Friday, January 19, 2007

Family altar, revisited

Before my unnanounced Christmas hiatus, we were talking about family worship. I wanted to give a few pointers that have really helped our family in our desire to make family worship a regular part of our life.

1. Keep it simple. Donald Whitney suggests three elements: Sing, read, and pray. We vary the order, but usually open up with a hymn (our church gives out hymnbooks for this purpose, but Christian bookstores usually sell them for under $10.00), then my husband reads a short Scripture passage.

Right now we are reading through John. The kids are finding this book fairly easy to follow. During Advent, we read through several texts in Isaiah. These were harder for the kids to 'get', but deep understanding of the text is not the only purpose of family worship, so we didn't see this as a problem. Just keep on plugging away. The words of Scripture will become familiar over time.

2. Keep it short. Fifteen minutes is adequate. We sing each verse of the hymn we have chosen (sometimes one we have sung the past Sunday at church, other times a hymn that is particularly meaningful to Scott or me at the time, and then there is always our kid's favorite, "Holy, Holy, Holy"). Then a very short Scripture reading, followed by a short prayer.

3. Keep the kids close. Right now, Scott sits with one child on his lap and I have two on either side of me. Our family is growing, so we will rearrange, but it is much easier to quietly direct the youngest child's attention to Daddy or the hymnbook if we are already physically touching.

I'll be concluding with one more post. I'm saving what I think is the most important thing for last, so don't forget to tune back in!

1 comment:

MamaEscandon said...

I like the idea of keeping family worship short. I always am thinking about wanting to say a rosary everynight or spending time with my husband reading scripture. Too often the business of our evenings takes over, sadly. I am going to suggest to my husband we spend 15 mins every night after dinner/cleanup to spend time praying as a family. Maybe even do the LOH.

Thanks for this reminder... we just have to buckle down and do it!