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Family Worship: Helpful Thoughts from the Irish Calvinist

15 June, 2009

brannansmall1My wife brought this little gem of an article to my attention a couple weeks ago, called ‘Doing Family Devotions’, written by Erik Raymond, aka The Irish Calvinist. It’s a list of 11 very helpful suggestions and applications for Christian husbands and fathers, of the biblical command well summarized in Ephesians 6:4,

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

I especially appreciate numbers 1, 5, 10 and 11:

-1- Be in the Word yourself

If you are going to teach your family to love the Word of God you better love the Word of God yourself. God’s design in commanding men to lead their families in the truth is to be preserving faithfulness throughout generations not modeling self-dependence and hypocrisy.

If you have not gone to the well of truth to draw fresh water from heaven than do not pretend to have something to say to your family. Instead, retire to a place where you can open up the Bible and drink from the fountain of grace that you might be fueled to speak of how impressed you are with Christ. You must know the Jesus you speak of, and not just know him but love him; this love is birthed by divine grace through the word of God and sustained by the same means.

-5- Talk about the Word all the time

As a family we may not sit down every single night and do a devotion, however, there is not a day that goes by that I do not speak to my kids about God. I want to make sure that the climate in my home is Christ centered therefore everything is a sign to point to Jesus. With little children their discipline is within the context of the gospel, for we are not trying to teach morality but Christianity! Their framework for obedience must be a holy and righteous creator and an accountable humanity. The only way to have this work right is within the context of the gospel.

My wife is a great help here. She talks about the Bible all the time with our kids during the day and we talk about it at night. It is important to create a climate that supports the sufficiency of Scripture and our dependence upon God.

-10- Gospelize your family

Remember that the whole point in doing this is to point your family to Jesus. Therefore, it is right to continue to explain and apply the gospel. Talk about the gospel all the time. Remember that your kids are young, they have not been dwelling upon the gospel for years, they probably don’t understand it like you do and they need to hear it! For we learn in Romans that “faith comes by hearing and hearing from the word of Christ” (Rom 10:17). So since the gospel “is the power of God for salvation” (Rom 1:15) and we want our kids to be saved, then what should we be telling them?

-11- Remember that this is a command

God does not ask us to lead and teach our families, he commands it. This is a regal decree from the King of heaven to us as his followers and leaders of our families. Therefore we must be good stewards of our time, pouring into our kid’s hearts and lives the unsearchable riches of Christ.

If you are struggling with this discipline then resolve today to get started; and the best way to get started is to get started. Open up your Bible read it and apply it to your life. Go home tonight and tell your family that you want to read the Word of God to them. And then do it again tomorrow, praying that God would water his word.

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3 Comments
  1. 15 June, 2009 11:54 am

    I’ve not had the time to listen to it yet, but Dr. R. C. Sproul Jr. was on Covenant Radio the other day (12th June) discussing Family Worship. It should be worth a listen if anyone is interested in this subject.

  2. 15 June, 2009 12:50 pm

    Thanks Cal.vini.st, I’ll check it out.

    ~B

  3. 16 June, 2009 2:25 am

    Great stuff thanks for posting this.

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