I was holding my young daughter in worship when it happened. I was speaking at a youth event, and I brought my three kids with me. As I had prepared for the sermon, I thought it was a good idea for them to tag along, as I often try to accommodate.
As the band led worship songs, my kids enjoyed trying to sing along to any that they knew and clap along to all that was played. One of the things you notice is how observant children are in a setting like that. With all the sights and sounds, they had a lot to take in for their eyes and ears. Not missing a beat, they would react and comment on a lot that was happening.
Somewhere amidst all their observations, the thought struck me: what will they learn about worship from me?
- Will they watch a dad who arrives late and struggles to focus?
- Will they observe me with arms crossed and closed lips?
- Will I be carrying a copy of God’s Word each time that I enter?
- Will they see me worship authentically or go through the motions?
- Will I focus on Jesus or be distracted by something else?
- Will I show greater passion for lesser things?
- Will I be critical of those leading or thankful for their service?
What about you?
Will you be pleased if your children worship like you?
Cause if you want them to have a deeper spiritual fervor than your own, where do you expect they will witness it?
If you want more for them, provide a better example for them.
- Prepare for worship.
- Arrive early.
- Be eager to stand up.
- Be sure to sing out.
- Don’t focus on your phone and your watch.
- Pray authentically.
- Sing fervently.
- Engage diligently.
- Encourage intentionally.
- Come with your sword in your hand and a passion in your step.
Worship the LORD in such a way that God is honored and that your children are inspired.
After the Israelites survived the Red Sea, Moses leads those redeemed into worship. Of all the wonderful lines in the song, one speaks to me deeply as a father.
The Lord is my strength and my song,Exodus 15:2
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
This is my God. And I will praise him.
This is my father’s God. And I will exalt him.
It made me think of a hypothetical situation that if my children never encountered God in their childhood and were later “approached” by him, how would they respond? How would they respond if the LORD identified himself as, “I am your father’s God.”
Would that be a welcome connection?
Would they say, “I know there are a lot of gods out there, but if you are the one that he sang about, that he talked about, that he served, I am ready to follow you all the way. Because when he made witness of you, we believed him.”
If your children worship like you, how will they worship?
If they serve like you, how will they serve?
If they live just like you, how will they live?