Matthew 21:16

This past week, I was struck by how incredible a thing it is worship God with your children at church. I was helping my 5 yr old son, Joshua, read the lyrics on our song sheet during our evening prayer gathering and he began singing with great gusto – totally void of the inhibitions and fear of man that mutes the singing of so many adults!

While this is not an unusual practice for us, it struck me what I was hearing my son singing. He hasn’t learned all the verses to many of our regular songs, but he does know many of the choruses by heart. So, as I am finish moving my finger across the words, he begins to sing things like….

O the wonderful cross, O the wonderful cross!
Bids be come and die, and find that I may truly live.

You are worthy, Father Creator.
You are worthy, Savior, Sustainer.
You are worthy, worthy and wonderful;
worthy of worship and praise.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;

Grace, grace, God’s grace

grace that is greater than all our sin!

Hearing him sing not only brought tears to my eyes, but it also reminded me of a couple of things.

First, the songs we sing have a tremendous impact on our theology – what we believe about God, Christ, the Bible, the Christian life, etc. What we teach our people in church is just as important as what we teach our children to sing. Do not misunderstand though and think we only have our kids sing ‘adult’ songs. No, we also sing songs like,

There’s a flag flying high in the castle of my heart,
in the castle of my heart, in the castle of my heart.
There’s a flag flying high in the castle of my heart,
for the King is in residence there…

Nevertheless, one of my kids’ favorite songs (which can often be heard echoing down the hallways of our home) is ‘He is Exalted.’

Second, our children are so ready to soak up anything we put before them. I do not believe my son is a Christian yet. However, I do think he has a tremendous grasp of the cross. One of the teachers in our mid-week missions class told me Joshua wanted to pray to dismiss the class at the end of their time. Part of his prayer went … “I’m sorry that your Son had to die for our sins.” What we say, read, pray, and do around our kids affects their thinking and eventually their lives.

Third, parents have the primary responsibility for their children’s spiritual maturity. I realized that I should sing more with my children, I should read the Bible more with my children, I should pray more with my children. Regardless of how great the church programs are, my kids are my responsibility.

I hope Joshua keeps singing of the glories of God. And I hope that his exposure to the Bible in song, in teaching, and (hopefully) in the example of my wife and I will be used by God’s Spirit to bring him to a saving faith in Christ. Until then, I will continue to pray for him and will continue to unashamedly glory in hearing him loudly sing to the Lord of the Universe.

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