Attitude reflect leadership, captain.
On the heels of Father's Day, here is some insight and wisdom from Joe Thorn about a subject that will be convicting to many dads, including my bad self.
Joe offers 5 Reasons to have Family Worship:
1. It’s your job to train your children, not your church’s.
2. It teaches parents how to talk to their kids about spiritual things.
3. It provides a regular context in which spiritual conversations take place.
4. It allows parents to guide theological development.
5. It prepares kids for corporate worship.
Joe also gives caution with 6 Dangers to Avoid in Family Worship:
1. A Proud Heart.
2. A Legalistic Approach.
3. A Hypocritical Life.
4. A Sterile Lecture.
5. A Rigid Format.
6. A Tiring Length.
Convicting and yet encouraging stuff, for example:
"...those who do regularly gather for family worship not only have that time to discuss things, but wind up having other, more spontaneous conversations about spiritual things as well."
"... your kids are watching you, to see if the things you teach them are the things you really believe. And when they discover that what you said about God being sovereign and good impacts the way you receive suffering and affliction, their theology will begin to blossom."
"Most people do not work at being hypocrites. It tends to come about through good intentions. As we teach our children the commands of Jesus we want them to see the beauty of holiness and the value of biblical virtue. We want them to embrace Jesus’ teaching. But this requires us to be truthful with our children, not only about the who and what of the Bible, but concerning ourselves. They must hear from us that we, like they, fail to meet God’s standards, and are in desperate need of the gospel ourselves. I must not pretend to be someone else during family worship, because the dad my kids know is the dad I am everywhere else."
"Your family worship is not good enough. It does not impress God, and he graciously uses it for the sanctification of his children. Focus on what you need to do for your family, not on others, and encourage others through a gracious example."
I encourage you to read his posts in their entirety, but the greatest thought I came away with was the necessity of intentionality. Not surprisingly, I'm reminded of Deuteronomy 6 admonition with regard to children:
4"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (ESV)It's important to live lives before our children whereby we admittedly are not perfect, but respond rightly to God and others when we sin. This is modeling and teaching by example. We look for teachable moments, but there's something powerful in also demonstrating the importance of the subject matter by having times of intentional family worship & instruction.
I'm curious as to your own personal experiences as well. What has worked? What has not? Any advice/tips, particularly from those of you who grew up in a "Christian" home where there was intentionality with regard to instruction in godliness?
We're not just instilling information, but passing down our attitudes regarding our Heavenly Father, the Bible, and integrating our faith in every facet of our lives.
Their attitudes will reflect that of our leadership.