Let’s face it family worship or family devotions is crazy hard especially when children are young. I think the apparent difficulty and the fear of greater difficulty is the reason when a preacher teaches on the need to have a regular time of family worship he is met with an audience full of parents screaming amen but never actually embracing family worship in their lives. Almost every Christian parent would admit that they are supposed to be the primary spiritual leader of their children, but actually making regular time to study the Bible and worship with your children is a scary proposition. Parents leading their children through books of the Bible or joining them in singing great hymns of the faith is all but unheard of among American Christian families. We all have our reasons why we don’t do it, and most of us manage to convince ourselves if we’ve prayed with the kids before bed or helped with Awanas we’ve done our part.
I get it, I really do. Family Worship in our household is anything but ideal. There are days when we neglect it because I feel like being lazy after a long stressful day. Some days the kids just have no interest whatsoever and it feels like such a chore. If I’m honest, until this year we only did anything once a week and I tried to convince myself I was a stalwart example for that. We are not the perfect little family that is always ever so holy in our quaint little after dinner discipleship time. Daily family worship is hard, and it’s really hard some days! But, like so many things in life it is so very much worth the difficulty.
We started daily family worship after I was convicted by Jason Helopoulos’ helpful little book A Neglected Grace as well as the example of Job in the Bible. Previously we thought once a week was a lot for our kids’ age and we will do it more when they are older, though I kind of doubt that would have happened. After Danielle and I discussed the need for daily family worship we embraced it and committed not to give up when it starts out difficultly. We decided we wanted to ensure we do family worship nearly every night after dinner time.
For all our struggles in family worship and my frequent negligence in leading my family spiritually, family worship has been an incomparable blessing. We have been able to have conversations about Jesus with J that I never thought was possible with a three year old. J is learning the importance of sitting under Biblical instruction even when it is boring. J has been able to memorize more Bible verses than I think I had by seminary and she typically gets so excited about her verse songs. She probably has memorized more of our NorthStar Points (some question and answer doctrinal lessons) than I have. Both kids seem to be really learning from Bible passages children their age rarely are exposed to. T had a harder time getting used to the extra time at the dinner table, but he gets so excited to help say amen at the end. T is starting to follow along and get excited when we sing worship to God. The cutest part has been seeing J try to teach T some of the NorthStar Points. The kids are excited that their unborn sister gets to be part of family worship as well, and we are excited to know she will never know a time where family worship isn’t the norm. Lately we have been learning songs that will be used in the following worship service and the kids now get pumped when those songs come up in church. In addition we have been following our church’s family worship pray calendar and it has provided amazing opportunities to tell the kids why such and such a person is our brother or sister in Jesus.
We are still working out some kinks in how we do family worship, but our feeble attempts have yielded amazing fruit even nights when it is a chore. I look forward to the years ahead when we can have deeper discussions and maybe one of the kids brings an instrument to the table. The absolute best results of this family worship time has been the amazing Gospel conversations we get to have with the kids that I pray results in them one day fully embracing it themselves. I pray often that our children will one day have these same special family discipleship times with their future children. If you think family worship sounds hard, you are right. But even when it is a chore, it may be the single best thing you ever do as a Christian parent