Family Worship – Part ll

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?”

I will admit there is no cookie-cutter answer for all men, however, I felt convicted to to address this issue. I will throw out suggestions from my own experience in this blog, as well as share ideas from other men I know in another blog. One of my prayers is that you would find what works for you and the season your family is in. My other prayer is that you would share your own practices and experiences by sending a description of what you do and a photo of your family to info@menofiron.org. We will share these on Men of Iron’s Facebook page.

Family Worship – Tip #1 – Lead Your Family to Church

One of the most important things you can do when leading your family in worship is to consistently get them to church. This provides an opportunity for you, your wife and children to be poured into. As a husband, father and ministry leader, I find myself constantly pouring into others. In order to pour into others effectively I need to make sure I am being poured into, as well. Finding a good, Bible believing church is crucial to the spiritual development of your family. It builds a solid foundation for you to lead your family in worship in your home. It creates an opportunity for each member of your family to find spiritual mentors. It creates an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit can use other people to speak into you, your wife and your children.  

There’s more to just finding a church. We have to actually make attending and serving the church as a family a top priority.  

No excuses.

There are a lot of distractions in our culture. As the leaders of our homes, we need to assure sports, clubs and activities don’t take a precedence over leading our families to church. While these things are all good for the development of our children, nothing is more important than making sure they are establishing healthy relationships while developing spiritually in kids ministry, youth groups, etc.

Family Worship – Tip #2 – Lead Your Family in Prayer

Start the Day With Prayer

One of the greatest memories I have from growing up is my mom praying over me and my siblings before we left for school. My dad was typically out of the house and on his way to work by 5:30 am so mom took on the leadership of praying over her children before we started our day. The prayer was simple. It involved gratitude, thanking God for His provision, grace & favor. She would pray for protection over each of us. She would pray for each of us to make a difference in our schools. This had a profound impact on me. I remember it vividly.

It’s now something I do before I leave for work each morning.  I grab my wife and 2 year-old daughter, wrap my arms around them and pray over them. The attention span of my daughter is fairly non-existent so my prayers are simple & short. I desire to instill an attitude of gratitude in my family, which is why I spend time thanking God for his provision and favor. I also pray protection over my wife and daughter while I’m gone, and I  will spend time praying for the health and development of our baby that is due in a few months. These prayers have been so consistent and regular that my daughter now yells, “AMEN!” at the end.

End the Day With Prayer

I also take time to pray with my daughter before I put her to bed each night. She’s usually winding down at this point and willing to lay in my arms. This is when I pray more specifically and intentionally. I pray out loud so she can hear. I take time to thank God for everything he blesses us with — a home, cars, meals, etc. I pray for her future spouse, that he would be a young man who loves God with passion, treats Kendall like a princess and inspires me to be a better man of God. I pray for our family — grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. I pray that Kendall would be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading as she grows older. I also pray for God to instill a supernatural wisdom upon her. Finally, I end by asking Kendall if she wants to say anything to Jesus.  She typically whispers a few things and then yells, “AMEN!” She’s become accustomed to it and looks forward to saying her own prayers.

Pray Randomly, Fervently, & Intentionally

I remember waking up several times as a kid in the middle of the night to my mom kneeling at my bedside. I specifically remember one particular moment when I was in high school. I never understood why she would pray by my bedside in the middle of the night. Now that I am a father, I get it!

There have been moments when I wake up in the middle of the night to feel the Holy Spirit leading me to pray over Eden or Kendall. The easy thing is to ignore this leading and go back to bed, however, I am learning to pray at random moments and to pray fervently and intentionally. This was modeled to me, and I believe it was instilled in me.

Don’t be afraid to do things that may seem awkward.  Your children may not understand at a young age but when we model things consistently and regularly, it becomes something they learn to expect as they grow older. Additionally, we instill future habits into our children when we model things consistently and regularly. We’re not just impacting our children but our future grandchildren and generations to come. Family worship…it’s in you…you can do it.

In Part III of this blog, I will discuss leading your family in praise, reading, and scripture memorization.

Garret Barbush, Executive Director

The Struggle of Mindset

Read Colossians 3:1-14

1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality,impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Setting my heart and mind on things above does not come naturally.  Instead, what comes naturally is setting my heart and mind on immediate happiness, contentment, and pleasure…for me.  I sit here this morning feeling convicted, and I’m reminded of how grateful I am for God’s forgiveness and grace.

No matter how busy I am or how much is on my plate, I will often go out of my way to play golf, ride bike, or pursue other things I like to do — simply because it’s what I like to do.  I go out of my way to do these things because it is convenient and comfortable to serve myself and chase after things that bring me satisfaction.

However, as I sit here this morning, I reflect on my past year.  It’s been a good year with a lot of blessings.  Honestly, I have nothing to complain about.  My life has been good.  Yet, I realize there have been too many situations where I have found myself feeling irritable, depleted, and tired.  There have been things with Men of Iron that haven’t evolved the way I anticipated, my wife and I are still trying to find a groove in our marriage since having a child, and my faith has been inconsistent.

I sit here this morning curious to know what my soul may feel like if I had been more intentional about setting my heart and mind on things above.  Setting my heart and mind on things above doesn’t necessarily mean I read my Bible more, memorize more scripture, and pray more.  Sure, that’s part of it.  It’s more than that, though.  IT’S ABOUT A MINDSET!  It’s about a mentality.  It’s about an approach to life.

Setting my heart and mind on things above is truly communing with God, where I not only sit and talk to Him, but I find a way to LISTEN, as well.  Setting my heart and mind on things above is less about my vision and more about His vision.  It’s about the things that really matter to Him — people around me, my marriage, etc.  I think Jesus is more concerned about the relationships with my neighbors than he would the growth plans for Men of Iron.  I think if my heart and mind were set on things above, then I would put much more effort and focus into loving my wife with awesomeness than I would into moving Men of Iron forward.  I think if my heart and mind were set on things above then I would be more likely to spend $50 on lunch and clothing for a homeless person in my community rather than spending $50 to play golf.

Setting my heart and mind on things above requires a true dedication to do the things that are important to Him.  Yes, God is concerned about the things that are enjoyable to me, however, the things that are enjoyable to me are often things that I make a priority.  If I’m really honest, when I think about my priorities, they are typically all about me — my goals, my dreams, my desires, my interests, my hobbies, etc.

My mindset is dangerous at times.  It’s all about me, me, me and so little about Him, Him, Him.  What’s your mindset?

Garret Barbush, Executive Director