Training Up in Worship Tip #2
Worship training requires consistent repetition, patience, and perseverance.
Train Up Children to understand Worship with Repetition
Worship training does not happen overnight. This training, once started, and at whatever age you begin, will require patience, persistence, perseverance, and consistent repetition on the part of the parents. In fact, if you wait until school age or later to begin worship training, you will be met with resistance, because by then the child has already formed in their own mind a set of acceptable expectations for their behavior in the assembly. This is why it is so important to begin training from infancy.
First we must remember that we are training children. In early childhood, little ones respond best to consistent repetition. By showing from early on that during this time of worship things are different, set apart, and holy, they will come to understand that there is a different expectation of behavior during this time. As parents we must stay the course. If we waiver in our resolve to train up in worship, the children will see it, know it and they will set forth their own standard of behavior.
Worship Training Requires Patience
This is where patience comes in. If we lose patience with the child, they will respond inappropriately. If we lose patience with the process we give up and therefore give them control over the situation. Moms, you are the parent. You are in control of the children. If you don’t have control then the problem lies with you and not with the child. It is that simple. If you have lost patience, take a deep breath, ask God for wisdom to know the best way to handle the situation but stay persistent or steadfast in your resolve toward your expectation of behavior in the worship assembly.
“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.” James 1:4-6.
Be patient with your little ones. Results do not happen overnight. But that doesn’t mean you give in either. You remain patient and repeatedly work at training in worship. Worship training begins in the home where you can, read scripture to them, pray with them and sing worship songs with them. By doing this you are training a heart for worship.
If your babe is a little older, still, the training begins at home. While in training mode, you say,‘Sally (or John) we are leaving in a little bit to go worship God. While we are there it’s a good time to think about God. God loves us so much because He is our Father, He created us. He sent His Son Jesus to the earth because He loves us so much. We want to honor God because He loves us. So I want you to use your good manners and your quiet mouth. It also would be good if you sing with us and bow your head for prayer too.’
Children have a great desire in their hearts to please. By reminding them before you go, each and every time, to the assembly what is expected you are setting forth a standard of expectation through repetition. When they see that you are patiently, consistently, repeatedly, setting the same standard they will respond.
When they do behave as expected in worship by participating, even a little, Praise Highly their efforts! ‘ I am so proud of you for holding the song book during the singing in worship this morning. You make me so happy when you worship with us, and I know it makes God happy too.’
(As a side note) It is a good idea to get in the habit of referring to where you are going as worship as opposed to saying ‘we’re going to church.’ If you are a Christian then you know and understand that you are a member of the church, THE BODY OF CHRIST. You know that when the church meets together they are doing so to worship God through Jesus Christ. BUT your children do not know that. If you don’t train them in the reason for the gathering, to worship, then they will not understand why this time is different, set apart, and holy.
Persistent, steadfast resolve to train the child regardless of how exhausting it is, or how often you feel like it will never work, will in the end lead to a child who becomes fully engaged in the worship.
Worship Training Requires Perseverance
That brings us to perseverance. There will be times when you will want to give up. Where you think it would just be easier to let the child play or take them out or whatever as long as they are quiet and not bothering other people. Here is the trouble with that thought.
- Children at play are seldom quiet.
- Children at play focus only on the play and are not engaged in what’s happening around them, in this case learning to worship.
- Children taken out to play in another room are not being trained in worship but rather learning that while mommy and daddy are focused on something else (they will not have a concept of what the something else is) they can have fun.
- You as the parent are letting the child be in control, rather than you being in control of the child.
Finally, let me remind you that you as the parent are given instruction by God to train up your child. It is your responsibility, their responsibility is to obey you. That too, has been commanded of them by God. But how can they know if you do not persevere in your efforts to train them up? The responsibility lies with you.
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3
This post is the 2nd part of my Training Up in Worship Series.
*Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.