24 Family Ways #1
"We love and obey our Lord, Jesus Christ, with wholehearted devotion."
Memory verse: "And He said to them, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment." Matt. 22:37-38
Rainbow light shone through a multi-colored stain glass window which looked like it was a passage to heaven. Our normally wiggly, chattery clan became silent as they walked into the lovely chapel and heard the quiet music wafting up to the very rafters where the light was shining through. Oddly enough, the beauty, formality and music hushed them and they sat mostly reverently through the hour-long service.
"Mama, you felt like you had to be quiet 'cause everything was so special, pretty, and respectful," piped one of my little ones, when asked what they thought of the new church we visited.
This was the first time our family had ever attended such a formal service together, and it was enlightening to see what the effect the sacred place of exquisite design and beauty had on the attitudes of my children.
Almost every time I read a story about someone who saw the glory of God, the effect of His blinding splendor was that they bowed down in fear, in reverence, hiding their eyes from the glory of God. The starting point for any real training must be a reverence, respect, and proper awe of God, Himself.
The first "way" of Our 24 Family Ways is about learning to see the sacred, and to honor things that are holy. If we do not learn to understand that some things are special and set aside as a picture of great and intrinsic worth, designed to show the eminence and infinity of God's glory in our own homes and lives, we will never learn to honor God.
Honor of God begins with an honor of what is holy in our lives. All people are made in God's image, so they are sacred and have great worth in eternity. Marriage, the commitment of two people to enter into a union and pledge before God of faithfulness is sacred and holy.
Many things that used to be considered sacred--human life, the elderly, churches and burial grounds, people in position of authority and accomplishment, parents, marriage, teachers, public figures--all of these are often torn apart, ridiculed, and devalued in contemporary culture. When every vestige of truth can be ridiculed, cynicism runs so rampant that no one can believe in innocence, modesty, or sincerity anymore.
At this time in history, where very little is considered sacred or holy, we must seek diligently to create not just knowledge of what the word holy means, but to place tangible practices in our lives where we and our children come to learn that some things are sacred and set apart and deserve our reverence and worship.
Honor starts with the respectful ways we treat others in our home--the way we speak to our children with respect, the way we give our attention to and interact with our husbands, the way we treat strangers or others who come across our paths.
When we learn to give value to others by serving them, we will be much more likely honor God--and honoring God is the first commandment. Loving God and honoring Him with our whole hearts is the starting place for appropriate worship, which says He is worthy of our praise and service our whole life long. Honor is a heart attitude.
Most of our churches are places where there is casual dress, talking and chattering, informal behavior, so much so that the behavior and jokes told and manners of most people could not be differentiated from the behavior they would display at a restaurant or in any other casual place.
We make fun of our Presidents and leaders and feel no guilt or twinge of conscience for voicing every sort of opinion on Facebook. We criticize our preachers and leaders. In the name of "freedom," we excuse any kind of behavior and speech, with no sense of propriety or restraint. If there is nothing sacred in our lives, then how do we hope to pass on a sense of awe, Godly fear and respect to our children?
How have you instilled reverence and devotion to God in your children?
Have you seen things that have intrinsic eternal value degraded in the culture of your world?
Name several ways you can establish a practice of valuing the sacred in your own life.