You may be wondering why there is a tab on this website entitled Saturday Morning Breakfast (SMB). If you have read SMB, you may still be wondering why this was created. SMB is a bit of an odd duck, so I decided to offer an explanation.
You will find several things on Saturday Morning Breakfast. First, it is a bit of an eccentric dialog with myself, while in a groggy state, as I get up on Saturday morning and make pancakes or waffles for my family. It is partially a recipe for pancakes and bacon and partially a reflection of what most of my Saturday mornings have entailed for about 15 years. Most days of the week I leave early for work, but on Saturdays, I sleep in a bit. When I get up I typically make breakfast and then we have family worship.
Yes, there is a recipe for pancakes, but the real recipe is the outline for family worship. If you are not currently having family worship, let me encourage you to make it part of your daily routine. It does not have to be complicated or ritualistic. It really is a very simple thing. Sing. Read the Word. Pray. These are the important elements that should be covered every day, if possible.
Family worship does not have to take a long time, and it does not have to be complicated. If your children are not used to sitting still, start out by singing one simple hymn or praise song. Read a short passage of Scripture. There are lots of short Psalms. Then say a short prayer. If your children do not want to cooperate, you may need to lovingly discipline them. However, return to finish family worship.
One thing to remember is that you want your children to enjoy worship of our great and mighty God. If you force them in anger it is going to exasperate them. Colossians 3:21 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” Exercise self-control and lead your family with a joyful heart.
As this becomes routine you may want to add a catechism and/or other readings. The Catechism for Boys and Girls is an easy one to go through. There are many great books that can be helpful for family worship. We have enjoyed Israel Wayne’s books, Questions God Asks and Questions Jesus Asks. Dr. Joel Beeke also has a set of short stories that are great for family worship entitled, Building on the Rock. Adding these elements can be very helpful for engaging discussion and are good teaching tools.
I have recently been reading C.H. Spurgeon’s autobiography and discovered some great stories about his involvement in family worship as a boy and a man. Even Spurgeon was a bit of a challenge as a boy. Enjoy this story and add family worship to your home today.
When I was a very small boy, I was allowed to read the Scriptures at family prayer. Once upon a time, when reading the passage in Revelation which mentions the bottomless pit, I paused, and said, “Grandpa, what can this mean?” The answer was kind, but unsatisfactory, “Pooh, pooh, child, go on.” The child, however, intended to have an explanation, and therefore selected the same chapter morning after morning, and always halted at the same verse to repeat the enquiry, hoping that by repetition he would importune the good old gentleman into a reply.
The process was successful, for it is by no means the most edifying thing in the world to hear the history of the Mother of Harlots, and the beast with seven heads, every morning in the week, Sunday included, with no sort of alternation either of Psalm or Gospel. The venerable patriarch of the household therefore capitulated at discretion, with, “Well, dear, what is it that puzzles you?” Now “the child” had often seen baskets with but very frail bottoms, which in course of wear became bottomless, and allowed the fruit placed therein to drop upon the ground; here, then, was the puzzle,—if the pit aforesaid had no bottom, where would all those people fall to who dropped out at its lower end ?—a puzzle which rather startled the propriety of family worship, and had to be laid aside for explanation at some more convenient season.
Queries of the like simple but rather unusual stamp would frequently break up into paragraphs of a miscellaneous length the Bible-reading of the assembled family, and had there not been a world of love and license allowed to the inquisitive reader, he would very soon have been deposed from his office. As it was, the Scriptures were not very badly rendered, and were probably quite as interesting as if they had not been interspersed with original and curious enquiries. I can remember the horror of my mind when my dear grandfather told me what his idea of “the bottomless pit” was. There is a deep pit, and the soul is falling down,—oh, how fast it is falling! There; the last ray of light at the top has disappeared, and it falls on—on—on, and so it goes on falling—on—on—on for a thousand years! “Is it not getting near the bottom yet? Won’t it stop?” No, no, the cry is, “On—on—on.” “I have been falling a million years; am I not near the bottom yet?” No, you are no nearer the bottom yet; it is “the bottomless pit.” It is on—on—on, and so the soul goes on falling perpetually into a deeper depth still, falling for ever into “the bottomless pit”—on—on—on—into the pit that has no bottom! Woe, without termination, without hope of its coming to a conclusion!C.H. Spurgeon
I am sure the young Spurgeon had some serious thinking to do after this grave warning from his grandfather. As you incorporate family worship into your daily routine remember it is not always easy, but it is a great tool for discipling your children and drawing their hearts close to yours.