Church worship is the first thing I think of when someone mentions worship. There is so much more to worship though. Webster’s calls worship “to honor or show reverence.” In other words, becoming a worshipful family is not something that will happen on Sunday mornings only.
Worship begins in the heart and overflows to reach every corner of my life as a Christian. I was so close to naming this blog asyouwalkbytheway.com after Deuteronomy 6:4-7. This verse more clearly states the reason that I write more than any other does. I want you to be equipped to immerse your life in the word in such a way that it overflows to the next generation!
Provide age appropriate learning.
Just because a truly worshipful family does not begin and end with church doesn’t mean that church isn’t a great place to start. When both parents attend a Bible believing, gospel preaching church, their kids are much more likely to continue to attend church as adults.
Plus attending church is a great way to ensure that your kids are exposed to age appropriate Bible teaching on a regular basis. Find a church that has a high opinion of God’s word and that is careful with who they allow to teach the children.
Worship in the service together.
Yes it can be a pain to take your kids into the worship service with you. Take it from a mom of twins. When I first took my three year old twins into a Sunday morning worship service (by myself because my husband was the preacher) shenanigans ensued! It wasn’t easy, I didn’t worship a lot that day. But I’m a big girl, I can listen to a sermon podcast later in the week, plus it was temporary. In fact, within a few weeks they settled down so much that I actually closed my eyes (kind of) during prayers.
I sat in the pew one of those first few weeks, on the verge of tears and prayed ‘Lord how do you expect me to worship like this?’ Not many times in my life have I felt like I got an immediate answer from the Lord, but I sure did that day. ‘Are you still drinking milk?’ He was asking me if I was so immature that I couldn’t last a few weeks without someone spoon feeding me the word.
As parents it is not about us. Yes we need fellowship and accountability and we need to hear the word. But how can we expect to have children who grow up to share our values if we have never worshiped alongside them? I want my kids to see me raise my hands during a song that touches my heart. I want them to see me nod in conviction when the pastor makes a point that pierces my heart. And yes, I want them to see that my church attendance does not hinge on whether I feel like getting up on time that day.
Serve at Church
Another marker of children who grow up in Christian homes and then stay in the church as adults, is that both parents serve in the church. It doesn’t have to be in a large capacity. If you aren’t sure what to do (not everyone is a teacher) ask your pastor to help you find a place. When parents serve, kids eventually get dragged along. I played in the church gym while my mom set food for funerals. Once I was too old for Vacation Bible School, I pretty much got volunteered as a helper, because that is where the rest of my family was that week.
Serving at church shows your kids something that all kids need to learn; that its not about them. It shows a selflessness in your own attitude and exposes them to people in your church community that they might not interact with otherwise.
Some parents are raising kids in church alone, either because they are single parents, or because their spouse isn’t interested. I don’t want this to be a discouragement for you. God sees you and he hears you. All the more reason for you to be active in your church! Those relationships with believing adults are impacting your kids in ways you may not see for years.
Talk to Your Kids About God
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One way that we are sure to bring God into our daily speech it to read from the Bible. When the kids were younger we read from this kids Bible, but now we usually end up listening to Ken read from his phone. We read a section and then let any one ask questions or make comments. The girls have surprising questions that are deeper than I expect. Some days no one has anything and some days we have a longer conversation.
Play Christian Music in the Car
This is more important than it seems. Think about how often you get out of your car with the last song you heard in your head. Why not do that for your kids? There are theological truths and scripture in the songs of our faith. If the station in your city is cheesy, Pandora is $4.99 a month and you can make your own station. That’s not a sponsored suggestion- it’s worth a few dollars a month to have good music available.
Spend Time With Your Kids
Lastly, make it a point to know your kids hearts. Find a hobby or sport that your family loves and make time for it. When your kids are close to you, they can trust you with their spiritual questions. I don’t count a sport where you drop them off and watch from the sidelines (unless you are the coach possibly). Find something to DO with your kids, whether it is hiking, games, basket weaving…. whatever! Just make it something that lets you talk and sped quality time together.
If you’re not already, be sure to follow me on Instagram to see the live videos I am doing on how to study the Bible!