“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
One challenge during this pandemic is family time. That’s always a good thing, but adjusting to the new dynamics is key.
Kids and parents are around each other a lot more now. At home. At work (which is at home). And at church, for those that have reopened on Sundays.
At CrossLife, we nurture spiritually vibrant families and equip families to worship together. I just love that, and the guidance from God’s Word in Proverbs 22 applies. Church and parents are partners in training children to worship.
We provide children’s activities (both in person and online). I always engage the kids in my preaching, calling them out with a special question, dialogue or story. I lead a dedicated children’s message just for kids, and we offer an archived section of our website loaded with these on video.
But even these efforts don’t make things perfect. Or easy. Kids are kids after all.
Moms and dads, I encourage you to be intentional about your family worshipping together. Plan ahead. When my sons were little, my wife would set aside certain toys (not loud ones, please) and books that were “church only,” so they were special. Talk to your kids about what it will look like, expectations, rewards, etc. And certainly involve them in worship: pray together, take notes, and point out key words.
Worshipers without children, please be patient and understanding. You were a kiddo once, too. Be careful of giving “the look” when little ones make some noise. It’s wonderful that they are present, isn’t it?
Families who worship together are going to grow closer to God and each other. They will become stronger in faith, united in truth, and the children will learn habits that last a lifetime.
Here is a gentle, encouraging blog from a mom about how her family is worshipping together: https://churchanswers.com/blog/the-challenges-and-joys-of-families-worshipping-together/.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, today I pray for families, especially those with little children who are worshipping together. I pray for churches partnering with parents. I pray for single parents, carrying a heavier load yet deeper joy. Bless families seeking to grow closer to you and each other in worship. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: If you have young children, spend some time talking as a family about worship. Take the opportunity to adjust any tendencies you see in worship that are concerning. Speak openly. Encourage good behavior. Ask questions. If you don’t have young children, forward this to a family you know who could use an encouraging word.