A few weeks ago, we were sitting in church with our oldest son, Riley who is five. I was still getting situated with our seating arrangements when the associate pastor started making announcements. He then asked a common question about how the church reacts to visitors and waited for the audience to reply that we love them where they are and point them to Christ. Without hesitation, my son very confidently and loudly proclaims, “We obey our parents!!!” Mortified, I hurriedly tried to hush him while murmuring some “wisdom” to him quietly. A few grins were exchanged as I focused in on the pastor hoping the room would soon forget the obnoxious outburst from my son. To my surprise, my dear friend, an older and wiser momma, leans over and says lovingly, “Good job, Riley!” I was shocked and immediately convicted. You see, God does not see as this world sees or as this momma sees. His ways are not our ways nor His thoughts our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).
As much as I know this in my heart, I don’t always know this with my life.
“Our entire life should praise the One, true God. Cultivating a life of praise with our children starts with us.”
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with al your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Did you get that in verse 7? We do not just talk about God’s word when we sit in our house, but when we walk along the road, when we lie down, and when we get up! Our entire life should praise the One, true God and give HIM all of the glory. He is worthy. We are a walking symbol of the ONLY living hope that we have in this life. Are you praising Him with your life?
Oh, how my heart was so convicted of shushing my son in service. My husband and I do love God with all of our hearts, and we so strive to talk about the Word of God with our kids while we are at home and even when we are away from home. How dare I try to control or put in a box what my son has to say about God’s truth. Though he may not be a follower of Christ just yet, I know God is working in His heart, and I can trust God in Him. His questions may be inconvenient and his comments may be loud and out of turn, but God is working in his sweet little heart. I should welcome God working in him no matter how it looks!
“We are a walking symbol of the ONLY living Hope that we have in this life.”
I think of Matthew 5:15-16 that says, “No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
And, Matthew 18:3 that says, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
When God is working in my son, He can give light through him. If I am pointing my children to love Christ at home, then I should encourage them to love Christ and speak His truth out of the home however God leads them. I cannot control how God works in them, nor should I try to. How boring that would be!
If the kingdom of heaven belongs to children, why is our culture so quick to silence them? While I cannot change the culture, I know I want to be different. I want to be a mom who listens to what my children have to say and to how God is working in their hearts and lives. I would rather be on a rooftop shouting how God is working in their lives and looking like a weirdo, than to silence His work and “fit in” with the world. Isn’t that what God has called us to do? We are supposed to look, act, and live differently for His glory alone. Cultivating a life of praise with our children starts with us.
Humbly, I asked God and my son for forgiveness that day. Still, I am so perplexed why it is expected, even in church, to silence your child when God is working in their hearts. I want to be open to the Lord’s work and what HE is doing, especially when that work is in my son.
Oh Lord, forgive us. You are working the hearts of our children. Praise you! May we be quick to listen to what they have to say and encourage them in you even when it is in public or inconvenient. Please forgive my heart for being so blinded by the worries of this world that I didn’t welcome the opportunity to encourage my son in Your Truth. Thank you for wise women who go before me and point me back to Your heat and what matters most. For you, alone, are our eternal Hope, and You are worthy. Amen.