Faith, Hope & Motherhood: Worship
The Westminster catechism says “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.” The direction towards which we are headed inevitably impacts upon our journey, and if we, as parents, grandparents and extended family members can live with that as our main aim: to glorify God and to ENJOY Him and build that into our children, then the kingdom of God will flourish and our children will thrive in their own developing relationships with their heavenly Father.
How do we achieve that with these tinies? Whose main purpose seems to be to disrupt all that we previously saw as ‘normal’ life, day and night. I believe exploring how to worship with this age range is as important for the parents as for the tinies themselves.
I think my challenge over the years has been:
“How do I continue to worship God in spirit and in truth when I have a little infant attached to me 24/7?
How do I enjoy God and glorify Him in the middle of the deconstruction of life as I knew it pre-infant?”
It’s a challenge that I’d like to pass on to you… how do we worship on those days when there’s been no sleep, when words are unspeakable, when we know that the sequence will happen all over again in the next twenty-four hours?
Because in the years of our parenting, particularly in these very early years, it’s the way we live, worship and follow Jesus that provides the primary model for our tinies.
Reflecting on this afresh, I am grateful that it didn’t all rely on just myself and my husband to provide examples of expressive worship, there was a lovely diversity available within our church community, ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles’ who also provided safe, relational models. I have needed my extended church family and their various ways of expressing their love for Jesus, to help me demonstrate how to live a life of worship.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind…”
Worship is an act of obedience to this commandment. It requires day by day discipline. And moment by moment fresh supplies of mercy. It requires authenticity, for our worship needs to be in spirit and in truth. We wouldn’t want our children to learn any other kind of worship, right?
I don’t have any sparkly tips to pass on to you about developing worship with your tiny tot, but I do want to encourage you to invest your ordinary, everyday life with a desire to enjoy God.
Revisit the tried and tested wisdom of the children’s song “Read your Bible, pray every day…”
Feeding babies and toddlers can take up time, it may help you and your tot to listen to some worship music or a section of scripture via an audio app. Feed body, soul and spirit.
Maximise the time used on chores like cleaning, ironing etc by singing worship songs, if you can’t remember the words, well, it’s a great opportunity to sing a new spiritual song! In those times when it’s the dark of the night and all you want is sleep but your tiny infant thinks differently… sing. Your song will strengthen you; your worship will become a lullaby or a declaration whatever is necessary in that moment.
If you feel terrified at the thought of singing then quietly repeat your favourite Bible verses, His word has power.
Speak out in your own spiritual language, allow the Holy Spirit to help you into His rhythms.
Do the things you did at first, when you first fell in love with Jesus, and they will be seen and heard and learnt by your tiny infant.
Let Love’s invitation draw you deeper into living a life woven with the rhythms of His word, with prayer, praise, worship. All day, every day. Let yourself be carried by His unforced rhythms of grace into the place where praise is poured out with each generation.
Ruth Price is a registered Movement Psychotherapist, specialist in early years development, attachment and filial play, mother and grandmother, and self-professed city-type currently acclimatising to life on a smallholding.