I confess to
having been negligent for the first several years of my married life
in keeping family devotions. I have known families who were
consistent in this practice and felt for a long time that I need to
do so as well. Establishing a time and method to conduct our family
devotions has not been easy. I often have to travel with my work
and establishing a routine has been difficult. It was not until the
summer of 2005 that I finally became convinced of its absolute
necessity. Besides the example of others I was also convicted by a
Question and Answer from the minutes of the 1808 Association of
Mississippi Baptists found in Griffin’s History of Mississippi
Primitive Baptists, pg 71.
Query. – What
shall be done with members of our society who live in the constant
neglect of family worship?
Answer. – We
recommend to the heads of families in our connexion [sic], to keep
up family worship, as a Christian duty, and where they do not, that
Gospel steps be taken, in order that they may be reclaimed.
“This is the only instance in forty-odd years that the subject is
History was a defense against the New School Baptists promotion of
Sunday Schools as a means to save Children. Griffin indicates that
family worship was so universally practiced that it hardly bore
mentioning. It’s widespread practice is evident from the assumption
that is made both in the question and in the answer that heads of
families would lead them in private worship and that “Gospel steps
be taken, in order that they may be reclaimed”.
Baptists were not against the education of their children in
spiritual matters as can be seen in this extract from the Black Rock
Address in 1832.
Scriptures enjoin upon parents to bring up their children in the
nurture and admonition of the Lord; but this, instead of
countenancing, forbids the idea of parents entrusting the religious
education of their children to giddy, unregenerated young persons,
who know no better than to build them up in the belief that they are
learning the religion of Christ, and to confirm them in their
natural notions of their own goodness.”
unregenerated young persons” engaged in teaching Sunday School
lessons “may” be an exaggeration, the fact that Sunday Schools build
children up in the “belief that they are learning the religion of
Christ” and “confirm them in their natural notions of their own
goodness” is not.
We must realize that we can not be everything we desire to be
we continue to allow our children to be far more influenced by an
ungodly world through the public schools and Hollywood media and
expect our churches to grow in the nurture and admonition of the
Lord. It is imperative that fathers
take the time to read the Bible to their families and personally instruct their wives and children the other six days of the week
Elder James Taylor