Daily Family Worship: What Convinced Me
This is my story of why my mailbox reminds me daily of something really important, a ministry that is often ignored, looked down upon and thought unimportant or just impossible.
Many years ago a friend of mine shared with me his practice of leading his family in reading the Bible and praying on a daily basis. When he first told me about it I thought it was a little weird, because although I was a seminary trained pastor, I was blind to what the Bible had to say about fathers leading their families spiritually. I was largely skeptical and unconvinced as to the worth of such a daily practice. I also thought it was an impossible goal. It seemed like an insurmountable hill. Plus, at that point I had neither the will not the skill to pull it off. I didn't want to do that and I didn't know the first thing on how to break the ice and start.
It was a bit off-putting to me that a solid Christian man who attended a very solid Bible church with excellent children's and youth ministries (I was a children's pastor at that point in time) would do that. Why he felt the need to supplement such solid ministry with his own daily efforts towards his family baffled me. That's how far away I was from a Deuteronomy 6, Psalm 78, Ephesians 6:1-4 mindset and way of life. I'd read all those passages many times, but I was so locked in to the way of life and ministry I'd been taught that I totally missed it. But I was intrigued and so I started asking him questions.
How exactly do you do it? Why do you do it? How do you remember? All the questions a new believer usually asks about reading the Bible and praying, just from a seasoned believer related to doing that with his wife and kids. He told me it was simple. It wasn't brain surgery. Every day the family would gather to read God's Word and pray. He told me how much his family loved doing this. He told me that to remember, he would pick something on the outside of his house that when he saw it it would remind him. I began to feel the need. I wanted to start this same practice of leading my family spiritually. To remind myself I picked the house numbers on my garage at the house we lived in at that time. It was a good reminder until we moved two years ago. Now, it is my mailbox that reminds me to attend to my first priorities.
When our family started a practice of daily family worship, it was me, my wife, and our one young child. God has blessed my wife and I with five children. Now they range in age from elementary school to junior high to high school and two in college. And they have all been brought up with this practice. And we do this every day by the grace of God. And I still need a daily reminder not only to attend to this discipline but to do so reliant on God's strength, with a servant's heart; for Jesus, the Gospel and the glory of God. What reminds me where we live now is my mailbox out front at the curb.
My mailbox reminds me of something very very good and very very important. My mailbox reminds me that I need to lead my family in reading God's Word and prayer. My mailbox reminds me that when I get home the day starts. My mailbox reminds me to lay down my life for my family and love them with the love of Jesus rather than demanding that I be served. It reminds me that my life is not about me and my agendas, but about worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ and serving His purposes in the world. It is not impossible. By the grace and enabling of God I do this and all praise goes to Jesus for any good that comes of it. And I am very thankful for my friend who by example taught me these things initially.