Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (MSG)
We worship corporately, often in a church building, gathering together with other people from all walks of life. Your walk of life just happens to have a few little shadows, children, following you around and begging for their needs to be met at every turn. Corporate worship can be encouraging, enlightening and exciting with a family full of children. Maybe your kids sit quietly, listening to the sermon, they love the music and sing along happily, and perhaps dancing in the aisles if that’s OK in your congregation. And if you are lucky they remember to get their offering all by themselves before leaving home. But this corporate gathering may also be a challenge to even get out the door, let alone get a moments peace in the worship service. If you are like my family worship at church can be at best distracting and on the worst weeks down-right miserable with armfuls of children.
We also worship in our daily lives. Sometimes having kids inspires us to worship. “Out of the mouths of babes,” I will think to myself sometimes, as a little God-truth is shared from their sweet little lips. Other times the laundry, dishes, careers and hectic lifestyles make us wonder how a child could possibly glean an ounce of education about worship from us, let alone us actually hearing God through the chaos of another dinner gone wild.
That’s what we are talking about here. Worship at church, worship in our daily lives: How to do it, how to teach it, how to model it. This is about us connecting with our creator and instilling in our children a deep desire for intimate relationship with the One who made their sweet little toes, big eyes and messy fingers. That being said, I struggle every day. Of course I know God is by my side each waking and sleeping moment. I know I can lean on Him. I know that everything I do is an act of worship. It’s just that I want to look into His eyes and experience that connection, but I can’t seem to find His eyes past another leaking Sippy cup and the piles of laundry I keep folding. Sometimes I think “I know He’s around here somewhere,” ya know?
I’m a mom of two very active, talkative, creative, fun, active, young daughters. I find nothing more healing, nothing more satisfying, than a deep, connected moment with God. And it brings me no greater joy to see my children lift their hands in worship at church, or sing a little Bible song while they wash their hands, or recite the Lord’s prayer at bedtime for the first time by themselves. But sometimes it feels like those moments are few and far between. Most of the time I don’t really feeeeel very connected to God at church or at home. Oftentimes, the bedtime prayers are hasty, church is utter chaos and I over-sleep my alarm for morning devotions, and crash at bedtime.
But God knows my life is crazy - And yours too. He is with us through it all beckoning to us to enter deeper each new day in a journey that He called us too. And he wants us to bring those children with us, right up to His holy throne.
So this is a journey together, you and me and all the readers. About how to seek out the Lord, recognize His works, and point our children to Him. Please make sure to interact and comment because I’ve got a lot to learn and we all have a lot to teach.
Check back next time for more on where worship and parenting intersects...