You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your might.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
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.”
Conversations about family ministry happen frequently in our home. On a nearly daily basis, we find ourselves brainstorming how to best help families live out the commands of Deuteronomy 6 in their everyday lives. That’s to be expected as the wife of a pastor to students and children, right?
(I received a complementary copy of this book for review purposes.
This post contains affiliate links; please see disclosure for details.)
We don’t have all the answers, but we know for sure that most families need help putting their faith in action in this busy world. Parents can often get their families to sit in a church service on Sundays, but for many of them, that’s all the impressing upon the hearts and lives they seem to manage in a week’s time. Here’s the thing though, bringing your kids to church has never been enough. Oh, it’s a good thing to do, but it’s not enough to truly “train up a child.”
Kids need to see their parents following Christ all week long and worshiping with their lives rather than just singing through a few songs each Sunday. Somewhere along the way, we forgot that worship was never meant to be confined to a church sanctuary or weekly service. Instead, worship is a way of life.
Family Worship Review
The simple fact is that lots of well-meaning Christian families need help when it comes to making worship a way of life. That’s where Donald Whitney comes in. In Family Worship, Whitney provides parents with the why for family worship, biblical examples of it, and suggestions on how to implement it in the modern home.
The why as Whitney explains is simply this:
It is unlikely that exposure to church once or twice a week will impress your children enough with the greatness and glory of God that they will want to pursue him once they leave your home.”
That’s plenty of reason for family worship right there, but Whitney also points out this compelling truth:
God deserves to be worshiped daily in our homes by our families.”
Yes, the reasons for intentional worship times with your family are certainly there, but my favorite things about Family Worship are the biblical and historical references and the how of worshiping as a family. Whitney provides example after example of leaders of family worship in the Bible — Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Job, and more — and the scriptural references needed for personal research on all of these biblical figures.
In addition to the biblical examples, Whitney includes tons historical precedents. While I know lots of Christian parents who are incredibly intelligent, I don’t know many who know much about church history, much less the trail of family worship throughout history. One of my favorite things about Family Worship is that Whitney doesn’t just give the biblical examples and then jump to how family worship looks today.
Instead, he walks readers through family worship in early church all the way to modern day by giving examples of family worship from well known influencers of our faith from many denominations and historical backgrounds.
Lastly, in Family Worship Whitney shows families that the concept of family worship doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating. He gives practical suggestions and tips for implementing worship as a family into your everyday life.
Bottom Line on Family Worship
The bottom line on Donald Whitney’s Family Worship is that this book is a fantastic resource for families looking to implement family worship into their daily routines. Better yet is that it’s more of a practical guide than an arduous dissertation on the importance of worship as a family.
Worship as a family is incredibly important — Family Worship presents the case for it, provides biblical and historical backup, and gives attainable suggestions for executing it from day to day.