The Importance of Family Worship for the Spiritual Life of a Family
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It is God, who is the foundation of every family, who has a meaningful plan for His children. He arranges the family for a shelter and training place for various purposes. It is a home where the children should gain the true education. It is a place where the missionary work is to begin.
Before sin entered into the world the first school for the first parents was Eden. Likewise, God plans the home to be the very first school of His children, where the children must begin their education. It is written,
“In His wisdom God decreed that the family should be the greatest of all educational agencies. It is the home that the education of the child is to begin.”
God sets the parents to be the first teacher of the home school. They have to always set good example to their children as their children watch every words that they used, every actions that they preformed. The bible says, “Teach your child in the way he shall go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Prov. 22:6. We have instruction from Mrs. White concerning this.
“It is the home that the education of the child is to begin. Here is his first school. Here with his parents as instructors, throughout life. Lessons of respect, obedience, reverence, self-control.”
Training Center for Children
Only a few parents realize that the home is the best training center for the children. Many times it was heard that some parents said that they have no time to be with their children. They cannot spare their time to give to the training of their children, while they used to spend their whole time for other business. Regarding this a Christian mother gives counsels to the parents.
“Our work for Christ is to begin with the family, in the home ... There is no missionary field more important than this.”
Parents should teach their children to have a missionary spirit. They should mold their children’s mind to interest in the work of God. It is important for the parents to shape their children’s interest toward the spreading of the Gospel. Let us see the counsel:
“Missionaries for the Master are best prepared for work abroad in the Christian household.
FAMILY WORSHIP IS IMPORTANT
In this time of fearful peril, some who profess to be Christians have no family worship. As Satan knows he has less time he is busy to destroy the family. His target is to separate the children from the parents. He always tries to trap the mind of the children.
Every Christian parent should convene the family worship to protect his or her children from the peril.
“In the morning the Christian thought should be upon God, worldly labor and self-interest should be secondary. Children should be taught to respect and reverence the hour of prayer. Before leaving the house for labor, all the members should be called together, and the father or the mother in the fathers absence, should plead fervently with God to keep them through the day.”
She warns them those who neglected the family worship.
“Some who profess to be Christians have neglected family worship. They do not honor God in their home; they do not teach their children to love and fear Him. Many have separated themselves so far from Him that they feel under condemnation in approaching Him.”
The family worship is important to maintain the family unity. It is not able to buy with wealth, with education but with communion with God. She wrote,
“Anything that would mar the peace and unity of the family should be firmly repressed, and kindness and love should be cherished.”
According to Ellen G. White the parents should offer the earnest prayer and persevering faith by the morning and evening time. It is said,
“It is a duty of Christian parents, morning and evening, by earnest prayer and persevering faith, to make a hedge about their children. They should patiently instruct them, - kindly and untiringly teach them how to live in order to please God.”
ROLE OF PARENTS IN FAMILY WORSHIP
In the olden days the fathers took part as priests in their family. They offered sacrifices for the sins of the family.
After the New Testament time, by the grace of Christ, every believer is called a priest of God. We are instructed that the father should lead the family worship, as he is the head of the family. We have instruction as:
“Morning and evening the father, as priest of the household, should confess to God the sins committed by himself and his children through the day. Those sins which have come to his knowledge, and also those which are secrets, of which God’s eye alone has taken cognizance, should be confessed.”
Even in the absence of the father the family worship should not be neglected. God appoints the mother to be a co-worker with the father. Here is another instruction for a Christian mother:
“The mother in the father’s absence, should plead fervently with God to keep them through the day.”
It is the privilege of a Christian mother to bless the world by their influence upon her children like Hannah did.
ROLE OF THE CHILDREN
While the parents should be the leaders of the worship, the children should be given opportunity to take part in it. It is the home where the children should get their training. They should be trained of how to speak, how to read, how to pray, how to sing and how to take their responsibilities. Parents should ask their children to lead the worship. We have another advice:
“At family worship let the children take a part. Let all brings their Bibles and each read a verse or two. Then let some familiar hymn be sung and prayed.”
We are instructed to include the children in our worship. Parents should require their children to rise in the morning.
“They (the children) should be taught to respect the hour of prayer; they should be required to raise in the morning so as to be present at family worship.”
WAYS TO CONDUCT THE WORSHIP
The methods we use how to conduct the worship is very important because it makes the worship interesting or dry. It decides the worship as the blessing or cursing.
It should be Interesting
If some one asks a question like, how pleasant is the family worship! The answer may be varied. God’s messenger gives us the answer,
“The hour of evening and morning worship should be the sweetest and most helpful of the day.”
A home of a Christian family should be a house of worship and prayer. From there the sweet incense of prayer should descend to the feet of God. To make it interesting we are advised to make a time for preparation.
“A little thought given to preparation for it will enable you to make it full of interest and profit. From time to time let the service be varied.”
Using the same procedure for every day can make the worship dry. To make interesting the worship service is so important to make it full of profit. We have guidance from Ellen White.
“From time to time let the service be varied. Questions may be asked on the portion of scripture reading, and a few earnest, timely remarks may be made.”
Duration of the worship
To make it interesting the time of worship should not be long. It should be short and specific. The one who leads in worship and pray should not talk about every thing. It is written,
“At an early hour of the evening, when we can pray unhurriedly and understandingly, we should present our supplications and raise our voices in happy, grateful praise.”
Every family is advised to have fix timing for worship. The members should not neglect the timing even when they have guests.
“In every family there should be a fix time for morning and evening worship.
“Family worship should not be governed by circumstances… In our efforts for the comfort and happiness of guests, let us not overlook our obligations to God. The hour of prayer should not be neglected for any consideration.”
The Christian family should not spend a single day without consecrating themselves to God. Jacob of the ancient days set us good example.
“Like Abraham, Jacob set up beside his tent an altar unto the Lord, calling the members of his household to the morning and the evening sacrifice.”
It is important to remember the family worship even on the Sabbath day. Regarding it we have another important instruction.
“As the sum goes down, let the voice of prayer and hymn of praise mark the close of the sacred hours and invite God’s presence through the cares of the week of labor.”
In these times of perils, too many households neglected to have regular prayer season. Parents ignore their home as a school for their children, though our ancient fathers set us a good example that we should follow.
In these days, God wants us to have regular family worship in morning and evening to maintain the unity of the family, to prevent protect the members from the poison of Satan.
The parents are requested to lead the family worship. They may confess for the sins of the household. The children also should participate and take part in the worship.
The worship should be short and interesting by using various ways like: Bible reading, singing, story, and prayer. The time should be fixed according to the convenience of the family. Though it should not be long but it should not be hurried.
The daily service is important and even on the Sabbath day; morning and evening worship should be practiced. It is the duty of Christian parents morning and evening, earnest prayer and persevering faith, to make a hedge about their children. It is God’s plan for every family to have morning and evening worship regularly for their unity and spiritual goodness.
The Bible. The New International Version.
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