Family Worship

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by Grant Jones, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Yes

    16 vote(s)
  2. No

    5 vote(s)
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  1. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    Good Day,

    Once my wife and I had our first daughter I began to be convicted and convinced by scripture that I needed to do family worship. This was foreign to me as I was not raised doing family worship. Currently I have a 4yr. old and an 18 month old. 18-month old is normally asleep before we start as she can barely sit still. We plan (as we did with my first kid), to be more dogmatic once the youngest turns 2.

    Below is what our current format is Mon-Sun.
    We do not have have family worship on Wed. (we go to church for bible study) nor on Sundays because we are gathered with the body the majority of the day (Morning and Evening) and my wife and I do private study while my kids get their naps.

    Normal Day of Family Worship:

    1. We sing 2-3 songs utilizing YouTube (mostly hymns new and old) videos that I select from our Television. Neither my wife nor myself are are skilled to use instruments (lets not have the instrument debate on this thread). This has also helped my family learn some of the hymns as we are still adjusting to our newly found PCA denomination and local church (went from Calvinistic SBC to PCA).
    2. GCP Kids Catechisms for my 4yr. old (she knows 1-35 praise the Lord!)
    3. My wife reads aloud a section from the Westminster Standards.
    3. I lead a prayer asking the Lord (specifically the Holy Spirit to illumine the text.
    4. Scripture Reading with explanation and application.
    5. Closing Prayer where my wife and then 4yr. (for training how to pray) open the prayer and I close the prayer.

    This has been such a blessing, but at the same time it is a discipline.

    1. Does anyone see a major issue with my content, format, or logic?

    2. Answer the Poll Question

    3. Feel Free to Share your practices.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 28, 2018
  2. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    Wow, that all sounds amazing, brother!. We do morning and evening, but it is much shorter than yours. We read a bit, talk about the passage, pray, and sing a song.

    I don't think family worship is a command, but it best fulfills the other commands given about families loving, serving, and learning about God.

    Keep up the great job!
  3. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    Thanks brother. I know everyone does it differently, which I find interesting (in a good way.
  4. kainos01

    kainos01 Puritan Board Senior

    Scripture seems to be quite clear about the responsibility of parents to raise their children in the knowledge of the Lord (Gn. 18:19; Deut. 4:9, 6:7, 11:19, 32:46; Pr. 1:8, 4:1ff; Eph. 6:4; etc.), and I take that to mean something akin to intentional family worship, in addition to, more broadly, ongoing, perpetual nurture and counsel in the midst of child-rearing.

    We have a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old, and our nightly family worship looks like this: Scripture reading, catechesis, singing of a Psalm, and prayer. I would say that the form is not as important as the substance; just make sure that you are introducing your children to the Bible, prayer, and – especially – that you are letting him/her hear you asking God for forgiveness for your own sinfulness and praising God for His faithfulness.
  5. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    • Informative Informative x 1
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  6. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    You could get a job with the media or a political organization with your skill in wording a push poll.
  7. NaphtaliPress

    NaphtaliPress Administrator Staff Member

    For those who are saying it is not a sin to neglect it, why do you conclude that (having a family is presumed of course)? If it is established that it is a duty per the fourth command (at least), as it has been by Reformed theologians, then to neglect it is a sin. Correct? Durham for instance has a substantial excuses on this subject in his treatment of the fourth commandment.
  8. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Though I answered yes I think a definition of what is entailed in family worship would be apropos in the question. Take for instance the idea of bowing ones head in worship before meals. While I think it is fine to do such in ones house I personally do not encourage such outside of the home. Am I not still worshipping Our Lord if I say a word of thankfulness to Him before a meal at McDonalds? :)
  9. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    Haha I do work for the FDA
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2018
  10. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    It depends on if you ordered the #7 combo meal:pilgrim: (sorry I could not pass up)

    But more seriously, I mean more of a formal set time each day where parents intentionally have a time of prayer and bible study.

    I did wish to be elaborate more in my original question, but it appears there is a character limit.
  11. Jonathan R

    Jonathan R Puritan Board Freshman

    I'll admit that my family and I are less strict about the timing of this due to having an 8 month old right now. Usually our family worship just consists of reading the next passage in scripture, prayer, and discussing the passage. I'm sure that it will change more as our daughter gets older and more kids come along.
  12. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    Right on. I have not found a perfect method, and truth be told this is a discipline, which does take commitment. We ( my wife and I) are not perfect at family worship and some nights we do neglect it, But my first post at least outlines our intentions and what our family worship looks like when my wife and I are not neglectful. As family worship seems to be a dying practice, we brothers and sisters in Christ need to encourage and show others the biblical need for the beautiful and Christ-Honoring practice of Fathers and Mothers striving to have some form of a formal family worship time outside of normal church gatherings. :cheers2:
  13. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Junior

    I answered no, because the question is in regards to common days and not the Lord's Day.

    Maybe I'm missing a text that commands us to have formal family worship throughout the week, but I don't know of any in the Bible.

    For this reason, I wouldn't bind someone's conscience to something that the Bible doesn't.

    I do think there are commands for spouses to pray together, for parents to instruct their children in the Lord, for us to give thanksgiving, etc., and the most convenient and applicable way to do this is through structured worship.
  14. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Graduate

    I think I know the intent of the question but it was loaded. Of course ‘neglecting’ family worship is sinful but folks would disagree on what that is.
  15. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    If by your question you mean:
    Must it be formal and intentional, as opposed to spontaneous?
    Must it be daily at the same time, as opposed to frequent but unscheduled?

    I would answer no, it does not have to be intentionally scheduled and there is no requirement for a certain frequency. Meeting minimum requirements is not really a good approach to Christian obedience anyway.

    But it must not be neglected. A Christian home should be filled with frequent worship, constant prayer, and steady teaching and learning about the things of God. Passages like Deuteronomy 6:6-9 suggest these things should happen organically, as we go about life. But being who we are, some scheduling is usually necessary as well. Else we will end up being lax in important disciplines.

    I see no problem with your habit of five days a week, especially since the other two days you are gathering with your church to do the same sort of things. In fact, the only concern I have with your schedule and format is that it is so complete it could become a source of self-righteousness that makes you feel either (1) better than others if you keep to it or (2) condemned if, down the road, you are not able to keep it up. This danger is not a reason to be less rigorous, but it is something to watch for in your heart. And I will tell you from experience that as your children get older and approach the teen years it usually becomes harder, not easier, to keep up a perfect-looking family worship schedule. Make sure you don't just keep insisting on your ideal schedule and format for the sake of appearances and pride. Have godly reasons for what you decide to do.
  16. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    Great Feedback so far.
    I am new to PCA, but i also think it is encouraged in the BCO and in the Westminster Standards.
  17. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    To be clear, I do not believe everyone’s family worship has to look like mine. I am a father of two young girls so I know full well spontaneous seems to be best method on those crazy days. The format for my family worship is not from some online article or book or great theologian. My current format, reflected in my first post, has been taylored from similiarities in our Lords Day worship and also from what has proved to be effective with my wife and 4yr old. Since my family is new to the Westminster Standards And Presbyterianism (formerly we were SBC), I thought it helpful for us to spend extra time learning hymns (to avoid those loud off notes I let out on most Sundays!) and to become more familiar with the Westminster Standards. I think families have a lot of freedom, in my opinion, when it comes to time and frequency, but I think neglecting it is sinful. A lot of Christian families simply depend 100% on the church for training their children for their whole childhood (you know just get them in the pews). I believe the Lord uses Family Worship as means of grace and i have seen that In my family, this is what helps me to persevere. Also like I stated, I do not have family worship perfectly (every weekday) every week, but that is our family goal. Some weeks we hit our mark and some weeks we don’t. I do appreciate your warnings.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 29, 2018
  18. Parakaleo

    Parakaleo Puritan Board Sophomore

  19. Grant Jones

    Grant Jones Puritan Board Junior

    Quote from the end of your linked article from Durham:
    “And from all that is said on this subject, the horrid aggravations of the grievous sin of neglecting family worship so clearly commanded, so much commended and pressed, so much practiced by the saints, held forth to be so advantageous in its practice, and so prejudicial and severely threatened in its neglect, cannot be but at first view obvious to any that will by with ordinary seriousness take notice of them.”

    Well I guess we know how Durham would vote. Thanks for the article. It is very thorough ... I did not make it through the whole thing on my tiny phone, but read enough to know Durham puts together a solid case from scripture.
  20. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    I voted no, although we did it almost every night when all the kids were home. A few songs, a brief bible passage, a brief prayer time. As they got older and went to Christian school we often had them do the bible teaching and lead the prayer.

    But I think it is legalism to require having this structure. The Deuteronomy concept of talking about these things all day long is a picture of engrossing your kids in talking about the Lord and His word, all the time and in all kinds of situations.

    You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

    The picture here is much bigger than structured family time and it is not right to demand such a thing as commanded.
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