The Test of Time
"Teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
- Proverbs 22:6
It's been about 6 weeks since the mandatory Stay-at-Home order was implemented. During this time, I found myself readjusting to my new reality in a few ways. I'm sure this applies to you as well, as a lot of us had our lives halted or turned upside down in one way or another. Not all of the changes were bad or difficult to do. One habit in particular that I formed during this time was leading my family in praise and worship...again.
Leading praise and worship isn't a new thing to me. I've done this before years prior, but as I'm sure you could imagine, I got off track. Longer work hours with increased responsibility, another child born into the family, typical struggles and lows of life, overcoming my personal issues, and unlearning false contexts of scriptures and learning their proper application has taken my attention away from personally leading my kids. Over the last 3 weeks, I saw firsthand the results of falling off from the consistency I once had, as my children looked completely uninterested with praising God. One was sitting on the couch playing with her hat, another gave a blank stare to me and her mother, and one was trying to go to sleep after she had a full night's rest. Has it been that long since we last did praise and worship as a family that my kids lost interest? Did they lose the foundation that I worked hard to establish? How frustrating it was to sit and ponder where I dropped the ball, but my 2nd born child gave me hope that the fall off wasn't that far.
After the 3rd consecutive time of my kids regressing into zombies during praise and worship, my 2nd born was anxious to show me something. Upon entering her room, she showed me 2 worship songs she had written. Needless to say, excitement re-invigorated my soul as that was proof that my kids were paying attention despite what they displayed on the surface. As I left her room, I was immediately reminded of a philosophy that had driven me to lead praise and worship in years past; do it yourself.
I don't like to depend on anyone else to lead my children in certain things, especially if I can do it myself. The children's ministry at church took the reigns of leading my kids when I slacked off. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Children's Ministry and I respect the calling and work of Pastors, and their staff, but my children needed to see me praise and worship. They only see Children's Ministry once a week (pre-Corona), but they're with me and their mother every day. Depending on a ministry they see every Sunday, but don't see ministry daily/weekly at home is backwards. Home is where spiritual development begins and is supplemented by the church, not the other way around.
So I will continue to gather my family on Sunday for service, despite their continual mental escapes into fantasy land. Will my kids be zombies during praise and worship? Probably. Will they learn how a man give thanks to God through song? Yes. Will they eventually develop a habit of singing to God for themselves? All evidence points to yes. Though they may to lack desire to give thanks to God through song, they are watching, learning, and becoming intrigued about God through what I do. Let it be the same for you.