I’m no expert in building houses, but in my limited knowledge of house building I know that the beginning of the building process is very unsexy. In order to build a house, you have to start with the foundation and if you mess up the foundation, you are in for a world of problems throughout the life of your house.
Without getting the foundation right, the rest of the house can be thrown into jeopardy.
When you see a house getting built, these beginning stages aren’t very fun. It’s exciting when the walls start to go up. It’s exciting when you can start to see a structure taking shape or even something that you can walk around with. It’s fun to see the roof get put on, the drywall getting hung, or even the windows all being put in. But to see the foundation being put in, that’s hardly an exciting day of watching a house being built.
In parenting, one of the most important jobs that we do is in building the foundation upon which the rest of our children’s spiritual lives will live. Building the foundation isn’t always exciting and you will rarely see the fruit of it for many, many years. But if the foundation isn’t right, the rest of the house won’t be right either.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” - Matthew 7:24-27
As parents, our job is to build the lives of our children on the rock.
And the best way we build the foundation in the lives of our kids is in the way we we worship in our homes. There’s this ancient phrase that has been used for hundreds of years to describe the formation of belief.
And more importantly what it means: the way we worship (or pray) is the way we believe.
This is true about our life in our congregations, but that truth gets multiplied when you think about the impact it has in your home.
What does your worship look like in your home? And I’m not just talking about music or devotional life, although that’s certainly included. When suffering hits, how do you respond as a family? When you are faced with making a difficult decision, how do you respond? When your family is faced with a crisis, do you pray? When you spend time talking to your kids what do you talk about? When you pray, how do you pray?
What patterns show up in the rhythms of your life? Are there things that you say every single day? Are there songs you sing every night?
I am far from having this figured out, but I’m doing everything I can to raise my kids so that they continue to love Jesus all their lives. And for me this means doing the foundational work of showing my kids what worship looks like in our home.
When things are good and when things are bad, we pray. The way we pray even shapes the way our kids will understand God. The way we interact with friends and family and neighbors should be done in a way that honors our God. My son recently started singing “The Doxology” because I had been singing it to him since he was a tiny baby. Now he sings it to his sister.
The way we worship in our homes will be the way our children believe.