I was standing in the middle of our Sunday morning church service. The worship team was leading the congregation in a familiar song. I enjoy worship through singing and I knew the song well. My eyes were closed and my hands were positioned open in front of me. As I sang along, my heart was prompted to look over to my right. To my joy was my son, standing beside me, raising his hands in front of him and singing along. Here was this preteen boy not sitting dully in his chair while the rest of the people in the auditorium were engaged with the Savior. His mind was not preoccupied with his usual interests of tractors and baseball. He was not even standing dutifully beside me with a blank stare at the worship leaders in front of him. He was worshiping the Creator. “Where had he learned that?” I wondered.
The answer was quite obvious. He learned to worship by watching me, his father.
What or who we worship will be mimicked by the generation that comes after us. Worship transcends all people all over the world and throughout time. Worship is more than an experience with God. It is an ever evolving posture of the heart. An engaged worshiper will recognize who or what he worships and then centers his attention, thoughts, and behaviors on that object. At the heart of worship is either creation worshiping its Creator or creation worshiping another created thing – in other words, an idol.
Christians typically assume that worship is an act that is relegated to Sunday mornings. We also tend to think of worship as merely singing to God. This is a limited view and does not encompass all that worship is. There is much more to worship than an hour we give it a week or the one act of opening our mouths and belting out the newest praise song or a tried and true hymn. There is so much more to it than that.
If we are to teach our children to worship, we must get a better understanding of where we are leading them. Parents must take up their role as family worship leaders. There is no reason a home’s living room sofa cannot serve as the church pew, the kneeling prayer step, or the coveted place for raising hands in response to Christ. Every Christian parent has the potential to lead their kids to the feet of Jesus. Every Christian parent has the ability to usher their kids into the presence of a holy God.
What are we teaching our children to worship? Is it the Lord God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the earth? Or are we leading them to worship something else? It could be good grades, good looks, or sports. It could be anything that takes root and usurps the throne of our hearts where God should reside.
Let’s be careful to worship the true king. And may we worship Him in front of our kids so that they direct their gaze to Him and worship Him beside us.
Leave a Reply