Some of the best moments for me as a parent is when all 5 of us are in the car and I decide to turn on that week’s set list or another song we sing at church. Then all of sudden as the song is building and the pre-chorus is coming to its climax my wonderful children in unison start singing at the top of their lungs, “Hosanna al Rey de Salvación…” and they continue on with the whole chorus and the ensuing bridge.
Those are really awesome moments in which I, as a parent, am filled with emotion at hearing my boys and my princess singing out God’s praises…I just turn and look at my wife and she turns and looks at me and I know she is feeling the same thing as I am. This in turn causes both of us to start singing along with them. I believe there is nothing like family worshipping God together, whether it’s in song, prayer, or a service they perform.
The “problem” I see is this: Why do our children feel restricted and less enthusiastic about worship during an actual worship service? This causes me to question if I’m doing a good job of teaching my children to worship God. I look at this issue and I cannot realistically expect that as they grow older they will get more passionate about worshipping in a corporate setting if they are not doing it now. So the million dollar question is what can I do to teach and help my children?
Here are some things we can do:
1. Be an example: This is the most basic thing we can do. If our children see us (mom and dad) worshipping God with our song and our voice it will tend to make it easier for them to emulate us. But if we are holding on to the chair or pew in front of us for dear life, as if we are going down the steepest drop on the Texas Giant, then most likely, they will also be doing the same. So yes, let’s be an example, let’s lift our voices, raise our hands, and cry out to God in worship.
2. Teach our children:It’s astonishing how fast our kids can learn and memorize. If you let a child watch Toy Story a few times they will memorize most of the lines Woody and Buzz say throughout the movie. We can do the same thing with worship. In the car, if the kids are with you, sacrifice a bit and turn off that preaching, the news or the sports talk and turn up songs of worship, preferably ones sung regularly at the church. Even better yet, buy an album of kids or Bob and Larry singing the songs (some of you will get the reference). Soon the songs will be memorized and they will be singing along at church. At the house, turn off the TV, and turn up the music and worship as if you were at church.
3. Worship as a Family: I believe it’s important for a family to take time during the week to worship together. It can be family prayer, family worship service, family Bible reading or a mixture of the three. But it needs to involve the whole family (sorry but small groups or células don’t count as family time). We need to teach are children that our lives revolve around Jesus and there is nothing more important to us than the relationship we have with Him.
Please don’t believe that I have this down perfectly with my family. I struggle with the time I have and some of these things I need to do a better job with. But the responsibility is mine…it’s not the Pastor’s, it’s not the Sunday School teacher’s, and it’s not anyone in the church. It is solely mine and it all starts at home.
What are some other things we can do? What are some ideas you have tried with your family? What are things your parents would in your family?
**Remember practice is tomorrow at 6 PM. If you cannot make it please let me know in advance. See you all tomorrow.