4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9, NKJV

Lately, we’ve been trying to develop a routine family worship time in the evenings. When I envisioned it, I — perhaps unrealistically — pictured the four of us singing hymns in perfect far-part harmony and having a lovely discussion of Galatians before prayer. So far, it’s been halting and interrupted by evenings away from home, and the actual “service” is just me reading a chapter of Mark aloud, interrupting to explain to Micah what is going on, and asking him a few questions at the end.

And that’s OK. He’s four. The reason for doing this (and ultimately, keeping him in church services even though he is squirmy) is so he will both be used to it and — bit by bit — learn something.

Growing up, we had a family Bible time almost nightly. At times I hated it, and at times I got bored, but family Bible time, probably more than any class I took in the religion department in college, contributed to my biblical literacy. Can I want anything less for my own children, even if they fidget?

Besides, both the Reformed and Orthodox agree: the family is the smallest unit of the Church. Sunday School, after all, was started for the children of unbelievers — the children of believers were expected to be taught at home.