IF YOU AS PARENTS had the opportunity to do ONE “most important” thing with your family each day, what would it be?
What would be the one domino to knock over to start the day right? Or, to end the day right? Or, both?
What would be SO important that you should block off time each day to see it done?
What would this ONE thing be that would help your family be strong in the Lord?
Now before I tell you about this ONE thing, let me share my story about it…
MY STORY OF THE ONE THING
My name is Peter Lindstrom. I grew up in a Christian home. In fact, I had a Christian education all my life (K-12). To be sure, this was invaluable training. In so many ways I have been blessed to be in such an environment having learned a Christian world and life view.
But there is a significant and particular thing that gave me depth in my spiritual walk in the midst of my broad Christian education. It gave me strength and perseverance against spiritual weakness and waywardness. This ONE thing reminded me often of my own sin and waywardness, helping me to repent and turn to the Lord.
This ONE thing, however, was not something flashy. It would never make the nightly news.
This ONE thing was something rather quietly experienced in my home yet the impact remains with me today. It was something very personal, a legacy I now share with my family. It is what I think strongly influenced my siblings and me to be stronger in the Lord.
This ONE thing is daily family worship!
Now, I did not say this is my ONLY thing! And please hear me! I am NOT saying that worship with the church is unimportant! Not at all! So please keep reading!
In our homes, however, I would have us consider this ONE thing of Family Worship. Family worship takes TOP priority daily in our home. It is the essential thing, among many important things.
As Christian fathers and mothers, we want to follow the Lord and disciple our children in doing the same. Like Abraham, “the man of faith” we also desire for our family “to keep the way of the LORD…” (Genesis 18:19). What better way to do this during the week than through this ONE thing!
Simply put, your ONE Thing is this:
O—OPEN THE WORD OF GOD WITH YOUR FAMILY
N—NURTURE PRAISE TO GOD THROUGH SINGING WITH YOUR FAMILY
E—ENTER INTO PRAYER WITH YOUR FAMILY
To put it simply, my family is not perfect. I bet yours is the same.
In fact, if we are honest, we realize how desperately we need the Lord.
We realize how we need to turn to him and seek his glory, even in singing.
We realize how we need to acknowledge the Lord in prayer as our Creator and Redeemer.
So, are you ready to consider this ONE thing as a top family priority?
OPEN THE WORD OF GOD WITH YOUR FAMILY
Open the Word with your family! Don’t let it just sit in your car or on your shelf through the week!
The Bible says that it is a lamp to our feet and light to our path! (Psalm 119:105). How important is this? Super important!
Remaining in darkness is no desirable place to be. With God and His Word, He removes our darkness (2 Samuel 22:29).
As Christians we desire the light. When we desire the light of God’s Word we desire to know God and to love Him. We desire to know and love Jesus who is this Light, the Light of the World. And when we know and love this Jesus, we know that we are blessed on our journey of life. After all, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). There’s no better journey to be on.
Would you want anything less? Do you want to remain in darkness? NO! Do you want to seek this Light with your family? Then let’s begin this ONE thing right! Open the Word of God with your family.
NURTURE PRAISE TO GOD
THROUGH SINGING WITH YOUR FAMILY
Nurture praise to God through singing with your family! As families we have a lot about which to be thankful to God!
And praise to God is VERY important in the Bible!
Parents, you know QUITE well that our children can be very good complainers (along with us, of course!).
Then, how do we nurture a heart of praise to God?
First, remember how God is faithful and loves us, His children. He provides for all that we stand in need of (Psalm 23:1). As we then think about how God does take care of us, we are reminded of why we should be thankful people.
And thankful people are praising people!
Read the Psalms and you can’t miss it! As Christians, we are to be praising people.
For example, Psalm 146:2 says, “I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being” (ESV). Praise offers a way as a family to give glory to God our Creator and Redeemer. It is a way of giving back to God what he deserves—all glory, honor and praise!
Let’s face it! There is a lot of distraction for how to use our time with our families throughout the week. In this digital age, we could be preoccupied 24/7 in all sorts of gadgets.
But what is this ONE thing about which nothing should distract us?
The Apostle Paul writes to fathers to raise their children in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). What does this mean but also to be filled with the Spirit…” in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ…” (Ephesians 5:18-20; ESV).
How much better can it get than to show gratitude and give praise to God? Let’s do this ONE thing right: Nurture praise to God through singing with your family!
ENTER INTO PRAYER WITH YOUR FAMILY
Enter into prayer with your family.
Sure, we are probably praying for a meal or two with our families.
But are we earnestly praying with our families for each other? For our extended families? For our church? For our neighbors? For our nation? For those who are persecuted for their faith in Christ?
The list goes on…
The Apostle Paul teaches us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). But how do we have this kind of heart before God always seeking His will? How do we as parents lead this with our families?
To be sure, at family meals together is a time to pray not just for God’s blessings on the food but also other things as well. But during this ONE Thing of the day, entering into prayer after reading the Word and singing God’s praise provides an atmosphere of seeking God.
At family worship, by setting aside a few minutes to pray together each day, you might be amazed at how much you can pray for. You’ll also be amazed how much more for which to be praying!
And here is one other big benefit that is really important.
You as parents are leading your children by example. Entering into frequent prayers demonstrates the fact that you don’t think you can do it on your own. You are leading your children to realize that success and perseverance in life is of the Lord. Again in the words of Paul, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might” (Ephesians 6:10; ESV).
If your family is anything like mine, we can also become anxious. We may worry. Or, we might become overconfident. Instead of praying to God, we might go through the whole day and don’t even acknowledge Him and His help.
But this is crazy nonsense! We know better! We know that we can’t extend our lives one extra second beyond God’s plan. We know we can’t do anything without God’s help.
The Apostle Paul writes this about prayer: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7; ESV)
Do we want strong families? Do we want to lead our children in the way they should go?
Then, as parents, may we love the LORD our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our might. And, may we teach our children diligently as we practice this ONE Thing of family worship. (Deut. 6:5-7; Eph. 6:4).
Let’s start a conversation on family worship and encourage one another to lead our families.
If you haven’t started family worship, what is keeping you from doing it?
What challenges do you have in leading family worship?
What joys have come of family worship?