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Family Worship Review by April Elstrom

Donald S. Whitney
Crossway
(630) 682-4300
1300 Crescent Street
Wheaton, IL 60187
http://www.crossway.org/

Family Worship: the very words can fill Christian parents with confusion, fear, and even a deep sense of guilt. We know this should be an important part of our family life, but we aren’t sure how to make it happen. What should it look like? Do we need to preach? Will our kids listen? How long should it last?

Family Worship is a small paperback book written by Donald S. Whitney to help families understand the importance of family worship, and the practical application of family worship. It truly is a small book. The book is purse-sized, measuring just 5 x 7 inches, and just one quarter of an inch thick. Even though the book has 80 pages, only 56 pages are actually part of the text. It’s easy to take with you and read in small spurts. I read mine while waiting for appointments and during swimming lessons.

Dr. Whitney has kept this book simple and manageable, dividing the book into five chapters. The first chapter introduces the history of family worship in the Bible; the second chapter addresses family worship in church history. The third chapter covers the three elements of family worship: read, pray, sing. The fourth chapter addresses questions about family worship in different circumstances, and the final chapter encourages families to overcome their fears and doubts and resolve to begin forming the habit of family worship.

I enjoyed reading the chapter that explains what family worship should look like. The three simple elements that Dr. Whitney lays out from Scripture make it less of an overwhelming task. All that remains is choosing a passage of Scripture to begin, choosing how you want to handle praising in song, and setting aside a time that works for your family. Of course, the real battle will begin when busy schedules and negative behavior from our children tempt us to skip family worship. That is where having a firm conviction and resolve will be of vital importance.

Family Worship is a compelling argument for making family worship a habit in your home. However, it is largely written to the husband. If a wife reads the book and is convicted, she would still need to have her husband read the book and take action. The chapter on difficult circumstances address single women and husbands who are not Christians. However, it doesn’t address the issue of Christian husbands who are away from home frequently, or a Christian husband who doesn’t feel the need for family worship. If a woman finds herself in that situation, she’d need to decide how to handle her conviction when her husband doesn’t share the conviction. I would recommend prayer in that circumstance, for God to bring unity in spirit and conviction between the husband and wife.

Family Worship should be in every church library and recommended by pastors to families within their congregation. So often pastors encourage families to begin daily devotions, but they don’t recommend a resource. This is that resource!

-Product review by April Elstrom, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August, 2016

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