Instilling a love for worship in your children.....
A few Sunday’s back, Hubby Dearest and I were invited to attend an evening service at another church that friends frequently went to. It was a very blessed experience.
At first we were hesitant (as most with young children are) about the environment being ...umm ...favorable to our boys. They can be rather rambunctious and sitting through a pastor speaking, being forced to be quiet and still, when it is well past their bedtime....let’s just be honest here; it wasn’t going to, will not, and will never happen!
We were assured by our friends, however, that we don’t need to worry at all. And when we arrived all of our expectations were surpassed.
There was such an air of Spirit filled worship and children were running between a play room and their parents freely. Everyone was focused on God and the family environment we walked into accepted us (wild children included) with open arms.
What topped the experience though only occurred the following weekend.
While rolling around in the grass outside on Saturday, Lil Mister kept repeating something that sounded like a song. At first we couldn’t make out the words, but then when Hubby listened closer it became all too clear.
Lil Mister was singing the chorus of a song we had not only sang at the Sunday evening service but also heard in the car on the way there. We were astonished, to say the least, that something heard so quickly had made such an impact on our two year old!
He constantly repeats these words now throughout each day, with plenty of encouragement from Hubby and me. What it has done for us as parents though, is reiterate the importance of teaching worship to our children even at such a young age. We need to create a foundation for worship as early as possible in order for a healthy lifestyle of worship to exist as adults.
This doesn’t mean that I believe that adults who were not taught about worship cannot do so successfully as adults but as Christian parents, why would I leave something for hard work later that can be established as a natural part of life now?
Essentially, if a child is taught to believe that they come into a worship service to be entertained, then we’ve already lost.
I want to begin by focusing on what is worship?
Worship is all about God; it has absolutely nothing to do with us! You’re probably reading that sentence a couple of times asking yourself if I’ve gone mad. I assure you that I am well within reason. Hear me out!
Although the act of worship is something we must physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually do, it is all about God. We do not worship for our own gain! This isn’t a bargaining tool we can use to get God on our side.
I’ve heard the argument a hundred different ways but it all comes down to the same idea. ‘If you give me that promotion (that new car, fix my marriage, let me be pregnant, insert own blessing) God, then I’ll worship twice as hard and three times as loud on Sunday....for the next TWO Sundays!’
It doesn’t work people! God isn’t bartering with us. We were created for worship and our worship is something we give to God because of all that He has ALREADY done!
“I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable, or well pleasing and perfect.”
By the mercies of God....that is a powerful statement assuring us exactly WHY we worship. It is to praise God for everything He has done and given us that we don’t deserve! Things like the Holy Spirit and salvation through Christ, His grace and love, his righteousness and ever honorable judgment.
So...worship is our praises to God in thanks for all He has done?
God-centered worship is the only kind of worship that matters. We’re often worried that we sang too many old hymns and not enough contemporary music, or that the drums were a little off beat, or that there aren’t enough people in service to sing that song properly. None of this actually matters. It we are focused on God and the works of the Holy Spirit within ourselves, then our worship is true and meaningful.
The dictionary defines worship as:
wor-ship n. The act of showing great reverence, honor, respect, etc. to God.
Basically, we come before God, we seek God, we see God (come into His presence through the Holy Spirit) and give Him reverence, honor, respect, our love and etc.
A lot of people have different views on worship, but personally, I see it as anything I do in which I am specifically praising and glorifying God.
Why do I say specifically? Because we do not live in a state of worship. As much as I would love this; worship is only true when it is directed towards God. I can sing a Christian song simply because I have the words memorized or I can stop what I am doing and focus my heart and attention on God as I am singing along.
And this is what I am striving to teach my boys!
Please join me next week as I discuss further about the HOW we’re teaching our boys about worship and it’s importance in their relationship with God.
Feel free to leave comments discussing your views on worship, how you do it in your family, and Bible verses that inspire you!