The Gospel

Friday, July 3, 2009

Family Worship (an excerpt from p54-55)

The practice of family worship is a means, not an end. It is a means to the end of knowing God. The name of the game is not daily family worship per se; it is knowing God. The end is knowing God. A means to employ in reaching that end is family worship.

You need family worship that connects with your children and their lives. You must be creative and flexible in assuring that your family worship serves the shepherding and nurturing tasks we have outlined above.

Reading the Proverbs daily is of great benefit to children (and to adults). Our daily practice was to read one-third of a chapter of Proverbs before school each day. This was a rich source of wisdom and encouragement for our children. We have seen them learn and then later internalize the principles in this practical section of the Word of God. The Proverbs serve as an owner's manual for life. Proverbs confronts a child with every aspect of true spirituality.

When our children were little, we would read Old Testament passages and act them out. I have been Goliath (with the help of a chair). We have children in caves (under the table) with David as he ran from Saul. Reading some of the Psalms of persecution in that setting made them come alive for our children. One day, we packed our things and set out on foot, talking about Abraham who left Ur not knowing where he would go, only knowing God would go with him. We tried to imagine walking away from our home knowing we would never come back again. We tried to imagine not knowing where we would go.

Why do all this? For this simple reason: to make the Bible truth live for our children. Always remember that the goal of family worship is knowing God. When you lose sight of that goal, family, worship becomes an empty ritual. You need only read Isaiah 1 to see how God feels about empty ritual.

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