Household Worship

Sung Joon Hong, Concordia Theological Seminary


Prevailing social and cultural changes in America today influence the family life and their life in the church. Often our values, ethics and behavioral norms are distorted from the Biblical principles. Conflicts between parent and the hostile family environment, sexual infidelity between the spouses and eventual divorce, drug and alcoholic problems, teenage pregnancy and unwed motherhood, and sexual immorality and legitimating of homosexual practices are threatening the very core of our traditional values and Christian precepts. What is so alarming is the fact that these aberrations are becoming a common place in the life of our church! They erroneously give an impression of "normalcy."

The author proposes that one of the ways to remedy the undesirable social trend is to reclaim the Christian family values by encouraging "Household Worship." It was Martin Luther, the first man ever used the term, "family education," who really emphasized the importance of family and the education of the children. Luther believed that God entrusted the duty of education of children as the full responsibility of every parents, and that the longest lasting influences that a person has in their lifetime are the ones from their parents and the family (Ji, Won Yong, 1971: 27).

To verify the importance and the effectiveness of the family and the "Household Worship" in reclaiming the Christian values and practices, it was hypothesized that there will be a significant differences between those families that holds regular "Household Worship" and those who do not, with respect to their attitudes, value orientation, and Christian life style. The questionnaire was designed to discover the differences in the assessment of the importance of the "Household Worship" in shaping 1) their personal life; 2) children, their life, and their core values: 3) family life and enrichment; 4) church life and religious practices: 5) contribution to the society at large and the country.

The data were gathered from seventy-eight "Household Worshippers" and twenty-four "Non-Household Worshippers," a total of 102 households. The research findings reveal that there are indeed significant differences between those who hold "Household Worship" and those who do not in all dimensions that were examined. It was concluded that the practice of "Household Worship" has positive effects on shaping personal life of the parents, socialization of the children, peace and harmony in the family, active participation in the life of the church, and positive contributions to the community and the society.

In the face of the challenges set before us by our rapidly changing society, if Christians remain mere spectators of the social decay and the moral disintegration, we will be negligent of the mandate of our Lord, that we should be the light of the world and the salt of the earth! The researcher is confident that the family can become the model of God's heavenly kingdom with full of joy and happiness when they have household worship. Finally, we can live with a sense of duty as a good desirable soldier of Jesus Christ keeping the relationship with God ceaselessly.