Family worship is a concept foreign to most religious people and is even a rarity among members of the church. In a world where families rarely eat together, it is not surprising that few set aside time for daily devotion. A practice that was once a norm has now become the exception and in need of reintroduction; thus this book.
Donald Whitney takes a five-tier approach to re-introducing the concept of family worship in a simple and convicting way. He begins by establishing the need for family worship before discussing what it involves. Before we can change the status quo we must understand what is wrong with our current situation and be challenged to seek a better way. The role of fathers, husbands, and parents are put in perspective and numerous biblical examples are set forth as examples of faith to be immolated within our families. One point of emphasis is that whether children are present in the family or not, family worship is a must if we are to grow in the knowledge and grace of the Lord.
Having established the need for family worship the author moves on to modern day examples of famous leaders of the Reformation who were highly esteemed for their biblical knowledge, influence in their family, and lasting legacy. One thing all of these men had in common was their outspokenness on the topic of family worship. One of the shocking parts of this portion of the book is how strongly family worship was emphasized during the Reformation period – even to the point that a failure to lead one’s family in daily worship could lead to excommunication. How far we have come! Though I am not suggesting (nor is the author) we should withdraw from members who do not practice family worship, it is time for the church to regain a sense of seriousness and high regard for the practice. May we recognize and receive this wise counsel and strive towards a similar legacy in our families.
The third section of the book deals with the items of worship that are and are not to be involved in family worship. It is important to understand that worship is expected outside the assembly of the church, yet we must also be aware that certain items of worship are limited to the assemblies of the church alone. Practical suggestions regarding timeframes and methods of structuring family gatherings are also provided.
The last two sections deal with addressing some common obstacles families face in implementing family worship and reemphasizing the need to press on. Much of the responsibility of implementation falls on the shoulders of fathers and husbands, though their absence should not be viewed as an excuse to accomplish what is needed. Positive encouragement is offered to fathers and husbands who may feel somewhat ashamed for not having previously lead as they should have while also providing helps to ensure success can be achieved and maintained.
Consisting of roughly 70 pages of material, this book reads like a large tract. Though it does not address all the questions people may have, or go as in-depth as other books, it does provide a powerful introduction to the wonderful blessing of family worship that will hopefully motivate many to rethink how they structure their lives and spend their family time.
Pick up a copy today and get started down a new path that will change the future of your family and impact the Lord’s church in a tremendous way. May God bless our families and raise them up for greatness in the Kingdom.