Family Worship Nights

I struggle leading our family in spiritual matters. I did when it was just Danielle and me. I am no better at it now that our son is a part of the family.

When our son was first placed in our home as a foster child, I intentionally prayed over him each night. The thought that we only had a few days or weeks with him fueled that focus. However now that he is a part of our forever family, some of that intentionally has waned. I guess that is just normal human nature. But, it bothers me.


We still read Bible stories and sing a couple of songs most nights before bedtime. He expects me or Danielle to pray for him before we say goodnight. I want it to be more than just a bedtime ritual. I also want him to witness me loving on God—I want our family to worship together. Not just in a church setting, but anywhere, anytime. I don’t remember if it was my idea or Danielle’s (I will give her full credit though just in case!). We decided to have a weekly family worship night. We had our third one this week. And, I am loving it.

Not only do I want to do this for the reasons mentioned above, but also I need it. Danielle and I need it as a couple. At the end of most days, we are both tired. Exhausted really. I need the help that comes from our Lord. He renews me; restores me; comforts me; encourages me. I find my rest in Him; my refuge; my sustenance; my wisdom; my guidance. He is such a gentle Father. He has never barged in demanding a relationship. He patiently waits for me; looking for me to come and runs to meet me when he sees me approaching Him. I never feel like I am interrupting Him or His schedule. What a Savior.

That is why I am excited about our weekly time of family worship. I want that to be a part of who we are; what defines us; what shapes us. We keep it simple really, especially since our son is three years old with an attention span to match. But he loves music. And like any little child, he loves hearing a story read.

We decided on Wednesday nights. It works well in our schedule. I have main bedtime duty, so I begin the process about 30 minutes earlier than other nights. I give him a bath. Put on his night-clothes. Let him eat a snack if he wants one. Then we pull out my guitar and any instruments he wants. That usually is a couple of drums, a tambourine, maybe a piano—whatever makes a noise. He even has a little stage. I choose 3-4 songs to sing. So far he bangs away on his instruments, dances a little, runs around some, and maybe sings a little bit.

I love it!

This week we sang a new song by Matt Maher—Lord I Need You. In the middle of the second song, our son shouted out, “play the new song again, play the new song again!” I guess he liked it.

Maybe I ought to try that some time at church…just a thought.

After singing some worship songs, we let our son pick out which Bible story he wants to read. We read the story or two. Then we sing our usual bedtime songs—Jesus Loves the Little Children and Jesus Loves Me. Danielle and I pray over him. And we put him in bed. Danielle and I then get back together for a time of prayer. We are only three weeks into this, so don’t put me on any kind of pedestal. I hope I continue to lead our family in these times of worship. I need it. I long for it. I hope my son falls in love with God.

If you do anything like this, I would love to hear what and how you do it.

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I am a longtime Austinite. Married my beautiful wife over 25 years ago. Adopted our son September 2012. Currently a writer and loving it. Previous jobs and careers include project management, missionary, and pastor. I enjoy sports (both watching and playing), traveling, reading, digging in dirt and hanging with my friends and family.

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