“You are parenting a worshiper so it’s important to remember that what rules your child’s heart will control their behavior.” – Paul Tripp
In the busyness of parenting, and the familiarity of it: the everyday actions and decisions and “yes’s” and “definitely not’s” and “maybe later’s,” we can forget who we are raising. Yes, they are one of the most familiar people in our lives; blood of our blood and bone of our bone, but the regularity of parenting can make us forgetful.
We forget the reality of what we’re doing, caught up in the routine and the normal day-to-day of life. We don’t stop, pausing for thought and reflection because, quite often there simply isn’t time. The dog is barking too loud. Someone has walked mud through the house. The baked beans are burning.
Often, we don’t think of children as “worshipers.” We like them doing kids worship songs and Bible-based tunes, but actual worshipers? Maybe not so much. And yet this quote is totally right: we are parenting worshipers and that subtle shift in thinking can unleash a whole different approach to how you and I raise our kids.
Parenting a worshiper means focusing on WHY, not just WHAT.
These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. (Isaiah 29:13)
God is always focussed on winning our hearts to him, not just our actions. Just restricting your children’s behavior may solve a problem short-term, but it will not transform or teach their hearts to be able to make the right decision when you aren’t there.
Parenting a worshiper means showing them how you worship.
Parenthood means watching the kids, but it also means the kids watching you. And they are, constantly. They see how you speak to people – when they can hear and when they can’t. They notice how money gets spent. They notice how you talk about church, about your pastor, about how you react when someone wrongs you, what you do when you get angry. They notice … and then they copy.
Parenting a worshiper means helping them see they aren’t worth worshiping.
Maybe we don’t have so many idols on the mantelpiece these days, but self-worship – the idea that I am the center of the universe, that my preferences matter most, my opinions are right and life is all about me – has never been more prevalent. And that tendency that we all have manifests very easily in children. Kids are selfish. It’s our responsibility to show them that life is about more than the God of Me.