Family Worship, Family Altar, Family Devotions, Quiet Time, Bible study – whatever you want to call it, is a really important part of putting your faith at the centre of your home. While I must admit we are all too often falling short in this area, we do try to make it a part of our regular routine. If your children are young, this can be a challenging thing to put in to practise. My best advice is to just do it, even if it starts as a 5 minute exercise, it will set a good precedent for when the children are older.
Obviously long sermons and doctrinal teaching will be a bit over their heads, but children are capable of absorbing much more than we think. I think the best topics to start studying are as follows.
- The Commandments.
- Christian love.
- Wisdom in the book of Proverbs.
- Animals in the bible.
- The Disciples.
- The Parables.
- Christmas Story.
- Easter Story.
This is a basic list, but is enough to get you started. Depending on how much time you have, you could prepare quite a few lessons on each of these topics and then think about what other ways you could bring the lesson into everyday life. For example, if you are studying creation in family worship, perhaps during your regular playtime during the day you could draw or paint something from the creation story. Here are some examples
So what components are important for Family Worship?
- Asking questions
If your children can feel comfortable praying, praising, learning and asking questions during your Family Worship, they will have a good grounding in their faith. They will see what the standard is and hopefully they will see how important it is for spiritual growth. It’s also a good place to teach patience and respect for others, in a controlled environment.
I should mention here that if your children are young, you should not expect these few minutes in your day to be calm and spiritual. Maybe sometimes it will, but more often for us it’s a battle to keep one child from annoying the other one, or it can turn into a debate as to why the wheels on the bus isn’t a ‘church song’. Sometimes, it’s just plain chaos and we wonder why we even bother. But the point is that even when it’s difficult, it’s worth making part of your regular routine. Our best effort is all that’s required and thankfully our children’s spiritual wellbeing does not rest alone on our ability to teach deep theology. The Lord will give the increase in wisdom and we are only required to do what we can, with what we have. Whether that is a fully prepared lesson with handouts and matching craft activities or a short bible story explained by a weary parent.
Hopefully this gives you something to think about. We have so much room for improvement in this area, but I know most parents would say the same! Let’s keep pressing forward. If you have any helpful hints or tips on this topic, I would love to hear from you!