FAMILY WORSHIP: Part 1 - The Struggle is Real
In a recent podcast on parenting Matt Chandler was asked how he would describe his family devotion time. His response was, “Messy and Inconsistent.” Now if you have kids and have ever attempted a regular rhythm of family worship I think you can certainly sympathize with Matt’s assessment of his own family’s worship time. Perhaps you’ve never even attempted to begin a regular rhythm of family worship because the whole thing just seems too daunting. It’s difficult enough just to get your kids to sit down for 5 minutes without a screen in front of their face let alone lead them through a time of family worship all together.
I am here to tell you – the struggle is real! If Matt Chandler, the Pastor of a thriving church and President of the Acts 29 Church Planting Network, describes his family worship time as “messy and inconsistent” then you can rest assured that you are not the only Christian family who struggles to make family worship a thriving reality.
BUT…The good news is that we’re all in this together. You are NOT alone in your struggles. God has given us a church family so that we can learn from one another and encourage one another to continue the good fight of faith IN and FOR our families. We at Kaleo believe that family worship is a fight worth fighting because
1) God has commanded parents to lead their families in it -- NOT as a check box of something we’ve accomplished but as a way to grow in a deeper understanding of God’s grace and love for us and for our kids.
2) God values family worship. God knows our biggest problem, our spouse’s biggest problem, and our kids’ biggest problem is not in our circumstances, it’s not our kids’ behavior – our biggest problem is a heart problem, a worship problem – we exchange the truth about God for a lie and worship and serve the creation rather than the Creator. Our hearts were created for worship – to find life, joy, peace, hope, identity, meaning in our Creator but we are prone to wander seeking to fulfill our deepest longings in lesser things…And so we prioritize family worship as a means to re-center our worship rightly on God and to grow in deeper relationship with him as our perfect Father, our perfect Savior Jesus Christ, and our perfect helper in the Holy Spirit.
Will it be easy? No. Will it be messy and inconsistent? Well, that pretty much sums up all of life with kids. Rarely is anything that God calls us to easy or tidy. Why? Because it forces us to depend on him – his grace and strength. Not only has God given you a church family, but he has given you himself. Listen to what the Apostle Paul says:
“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom the whole family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:14–19)
God is with us from beginning to end in the Christian life. God’s presence is both the means of our salvation and the end goal of it. Our sin separates us from our holy God, but Jesus became Immanuel, “God with us,” to die in our place in order to bring us into the presence of God both now and for all eternity. When family worship is difficult it should drive us to our knees as parents knowing that we are first children of our perfect Father in heaven. He loves us. He is with us.
Is creating a regular rhythm of family worship a fight worth fighting? We believe so because we believe we have a God worth knowing and a God worthy of our worship. God is with you through it all even when it is messy and inconsistent. He desires to be with you as your Father, strengthening you with his Spirit, and with Christ dwelling in your hearts through faith. He desires to fill you with all the fullness of God. He doesn’t require it to be smooth or easy – he simply wants you to come to him to find strength and enjoy his beauty, love, and grace as a family. – Joshua Moffit