Throughout the Bible, God instructs us to be faithful and godly spouses, parents, and children. As we aim to emulate Christ in our personal lives, we also work to emulate Him in and through our families. Parents instill godly, Christian values and teachings in their children, with the hope that they one day grow up to be faithful followers of God. What does this look like in practice? “Go to church each Sunday,” and “read your Bible and pray” are things we teach because they are vital for spiritual growth and commanded by God. But there is another practice that I believe holds extreme importance to Christian families.
Church, I ask you this question: When was the last time you gathered as a family to worship God? Not by coming into a service on Sunday or Wednesday, but when was the last time you sat down in your own living room, prayed and read Scripture? Family worship (or family devotion) is such a beautiful thing to practice in your home. This is a time to intimately gather, read Scripture, and open up your hearts to your children. Sons and daughters are able to hear their mom and dad teach and read Scripture, and it creates a space where they may open up to you about their struggles.
During quarantine, I was living with my mentor and his family. Each and every night, at 6:30 in the evening, he, his wife, and his four children would gather in the living room for family worship. They would read a chapter of the Bible, and Dan (my mentor) would ask each of his young children, “what did you hear in this chapter?” and, “what did you think while reading this?” The responses I would hear from his children who were 6, 9, 11, and 15 were incredible. They would then conclude by praying for something designated for each day, (Monday=family, Tuesday=church, Wednesday=missionaries, etc…) and then go about the rest of their evening.
This was something that, once it began, was not easy to get the children excited about. But, over the weeks, it grew to become the highlight of their entire day. This family grew immensely close to God and to each other as they gathered to worship. These kids opened up and asked serious questions about God and their faith. Temptations and struggles were talked about, and God’s Word was able to pierce each and every member’s heart. Examine your household, and find what works best for your family. There are amazing devotionals and resources out there that are aimed at family worship. Make this time personal and unique to your family. Some of the best faith based conversations will come out of times like this.
Parents, the responsibility is on you to raise up and train your children in godly ways. The church plays a part in that, but at the end of the day, you are responsible to teach, raise up, and lead your children in worshipping God. So again I ask this question to you: when was the last time your children heard mom or dad read the Bible out loud and pray? I strongly challenge and encourage you to find what works best for your family, and begin to incorporate family worship into your daily lives. I was privileged to observe family worship for a long period of time, and I can tell you that it is one of the most precious, godly things I have witnessed, and it is something that I look forward to one day bringing into my household.