The other day I was out running some errands with Hadley, my 4-year-old daughter. As we were walking through the store Hadley noticed someone wearing a University of Louisville sweatshirt and shouted out, “Dad, look! The dirty birds! We don’t like them.” In that moment I was both embarrassed and extremely proud.
It is amazing how quickly our kids pick up on what we are passionate about. I haven’t had to sit down and teach Hadley about my love for the Wildcats. I haven’t had to set aside times each week for lessons on the Wildcats. As she has witnessed me cheering on the Cats, she has quickly picked up on my love and passion for UK basketball. For four years, I have been modeling–just like the children’s game Show & Tell–what it looks like to be a part of the Big Blue Nation.
Our kids are quick to pick up on our passions. Do they witness us getting passionate about our relationship with Jesus? Do our children witness us worshiping the God we know and love?
King David was the man after God’s own heart. Most of our psalms were written by this king of Israel, this king who, without a doubt, worshiped the Lord. There’s this really cool exchange in 1 Chronicles 28 between David and his son Solomon. We know from this passage that David was nearing the end of his life, so he gathered a great assembly. He had a charge to give to them; and then, before he is finished, he gives this charge to Solomon in front of the entire congregation: “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9)
In front of everyone, David says, “Solomon, know my God. As I have known him, know him.” I started thinking about the relationship between David and Solomon. I wonder if Solomon as a child ever witnessed or ever saw his dad, the king, worship? Did Solomon ever witness his father, in the assembly, praise the God he knew, loved, worshiped, and about whom he wrote multiple songs? I guarantee you he did. I guarantee you Solomon witnessed his father, the king, worship God. Worship by Show & Tell.
In 2 Samuel 6, David is returning the Ark of the Covenant to the City of David. It was a great moment for the nation of Israel. At one particular instance, the caravan stops to praise and worship God. Then it says, “David danced with all of his might” (v. 14). In an act of worship, we see David, the King of Israel, dancing with all of his might. Worship by Show & Tell.
Now my Dad, I’ve never seen him dance, but when I think about him dancing, it’s not really a pretty sight. But when I add the word danced mightily, it gets even worse. David didn’t care. David knew God. He loved God, and he didn’t care who saw. He didn’t care who was around. He worshiped, and worshiped through dancing. He danced mightily before the Lord.
When David gets home, his wife Michal sees him coming into the city. Literally, it says he was dancing and prancing. His wife sees this activity and is embarrassed: “You are the king of Israel. What are you doing making a fool out of yourself dancing like that?” (v. 20). Listen to David’s response. I love it: “And David said to Michal, ‘It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord––and I will celebrate before the Lord‘” (v. 20). Basically he’s saying, “I wasn’t dancing for you. I wasn’t dancing for anybody else. I was dancing for the Lord, and I don’t care what you think about it.”
Then he goes on to say, “I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes“ (v. 21). In other words he’s saying, “You think what you saw was embarrassing? You think that was bad? I will become even more undignified than that, because it’s before the Lord. I know him, I will worship him and I don’t care who sees it.”
This act of worship happened before Solomon’s birth. He wasn’t there. He didn’t see it. But I guarantee he heard about this story. I guarantee Solomon saw his dad worship the Lord with passion.
When David charged Solomon in 1 Chronicles 28 to know God, he was telling Solomon to do something that he had been modeling for Solomon’s entire life.
Worship by Show & Tell. We need to model for our kids what it looks like to worship the God we know and love. “Do as I say not as I do” just doesn’t work here. It is not enough to just tell our kids, we need to Worship by Show & Tell. Our kids need to witness us worshiping the Lord with passion. One of the things we love about Grace Heartland Church is that multiple services allow us to serve or to attend an Adult Bible Fellowship Class while our children get a lesson in our Merge Children’s Ministry. Then, we still have the opportunity to worship together as a family. It is important that our kids see us worship. Our kids will witness us getting passionate about many things. Will they witness us worship the Lord? Let us model for our children what it looks like to worship the Lord and may this move beyond just a Sunday morning experience to a lifestyle of worship. Worship by Show & Tell.
Adam Castenir, Children’s Minister, Grace Heartland Church