Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Devotions vs. Family Worship

Metzger Family Worship

Instead of using the term "devotions" (which can mean studies in addition to God’s Word that are based on the Bible, but written from human inspiration), we use the term “family worship”. Our church really encourages the men to lead their families in family worship, as they are, biblically speaking, the spiritual heads of their homes. However, we realize that many men come to Christ after their wives or come to the realization of the importance of family worship after their wives come to that conclusion. That said, the woman would need to pray to God about how to best teach her young ones God’s Word, in accordance to Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

A major misconception about family worship is that there are certain rules and regulations; time requirements and restraints. Not true. One family’s worship will look different from another family’s. There’s no biblical layout for Bible reading, except to seek Jesus.



For our family, Mark begins by leading our family in an opening prayer. This really calms everyone’s hearts and minds and prepares us (yes, even our little ones) for time with God. This year we are reading through the Old Testament, following a Scripture reading schedule. Many ask us about the content of what we’re reading in regards to the ages and understanding of some of our younger children. When first beginning this, we were surprised to see and hear just how much our little ones retained from church or family worship. It was very encouraging to see that God’s Word never returns void...even to the least of these! We hold true to a few Scriptures regarding reading the Word straight from the Bible to our children.


"There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them. " (Joshua 8:35)

“Listen, O my people, to my instruction; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob And appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God And not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious eneration, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God.” (Psalm 78:1-8, emphasis added)



Following the reading of the Scripture, we sing songs. This is a precious time, as is the Bible reading, because our tiniest ones LOVE to request praise songs. The children all get up and praise God! It is a precious thing to observe as parents who seeks to bring up their children in nurture and admonition of the Lord! After our singing, Mark closes us in prayer and the children head to bed.

Mark and I encourage all families to dig deep into the rich and “meaty” Word of God and to experience family worship for themselves. This is not a ritual or a requirement, but a privilege to approach the throne of God together as a family and to seek His Will for us when reading His Word. It is a precious time of growing together (at different stages) in our spiritual walks. It is a time of training our young ones to regularly seek God’s input on daily matters and to be able to refer to Scripture without forethought, as Scripture pertains to every area of life (2 Timothy 3:16-17)!

Here’s a great article on family worship!



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2 comments:

Candice said...

It is so important. My husband works at night and sleeps during the day, so I am the one to lead and do family devotions. We will read from the Word and talk about it. We are hoping that my husband can switch shifts, but for now, I am happy to do so.

Jacqueline said...

Thank you for this encouragement. After being discouraged by a lack of, well, leadership in this area, I stopped gathering us together evenings for this. It seemed we were witnessing a lack of reverence and I was afraid the boys were getting a wrong view of what devotions and worship are truly about and it was hurting more than it was helping. I, of course, erred by not taking up the gauntlet and carrying on.


I have been saddened by so many churches ignoring Joshua 8:35. However, I must remove that plank from my own eye before attempting to remove their splinters.