How does a parent build a strong Christian family? The church should instruct families how to begin and grow a Godly heritage in each family, but we cannot expect our church to build it for us. It must be done at home. We cannot expect our schools or a sports coach to build a Godly heritage in our sons and daughters. If we leave it to them, or worse yet–their friends, what will be the result?
Building a strong Christian family can only be done in a daily, biblical ritual of family worship.
— 2 Timothy 3:15
Biblically, the link between family and worship is inseparable. Family worship is the most powerful tool given to man to represent Christ. It is how the covenant relationship with God was designed to be passed down. It is the most effective model man can use. It has been proven that once a child turns thirteen, the odds of conversion are very low. Our job as parents is to bring up a child in the way he should go. This, the Bible says, makes them wise unto salvation.
— Deuteronomy 11:18-19
We are instructed to teach our children morning, noon, and night laying up in their hearts the Word of God. There are many fires (Isaiah 24:15), trials and tribulations, that our children will pass through. I fear we as parents are making them walk through many fires by our own lack of commitment to true family worship. How will our children learn to avoid or walk through these fires without being daily instructed in how to do it?
— Joshua 24:15
Joshua made it clear to all that he and his entire house would serve the Lord. Many parents, I fear, have already given their children over to the Devil by failing to ensure their whole house serves God. The internet, TV, cell phones, gaming, and extra-curricular activities dominate our children’s lives. We teach them to commit to sports teams, school activities, and even a job, but we fail to teach them how to commit to worshipping God.
The Puritans thought family worship to be so important that if it was found a father was forsaking it, the elders gave him a warning. If that father continued to forsake daily family worship, he was banished from communion with the body.
Joel R. Beeke, in his book, Family Worship, gives some guidelines for how to start a family worship time. His book is available for less than three dollars on Amazon. It is only about 60 pages long. Here are a few ideas for building a family worship time:
- Daily instruction in the Word: Read Scripture and provide explanations of the text. Allow questions, comments, and make it as interactive as possible.
- Pray together: Lead the family in prayer allowing each member to pray in their own way. Leonard Ravenhill said, “A man is only as good as his prayer life.” A church and a family are only as good as their joint prayer together.
- Sing hymns of praise together: When God is glorified through study, in prayer, and with a loud voice, the family is edified. Hymns carry much wisdom in their words. Explaining their meaning will become a part of family worship children will remember the most.
Make this family worship time brief in the beginning, and let God grow it. I remember times with my son when it led to all night discussions and a joint search for God’s truths and goodness. Pastors should be instructing families to do this and encouraging it, but many don’t. If we don’t grow our kids, someone else will!
Who is teaching your child to worship the Lord?
We are making our children pass through so many fires
Teaching them our religion is up for them to hire
Giving them over to so many evil things
Making it impossible to God for them to cling
We build our fires here and we build them over there
In our godless faith…in the faith we cause them to err
We profess to know Christ…but go whoring after another
Having no fellowship with God…our children seek only pleasure
We who are teaching them were much better taught
Raised in the knowledge our lives were blood bought
Why are we shocked when the love they seek is strange
When they can’t deal with life and their thoughts seem deranged
Why are we amazed when our children begin to kill
When they lust after life instead of after God’s perfect will
Why do we ask ourselves why…when we all know the truth
We built the many fires they passed through in their youth