Three important lessons I have learned about Family Worship

Family Worship: 3 Important Lessons I Have Learned

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This post is part of the series Family Worship

Other posts in this series:

  1. Family Worship: 3 Important Lessons I Have Learned (Current)
  2. 7 tips for family worship with babies and toddlers

Family worship is important.

But, for some of us, implementing family worship on a weekly or daily basis can seem an impossible task. I have had lofty dreams and many good intentions since our oldest was born a few years ago, but it almost never actually happens.

The challenge

With two active toddlers, both under the age of three, and a third on its way, we often feel fortunate if we manage to get any laundry or house cleaning done after everyone has been fed, bathed, and dressed. There are some evenings recently that I have been so exhausted after a long day that I have literally passed out on the couch after dinner while our boys played.

So first, I would like to speak directly to the struggling mom or dad who feels like a failure for having great plans that never seem to come to fruition: you are not a failure. You may be going through a challenging season of life right now, and like all seasons, it will pass. Give yourself a measure of grace.

However, let us be brutally honest with ourselves for a moment: if something is simply not working — not matter how hard we try — then a change is necessary. It might be a very simple change is all that is needed to get us on the right track, but we will never know if we don’t try.

Needing to change

This year, despite being pregnant and still working full-time outside the home, I felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to accept the position of Sabbath School teacher for our local church’s Cradleroll class each week (which is specifically for newborn to age three). There are some Sabbath mornings I wonder what in the world I was thinking!

Being a Sabbath School teacher of any age is a great responsibility and privilege. It is even more crucial to be prepared when teaching the children, because — for good or for evil — you are helping to mold their characters and influence their decisions. As teachers, we need to humbly present our hearts and intentions to the Lord for guidance and consecration.

In Matthew 18:5-6, Jesus Himself warns:

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

If this is true for teachers who may interact with children for an hour once a week, how much more so does this truth apply to parents?

In the four months since I began teaching the class, I have discovered some very important truths about myself, made some discoveries about my own children, and learned three important lessons.

1. Worship is essential

Many of us will agree that family worship is an important part of a Christian home and raising young men and women to have a strong foundation that will ground them as they mature and grow into adulthood.

Yet we often — and I am guilty of this — allow life circumstances dictate if we have “enough time” for prayer and bible study.

Instead of scheduling in this most precious time with our Lord and our children as the top priority of our day, we allow the busyness of our lives to push it down to the bottom of the pile. If we manage to get to it, we feel like we have accomplished a great feat.

If we don’t get to it, we may feel guilty at first but as more and more time passes without family worship, it becomes our normal and we no longer even realize what valuable blessings we are missing. What blessings and lessons we are depriving our children of.

In the book Child Guidance, Ellen White solemnly wrote:

“Family worship should not be governed by circumstances. You are not to pray occasionally and, when you have a large day’s work to do, neglect it. In thus doing you lead your children to look upon prayer as of no special consequence.” {520.2}

She continued:

“Fathers and mothers, however pressing your business, do not fail to gather your family around God’s altar. Ask for the guardianship of holy angels in your home. Remember that your dear ones are exposed to temptations.” {520.3}

Ouch. That stings, but sometimes we need a dose of bitter medicine to heal the complacency we have allowed to creep into our lives.

2. Worship is a daily practice

The Lord knows us and our flawed tendencies far better than we fully understand ourselves. In Deuteronomy 6, He gave guidance to His people to help us understand how important it is to spend time with Him and also teaching our children about Him every single day.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (verses 6-7)

White explains it this way:

“Children require daily spiritual attention. For one thing, their lives are changing too rapidly for mere once-a-week guidance. Each day foundation elements of character are being formed.” (Peter’s Counsel to Parents, page 50)

3. Worship is a blessing

As I briefly mentioned above, the time spent in worship of our Lord is a special blessing to all who participate. It unifies the family under the authority of Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and strengthens familial bonds through quality time.

Worship also helps to encourage peace and happiness in the home, because even with life becomes hectic and stressful, we have a refuge we can retreat to every day.

Parenting is hard and filled with many challenges, and family worship aids in teaching Biblical knowledge, encouraging personal study and prayer, and developing godly characters. It also prepares our children for participation in corporate worship at our local churches and, as our children grow, can be used to ignite the passion for community service and mission.

Most importantly, though, worship is not really about us at all. It is about glorifying our Heavenly Father. Psalm 95:6-7 remind us:

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”

Family worship is essential, a daily practice, and a blessing. Don't let the busyness of life get in the way. Click To Tweet

Next time, we’ll take a closer look at how to hold family worship when you have a baby or toddlers.

What does your family worship time look like?
Share in the comments below!

Photo by Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash.

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