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Family Worship Time

My Friend Debbie      Have you ever met anyone that didn't like music? It is a rare person who fails to like some kind of music. Take a look at most children (especially toddlers), turn on the music, and watch them move!

     Music truly is the universal language, and it is breathed into our souls from the very heart of God. All of us-young, old, and everyone in between-were created to worship. I'm so thankful that the Lord created beautiful melodies, harmonies, and rhythms as a medium to express our worship to Him.

     It was once said by worship leader Ron Kenoly that the only Being to be kicked out of heaven was a worship leader! His name is Lucifer (Satan), and he has been competing for our worship to him ever since he wanted equality with God. If God desires our worship to His Lordship alone, then that is how we should respond.

     Our children reflect us and learn to value what we value. If we are cynical about the worship leader or the style of worship, our children will develop the same cynicism. On the other hand, if we freely worship regardless of who is on the platform, our children will most likely develop the same attitude. Remember, there are many styles of worship, and we are not going to love all of them. However, even if it's not a preferred style for you, you can still find a way to express your love to the Lord.

     Just like you cannot "cram" for a test the night before an exam, you cannot cram for Sunday morning worship on the way to church, or somehow hope that mid-week programs or Sunday School will do it. You cannot lead your children where you have not been all week. I know you are tired (I live a busy life, too!), but let me encourage you in God's Word this day that His command to us is to first love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). All of these words represent the totality of our being, from our mind to our emotions.

     First means first! In our family, even before the homeschooling day begins, we head to the playroom where our piano is located, and after Bible reading, we worship the Lord! I want my children to understand from the time that they are little that God comes first, even over academic study. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33 NKJV). If your children are gone during the day to a public or private school, simply designate one night a week as "worship night." Let the children lead in your favorite worship songs. Regardless of your family's schedule, you can make worship a priority.

My Friend Debbie      Why is family worship so important? You may be thinking, "Well, that's nice for you, because you sing and play the piano." Remember that the commandment in Scripture says nothing about our ability. It's not so much important how it is done as it is that it gets done!

     In our family, I sit at the piano and pull out anything from a classic hymn to a classic Hillsong. The style matters very little as long as it is theologically sound, loaded with God's Word, and has a melody that my children can remember throughout the day. My oldest daughter will pull out her violin, my son his guitar, and my little ones make a "joyful noise" with everything from tambourines to hand drums to rhythm sticks. Sometimes the girls will make up a worship dance.

     If you don't play the piano and you feel insecure singing in front of your children, that's okay! None of those things are even required. You could simply read one of the Psalms as a worship moment. Or, you could pull out a favorite worship CD (resources attached) and sing along with your children, clap and/or raise your hands.

     Another great worship idea is to simply sing together around the breakfast table without a piano. Singing "a capella" (which means "without instrumentation") is still the best proven method for helping children to learn to sing on pitch.

     One morning, I was teaching my children about our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ over in China. We "snuck" upstairs to our master bedroom closet, pulled out the Bible, and I read to them from Scripture by "pantomiming" the words. Then we silently prayed and ended with singing "Great is Thy Faithfulness," only moving our lips as we lifted our hands to the Lord. The family worship time took 10-15 minutes maximum, but my children have never forgotten it. (Remember my article on "The Power of Five Minutes.")

     Remember, if you want your children to be worshipers of the Lord, you have to be a worshiper. They will value what you value!

Helpful Resources:

  • Praise Baby Collection produced by Integrity Hosanna! Music. Good for infants through preschool.
  • "Hide 'Em in Your Heart": Bible Memory Melodies recorded by Steve Green. Good for preschool through elementary school age.
  • Cedarmont Kids "Action Bible Songs" put out by Benson. Good for preschool.
  • Shout Praises Kids produced by Integrity Music. Good for elementary age.
  • Praise and Worship for Small Groups and Wholehearted Hymns by Wholehearted Worship (www.wholeheartedworship.com). Great for middle school through adults.
  • Sing the Word Scripture songs by the Harrow family (www.singtheword.com). Great for middle School through adults.

Copyright © 2008-2015 Alyson Shedd

Reader Comments...
2009-05-23 06:31:49
"Excellent article! I grew up with my mom singing and playing the piano with us all the time. We even went to gospel singings regularly and loved it. I still remember most of the songs and sing them to my kids even today. Thanks for your encouragement and example."
        - Rena

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