Philadelphia Baptist Church

Focus on the Home Field: The Family Altar

Focus on the Home Field: The Family Altar
Focus On the Fields

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Perhaps you have seen or heard the cliche, “A family altar can alter a family.” Many families may not even know what a family altar is and how it can impact a home. A “family altar” is the practice of having a regular time that you gather together as a family and worship God through prayer and Bible reading. Is there a Biblical reason to have a family altar, and is there any real benefit to it. The answer to both questions is “yes.”
The example of a family altar can be inferred from the early chapters of Genesis. How did Cain and Able know to bring sacrifices to the Lord? They most likely learned it from their mother and father, Adam and Eve. We see further examples of families worshipping together through the Bible. When we come to the book of Deuteronomy, we find clear, direct instruction regarding family worship.
Deuteronomy 6:4-7 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: [5] And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. [6] And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: [7] And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
A reason that many people who grew up in “Christian” homes quit church and leave the faith is that their home did not have a family altar. God and the Bible were discussed on Sundays at church (and maybe Wednesdays) but not in the home. Their mother and father didn’t pray with them, read the Bible to them, or answer their questions about spiritual things. Having taken them to church frequently, the parents considered their duty done. Such a shallow version of Christianity is a foundation of sand that will inevitably collapse when the winds of life blow.
While we focus on the fields around us, we cannot neglect the field closest to us. We must build strong families if we are going to be a healthy church, and to build strong families, we must worship God as a family in the home.