I want to introduce you to a practice that has changed my life and my family’s life. This spiritual discipline has changed our lives because it has helped us read more Bible, thereby understanding and living out more Bible. It has also helped us to love God and people more. It’s called family worship (or family devotions); let me tell you about more about it.
What is Family Worship?
The idea of family worship was first introduced to me by Joel Beeke’s sermons on the subject. It is a family spiritual discipline where God is worshiped daily in the home setting through song, Bible reading, and prayer.
Why I do Family Worship
I resolve to do family worship because, most importantly, it is a way to obediently apply two verses found in Ephesians. As the husband, who is the head of the household, I am responsible to God to lead my family in the ways he has prescribed. This means that I am to love my wife as Christ loved the Church, by “cleansing her by the washing of water with the word” (Ephesians 5:27), and raise my children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). I obey these commands daily (at least try to) by leading my family to worship God. Family worship is not the only way to obey these commands, but I cannot think of a better way to intentionally build this pursuit into daily life.
Another reason I do family worship is because it brings our family together. It teaches and reminds us that worshiping God is a daily calling, not just a Sunday appointment. It promotes exploring the Bible and applying God’s truths to real life, with all its joys and miseries, together. It also provides opportunities to open up about our sins, fears, or unbeliefs. We can laugh, cry, sing, pray, and learn together. Who wouldn’t want these things for a family? I can foresee this benefiting all of us in ways I can’t even imagine right now.
How I do Family Worship
I started leading family worship the day after my wedding. My wife and I were used to studying the bible together, however, the daily commitment was awkward to drill into habit. Furthermore, I did not take the time at first to explain the importance of family worship for ourselves and our future kids to my wife, so she was not fully on board at the beginning. Now, we have a good rhythm going. By God’s grace, we have steadfastly worshiped God (mostly) everyday since our wedding. It is good to start before kids, so that when they come, the habit is already set and they can be easily incorporated.
- I conduct family worship by starting with singing two songs. These songs are either hymns or Christian children’s songs.
- Then I read scripture. The length varies based on book. I do strongly recommend reading through the whole book leading to eventually the whole Bible. I explain the meaning and have a short discussion with Eunice (though Rosie regularly gives her input of growls, whines, and shrieks).
- Lastly, my wife and I close with prayer. We respond to the passage in worship, pray for one another, and petition for others. The whole ordeal runs about 15-25 minutes for us.
Some Resources To Help You Start
So there you go, family worship in a nutshell. Doing family worship has been such a blessing for my family and I. We have grown immensely and have already covered much ground in reading through the Bible together.
Here are some resources that might help you start worshiping God with your family:
- Join this 5 day mini-course on Family Worship by Crossway
- More Joel Beeke’s lectures and sermons on Family Worship.
- Any study Bible, like the MacArthur Study Bible, will help you understand and explain the Bible to your family.
I encourage you to think about the benefits family worship could have on your family. Could this practice be what God is calling you to take up to serve your family? Let us know your thoughts below!