on parenting: to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, part 1

Series Intro: Last year, my husband and I participated in a theological training course through our church called Porterbrook. As part of the course requirements, I gave a presentation in response to one of the modules. The module contended that all of life is to be lived to the glory of God, and I reflected on that as it pertains to parenting. Recently I’ve been thinking about these principles and thought it might be helpful for my own heart to revisit them. Maybe they can encourage you, too. I’ve broken them into a few parts to appear over the next few weeks.

Part 1: Worship

What does it mean to glorify God? In Isaiah 43, it says that we were created by God for His glory. In Ephesians, Paul writes that we have been chosen for redemption that we might be adopted as sons through Christ, to the praise of His glorious grace. He goes on to say that this is so that we – those who hope in Christ – might be to the praise of his glory. He writes that following our belief in Christ, we “were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” From this passage we see a distinct purpose for our creation, election, redemption, and glorification – that God would be glorified. So, we strive to grow in our knowledge and understanding of His character, of the depth of his redeeming love, and of the grace extended to us in Christ. And as we do that, God is glorified when we respond to Him in awe and worship. Further, as we are transformed by His Spirit to be more like Christ, we become trophies of God’s grace and glorify Him as we display His character to those around us. Quoting from the Porterbrook unit, “My life is to be of such a calibre that only grace can produce it, and so only God receives the glory.”

Thinking of this in terms of parenting, we’ve said that as we grow in knowing God, that results in worship. A goal I have as a parent is to teach my children to know God that they too would worship him. We strive to do what Psalm 145 describes: “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. On the glorious splendor of your majesty and on your wondrous works, [we] will meditate.” (vs. 4-5)

I love the way Ted Tripp describes this responsibility as it relates to parenting: He says,

“One of the most important callings that God has given you [as parents] every day your children are being raised in your home is to hold out for these children who are instinctively and compulsively worshipers, the glory and excellence and beauty of the God for whom they are made. It’s to be coming to our children all the time saying, ‘Oh children! There is a God in heaven – he is glorious and marvelous beyond description! Life is found in knowing Him! Oh children, you must know the Lord!’”

So together we celebrate the God who has revealed himself in His written word, showing himself to be “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,” the Lord who is “good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made” (Ps. 145:8-9). We also point to His hand throughout all creation, noting as Psalm 19 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (vs. 1). We want to give God the glory in all circumstances, thanking him for his blessings, marveling at a sunset, taking time to pause and examine the breadth of his creativity, displayed in little things like ants at work.

Though I am often unsuccessful at watching for these moments to commend God to our children, this is something I desperately want to instill in them as I strive to make it a reality in my own life. God is glorified as I know Him more and respond in worship, and as I call my children to do the same.