The week prior to Mother’s Day I posted a blog about Motherhood. However, last week I posted nothing about Fatherhood, so it is only fair that I do so now. I am currently reading a newly released book by Jason Helopoulos, A Neglected Grace: Family Worship in the Christian Home. (This book will be available for purchase at our book table on Sunday if anyone is interested.) I want to share several things that have stood out to me as I have read.
First, I appreciate that the author is not trying to guilt dads and families into practicing the discipline of family worship. Helopoulos wrote in the introduction:
At the outset, I want to make it clear that this book is not intended to heap guilt upon the shoulders of husbands, mothers, or parents who have struggled to lead their homes in family worship. My great challenge in writing this book was to do so in a way that would show the benefits of family worship—how important and beneficial it is for the Christian family…
Second, there are many arguments to be made for the importance of family worship, and the author shares several. However, he shared one of the most simple and straightforward arguments for family worship I have heard yet. He submitted:
A Christian home is more than two or three Christians living in the same house. A few Christians living under the same roof does not make a place a Christian home any more than two or three bankers living in a house makes it a bank. A Christian home will seek to be centered upon Christ, and if it is centered upon Christ, then it will be filled with worship.
I agree. A distinctively Christian home will be marked by times of Christ-exalting worship together. Helopoulos later wrote:
Family worship is a living banner that speaks louder than any sign over our mantelpiece or any engraving on the wall which loudly proclaims, “As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh. 24:15).
Third, Jason reminds us that the responsibility of family worship is primarily that of the husband and father. He stated:
In 1 Timothy 5:8, Paul tells his young protégé, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” Paul is speaking about the responsibility that a head of the home has to those within it. This man’s position is not one of indulgence, but of provision. His responsibility is great. He is to provide for those under his care. And this provision is not only for their physical needs. Many Christian fathers and husbands think that they are fulfilling their God-given duty because they are providing for the material needs of their family. This is not enough! If our wives and children were only material bodies, then it would make sense to provide solely for their material needs. But they are not just bodies; they have eternal souls. Their spiritual well-being must also be cared for.
Well, to say the least, thus far I have been challenged, rebuked and encouraged. I am looking forward to the second half of the book which is full of practical helps and further encouragements. Husbands and fathers, we have a great responsibility, but remember this responsibility is also a great privilege.