DON’T LOSE FOR WINNING
It may strike some of you as comical that I even attempt to make family worship a habit in our home. (“Didn’t she just curse in her last blog post?!”) But, believe it or not, I do! I’ve been tossing the idea around for a while now and we have finally settled on a basic set up, at least for now.
If you’ve known me for any length of time, or followed my blog, you probably know that flexibility is a strength of mine and consistency is most certainly not. I think that even attempting to have a regular (or irregular) time for family worship glorifies God, so even if we only average one or two days a week until Dillinger graduates, that’s still over 1,300 occasions!
So my goal is to hit four days a week. I feel like that is plenty and was encouraged when Andy Stanley said that’s about how often they have prayer together at night as a family. There is nothing I want to avoid more than family worship being a miserable, mandatory religious event! Because of this, I prioritize being flexible. Days, times, content – all of it is up for debate.
This article by our pastor is my absolute favorite blog post on the topic of family worship. It’s where I have taken a lot of my queues as I have been trying to get this thing off the ground and make it a normal, if not regular, occurrence! I think the first point he makes is really important. KEEP IT SHORT! Again, creating a miserable, mandatory religious event is the quickest way to turn family worship into family warfare. There are times where as a parent, you lose even if you win. My advice would be to walk this line very carefully. I think that unless conversation goes long organically, even 30 minutes is really pushing it, even for high schoolers.
READY SET GO
After much internal arguing, I get up and make breakfast for Dillinger and myself and sometimes my husband. (Oops. Maybe I should work on husband’s breakfast as an act of service and worship?) Immediately after eating we start by learning the kids New City Catechism. This is incredibly important to me. So many children grow up attending church and memorizing verses but don’t know anything about Biblical doctrine. Dillinger is too young to repeat it, but I ask the question twice and then give the kids’ answer. The colored text is the portion selected for younger children.
After that, I dust the eggs off of Dillinger into the trash and we read a chapter of the Jesus Storybook Bible. The majority of children’s Bibles are essentially tales in moralism (“Be brave like Daniel”, “Work hard like Joseph”, “Follow God like Abraham”) but our performance is not the heart of the Gospel. So I was pretty darn picky about the Bible we were going to be reading for the next few years!
Finally we pray for sanctification and that the Lord would use the day to make us more like Jesus. Then I turn on some hymns and we rock out while Dillinger tears the house apart and I do the dishes and attempt to overtake him in his mess making.
Then Dillinger has “quiet time” in his room while mom takes a shower and then we are officially ready to start our day!