As a Christian there is no more important task than the pursuit of God. God is preeminent in all things and knowing him is the greatest joy that we can experience. As individuals & families it is important that we are committed to the practical disciplines that will help us to know God more intimately & center our lives around him. One of the more helpful spiritual disciplines that you can develop to make God the center of your household is Family Worship. Some call it devotions or quiet time, but it doesn’t really matter what you call it. The point is that if you want to make God the highest pursuit of your family’s life then you must spend time as a family pursuing God. If you want to see your family make the bible, prayer, and church a priority then you have to show them that daily worship is a priority.
Just like any other good discipline, Family Worship can become a idol that produces more pride and guilt than fruit. We have all felt the guilt associate with consistent inconsistency in this regard, and we’ve all seen the pride that sees family worship as a legalistic badge of Christian maturity. These are dangers that every Christian family needs guard against. However, the dangers don’t outweigh the importance of making Family Worship a priority. These dangers only remind us that Family Worship isn’t a task to accomplish; it is a way to relationally pursue God as a family. Don’t do Family Worship out of obligation. Practice Family Worship because you want your family experience the joy of knowing God. This liberating perspective frees us from the temptation toward legalism and it allows us to tailor our practice of Family Worship to meet the needs of our family. There is total freedom in the timing, the frequency, the duration, and the details family worship. The responsibility is to introduce our families to God by 1) teaching the bible; 2) reading the bible; 3) singing biblical truths; & 4) praying biblical prayers. The details of how each family will accomplish these goals are totally unique. The end goal, however, is shared: Lead our families in the pursuit of God through regular spiritual disciplines.
Don’t look at each day as a checklist to be accomplished or a source of guilt when missed. Rather, look at it as a way to help lead your family toward God. If you give up the habit completely it is dangerous, but if you miss a day or two that is okay. In the words of Jonathan Edwards, as Christians we should live our lives pressing into the kingdom of God.
NOTE: Our church uses a booklet (HERE) that is designed to help families of all shapes and sizes accomplish this goal, while at the same time have the freedom to do so in a way that is tailored to their providential position in life (young kids; senior citizens; singles, etc.).