Our days are BUSY. Between work responsibilities, volunteering, taking care of the home, and transporting children to school and other extracurricular activities, the average parent has little “downtime”. Over the last two years or so, the Lord has impressed it upon our hearts to be more intentional with the time we have been given with our children. If we want our children to really know the God we love and serve, then it is our responsibility to model that to them in everyday moments.
Worship is something that should be a regular part of the believer’s life, but how in the world do we carve out time to participate in this with our families? After all, isn’t the corporate worship we attend on Sunday mornings enough? I contend that it is in the regular rhythms of each day where your children are really learning what it means to worship their Heavenly Father.
Worship is a necessary part of our lives. The Greek word for worship in the New Testament signifies reverence and adoration. It reinforces what we know to be true about God to ourselves. It refocuses our mind and spirit on our own limits and the limitless God we serve. If we believe these things need to be instilled in our family, then it is up to us to practice a healthy rhythm of worship first. The outpouring of our spirits is what goes directly into the vessels of our children. If you are cultivating a spirit of awe and reverence of your God, your family notices. One of my favorite Broadway songs is “Children Will Listen” by Stephen Sondheim. The lyrics state, “careful the things you say, children will listen. Careful the things you do; children will see and learn….children will look to you for which way to turn or learn what to be”. What a reminder! The way you model your beliefs is through what your children see and hear.
There are some extremely practical ways to implement a spirit of continuous worship in the life of your family. Perhaps you have some ideas of your own! These are just some of the things that have been so useful to us:
- Attend Morning Meeting with your children. Come early to pick up your children from school. Even the regular singing of the Doxology provides a quick but set aside time to give thanks to God for who He is.
- Utilize the “normal” moments. Do you still drive your children to school? How about around the dinner table? When your children are in bed? All of these moments are typically less distracted times with a captive audience. Every Wednesday night, my kids know that we are going to play “God is” together before bed. We take turns reciting different character traits of God. This has easily become one of our favorite weekly rituals. Ask your kids: How was God gracious to you today? What did God help you with today? etc.
- Practice worship throughout different experiences of the day. Did you know that neuroscientists now estimate that there are 27 emotions a person can feel on any given day? I don’t think it was any coincidence that much of the Scriptures, particularly in places like Psalms, show us God’s people walking through various emotional responses. Model your worship through our daily experiences in the same manner. What made you feel angry today? This could be a time to center our mind on a God who is perfectly just. Did you feel sadness today? Remind your family member that God sees us in our sadness and is the great Comforter. Reframing our emotions allows us space to still have these feelings and lived experiences but also gives us the framework to worship God through them.
Megan Andzulis is a Trinitas mom of two precious children, Ethan and Evelyn. In addition to writing, she is the Principal Accompanist at Pensacola Children's Chorus and serves in women's ministry at her church.