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Making Time for Family Worship

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
If you think there’s not enough time for family worship you may want to re-think your reasons.

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Most families today maintain a frenetic pace. Parents work, children go to school, and then begin the afternoon rounds of dance lessons, music lessons, gymnastics classes, athletic practices, sports events, birthday parties, youth group activities, band, drama club, bowling team, chorus, and church choir. The list of activities that compete with family life seems endless. In Article #3 of a 20-part series, Dr. Dunlap discusses the importance of making time for family devotions.

Parents often tell me that they do not lead their families in family worship because there are so many obstacles that prevent them from getting started.

Many fathers feel unqualified. They don’t know how to conduct family worship. Most men did not grow up in a family where their father was a godly role model and thus, they have no example to follow. Some men, whose fathers did establish a habit of regular family worship, remember being bored by long, tedious family worship sessions and they are determined not to put their children through the same ordeal.

Saying that we don’t have enough time is never a legitimate excuse.

Time is almost always a factor in a man’s reluctance to commit himself to leading family worship on a regular basis. We should not be deceived where time is concerned. We have the same number of hours in a day that Jesus had when He conducted His earthly ministry.


The truth is that we make enough time each day for the things that are most important to us. We also waste large portions of time in idle pursuits. God expects us to steward our time wisely and He will one day require us to give an account of how we spent our time.


Men who refuse to assume their responsibility to lead their family in worship are guilty of disobeying the Lord.

Selfishness and pride often keep men from leading their families in worship. They are convinced that if they work hard and provide for their family materially, they have done enough. They believe that they can leave the spiritual training of their wives and children to the “professionals”—their church leaders and teachers. God clearly calls Christian men, however, to “wash their wives with the Word,” and to raise their children in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

Many moms tell me they feel like a taxi driver, chauffeuring their children from one activity to the next.


Another perplexing obstacle is the lack of motivation that most men experience when they approach the topic of family worship. Our homes too often function as entertainment centers. When children are not being stimulated with computer games, videos and television programs, Mom is shuttling them to countless activities that are sure to prevent boredom from overtaking them.


Have we bought into the mentality that children no longer know how to enjoy the delight of playing outdoors? Do we keep them so busy that they miss the wonder of being children? Have we failed to encourage them to read great books for the sheer pleasure of reading? Must we plan and supervise every spare minute of our children’s lives and thereby rob them of the joy of spontaneity? Should we allow activities—even the excellent ones—to crowd God out of our families?

Dr. Don Dunlap, a pioneer in the placement of Pastoral Counselors in the offices of Christian physicians, has conducted over twenty thousand appointments during his ministerial career. His counseling practice includes adults, children and families in crisis. Dr. Dunlap is committed to facilitating a network of telephone counselors. His goal is to provide help for the many people unable to meet face to face with a competent Bible-based counselor. For a complete library of Dr. Dunlap’s articles, indexed by topic, go to Family Counseling Ministries. You may also make an appointment for personal telephone counseling by clicking on Family Counseling Ministries. Family Counseling Ministries is a ministry Partner.


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