“In our homes, we are growing immortal lives. The problem is to bring out in each one the very highest possible development of manly or womanly character. There are certain conditions which are essential to all true growth. If men take such pains to know how to grow flowers which fade in a day, should we not take pains to know how to grow souls which live forever?
“What should be the religious atmosphere of a home, in order to make it a true spiritual conservatory? There must be a home altar. No Christian home life can be complete where the family does not daily gather for worship. All the members may meet in God’s house on the Lord’s Day for public services; each one may maintain strict habits of private devotions. But if there is to be a family religion, and a home life that is blessed and sweetened by the grace of Christ; then there must also be family worship – where all assemble to listen devoutly to God’s Word, and where all bow reverently in supplication at God’s feet.
“If these words are read by parents who have no household altar, they are lovingly entreated – for the sake of their children – to set it up at once! It will bind the family more closely together. It will sweeten every joy and lighten every burden. It will brighten every path of toil and stress. It will throw a holy protection around the children as they go out amidst dangers. It will fill their hearts with the truths and influences of the Divine Word. It will weave golden and silver threads into the memory of their childhood, which will remain bright forever. It will continually keep a way open between the home and heaven – setting up a ladder from the hearthstone on earth to the Father’s house in glory, upon which the angels shall come and go continually in faithful ministry. Blessed is the home which has its family altar, whose fires never go out! But sad is the home – even though it may be filled with splendors and with the tenderness of human love – in which the household never gathers for united prayer.
“But family worship alone is not enough. There are homes where prayer is never omitted, yet in which there is not the spirit of Christ; and only the spirit of Christ in a household makes a truly Christian home. If the altar is in the midst, the whole life of the home should be filled with the incense that burns upon it. There are some fields of grass from which a sweet fragrance arises on summer days, although not a flower is to be seen anywhere. But when you part the tall grass and look down among its roots, there – close to the ground; and hidden under the showy, waving grass – you will see multitudes of small flowers! They are modest and lowly, but they pour forth a delicate and delicious aroma – filling all the air. There are homes in which there is nothing remarkable in the way of grandeur or elegance, yet the very atmosphere, as you enter, is filled with sweetness – like “the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed.” It is the aroma of love – the love of Christ shed abroad in human hearts! True religion is lived in that home. The daily prayers bring down the spirit of heaven. Christ dwells there, and His blessed influence fills all the home life with Divine tenderness.”
Does your family have a “home altar,” as Mr. Miller refers to it here? If so, in what ways has it changed your family for the better? If you do not currently have a time set aside for family worship, will you be willing to begin doing so at once, for the sake of the immortal souls that are at stake? Is the spirit of Christ present in your household? Is His love being shed abroad in the hearts of your family members?
Do you have any insights that you would like to share with your fellow-readers, about conducting a time of family worship? Are you interested in how to go about implementing such a practice in your home? Please don’t hesitate to ask your questions or share your thoughts in the comments section below!
God bless you and your family, this day and always!
All for the King’s glory,
photo by Serezniy | Megapixl.com