Be Encouraged, Parents’ Hearts Are Being Turned Towards Home
This past week I have been reading emails which parents have sent in response to my challenge. At conferences I challenge couples to read the Family Worship book in 30 days. I am so encouraged reading how God is working in their hearts as they commit themselves to teaching God’s Word to their children.
Most of these messages have been sent from fathers. I am sharing five with you in this newsletter (there are six more on the website). I have been given permission by each of the families. May you each be as encouraged as I am.
Dad Needed a Push
I wanted to touch base with you and let you know I finished your book. It was great. I’m so glad you provided this challenge. It’s just what I needed.
My chief takeaways are: Starting with anything is better than nothing. The Dad needs to lead Family Worship to show this is important. Thanks for providing the push I needed.
A Child Shall Lead Them
I completed the book a few weeks ago, and we’ve been settling into a fairly regular routine of family worship in the morning. One of the greatest joys I’ve experienced so far was when my five year old son told me one evening that we hadn’t done family worship that morning. It was so encouraging to see that my children value and expect our family to have our worship time together, even within just a few weeks of doing it!
Skin in the Game
Thanks Steve I did accomplish my objective. Thank you for this book as it was encouraging for me. We have been experimenting with family worship recently, but I was feeling pressure to plan it all and when my kids lost interest I felt like a failure.
Your advice about planning it together as a family was a great takeaway for me. I’ve involved everyone in the planning and it seems to be going better. The kids have some skin in the game because they helped plan it. We’ve had family worship since reading your book. We start with praise songs. We study the scripture we’ve picked, have time for prayer requests and then we end with more singing.
Keep it Simple
The book is great and I think my biggest takeaway is the just do it mentality you present and just keeping it simple. I get trapped in feeling I need to cover vast amounts of scripture and draw out a wise and insightful correlation in order for our family worship times to be meaningful.
Then I’ll sense that some kids are not paying attention and it takes the wind out of my sails quickly and sets me up for failure when I try to take too big a bite. I can cover much less and still center our time around knowing God better and shepherding our family.
We have had one good family worship time since starting the book and meeting you at the conference. I pray we will have many more as we find our pace.
8 Minutes after a Thunderstorm
We do family devotions, and occasionally sing some worship songs. However, I really liked the thought of giving my children an overview of the whole bible by reading through chapter by chapter as a family.
I talked with my wife and we decided that 8 minutes of family bible before bed outweighs 8 minutes of on-time sleep. We decided to start that night.
As evening approached, my 4 and 6 year old were crying (4 year old wailing on the floor) the older kids (12 and 11) fighting, my 11 year old with a super grumpy look all over her face, a freak thunderstorm came in and bent the awning on our new camper (we are camping right now). It’s one of those times when you just want the kids to go to bed and sleep…. But, I bent the awning out of the way, we got the kids out of the wet clothes, settled everyone in their place, gave my wife a few minutes to catch her breath and I grabbed the Bible. It was wonderful!
My wife and I took turns with our older two kids reading a few verses each, we let the little ones hold the Bible while we read. It turned our lousy night around and we had a great bit of family time to end our crazy night.
I really enjoyed the book as an encouragement to take responsibility of your families spiritual journey, not be too rigid about it, don’t expect it to be perfect, but to just keep doing it.
If you would like God to turn your heart towards Him in a new way and recommit yourself to discipling your children well, remember two truths.
Conviction is different than condemnation. Both are uncomfortable, however conviction always leads us to Jesus and is infused with hope, while condemnation leads to despair and hopelessness. “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1 NLT)
God is in the business of working in our hearts. As we seek Him earnestly He will give us a new heart and incline our hearts to loving God and our families. I frequently pray for God to help me love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then I follow up this request by asking Him to help me love my wife and children as He has loved me.
(May) “The LORD our God be with us, as He was with our fathers. May He not leave us or forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His rules, which He commanded our fathers.” (1 Kings 8:57-58)
PS If you would like to read or listen to Family Worship, you may access it here.