(Changing Negative Questions
into Transforming Ones)
Fathers who don’t lead in family worship or who have occasional struggles doing it (including me) may be asking the wrong questions.
The Bible informs you to be wise in all you do. This includes both the answers of life and the questions you have about life.
Do you ever have dumb questions that lead to dumb answers? I know I do.
As Christian fathers, you need to seek wisdom. And this includes asking good questions.
Now we all have smart people in our lives, people who just ooze out wisdom. That wisdom is often identified in what they ask, not just in their answer.
To encourage you to lead your family in family worship, let’s avoid bad questions and start asking good ones.
Trash Low Value Questions for
High Value Questions
To help you in thinking about good questions for family worship, I share with you Amy Porterfield interviewing Marie Forleo (Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast). In the interview, one of the valuable things they discussed was the idea of replacing “low value” questions with “high value” questions, whether in business or any part of life.
So what are low value questions for family worship that leave you in a rut? And how can you replace them with high value questions that help you accelerate in leading well? How can you get going in family worship and gain great traction for the years to come?
Here are two low value questions that we can replace with high value questions and answers.
Low Value Question #1.
What if my children won’t listen or participate when I read the Bible or lead in prayer or in singing?
This is a question that can freeze us in our tracks. Simply paralyzing. We get so afraid that we won’t even start. This question, however, is so self-focused, so self-centered that we lose focus on what is most important.
Here’s a high value question to replace it.
How can I best serve my family?
In other words, what are the needs of my family for today?
Philippians 2:4 comes to mind, a Fighter Verse that we memorized together as a church.
Let each of you look not only to his own interests,
but also to the interests of others (ESV).
Jesus says to take up your cross and follow Him. This means our focus needs to be self-sacrificing. The focus is not on me but my responsibility, that is, my family.
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The Apostle Paul writes the church at Ephesus with these clear words about children:
Fathers…bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4; ESV).
If you have never led in family worship or have neglected this for a while, take some time and pray that God would help you talk with your family about the importance of your spiritual leadership. Pray that God would give you understanding of His Word with power and in the Holy Spirit and with complete conviction (1 Thessalonians 1:5).
I would encourage you to go before your family and apologize. Be open to ask for forgiveness from the family for past, poor spiritual leadership and say that you want to be a godly father in the home leading them with godly conviction. “I’ve neglected this but now things will be different.” Humble yourself. Life is not all about you.
After asking the high value question, now what?
Answer with conviction.
Pray, asking God to give you faith and conviction, a conviction to lead as did the Apostles Peter and John against the Sanhedrin confessing that they must obey God rather than man. Pray for faith and conviction to lead like Stephen against the ruling authorities who stoned him to death.
Albert Mohler in his book, The Conviction to Lead: 25 Principles For Leadership That Matters, discusses the courage of these men along with Martin Luther. Luther stood before the authorities who put him on trial, and then he declared with boldness, “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise. God help me.”
Mohler mentions other people besides Luther who led with conviction. Whether it was Sir Thomas More (defying King Henry VIII) or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (defying the Soviet regime) or President Ronald Reagan (“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”) or Margaret Thatcher (“The lady’s not for turning”), each one had strong convictions. According to Mohler, “If you think about it, just about every leader who is now remembered for making a positive difference in history was a leader with strong convictions about life, liberty, truth, freedom, and human dignity. In the long run, this is the only leadership that matters” (pg. 26).
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2; ESV.
Low Value Question #2.
How can I ever get my family spiritually equipped when I am so far behind?
A question like this may only lead to depression. When you get in comparison mode, you never feel that you can do as well as the Jones’ or Smith’s families.
A better, high value question to replace this one is this.
How should I act today, next week, next month, etc.,
if I were the best Dad possible?
This question puts things into a positive, hopeful way. Instead of always comparing yourself to death, just start where God has you- life in Christ.
With your Bible, just start reading. Read by yourself. Read with your wife. Read with your children. Admit that you won’t understand everything perfectly. But the more you read the more you will understand how God has worked in the past and how he is also working today. Tell your children that you want them to know God’s truth and that you are willing to learn along with them. We do this at church. Why not do this also in the home?
So if you are seeking to be “the best possible dad” (and why settle for less?) then what changes should occur in your life? How much time are you watching t.v.? Playing video games? On social media? Are you spending a lot of time doing things that are not really benefitting your family?
If you want to be the best father, consider setting goals. What outcomes do you want in the future? Today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, in the next 10 years, etc.? Ask another person you respect to see if he will discuss with you your plans and help keep you accountable.
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed
Proverbs 15:22; ESV
The best thing you can do is to seek the Lord and pray that he will direct you. Be humble. Don’t worry that you don’t have all the knowledge as someone else. Use what you have. I love the words of the famous and prolific Dr. Martin Luther who realizes the basics of knowledge and teaching them to the next generation. He writes, “Though I am a great doctor, I haven’t yet progressed beyond the instruction of children in the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord’s Prayer. I still learn and pray these words everyday with my Hans and my little Lena” (as found in Stephen J. Nichols, Martin Luther: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought, pg. 164)
Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3; ESV
As you move forward, you want to be wise in your spiritual leadership. I hope that in the asking of these high value questions you can have more productive answers. You can actually start doing what you know God has for you in your families and even encourage other fathers around you to do the same.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
Proverbs 9:9; ESV
What is a low value question that is keeping you from starting or making progress in family worship?
How are you replacing a low value question with a high value question?