Worship is essential to the Christian life (Acts 2:42). Further, the worship of a Christian family is essential for a godly and peaceable home. The following is a simple suggestion for family worship. It is something my wife and I have recently decided to do, and we’re both very excited about it.
Family Worship: Marks of a Christian
I recently started a devotional study on the marks of a Christian (e.g. repentance, faith, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc.). As I sift through God’s word to grow in my understanding of these various marks, I jot down notes and thoughts. After this time alone in God’s word I then include my wife. We read through and discuss the notes and thoughts I have recorded from my devotional study. We also look at key Scriptures that relate to the particular mark of interest. Next, we find a hymn that pertains to that specific mark and proceed to praise the Lord through song. Then, we conclude our time alone with God in prayer, with our prayers being influenced by the devotional study and song.
In other words, there’s a main theme (a specific mark) that runs through the time of worship. So what sets this approach to family worship apart from the rest is its distinct focus on the marks of a Christian. Most family worship plans probably already involve Scripture reading and prayer, and perhaps song. This approach, however, seeks to help the family grow in the fruit of the Spirit.
So, let’s take the mark of repentance as an example. After I have spent some time studying the Scriptures on the meaning and nature of repentance, then I will discuss it with my wife, looking at key Scriptures and asking questions. Then, we will find a hymn that speaks to repentance (e.g. “Father, again in Jesus’ Name we meet,” 311, from the Baptist version of the Trinity Hymnal). Next, of course, we conclude with prayer, again forming our prayers around our devotional on repentance.
Why Marks of a Christian?
The marks of a Christian are the fruit of God’s grace in our lives (Rom. 5:1-5; Gal. 5:22-26; Col. 3:12-17). Therefore, a study of these characteristics (for that is essentially what a mark is) brings our attention to the gospel. It reminds us that we are what we are because of God’s grace, and we are to grow in that grace (2 Pet. 3:18). Further, as we study and meditate upon the marks of a Christian, it will help us to see those areas in which we need improvement (perhaps much improvement). Again, God’s grace will enable us to improve in these areas. Lastly, one place that the marks of a Christian are vividly played out is in the home (Eph. 5:22-6:4; Col. 3:18-21; 1 Pet. 3:1-12). For these reasons, and more, I believe a specific study geared towards better understanding and growing in the marks of a Christian (i.e. fruit of the Spirit) is a good and beneficial endeavor for family worship.
Perhaps you already have a specific family worship plan in action. Praise the Lord! If not, perhaps you could give this plan a try. Perhaps you could include this in an already existing family worship plan. Either way, make it your own. Be centered on the word, praise the Lord, and give thanks to Him always; for He is good.
 For this reason, this particular focus in family worship is probably better suited for husband and wife. If you have young children that have not yet professed Christ, then this devotional focus may not benefit them as much, though parents could still include a lesson directed to their children that relate to the Christian mark. The mark of repentance is an obvious one! In any case, your children should be a part of your family worship; hence, family worship.