Moses at the Burning Bush by Pluchart
24 Family Ways #1
“We love and obey our Lord, Jesus Christ, with wholehearted devotion.”
Memory verse: “And He said to them, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.” Matt. 22:37-38
In order to train in a heart attitude for the meaning of this way and for this verse, our children must be taught to value honor, respect, holiness.
Most every time I read a story about someone who saw the glory of God, they bow down in fear, in reverence, hiding their eyes from the glory of God because it is so wonderful and great. The starting point for any real training in the hearts of our children must be God, Himself.
All that used to be sacred–human life, the elderly, churches and burial grounds, people in position of authority and accomplishment, parents, marriage, teachers, public figures–all of these are devalued, torn apart, ridiculed and devalued in contemporary culture.
However, in a time in history where very little is sacred or holy, we must seek diligently to create not just knowledge of what the word holy means, but to place tangible practices in our lives where our children learn and understand that some things are sacred and set apart and deserve our reverence and worship.
Traditions were created to picture truth, beauty and meaning of life throughout church history in the past. When we give up all vestiges of tradition, we have given up much that would picture to the mind and heart of a child of what reverence and holiness looks like. We have demolished the value of what is sacred in a world where everything is valued for being cheap.
If we do not have visual, and actual habits and practice in the moments of our lives for things that are special and holy, our children will not understand the glory, the vastness, the need to bow our knee before a Holy, Magnificent, Omnipotent God.
Recently, I attend a funeral of a very special young friend who had died. I was a little surprised that many of the women my age wore jeans, few wore black. There was nothing in the dress of the people who attended that said, “This is an occasion for showing respect to the wonderful person who died here.”
I am a contemporary woman and do not judge people, in general, by their clothing or outward appearance. But as I pondered this, I realized that in our culture, we have pretty much lost a sense and a practice of showing our children the attitude of respect and self-control and reverence.
Most of our churches are places where there is casual dress, talking and chattering, informal behavior, so much so that the behavior and jokes told and manners of most people could not be differentiated from the behavior they would display at a restaurant or in any other casual place.
We make fun of our Presidents and leaders and feel no guilt or twinge of conscience for voicing every sort of opinion on facebook. We criticize our preachers and leaders. In the name of “freedom” we excuse any kind of behavior and speech conduct, with no sense of propriety or restraint.
If there is nothing sacred in our lives, then how do we hope to pass on a sense of awe, Godly fear and respect to our children?
Consequently, as we begin the training of our little children’s hearts and souls, we must figure out how to convey to them that life is not about us. Our lives are about pleasing, serving, loving, worshipping and living for the very one who is the Lord of the universe, the creator of the world, the King forever, God the Father, the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus Christ.
To implement this properly, we must seek to define for ourselves and our family, what will be sacred in our family? How will we display and teach respect to our children so that they will understand, when they are older, how to respect and revere our God and to live before Him with awe and with fear and trembling in respect of who He is.
One of the ways we implemented a sense of reverence and holiness in the lives of our children was teaching them that there were places to use “quiet voices, and respectful hearts”–like in church, at concerts, at funerals, at graduations, at recitals. Cell phones are definitely prohibited in these places. Before we went into these places, we would talk to our children about it ahead of time …
“This is a wonderful place to be still and to think about God and to listen to His voice. When we go into church, please show respect by not running, not fussing; try to be still during this ceremony or church service,” etc.
I am not talking about following my ideas or some kind of a rule, but you must establish some sacred things– holy places, places for reverence in the moments and hours of your life, so that your children can learn the meaning of “Reverence for a Holy God.”
Serving a holy God, living for his glory.
If this is not built into the warp and woof of your life, then when it comes to adulthood and worshipping and reverencing God, there will be no pattern, no practiced understanding of what it means to love and obey our Lord with wholehearted devotion.
Our children will learn the words of this family way, but they also need to live the reality of our devotion and respect in order for the words to have meaning.
How have you instilled reverence and devotion to our Holy God in your lives?
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