When an unbeliever enters a church where the word of God is being clearly proclaimed and where there is decent and orderly worship being offered, “he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.” In the same way, when family worship is faithfully practiced in the home it will promote a sense of God’s presence in that house.
Having considered the decline of family worship (Part 1) and some biblical support for its practice (Part 2), we look now at some positive benefits, which in turn supply another argument for its restoration. As Paul instructs us in 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether we eat, drink, or whatever we do, we’re to do all to the glory of God.” However, we need not view God’s glory and our benefit as mutually exclusive. I believe there are a number of benefits and blessings that result from the practice of family worship. Even if there were no passages of Scripture to support the practice directly or indirectly, the potential of these blessings would certainly commend it.
The Eternal Good of Each Family Member
When the apostle Paul wants Christians to know that he’s concerned for their eternal welfare, he often uses the analogy of a parent’s love for a child.
But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us…. You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children (1 Thess. 2:7-11).
My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you (Gal. 4:19).
Paul longed for the spiritual good of his spiritual children. And he knew that he could best promote their eternal welfare by faithfully preaching to them the gospel of Christ. In the same way, parents, one of the best ways that you can promote the salvation of your children is to teach and preach the gospel to them. To take some time on a regular basis and instruct them in the word of God, just as Paul did his spiritual children.
Someone may object, “Life is too busy for family worship. We have too many irons in the fire and not enough time for family altar.”
My answer: You need to seriously consider what you may “give-up” in order to make time for family worship. Once again, the apostle Paul is a good parental example. As a loving spiritual father, Paul was willing to endure much hardship and to give up many Christian liberties so that he might do what was necessary to secure the salvation of his children! Note his example:
What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more…. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some (1 Cor. 9:18-19, 22).
Fathers and mothers, how far are you willing to go in order to secure the salvation of your children? Are you willing to give up some of your liberties and hobbies in order to insure that family worship is practiced in your home? Are you willing to make family worship a priority over television viewing? Are you willing to give greater priority to the spiritual training of your children than to golf, or shopping, or yard work, or sewing?
The mark of a godly parent is a commitment to make personal rights and convenience subservient to the salvation of the child’s soul. Mom and Dad, are you truly committed to seek the eternal good of your child’s soul? If so, how then can you deprive them of the benefit and advantage of family worship?
I conclude this point with the appeal of Philip Doddridge. In a sermon entitled, “The Important Subject of Family Religion,” he appeals to parents:
Let me entreat you, then, my dear friend, to look on your children the very next time you see them, and ask your own heart how you can answer to God and to them that you deprive them of such advantages as [family worship] …. For what is prosperity in life without the knowledge, fear, and love of God?… It is, with respect to the eternal world, the greatest cruelty to your children to neglect giving them those advantages [of family worship] which no other attentions in education, exclusive of these, can afford; and it is impossible that you would ever be able to give them any other equivalent.