We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. (Psalm 78:4)
Telling Our Children The Praises Of God
Children are sponges who take in everything around them as they build their characters and impressions of what they will become in adulthood. Children learn a language not because they are born in a geographical location but what they hear as they form their language. A child born in Russia raised in France will speak French. They learn from the world around them and are influenced by the teaching and instructions of their parents and the world at large. Inherent in the duties of parents is the responsibility to teach their children about God. This knowledge is more than recognition of God but to understand the value of worship the child will develop as they mature. The Lord has always desired for man to approach Him with the reverence and awe due His name. He is to be glorified and given honor as the Creator, Provider and Sustainer of all things in life. Children should learn from an early age the praises of the Lord and all He has done.
Training of children begins at the home. The nucleus of any community is the home and as the home goes, so goes the world. This is also true of the church. The strength and weakness of the church is determined by the value of the teaching done in the home by parents who are teaching their children about God. From the beginning of time, the parents have been the headwaters of a child’s understanding of who God is and what He has done for man. Fathers and mothers are instructed to teach their children the word of the Lord. The Jews were particularly commanded to not hide the story of God from their children but teach them daily the commandments, judgments and statutes of the Lord. Parents today can do no less than guiding the hearts of their children to honor God.
Teaching children about God comes first from the home. It is here they learn to reverence the Lord and worship Him. The church gathers on the first day of the week to worship God and it is here the fruits of the home labor are seen. Children learn to sing praises to the Lord in the home so that when they gather with the body of Christ they will learn to sing with the congregation. Prayer is a vital part of the home as the father leads the devotions in prayer and meditation of the word. Children will be prepared when it is time to pray in worship to bow their heads and sit quietly in reverence as the speaker directs the minds of the church toward the throne of God. Reading the Bible in the home is where the knowledge of God begins in the heart. Parents reading the stories of scripture to their children are developing hearts that will be devoted to the will of the Lord. School homework is important but Bible homework is eternal. Every child should have their own Bible and the fathers should lead the discussion of reading the scriptures and impressing upon the minds of the child the glory of God’s word. During the worship time when the word is being preached, children should be learning to sit quietly and take notes or read passages that are being discussed. The Lord’s Supper is one of the most wonderful remembrances of our worship. It is a time when the mind reflects upon the immense suffering of the Lord as He died on a cross. Two emblems show the body and blood of Jesus as a memorial to His great love and His willingness to die on the cross for our sin. Children learn about this sacrifice at home so that when they come to worship they see the reverence and solemnity of the occasion. This will have a large influence upon their perception of the Lord’s Supper as they grow into adulthood and appreciation for the remembrance of the sacrifice.
The worship of the Lord should not be hidden from our children. Why we worship, how we worship and what the worship means should be imbedded in our children from an early age. Hiding the importance of worship from our children is allowing them to frolic and play during the worship, read books, laugh, giggle and play on IPads, smart phones and computers. It will be difficult to impress on the mind of a child the vastness of God’s glory in worship when we allow them to ignore His glory during the worship. Children can learn to sit quietly during worship respecting the name of the Lord. They can sit for an hour without being fed, watered and allowed to go to the bathroom every five minutes. And they can learn this from an early age. Respecting the worship is important to learn and it must begin at home. What we do in our worship to God is very serious. There are too many examples of how God dealt with those who disrespected Him. Let all of us as parents and grandparents teach our children the praises of the Lord, His strength and the wonderful works He has done.