Springtime abounds with new beginnings. The grass begins to grow again, flowers are freshly blooming, and those warm, long days grace God’s green Earth after a long winter hiatus. In my family, my wife and I are awaiting a significant new beginning – the birth of our first child. And from what the seasoned veterans tell us, our life will change. Forever.
In Psalm 145, David writes, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.”
This is one of the primary ways that God’s kingdom is expanded: The older generation trains up the younger to love and trust God. Christian fathers and mothers have an important responsibility to represent and display Jesus to their sons and daughters.
As my wife and I prepare for the birth of our little one, we are reading a short, helpful book by Donald Whitney, entitled “Family Worship” (Dr. Whitney is professor of Biblical Spirituality at Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky). In “Family Worship,” Whitney encourages families (especially fathers) to pursue worshipping God together as a family each day.
But in our high-speed, omni-distracted culture, that means prioritizing time to make it happen. Whitney discusses how rare family worship is in our day, even amongst seminary-going families. In past generations, it was a given that a family would gather for worship each day. In “The Directory for Family Worship,” a companion document to the Westminster Confession of Faith (c. 1647), family worship was deemed so crucial that if a man failed to lead his family in it, church discipline was expected.
Dr. Whitney uses Scripture and history to make the case that if we truly want to see revival in our culture, it must begin with family worship.
Famed Bible commentator Matthew Henry said, “Turn your families into little churches. … If therefore our houses be houses of the Lord, we shall for that reason love home, reckoning our daily devotion the sweetest of our daily delights; and our family-worship the most valuable of our family-comforts. … Here the reformation must begin.”
Do you want to see a reformation and revival in your home, community, and nation? Given the news each day, how could we not want revival? Yet Matthew Henry contended it must begin with each family seeking after the face of God together!
You might be like me, saying, “But I’ve never done this before in my life! How can I start now? What if it’s awkward?”
It can be very simple, no more than 10 minutes every day. Whitney lays out a basic template of 1) read, 2) pray, and 3) sing. All you need is your family, a Bible, a prayer, and a song.
God’s Word says in Psalm 100 not to make a musically melodious sonnet, but to “make a joyful noise!” (And for many of us, it really does sound more like a noise when we sing, doesn’t it?) So, Dads, you don’t need a music degree to lead your family. Open the Word together, pray together, and sing together. What a great heritage to impart and pass on to your children!
It’s a new season with a new beginning. Introducing your children to Jesus is always worth it. We have a reformation to start. Let’s do it.
“Family Worship” is available at most Christian bookstores and at www.Christianbook.com.