Posts Tagged Family

Family Worship

By Deanna Hanson

Family worship has been so helpful for our family. It has changed as our kids have grown. It has also changed as their spiritual walk with God has grown. We go through seasons where everyone is engaged in it and excited for it to start and seasons where a few kids have groaned when it was time to start. Each family can alter their family worship to what works best for their family. I am excited to share a few resources we have tried over the years and hope to help those who have been wanting to start a consistent worship time, but wasn’t sure where to start.

My husband John read Don Whitney’s book, Family Worship, to get some ideas before our family started years ago. It was very helpful and does a great job explaining the historical and biblical foundations of family worship. In chapter three, he advocates three practices that should play a part in family worship: reading the Bible, praying, and singing. He also provides some additional suggestions to be used only if time permits: catechizing, memorizing Scripture, and reading other books. At the conclusion of the chapter, he encourages readers to remember to keep it short, do it regularly, and be flexible.

We followed Whitney’s example. When our kids were younger, we would read shorter chapters of the Bible at a time, or sometimes only a few verses a night, pray and sing hymns.  As they got older, we began introducing different missionary biographies by Janet and Geoff Benge in addition to our Bible reading, prayer, and songs.  We would read one biography at a time, reading one chapter per night. If your kids are readers, you can rotate through your family and have each child read aloud that week. These biographies are short and so hard to put down. They are wonderful! We also started adding Global Missions to our worship time. We would spend the month praying for one specific country and use the book Operation World by Jason Mandryk for prayer ideas. This book is an excellent resource because it gives you an alphabetized list of countries around the world as well as information about people group, geographic, economic, and political information for each country you are praying for. Our kids got excited to learn more about each country we prayed for.  Here are a few other resources we recommend to adding to your family worship time:

Do you have any other recommendations for Family Worship additions? What has worked well for your family? Please share it with us.

 Deanna Hanson is a member of FCC and helps with our website. She and her husband, John, have four children and own a small business in North Kansas City.

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Better Things, Good Things


Three years ago, when my son was two years old, my wife and I needed to complete some short task without the kids interfering, and so I instructed the children to sit on the couch and be still. Once the task was finished, the children would be free to romp at will. My two year old was most unhappy with the order, so I said to him that I gave him this instruction because I have something better in store for him. I said, “Sometimes God must say ‘no’ to good things, that we may receive better things.” I’m sure he didn’t yet understand the concept of “better,” but with beautiful candor he replied, “I don’t like better things, I like good things.”

One marshmallow now, or two marshmallows later?

This reminds me of The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, a psychological experiment repeated often (because the results are so spectacularly repeatable!), wherein children are offered a cookie (or marshmallow or candy), but are promised two cookies if they will wait ten minutes without eating the first cookie. The results are consistently predictable: very few children can resist the offer of one cookie now in favor of two cookies later.

Psalm 126:5. Those who sow in tears shall reap in shouts of joy!

This is the heart of sin. We do not trust God, that his commandments are sure and true and for our eternal joy. We want to reap joy without sowing in tears. We want the prize without running the race (1 Corinthians 9:24). Our Lord endured the cross, not because He was a stoic toughguy who was just “into” suffering, but for the joy set before Him (Hebrews 12).

When I’m giving instruction to my children, I must try to do better casting a vision for future happiness which is the result of present obedience and delayed gratification. I need to help my kids envision a prosperous future (eternity!) which is the result of patience, work, and self-denial.

Joe Bancks is a member of FCC.

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