Is ok to miss family worship for the sake of Bible study?

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Christoffer

Puritan Board Sophomore
First off I would like to thank the PB for encouraging me to take up daily Scripture reading and praying with the whole family gathered. It has been a blessing and it is just a sheer joy when my eldest says "daddy, now it is time for evening snack and then you will read the Bible" :)

The Lutheran fellowship here however arranges its Bible studies on thursday evenings. When I go I miss the evening Scripture reading with the family, my wife has to read and pray with the kids.

I wonder what the PB:ers opinion on this is. Bible studies are extremely hard to find here, especially conservative ones, so either it is the one I am going to or none at all.

Missing the occasion with the family does not either feel quite ok. Which should be prioritized?
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
You're to be commended with your developing the true disciplines of the Christian life.

While form and routine are important, and the Lord's Day is particularly prioritized for worship (corporate, family and personal), substituting a corporate Bible study one evening for a family time sounds quite reasonable- there is no "right" or "wrong" on this level of specificity.

If you had one hour family Bible reading and prayer Lord's Day, Thursday Bible study and prayed with your family most other nights before bed you would have developed great discipline you can sustain, and which God will bless.

But don't get too tied to the routine of it. You need fellowship, accountability, also.
 
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Christoffer

Puritan Board Sophomore
Why not let the family join you at the study?

Well, it is not that I don't let them, it is just that concentrating for one hour on what is being said is almost impossible with a 9-month and a 3-year old. We just figured it is best that I go alone.

Church on sundays is another thing. Then we all go, naturally
 

itsreed

Puritan Board Freshman
When I first read the title question of this thread, I was concerned that you might be asking from a less than faith perspective. I can see from your whole comment that this is not the case.

My family and I have been blessed to begin and maintain regular family worship, morning and evening, some years ago. By "regular" I mean usually every morning Monday through Friday, usually every evening Monday through Friday, struggles in both on Saturday, and Sunday given over to joining with our congregation and then hospitality/fellowship.

Currently I have two mornings a week where I attend early morning prayer (one with local pastors, other with men of our church.) Wednesday evenings are given over to family fellowship dinner and mid-week prayer at church. Other activities for the kids (5) routinely adds conflicts (even the surrounding Christian culture does not support family worship.)

All this to note that we do the best we can to stick with the schedule, and trust that God will respond to our faith, not our works. Sounds like you are asking the right kind of faith question. Be at peace with what you and your wife decide is best for y'all.

Is it possible that this study might have an older child that could provide some care for your younger ones while your wife and you participate in the study?
 

he beholds

Puritan Board Doctor
There are times where my husband is not home before the children go to bed and I read and pray with them. I think someone like RC Sproul Jr would think this a sin, but I imagine he does not well-represent the PB or the truth of Scripture in this case. (Or I am way mistaken.)
(In case my assessment of him sounds harsh or false, I have heard him say that a widowed mother needs to attend another family's family worship to be lead by a male.)

Another option is doing it during dinner or breakfast, if you would be there and they awake, at either of those times.
 

Blue Tick

Puritan Board Graduate
Is ok to miss family worship for the sake of Bible study?

The Lutheran fellowship here however arranges its Bible studies on thursday evenings. When I go I miss the evening Scripture reading with the family, my wife has to read and pray with the kids.

Be encouraged by the Bible study, what you get from the study, take home and minister to your family.
 

Arch2k

Puritan Board Graduate
I would suggest that while bible studies can be profitable, they are not commanded, neither are they generally stated times of worship like unto family worship. If you read some of the literature on the duty of family worship, you will find that it is viewed by the reformed as a required ordinance from the Lord. The Westminster Directory for Family Worship is especially helpful here.

That being said, I think that the worship of the Lord must come before all other discretionary activities, even if they be lawful or good during other times. However, as the head of the home, it may be possible that you can adjust the time in which you worship the Lord as a family on these particular days and therefore still be able to attend the bible study. Remember, as head of the home, you are responsible for those under your care to ensure that they worship the Lord properly in the home and in the family.

Q118: Why is the charge of keeping the sabbath more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors?
A118: The charge of keeping the sabbath is more specially directed to governors of families, and other superiors, because they are bound not only to keep it themselves, but to see that it be observed by all those that are under their charge; and because they are prone ofttimes to hinder them by employments of their own.[1]
1. Exod. 20:10; 23:12; Josh. 24:15; Neh. 13:15, 17; Jer. 17:20-22

In my humble opinion I believe that this same charge could be made for family worship.
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
The great thing about family worship is that you are the boss and as such you can schedule it around your lifestyle.

For example: Our normal habit (and that's all it is: a habit) is to do devotions in the evening right before bed. But what happens if I want to take my wife on an evening date? What to do! Do I cancel devotions? Do I never take my wife out on a date in the evenings? Oh the dilemma!

Not really. We simply adjust for that day and do our devotions as a family prior to the babysitter coming over. Ah, it feels good to have the freedom and flexibility that comes with being in charge!

I'm guessing that something could be worked out so you can do both your family worship and the Bible study.
 
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Christoffer

Puritan Board Sophomore
Is it possible that this study might have an older child that could provide some care for your younger ones while your wife and you participate in the study?

This is definitely something to consider. Thanks!
 

dr_parsley

Puritan Board Freshman
We do ours in the morning before breakfast - you can always get up earlier. I think it's good to dedicate each day to God together as the first thing we do.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
I'd say you have freedom here to do what you feel is best overall for the spiritual health of your family, as you lead them. In my case, getting into a Bible study group without the rest of them is important for my spiritual health, and hence good for the whole family. I think it also shows my kids that dad takes his personal relationship with God seriously; he isn't just doing the family worship thing every day out of habit or empty duty.

What's best for you and your family? You know them best. You can judge.
 
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