First let me tell you what this is not. It is not a commentary on whether one or
both parents should stay at home, work from home or focus on managing family and
career. It is not about whether you should or shouldn’t have children, or how many
you should have. It is also not a comparison between people who are parents, and
people who are not.
So, what is this? Thanks for asking. It is simply my thoughts on the wild season
of parenthood. The one where the littles are wild and the chaos is strong. The one
that leaves you tired, smelly and maybe a little crazy.
As a worship leader, it is easy to feel like this season is so all consuming that
your identity is being swallowed up. You watch your gifts and talents fade to the
back while you join the management game. Managing the noise, managing the mess,
managing the hungry little people who constantly need you. Seriously, why would
you even bother to attend a corporate worship event? You can’t possibly participate.
Friends, here in the land of the wild ones, choices are made, the important choices
that affect your children. Children, wild, quiet, ornery, beautiful, funny and crazy
all have the same access to Holy Spirit as you do. They are just as capable as you
in experiencing the power and presence of God.
No matter how they do it, it’s our job as parents to stay engaged. We are the director
of the orchestra.
I generally see two kinds of parenting at worship services.
- The Military Parent
Number one is the military parent. This parent demands that their children stand,
behaving respectfully, giving honor to God. They raise their little hands and sing
with hollow eyes and hollow hearts. Little obedient robots that never experience
- The Checked Out Parent
Number two is the checked out parent. They just want to worship. They are gloriously
experiencing the worship, and fully engaging themselves. Meanwhile their kids end
up running, unchecked, back and forth. It’s loud and disruptive. These kids are
having so much fun, but also never experience God.
- The Engaged Parent
I present to you option number three, the engaged parent. I have found that parenting
is in fact worship. Tending to the hearts of our children is a very valuable thing
in the eyes of God. It is also very hard work. We can allow our kids to experience
God uniquely. Asking them what they feel when Holy Spirit is moving in them. How
do they connect? They may need to dance and spin. So dance and spin with them. Give
them boundaries of space and volume so that they aren’t disturbing others. They
may feel and see in pictures. Give them a notebook and a pencil. Ask them to draw
or write what Holy Spirit shows them. Some very profound pictures have come out
of one of my picture feeling/seeing sons. They may get on the floor and just be
with Jesus, or play the “drums” on the chairs. No matter how they do it, it’s our
job as parents to stay engaged. We are the director of the orchestra. We are stewarding
them, and helping them to see, feel and know what it is to experience God. It takes
our time and our energy. Sometimes it will mean that we don’t get to just go away
to our happy place in worship. But, it is a beautiful different kind of worship,
one that is a treasure in the eyes of God.
Parents, be empowered. Stay engaged and present with your kids. I promise you that
this is only a season of your life. This is a sacrifice of praise that you can only
offer for a limited time. It is worship like no other. Give yourself to it fully,
and you will not regret it!
Teach a child how to follow the right way; even when he is old, he will stay on
Know this: children are a gift from the Eternal; the fruit of the womb is His reward.