Someone once said the family who prays together stays together. When a family is truly devoted to God there's no room for fights and rivalries. For Christ to be the focus of a Christian household, that household must dedicate specific time to Him. A baseball player who never plays baseball isn't really a baseball player; is a household really Christian if it never takes time to pray or worship as a family?
Paul told fathers to bring up their children "in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Eph. 3:4). A family that worships together at home will be much nearer this goal than the family that neglects its spiritual life during the week. We all know how much easier it is to "be good" early in the week with church still fresh in our minds; family worship reminds us throughout the week.
Certain aspects of corporate church worship can't be reproduced anywhere else. The Lord's Supper, for instance, is to be eaten by the whole congregation while assembled together for worship. The very act of congregational worshipis commanded in Scripture (Heb. 10:25), and not even family worship is a suitable substitute. But that doesn't mean families shouldn't worship together, only that there is a certain kind of worship in church on Sunday, and another kind in the home at the end (or beginning) of the day.
A child's instruction takes place primarily in the home. He watches his parents and copies them, he absorbs rather than directly learns about the way his family lives. If he never sees the family drawn together in worship he will assume it is of little or no importance. Our children are the future of the Church. We need to show them how the Church behaves, not just on Sunday, but also at home.
Jesus said the kingdom of heaven was made up of little children (Matt. 19:14). We want to ensure those who are faithful as children remain so as adults, and in turn spread faithfulness to their children. Family worship at home is one of the best ways to ensure this. Humans learn behavior largely through repetition. If our children are accustomed to family worship at home, they will most likely continue the practice away from home.
The end of family worship is not simply to promote Bible knowledge or to enjoy each other's company (though those are both good things). It's purpose is to encourage us all to continued godliness and to strengthen our bond of faith. Joshua dedicated his entire household to God (Josh. 24:15). We pray that our families are consistently reminded of their commitment to Christ through family worship.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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