9 Spiritual Benefits from Family Worship
James Durham (1622-1658) was minister in Glasgow for only eleven years but left a considerable number of writings. One of the co-authors of 'The Sum of Saving Knowledge', he is best known for writing what is still regarded as the classic Reformed work on church unity, division and schism, 'A Treatise Concerning Scandal' as well as a highly sought after commentary on the Book of Revelation.
5 Feb, 2016

Families today are under intense pressure. Frequently, they are struggling to keep up with the relentless pace. Activities, expectations and ever-changing peer pressures all make their demands. It can seem like parenting takes place within a maelstrom of economic, social and media pressures.  They take their toll on those who strive towards faithful parenting. Against this, it might seem that daily family worship is just one more pressure. In fact, it is a relief from other pressures and an opportunity to get family life in true perspective. It is a means of grace especially designed to strengthen family life in the midst of intense pressure. Many advantages could be emphasised but the spiritual benefits are of greatest value.

The following list of spiritual benefits has been updated and extracted from a longer piece on family worship by James Durham.  These benefits focus on the long term spiritual good of family members. They also focus on the benefits for parents personally. These benefits are not mechanically generated. As with any means of grace, we must engage with God and His Word in a spiritual way with faith and dependence. They do not the guarantee that your children will be truly converted or that you will never have problems in the family. Yet is a special means which God has appointed to bless families and parents. 

1. FAMILY WORSHIP Increases God’s Delight in You

He gives special approval, testimony and commendation to family worship. God has great delight and satisfaction in those who practice it diligently and faithfully (Genesis 18:19).

2. FAMILY WORSHIP Increases Your Nearness to God

It advances to a high degree of familiarity with God. Those who are faithful in family worship may experience sweet fellowship with God. He may, as He sees fit, share His mind with them (Genesis 18:19 compared with verses 17 and 18). 

3. Family Worship Brings Spiritual Blessing to Your Family

Family worship is easily and often followed with blessing to the family. This may be to a greater or lesser extent. It promotes the spiritual good of members of the family and builds them up spiritually. The father may see this during his own lifetime or it may be more evident when he is gone. In Genesis 18: 19 God says that Abraham will “command his children and household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord”. Note carefully the phrase, “they shall keep”.  This emphasise that it brings promised blessings on the head of the family. The Lord promises to bring upon Abraham the promises He had made to him.

4. Family Worship Increases Your Family’s Knowledge of God

What abundant growth in the knowledge of God there would be in the Church if every head of the home was conscientious in family religion! You need to pay particular attention to catechising and instructing their family to know the key principles of Christian truth. What can one minister do in this on his own if he has a large congregation? All negligent heads of families must answer to God for the souls of their children. Just as surely as the minister must answer for the souls of all under his charge. Fathers are as responsible for their children’s spiritual welfare as ministers are for their congregation.

5. Family Worship Helps Your Family Benefit from Public Worship

Worship as a family prepares the whole family to benefit from the preaching of the Word and the rest of public worship.

6. Family Worship Enables Your Family to Fulfil All Other Duties

Family worship is a useful and suitable help towards fulfilling all sorts of duties. In their respective capacities all members of the family have such duties and are in need of such help. 

7. Family Worship Helps Restrain Your Family from Outward Sins

Through God’s blessing it is a notable help to prevent many public scandals in the Church. Such scandals greatly dishonour the name of God and disgrace the profession of that name. 

8. Family Worship Strengthens Your Spiritual Leadership

If a man rules his own house well it greatly helps him rule in the house of God. Assuming he is otherwise qualified and called (1 Timothy 3:4). It also helps in any other sphere of service. 

9. Family Worship Helps Your Peace of Conscience

Diligence in family worship gives ease of conscience when we experience trials. This is particularly true when we come to die. But if we have failed to maintain it or altogether neglected it there will be many sad and bitter rebukes of conscience. This seems clear from David’s last words. “Although my house be not so with God” (2 Samuel 23:5).

Reflecting on these benefits helps to avoid entirely neglecting family worship or engaging in it in a careless way. These considerations underline with even greater seriousness the grievous sin of neglecting family worship. It is so clearly commanded, so much commended and urged in Scripture. It has been practised so much by godly people. Anyone who gives serious consideration to these things must clearly see how vital it is. They will see how much it is commended by such advantages but also severely threatened if neglected.

The Suburbs of Heaven: The Blessings of Family Worship is a brief inexpensive booklet that you can purchase at our store. It unfolds more of the spiritual benefits of family worship as well as clear and concise answers about how the Bible requires family worship.



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