(Continued from yesterday’s post…)
As our Sunday morning worship service began, we started with a few worship songs as we always do. Like any 9 year-old, there are days when my daughter Emily would rather sit with her friends than with her family. I understand and don’t have a problem with it, but this morning was different. This morning she sat with us, and I’m glad she did. During the song “Jesus Paid It All”, my little girl reached over and hugged me while she sang. At first, it was just her hugging my arm. By the second verse, my arm was around her and she was hugging my waist. As we got to the third verse, she was standing in front of me with my arms draped over her shoulders and across her chest. As we continued to sing, I could hear her singing the words “Oh! Praise the One who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead!”The moment hit me like a proverbial ton of bricks. My little girl was finding her delight in her earthly father AND her Heavenly Father at the same time.
She didn’t welcome my embrace out of guilt. It wasn’t something on her relational checklist. It wasn’t something that she had been instructed to do. She did it because she loves me. That’s what made it special.
At the same time, she was showing me the progression that my wife and I have prayed for since the day she was born. She was building on the love of her earthly father and learning how to express her praise and love—her delight– for her Heavenly Father. I can’t help but think that He was smiling too.
During this one song I could see a quiet, but powerful transition, and it made perfect sense to me. As parents, God allows us to model His fatherhood for our children. They learn how to love us, so that one day they will know how to love Him. His glory is the ultimate goal. As they see our joy in their affection, they get a small glimpse of what they will find as a child of God.
From a parental standpoint, this is a responsibility of epic proportions. In order to truly love our children in a way that draws them to their Heavenly Father, it is crucial that we find our delight in Him above all else. Not out of guilt. Not to check it off of our spiritual “To Do” list. We can delight in Him because while we were lost, sinning, living a life that is counter to everything God is, He sent his one and only Son to die for us; and this sacrifice enableed us to receive our adoption as sons to the family of God. This is where our joy in Him should originate. And when we show this joy, it sets in motion a beautiful cycle of giving God the honor and glory He deserves.
John Piper’s right. God IS most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.
Thank you God, for blessing me with my children to help me understand this