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FIRST-PERSON: Family worship isn’t always easy. But it’s worth it.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP) – It was a typical evening and our family had just finished dinner. Before the kiddos could run off and play, we stayed around the table to do family worship together. The kids – 5, 3, and 1 – were wiggly and struggling to pay attention. Next came distractions and silly noises. We even had to hit pause to address some disobedience by our 3-year-old.

I don’t think it’s too big a leap to say your moments of family worship are probably similar to ours, especially if you have young kids. If you are like me, you often feel frustrated and wonder if you’re accomplishing anything during those 10 minutes.

I was greatly encouraged when one of my seminary professors, Don Whitney, shared how there was not one single time he finished family worship and thought, “Wow! I really felt the Holy Spirit move during our time together!” Yet, he faithfully taught his children the things of God year after year.

Years later, during his daughter’s graduation speech, he was surprised to hear a tear-filled, heartfelt “thank you,” as she reflected on the impact those moments of family worship had on her life.

God has sovereignly placed precious little ones in their parents’ homes and has called parents to teach their children about him (Deuteronomy 6:4-7, Psalm 78:1-8). Here are three things to remember as we stay the course, despite the chaos that so often accompanies family worship:

  1. We lead our families in worship first and foremost out of love and obedience to our Father. Our children need to see that God deserves to be worshiped.
  2. Let’s guard ourselves from letting the chaotic moments distract us from the bigger picture. We have the enormous blessing and responsibility of faithfully sowing the things of God into the hearts of our children through the Word, prayer and song.
  3. Parents can’t change the hearts of their children. But God can. His word accomplishes more than we ever could (Hebrews 4:12). Faithfully proclaim the things of God and faithfully pray that the Spirit would transform their hearts.

Brady Rueter is a biblical counselor and elder at Delta Church in Springfield, Ill. This column originally appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of Resource magazine, available online at Resource.IBSA.org.

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  • Brady Rueter