Lately, I’ve been feeling a persistent urge to have Family Worship Time with my small children. We do preschool homeschool but there is a nagging feeling that there is something lacking in their complete home education. I have come to believe that we are lacking a Family Worship Time.
So what is Family Worship Time? Do we as parents have to go to seminary or begin our own house church? Absolutely not. I guarantee you that you’re already doing most of these things daily.
Family Worship Time is simply a time of the day or week that you set aside for God. Much like a church, there is scripture, teaching, singing, lessons, and really anything that you feel you need to include. It can be one complete session or broken up over the course of the week. As long as you are giving God reverence during the time and are being led by Holy Spirit, anything is possible.
The Bible and many generations before us have supported and practiced Family Worship Time. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 writes plainly that the LORD wants us to teach our children what He has written in our heart. In context, He is referring to the law but I ask myself this question whenever I am dealing with the Old Testament commandments: does God ever change? Jesus said that He came to fulfill the law, not to abolish it (see Matthew 5:17). So in my humble opinion, the Old Testament commandments, although completed in Christ, do show us the character of God. Whatever He has taught us or brought us through, God wants us to teach our children.
And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7, ASV
Generations before us did just that, too. They gathered the family together and listened to the Bible being read and regaled songs and hymns. They learned to revere God and worship Him as a cohesive family. These days toddlers have tablets and parents check Facebook as often as the baby’s diaper. We are slowly losing our families to the encroaching technology tide, not to mention the plethora of other fronts the family is being attacked. It is up to us to reclaim our families and I believe Family Worship Time is a tool that can help us move in that direction.
I believe that setting time aside for Family Worship would cause a chain reaction of good in our churches, communities, and the world. Instead of Christians worrying about raising their children in such a toxic world filled with uncertainty, it would put us on the offense. We would proactively be affecting change in the world, starting with our world – our family. Zechariah 4:10 says, “For who has despised the day of small things?…” Do not think that because you are ministering to just your family, you cannot ignite a flame for Jesus that catches the world on fire.
Another benefit of starting a Family Worship Time is that we will see our homes more blessed by God. We will naturally start walking out our callings and gifts with our families, such as mom singing, dad teaching, and a daughter playing “Amazing Grace” on her flute, or any other combination. We will start seeing our family fall into order when we put God at the head. We will start to see more joy and peace. When we pause for a short time of worship and instruction, we will start seeing more of the abundant life Jesus spoke about.
So now you’re probably thinking, “Alright, I’m sold. How do I do Family Worship Time?” The answer is, I don’t know.
Only you can know what is right for your family. This article could find you in the middle of Africa with your family of teenage missionaries. It could find you in the beginning of your walk with Christ or in the process of reaching out to a wayward spouse. You could be called into pastoral ministry with young children in tow. You could be a grandparent concerned for the future of your grandbabies. No matter where this article finds you, you should start by asking God what is best for your family. He is certain to honor a prayer of sincere heart and commitment.
For myself, I am at the beginning of my journey with my family. To the outside world, we are a large, struggling family with very young children. To God, we are blessed and filled with hope. Every trouble is working an amazing supernatural glory into our lives and the lives of our children. Every challenge is another way for God to show off His Sovereign Providence and Grace over us. It is prayerfully correct for us to start setting time aside once a week for Family Worship Time.
What should we do in worship time with our families? What options do we have? How do we adapt our worship time for different situations? I will answer these questions and more in the next part of this article.