Friday, July 13, 2007

Family Driven Faith - Chapter 7 – Mark the Home as God’s Territory

Can we honestly say our homes would be remembered as a place of worship? This is not just a matter of what it looks like but it is that and so much more. Voddie begins by speaking about his mother and her Buddhism and how the trappings of what his mother had in the house have left a lasting impression. His point is that our Christianity in the home should leave just as vivid an impression. He gives some particle advice in touching on how to involve the senses: Engaging the Eyes, Engaging the Sense of Hearing, Engaging the Sense of Taste and Smell, Engaging the Sense of Touch. Thus this chapter touches on an area, if you are like me until recently, you have not contemplated much, that of Family Worship or Family Altar.

Voddie then goes on to relate how “Family Altar”, probably a foreign word to most as it originally was to me, is a place to tie in all of the sensory aspects he has mentioned. Voddie relates a quote by Arthur Pink (1886-1952) from an article of his on Family Worship that probably sounds quite extreme to most:

It is not enough that we pray as private individuals in our closets; we are required to honor God in our families as well. At least twice each day, in the morning and in the evening the whole household should be
gathered together to bow before the Lord parents and children, master and servant to confess their sins, to give thanks for God’s mercies, to seek His help and blessing. Nothing must be allowed to interfere with this duty: all other domestic arrangements are to bend to it. The head of the house is the one to lead the devotions, but if he be absent, or seriously ill, or an unbeliever, then the wife would take his place. Under no circumstances should family worship be omitted. If we would enjoy the blessing of God upon our family, then let its members gather together daily for praise and prayer. “Them that honour Me I will honour” is His promise.

Now for most of us this would seem rather strong and we might even say this may be going too far. But, how many of us have put the same commitment called for here into other things such as sports or other activities that come no where as close to reaping the spiritual benefits Family Worship does?

Voddie does not leave the reader just knowing they need to have Family worship as he then gives some practice advice starting with: Where to Begin? (7 Steps). These seven steps are more than simply a checklist but go deeper so that the groundwork that is laid is fruitful. These steps are: Family Worship (FW) must be born of conviction, FW begins with the Head of the Household, FW must be Scheduled, FW must be Simple, FW must be Natural, FW must be mandatory, and FW must be participatory.

Voddie then moves on to the difference Family Worship will make by listing some blessing that we will observe: FW honors God, FW will draw your family closer to God, FW will draw your family closer to one another, FW will lay a foundation for Multigenerational faithfulness, FW will expose spiritual weakness in your home, FW will serve as a training ground for smaller children, and FW will make corporate worship more meaningful.

I hope as you read this book that you see that the benefits are not simply for the here and now, as they undoubtedly will be, but will greatly benefit future generations. I always remember Judges 2:10:

And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel.

This verse speaks of a generation that knew little if anything of God. Not only did they not know of all He had done for their parents but they simply did not know God. If we neglect to raise our children in the “fear and admonition of the Lord” they too will grow up very much the same. I truly believe the issues we see today in the church are a result of this very thing. We need to take notice and mend our ways and return to the plan God has for our families and not simply live off of the advise others give.

Next, Chapter 8 - Enjoy the Gifts Without Forgetting the Giver

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