A family is a father, a mother and a child or children, ideally, from a biblical perspective. Worship is to honor the “worth” of God, or “worthship” if I may. Family worship is a family expressing the worth of God in the conscience of the family. God, of course is the Triune God, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Christian worship is then giving the proper honor to our God in everything wherein He is God! He is Lord of all, so every aspect of life should be to His honor. “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”, (1Co 10:31). There are many ways we can glorify God, but here Paul begins with the most basic acts of eating and drinking. Where does most of this ideally take place? In the family. Have you thought of the holiness of a meal? We have spent may hours in holy fellowship with brethren around the table. Perhaps you have never thought of fellowship around a table full of delicious food as glorifying God, but that is the standard Paul sets in this verse.
In our day we speak of the “house of worship” or the church building where we go to worship. We can worship almost any where. In the New Testament, and for centuries after Christ returned to the right hand of the Father, believers met in their homes normally to worship God in an assembly. Consider:
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ. (Act 5:42)
And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (Act 2:46)
And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in thy house: (Phm 1:2)
Where was the church? It was in Philemon’s house.
Note the simplicity here. When? Daily. Where? Every house. Why? To teach and preach Jesus Christ. You don’t need an organized clergy for this. You don’t need men with letters after their names to direct this. You don’t need the government to regulate it. It doesn’t take any extra money to make it work! Anyone who knows that he is a sinner, that Christ is the only Saviour, and that He can trust his whole being for time and eternity to God, knows enough to teach and preach Jesus Christ. Simply teaching is to present the facts and preaching is the exhortation or encouragement to live the facts. Family worship is simple. “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward,” (2Co 1:12).
With some 450,000 churches in our country today, few people realize that there were no church buildings as we know them for centuries after Pentecost. Further, you will see in history, that shortly after the emphasis was shifted to buildings, and organized religion, the world went into what we call the Dark Ages for about a thousand years or until the Great Reformation. Through out the Dark Ages, God had a witness, usually in small home assemblies who were usually persecuted by the organized religion which was called by the world, Christianity. This is dark, but there are many good, well documented history books showing the horrors of organized christianity which had little or nothing to do with our precious Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now consider with me, what is the most basic reality of a family, something even more basic that eating and drinking? Marriage! “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge,” (Heb 13:4). The purpose of marriage is to honor or glorify God. The heart of the family is the marriage which produced it. In our culture, sadly, marriages are usually based on attraction. That attraction might be sex, tradition, ambition or even religion. Oh, how it would change things if, for instance, when a young lady was considering marriage, she would think first ask ,
Would this young man be faithful in leading our young family in the worship or honor of God?
Would he be able to lead in family devotions?
Would he be able to pray in a crisis?
Would he be able to trust God in all things financial?
Would he shape our lives daily to honor my precious Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ?
The young man would ask,
Would this young lady be an example for our children?
Would she be able to follow me as I lead the family in serving God?”
Would she pattern her life after Ephesians 5 and 1 Peter 3 and other scriptures?
Would she be a woman of prayer?
Would she be able to help in the ministry God has given us?