kids may wiggle and snuggle, so long as they are respectful and listening. For one summer, we made up silly ways to remember the ten commandments. Another time, we read one or two proverbs and asked the kids questions. Currently, Jason is reading a book that tells Bible stories in about a page of narrative. Then the kids have an opportunity to share. Some nights, it's simply picking a favorite song each and praying for family and what we are thankful for that day.

The trouble I see people facing in getting started with family worship is they try and make it too complicated or they feel intimidated leading spiritually. We must understand it to be a spiritual battle to bring such practices into our homes. Also, there is grace for the busy times in our lives that make such practices difficult. To me, it is creating a platform for your kids to ask YOU questions about their faith. A practice to start young and continue throughout their lives.

I have to admit, I have noticed some pride where the issue of family worship is concerned. Just because a family accomplishes family worship everyday, does not mean they are doing the training mentioned in Proverbs. If a 6am meeting is assembled daily where everyone hears scripture, does not always mean the training is happening throughout the day. On spiritual matters, I think we must remain very humble. We must be ready throughout the day to train our children spiritually at play, at rest, and when shepherding their hearts. We must not look at our worship with our families as a check list we must fulfill in order to create faithful children.

I also know several women who feel that they shouldn't be the ones to lead here, and they are waiting for their husbands to step up and do this for their families. In that case, I would suggest praying first for an opportunity to share your heart with your husband. Then, if you know a family who regularly does family worship, perhaps, together with your husband, invite them to you house to show you what they do with their family. Ask them to show you the basics. If it is a family that has an elaborate family worship it could make the process intimidating. I hope this is an area your pastor can give you direction in for your family.

Lastly, just get started. There is no right or wrong way to do this. If you eat breakfast together, read and discuss a verse there. Keep is simple. Remember, the Holy Spirit will encourage you. I would be glad to share the titles and verses we have used.

On another subject.... I said I would post pictures. I can't figure the thing out. Yesterday I tried to post several pictures to no avail. Sorry, you don't get to see my messy before pics. I'll keep trying. I have a bride getting ready here this weekend, so I better get cracking. No pool time for me today.

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A place to find encouragement to love your little ones, your husbands and those you come in contact with daily. Two does not have to be terrible. These are years to grow not simply get through!