Picture this scene: “Kids, It’s time for family worship!”
All four kids come running from all four corners of our abode: “Hooray!,” “Yippee!” “I’ve been waiting all day!” “Thanks, Dad!”
They proceed to grab their Bibles, sit in their usual spots in the living room, youngers equipped with colored pencils and coloring pages that naturally accompany todays lesson.
Your spouse has already prepared your favorite cup of tea and has handed you a few notes she noticed that might help in the reading time.
Your oldest volunteers to open the time in prayer where they silently engage with the Father.
Who’s family is that?
I’m over-emphasizing a number of responses and practices to heighten the unrealistic-ness of this all. Really, who’s family does this? Not mine.
In our home, we have six hearts active and responding to life and one another all at one time. It’s no small task to both convene and bring to singular focus for any routine activity.
Why is family worship so hard?
First, the brute four letter word: T.I.M.E.
Finding time for your family to gather, calm down, focus on reading, together, somewhat quietly, and regularly is not easy. Dad’s, you’ve probably had a fairly intense day at work and just want to relax. Mom’s, maybe your day has been overwhelming also, whether you work inside or outside of the home.
Kid’s schedules with sporting and other activities are demanding to say the least. Most of us aren’t wondering what we’re going to do with all the extra family time we have. Our schedules are busy and full and the family’s needs many. Besides, what about times of rest and relaxation after a long day?
Next, we have the close cousin to finding the time: Consistency.
You’ve talked about it with your wife. Then you did it. But that kind of fizzled out after a few days or weeks. Other demands have crept in and you’ve missed a few months or even years.
Part of the deal is you not even desiring to sign up again because it just doesn’t seem to work. Really, who wants to feel like they can’t do something that’s important to them? I hate… I mean hate feeling like I’m failing at anything, especially in leading my family. So, if I can’t seem to win, I’d just rather not play.
But that little voice inside says it’s important.
The third guy in the mix is old, “Never seen it, never done it.”
Have you noticed the aversion your child had to swimming for the first time? I mean it was intense. I remember a couple of the kids clawing my neck like I was letting them down into a fire. Now, they’re all little fishes once they see water.
One seminary professor said 7 out of 115 students (future pastors and missionaries) grew up where family worship was normal. Does that surprise you?
The reality is that almost certainly you did not grow up with this and have not seen it modeled. That means that family worship has never been normal.
Ever tried to start something new for the first time after 20-30-40 years of never doing it? Resistance stands at the door.
Here Are 3 Ideas to Overcome Your Challenges
First, talk to your spouse about a time and start small.
When is a time that you can do it once a week and I mean a short time, say 15 minutes? Can you set it as a meeting in your calendar? Tell the kids about what you’re planning to do, and go for it. You don’t have to tell them you’re doing it weekly but try it for 4 weeks in a row. The key here is forward momentum.
To combat inconsistency, share what you want to do with a friend, pastor or mentor.
See if they will ask you about it once a week in a text, email, phone call or when you see them. Having just a little form of accountability might be the only boost you need to overcome this wall.
Do you know of anyone who is currently doing it, or has done it?
Just send an email or make a call and ask what they do, why they do it and what they like about it.
I ran a marathon back in 2007 with a buddy who had run 5-6 prior to. Really, I had no clue what I was doing, I just showed up and did what he did.
You. Have. What. It. Takes.
Really! You can do this! And you can do it well!
I’ve share the three most common challenges that friends have shared with Sarah and I, but we want to know what about you? I assure you, you’re not alone. Your feedback is so valuable to us. And, it will help families who are struggling with similar challenges.
What is the most challenging thing to you about regularly doing family worship?
Leave your reply just below in the comments box. Sarah and I are going to use your feedback to help others who are facing the same things get breakthrough.