Praise and worship – it’s harder than it should be.
Worship itself is a response. It’s a reaction to the greatness of God.
When the heart sees, with the eyes of faith,who God is and all that He’s done, worship is the natural response.
But we don’t easily see God in that way.
Sadly, the King and Creator of the universe is obscured from His creatures by an ever-widening range of trivial things.
- false securities
But there’s another reason praise and worship are so difficult…
We get used to it.
We can too easily become accustomed to worship as an activity we do, during a worship service, with other people.
It can become synonymous with music, singing, liturgies, and body postures, rather than being what it truly is; a grateful response of a heart that has seen true glory.
Genuine praise and true worship are hard because fallen people like us are prone to getting the blinds drawn between us and the glory of our Gods. We’re distracted and drawn away from an intentional, ongoing focus on Him, by lesser things. In fact, we come to prefer the lesser things over the God who has given them to us.
So what’s a Christian parent to do? How do you learn how to genuinely worship, and then pass it on to your children?
Here’s my quick-list of tips – things you have to commit yourself to working on daily.1 Work hard to keep the glory of God clear in your own mind.
You can never expect your children to see the glory of God if you, their parent, don’t demonstrate the importance of seeing it, in your own life. They need to see you pouring over the scriptures, and hearing why you do it. You need to repeatedly tell your kids, “I read the Bible because it shows me more and more of the wonders of God.”
But you can’t do it with no heart. You’ve got to mean it.
You’ve got to be searching the scriptures for yourself, like you’re searching for a treasure – because you are (Matthew 13:45-46). And you’ve got to be sharing that treasure with your children, every time you find it.2 Encourage your kids to seek after the treasure for themselves.
It’s one thing to hear about a treasure somebody else has found. It’s quite another to find it yourself. Your kids need to see the glory of God personally.
They need you to help them find it.
- Point out His glory in the sunset, and in the puppy, and in the fun of a good joke.
- Draw out His provision and care in every blessing you share as a family.
- Tell them how He’s held you up in your hardest times.
- Explain to them why you will never turn away from Him.
You need to be the one who pulls up the blinds for them, to let the glory of God shine through.3 Prepare your kids for times of corporate worship.
When your family will be joining with others for a time of worship (Sunday morning worship services, Sunday school, youth group, etc.), make sure you do some preemptive preparation.
Remind them why the activity is important. Point out how hard it can be to stay focused on God in the presence of distractions they might encounter (everything from a friend across the room to the Pastor’s unique quirks). Challenge them to seek God like treasure – in the music, in the spoken word, in the prayers, and in what He may be doing in their own hearts. Tell them you’re going to ask about their experience when it’s all over.
Then do it.
And emphasize that their experience of worship may or may not be emotional. What matters is that they work to express their apprehension or understanding of the worth of God, back to Him.
Genuine praise and worship are really, really hard…
for you and for your kids.
Make sure you do your part to help them become the true kind of worshipers the Father seeks (John 4:24).
Below is one of my favorite songs (for now) that focuses on the greatness, awesome power, and majesty of our God. It reminds me of the kinds of things that are true of God, and nobody else. It reminds me why He is worthy of my worship and why I need to recommit myself, every day, to the hard work it takes to make sure that I AM truly worshiping Him daily.