Part of my morning ritual (as of late) is to spend time reading the Bible and then reading things written by some old dead guys. I don’t normally have this stuff laying around, I use the Free Grace Broadcaster. I’ve been reading in one whose title is “The Godly Home.” In it, there’s an article by A.W. Pink (1886-1952). He was a Baptist preacher and writer in England. The title of the article is “Family Worship.” He goes right for the jugular almost immediately:
There are some very important outward ordinances and means of grace which are plainly implied in the Word of God but for the exercise of which we have few if any plain and positive precept….An important end is answered by this arrangement: trial is thereby made of the state of our hearts.
Translation: some of us fail to have family worship because we don’t see examples of it in the Bible. But, what if it is “plainly implied”?
It serves to make evident whether, because an expressed command cannot be brought requiring its performance, professing Christians will neglect a duty plainly implied. Thus, more of the real state of our minds is discovered, and it is made manifest whether we have or have not an ardent love for God and for His service.
Translation: our failure to have family devotions speaks to our level of devotion to Christ. And, our understanding of our responsibilities as Christian Parents. He then goes on to prove from Scripture that there is mandate enough to command our efforts at family devotion (Genesis 18:19; 12:7; 13:4; Galatians 3:29 & John 8:39; Joshua 24:15; 2 Samuel 6:20; Job 1:5; Daniel 6:10; see also Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Proverbs 22:6, Ephesians 6:4).
An old writer said, “A family without corporate prayer is like a house without a roof, open and exposed to all the storms of heaven.” All our domestic comforts and temporal mercies issue from the lovingkindness of the Lord and the best we can do in return is to gratefully acknowledge, together, His goodness to us as a family. Excuses against the discharge of this sacred duty are idle and worthless. Of what avail will it be when we render an account to God for the stewardship of our families to say that we had not time available, working hard from morn till eve?
Translation: “Lord, I was really busy at [work, sport, leisure] and my family, we were also really busy at [work, sports, leisure] so we didn’t have time to devote ourselves.” Or “The kids just have to get up so early for school.” Or “I just have to get up and leave so early for work and we’re so tired at the end of the day.”
No one would quarrel with the fact that family devotions are difficult. But the stakes are high, no? How many voices are out there in our culture that beckon a child to the Cross for devotion and worship? On the contrary, there is not a single one. Could that be by design? Parents are supposed to be the primary and first voice.
What makes “Christian Parenting” Christian? Isn’t it that we are primarily committed to the faith-lives of our children? Isn’t it that we order our lives and family activities so that our children can grow in the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7) and the knowledge “of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians1:9-10)?
Can we say we’re really taking our responsibility as Christian parents seriously if the sum of our efforts are academics, athletics and career? Or, do we think we’ve met the requirement because our children are involved in some kind of children’s ministry program at a church?
Did you ever stop to consider why are these around, anyway? Parental failure. Like God “permitting” divorce because of our sinfulness (Matthew 19:8), God has permitted successful Children’s ministries because as a general rule, we as parents are pitifully devoted to the faith of our children. (My own failures as a faith-imparting parent are surely bolstered by the rich ministry my children receive at church. Thank God.)
Few would make such an admission of pitiful devotion to our children’s faith. But, in light of our typical weekly schedules, no admission is necessary: the proof is obvious.
Hey, we’ve all got plenty of room to grow. Yet, our past failures will not be a valid reason for our failure. Are the resources of heaven not sufficient to generate time and energy for your family devotions?
By the way, quit saying you don’t know how to start.