Just finishing a Sunday meal, the members of this well-to-do family may be getting ready to return to church. The mother hands a prayer book to the younger of the boys, and the little girl holds her freshly starched cap and fan. Quiringh Gerritsz. van Brekelenkam appears to have combined a family portrait and a genre scene with a moralizing message.
Van Brekelenkam emphasized the moral message by placing the large, framed landscape in the background. As the family displays domestic virtues, the painting within the painting shows a couple gazing at a ship at sea under a dark sky illuminated by a shaft of light. The painting within their home serves as a reminder to the family to look to the light as they continue on life's uncertain voyage.