In the past few weeks I’ve slowly become aware that the Lord wants me to pay more attention to something. It started with a message I listened to from the 2011 Desiring God Pastor’s Conference. It was called Leading Family Worship, by Joel Beeke. (BTW, he wrote a simple little book that I getting to help me.)
That message was a wake up call. Watch or listen the message linked to above for the content. It is great!
The most important thing I gleaned from Beeke’s teaching is that I have failed my wife and children as the pastor/leader of my home. I have not lead us family worship. I have not taught them from the Word. This is sin.
For that, I have sought forgiveness; forgiveness from God and my family.
My heart began to be softened by the Lord, first by being challenged by my pastor. After meeting with him, I was convicted by the amount of time I spend online. Most specifically, how much time I spend social networking. I’m not going to get into the specifics of it here, but I was convicted nonetheless. For me, I knew that I was spending too much time at home, reading articles on Google Reader and interacting on Facebook and Twitter. Those are not evil things, but I was using them too much, robbing my family of my attention. And that was evil, hence it was sin.
Not knowing how to find a better balance, I pledged to come home from work and NOT hit the iMac. I’m hitting the couch instead, and interacting with them all. This alone has been fruitful. I’m continuing to keep this commitment, and I foresee the value. I also trimmed the amount of people I follow on Twitter and cut off some folks on Facebook. That has helped as well.
The next step after I challenged myself, with my pastor’s leading, was when God used Beeke’s message (linked to above) to cause me to repent of my failed leadership in family worship. So, I’ve been gathering a few songs that we can sing together (I play a little guitar), and reading a short Scripture. That’s all we’re gonna do to start. We’ll sing a song, read a short Scripture, then pray. Maybe we’ll sing more than one song. In the beginning, I’m going to have one of the older kids read the short Scripture. Also sticking with a parable or a story the kids may know makes it easy for them. For now I think we’ll use a little Family/Children’s Bible that we already have.
In time we’ll do more, but not much more. It’s not about quantity of time set aside. It’s more about regularity of sitting down to worship the Lord as a family.
Some may suggest that I’m bragging about this, by writing this article. Honestly, I’m not. I want to share with you how I’ve failed. It took God using others to humble me and cause me to repent. Repenting is recognizing that you’re headed on the wrong path, and turning around. Committing to change is the pivotal part of repenting. I didn’t do this alone. I didn’t cause this change. I caused the need for the change.
How many of you are headed in the wrong direction? How many of you require the Lord to get your attention, before it’s too late? Without Jesus, I’d be continuing to rob my family of my time and attention.
So, right now, I’m gonna get off this computer, and take my boys and our new puppy to the dog park!