Previously, I wrote about our constant opportunity to worship as followers of Jesus. We talked about how our gathered times on Sundays are only a fraction of the worship that we are called to as Christians. Here is a “real life” example:

It was April 15th. My taxes had been done for a whopping 18 hours, and I was feeling pretty good. My Tuesday at the office was coming to a close, and we were finalizing the plans for Easter Sunday at LifePoint. As I worked away, I received a text message from my (39-week pregnant) wife which read: “You might need to come pick me up from Olive Garden… I’ll keep you posted.” A few hours later we were in the hospital, waiting for a room and listening to the nurses blame their busyness on the cycle of the moon.

This would be our second child, and honestly, my mind was far less apprehensive than when this baby’s sister entered the world 3 ½ years ago. I’ve done the diaper thing. I’ve done the “no sleep” thing.[1]No big deal, right?

So there we were, four minutes between groans of pain and expectation. As a man, you feel a little helpless in the delivery room. What could I possibly do to soothe a woman who was about to have eight pounds fall out of her?

At some point between contractions, Katie asked me turn on some music. Yes! I thought. There’s something I can do!

As Katie was laboring, a moment came where the reality of the life that was coming hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like a slow-motion movie scene: I thought of the beauty that will result because of our little girl, and I thought of the trials that will inevitably come because of her (and my) humanity.

The soundtrack to this revelation was a song called “My Portion and My Strength” by Ellie Holcomb.[2]As she sang, the truth of our dependence on God overwhelmed me:
“Help me to stand on the promise that You are holding my right handHelp me to know that even when I lose my grip, You won’t let go. Help me believe, You will be my portion and my strength”

What an opportunity to worship! I was instantly reminded of my call to present my body as a living sacrifice, both in the moment of revelation, and over the course of Lennon Mae’s (our new daughter) life.

In the victories, the times when Lennon and Molly succeed, on the days when everything seems to be perfect, I can worship. Matt Papa puts it beautifully when he says:

“Worship is a rhythm of revelation and response. We see something magnificent (revelation) and then we respond in adoration (praise).”[3]

And I can worship when things aren’t going as planned. I’ve only been doing it for a little while, but I know that being a parent is hard. I’m well aware that diapers, food, and Netflix won’t be the answer to all of my parenting problems for much longer. In the moments when my daughters are rejected by their peers, when the sins of man have caused them heartache, when my only answer to their trouble is to sit on their bed and cry along with them, allowing Him to be our portion and our strength will be our sorrowful and beautiful act of worship.

In these moments, we’ll remind ourselves of the Apostle Peter’s words to those who are suffering:
“In this (the salvation that comes from Jesus) you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”[4]

Parents, I urge you, in all that you do, worship our Creator. This will not only shape the way your children view God, it will bring glory to the One to whom all glory is due.

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In a rephrasing of the Westminster Catechism, Pastor Matt Boswell calls us as Christian parents to live in this manner:
“The chief end of the family is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. God is worthy of the worship of our homes.”[5]

[1] I’m not as good at it as my wife is, though.


[3] Matt Papa, Doxology & Theology (B&H Publishing Group, 2013), 85

[4] 1 Peter 1:6-7 (ESV) parentheses mine

[5] Matt Boswell, Doxology & Theology (B&H Publishing Group, 2013), 174