Friday, November 6, 2009

Family Worship (helping your children)

I just read a post by brother Voddie Baucham answering the question:
What are practical ways to involve and teach your preschoolers during your family devotional times (ie: morning pray/read/sing)??????
I beg you to take the time and read this blog entry, especially if you have children. I can't count the times people have asked us (and we have far to go) how we get our children to sit so well or behave so well in church and even in other settings (which is certainly better then remarks like 'wow, you're lucky to have GOOD kids' like they come that way) well it's through ROUTINE and the grace of God. The advice bro Voddie gives concerning this would have been incredibly useful for us yrs ago and it would be my advice to parents to listen and apply the advice he has given!

As for our family (if you're interested) our routine with our six boys (5yr old and down) is to

  • first read a chapter of the bible (we're currently in II Kings)
  • then I either ask them to recall something which I just read or I'll ask them some random catechism questions (we use the Children's prove it catechism and from time to time we make adjustments in the answers or questions where necessary).
  • After that we sing about five songs (although we don't necessarily try to introduce new songs on a regular basis--but they do learn new songs from the worship music on during the day (even the 2yr old twins learn new songs consistently)
  • Then we pray (I don't attempt to be too brief) I think it's good for them to hear real praying and not kid-version prayers. I pray for their character, health, and attitude but I especially pray for their conversions. Then for us (parents) to be given grace to love one another and to lead our families (more of the fruits of the Spirit), I pray for our personal holiness, our usefulness to the body of Christ and our witness to the world. Then I pray for lost family members, the topics after that are varied.

During such times they are expected to listen and to sit attentively (yeah they may fidget, but it should be obvious when they are in a posture of disinterest). If it's been an unusually long day or they've extremely worn out (missed a nap, day at the park, sick etc..) then sometimes they fall asleep and we don't treat that as a discipline case (our son Malachi is the one who this happens to the most-nonetheless it's still rare). We sit them on each side of us, and we keep a close eye on clowning (the kind I was notorious for as a kid), it is good for children to learn that when a time is dedicated to the Lord they should not want to be a distraction (not to mention, important to respect their parents when they speak).

Above all we should be real, and since we desire to be authentic, while recognizing that our frames are weak, we must then beg God to move our hearts more and more. Don't be satisfied with just 'doing the right thing', let us plead with the Lord to stir us up, to increase our passion for Him, so our children will be convinced that 'we do what we do' BECAUSE we LOVE the Lord and that BECAUSE He FIRST LOVED US!

Voddie Baucham writes:
Small children usually learn to love what Mom and Dad love. Show me a ten year-old who loves the Texas Longhorns, and I’ll show you a parent who had him in front of the TV (or on the fifty yard line in Austin) when he was smaller. Moreover, show me a parent who views daily family worship as drudgery and I’ll show you a kid who probably thinks the same. This is not to say we have to be fake, or that we have to make our family worship artificially “exciting” in order to appease our kids. It is, however, to say that we must buy in to this. We need to have a passion for the God of the gospel and a desire to honor him in our homes.

...Ok NOW go read the WHOLE post from bro Voddie Baucham (CLICK HERE)



I agree. I'm just trying to figure out how to overcome these problems in a church setting when it comes to other people's children. I can't raise their children for them; and I can't undo in 1 hour what their parents have instilled in them for the other 23.

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