Friday, September 30, 2016

Training Our Children

   I admit, I largely dodged the bullet of sitting in the pew with my children for Sunday morning worship service.  That task was left up to my wife Tess who served as: Diplomat (negotiating WHO shall sit by WHO); Caterer (supplying necessary in-pew refreshments); Police Officer (enforcing the law when the work of the aforementioned diplomat did not result in peace); Noise Abatement Officer (keeping the ’roar’ of her pew-mates to a minimum); and Nurse (healer of ills and hurt feelings).  

    If you ask my children about their childhood memories of Sunday mornings, they will tell you more about their mother than anyone/anything else.  And that’s just fine!  Why? Because, in addition to all of her other Sunday morning roles, their mom served as their Trainer in how to worship the Lord.  While I lounged in the relative comfort of the Pastor’s Chair in the front of the sanctuary, she was showing them . . .
. . . how to sit and listen to the Word of God;
. . . how to join in the prayers of the congregation;
. . . how to sing the hymns (humming before they could read);
. . . how to give to the Lord as a natural expression of their faith;
. . . and that Worship on a Sunday is vitally important (even when it is hard work).

    WHY do this difficult and often frustrating work of bringing small children to worship? 
Because we believe the Lord is faithful — we believe Him when He says: 
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 
 If we train our children early it will take hold in their lives!  This hard work is worth it . . .
Because we believe that the Word of the Lord is a means by which the Spirit of God brings grace and forgiveness and life to His people . . . of ALL ages! 
Because we believe that even infants can have faith John the Baptist leapt for joy while still in his mother’s womb! 
Because we believe that faith is MORE than just an intellectual grasping of truth statements it is a spiritual gift from God. 
Because we believe that little ones are loved and treasured by their Creator and Redeemer.
Because we believe WE must train them about the truth of the Lord believe me, if we don’t, the world, the devil and their sinful flesh will fill their minds, hearts and souls with lies.
   Children are a blessing and a gift from God!  They are also incredibly hard work! When our four were little, I remember asking Tess “How was the sermon today?”  She would often answer “The part I heard was good . . . ”  I recognize that bringing small children to worship is hard work.  It is a chore, a task and a great toiling!  But it is definitely worth the effort as it is an ETERNAL work for the salvation of their souls and the giving of everlasting life through Christ Jesus.

Time to Ponder . . .
What childhood lessons have stuck with you throughout your lifetime?  What faith lessons have stuck with you?

What are your earliest memories of worshiping Jesus?  Of being in a Church?

Is there something you wish your parents had taught you when you were young?

To God be the Glory!

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