How many of you set aside focused intentional family time? My wife and I have struggled with balancing two jobs where we work opposite schedules many times, and having a toddler. I know that reading this you are just saying wait till you have two or three or five children. But we all have the same problem no matter how large or small our family is, when do we make time for focused intentional family time?
What does this mean? Having time not in front of the TV, not on smart phones, and no electronic devices. Spending time focused on family, this also means focused on God. Focused intentional family time includes calling on the one who is most powerful to help, and rescue us, God. Worshiping God as a family is awkward the first time. And I know from personal experience that its the first thing that gets lost in the busyness of the week.
So as motivations I want to give you a list of 11 reasons to commit to finding time to spend together worshiping God: (these are lightly modified from the article I site below)
1. It glorifies and honors God
2. It keeps the home centered on what is important
3. It encourages Christian character in the entire family
4. It encourages peace in the home
5. It brings the family together
6. It provides the same biblical information for the entire family
7. It trains children for worship with the entire church
8. It encourages our children that parents worship all week
9. It reinforces that parents (preferably dads) are the spiritual leader in the home
10. It gives an opportunity for parents to be the primary disciple makers in their home
11. It provides generational testimony (dad and mom worship God, grandpa and grandma worship God)
As you push out family time from when your children are young you see the effect on them later in life. Family is one thing that God has created for us to find support and is a microcosm of the greater family of believers. We cannot rely on pastors to do all the spiritual work in discipling our children.
I know you are hearing this from a pastor, but think about it like this: on the high end a Youth Pastor or Children’s Pastor has 40 hours with your child a year. You have conservatively 1,000 hours. You as a parent have more opportunity (than the rest of the church) to allow God to use you in your family to grow them. God’s has some words for parents:
“1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
2 Timothy 1:5
5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
God does amazing, miraculous things through parents that are faithful to teach their children the word of God. God through his infinite mercy uses each parent to disciple their own children. Parents can’t bring their children to salvation, the Holy Spirit is the one that changes the heart of a sinner.
Spend time as a family worshiping the God of the universe and be prepared to see what God is going to do in and through your family.
(The list above was modified from an article by Jason Helopoulos)