I recently received an email from a young man that thanked Men of Iron for our recent blog post Family Worship – It’s In You.
He stated, “It encouraged me, as God has been pressing that on my heart, even before you wrote it. I know for me, l responded to the initial conviction about being the priest of my home, but then I stopped and said, “Now what?” HOW do I lead? Do we do full-blown Bible study? What are realistic expectations with little kids? How long? When?”
His email inspired me to continue writing on this topic. Check out Family Worship – Part II where I share some practical advice on this topic. I discuss things like leading your family to church and leading your family in prayer.
I want to continue discussing some practical things you can apply to this area of your journey to spiritual leadership.
Family Worship – Tip #3 – Lead Your Family in Praise
This is one that probably intimidates most men. Let me start out by sharing that I have an awful voice. Additionally, I can’t play an instrument to save my life. God did not bless me with musical talent, but it has not stopped me from leading my family in praise.
Leading your family in praise may sound like an intimidating feat, especially if you can’t sing well or play an instrument. However, don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. You may think you need to circle your family up, put worship music on and sing as a family. While this is certainly one way to do it, it’s not the only way.
I chose to lead my family in praise this morning with a very simple act. I was upstairs getting ready for work. My wife was downstairs preparing breakfast. I could hear my 2-year old daughter fussing, so I went downstairs, grabbed her and brought her upstairs with me while I finished getting ready for work. I pulled up a few worship songs on the YouTube app on my iPhone and sang along while I finished getting ready. My daughter loved it. She watched the video, bobbed her head and danced.
Here are some other simple ways to lead your family in praise:
- Choose to play worship music in the car instead of other genres
- Choose to play worship music in your home while the kids are getting ready for school or while you are preparing dinner
- Sing worship songs to your kids before bedtime
- Watch a few worship videos to play before family meetings
Family Worship – Tip #4 – Lead Your Family in Reading
Men of Iron’s founder, Bryan Zeamer, has been meeting with his three sons at 6:00 am each morning to read a chapter in Proverbs. He established this discipline as a requirement when they first started, however, it’s now optional for the boys. If they want to get up and be part of the reading, then they know where they need to be at 6:00 am. They follow up the reading with a discussion on that particular chapter. This is a phenomenal habit and discipline to instill into our families!
Being the father of a 2-year old, my approach is much different. My wife and I read to our daughter before her nap and before bedtime. We have done this ever since she was a newborn. We are now reading children’s books with Bible stories and use YouVersion’s The Bible App for Kids to our advantage.
Whatever phase of life you’re in, there is no excuse not to circle your family up with the intent to read and discuss God’s Word.
Family Worship – Tip #5 – Lead Your Family in Memorizing Scripture
I recently met with a man who leads a family meeting each month with his wife and kids. Their family meetings consist of 1-2 worship songs, a Bible story/lesson and a Bible verse to memorize each month. This family’s meetings start out with each of his children reciting the verse they were assigned to memorize. He and his wife use that particular scripture to set a theme each month.
For example, the family’s memory verse last month was 2 Corinthians 9:7 – “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” In order to set this as the theme for the month, he and his wife decided to give each child an allowance and focused their teaching on generosity, tithing, giving to those in need, etc. Each child was challenged to give 10% of their allowance to the church. Additionally, they were challenged to give to someone in need and to be generous with their time, talent and treasure. All of this is happening because of challenging his family to memorize scripture!
Family Worship – Summary
Let’s not rely too heavily on the church to provide a worship experience for our families. Let’s not allow the last bit of worship we do for the week to start and end on Sunday mornings.
Donald S. Whitney says it perfectly at the end of his introduction in Family Worship…
“Having your family in a Christ-exalting, gospel-centered, Bible-teaching local church is crucial to Christian parenting. But it is not enough for conveying to your family all you want to teach them about God and your beliefs. Moreover, it is unlikely that exposure to the church once or twice a week will impress your children enough with the greatness and glory of God that they will want to pursue him once they leave your home.
This is why family worship is so important. But even more importantly, God deserves to be worshiped daily in our homes by our families.”
Men – let’s model worship and prayer for our families. Let’s lead and guide them in a spiritual journey. Our children are watching. They will imitate our every move. They will follow us into the unknown. They desperately desire your leadership and strength. It’s in you. Find it. Accept it. Embrace it.
Garret Barbush, Executive Director