Proverbs 6:20 My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother
I had the privilege of growing up and living in a Pastor’s home for the first 18 years of my life. Looking back, there are so many things I learned from both of my parents, and I am so thankful for their influence and impact on my life. I honestly believe they would be shocked to know how much I learned from them.
Because I grew up as a Pastor’s kid, one thing I did not get to do much was sit in church next to my dad. Church was usually sitting there with my mom listening to my dad preach. Thinking back there were three lessons my mom taught me consistently while we sat together in church and to this day, I have not forgotten them and still try to obey them.
I was probably the most misbehaved out of my 5 siblings I am sure. I can often remember hearing my mom lean over and whisper in my ear with her soft voice, “Nick, pay attention to the preacher.” The importance of this lesson was not to make my parents look good, but I believe my mom wanted me to listen to the preaching so if and when the Lord spoke, I would be ready. If we take a few steps back, my mom also did a great job by helping me be attentive in service by making sure I went to bed on time and early the night before church. Mom, correct me if I am wrong, but I can only remember falling asleep in a church service once as a child. And she gets all the credit for that. I remember at the age of 13, I felt the Lord’s call on my life in a service. I am thankful my mother trained me to be attentive in the service.
Whatever was going on in the service was something that I needed to be a part of. I am so glad my mother understood this. If it was time to give, she wanted me to give. If it was time to pray, she wanted me to pray. If it was time to sing, she wanted me to sing. I can remember many a time she would lower herself and put her ear next to my mouth during the congregational singing to check if I was singing. I am thankful for this lesson because even to this day, I enjoy every service because I learned at a young age to be a participant in the service and not a spectator.
I remember a game my mom used to have us play as children was to reach the goal of saying hi or shaking hands with at least ten people before service. I can’t remember what our reward was right now, maybe that means I never won. To this day, I still consider myself a tad on the introverted side, but I am thankful for my mom teaching me the importance of being friendly at church. We all love to be greeted and feel welcomed. Imagine the feeling a visitor would have to be greeted by a smiling 10-year-old boy and warm handshake.
Why do I mention these three lessons? My purpose is two-fold: First, to encourage parents to stay consistent with those small lessons and disciplines you are teaching your children. I believe they are and will make an impact. And secondly, let’s all learn and apply these lessons in our service. Be attentive to the preaching of God’s Word, be a participant in the service, and be friendly to everyone you see at church.
In closing, I am thankful for a mother who set me up for success spiritually. By God’s grace I hope never to forsake her law.
Life is not made up of the things which we possess, it is made up of the eternal relationship which we have with Christ.
As a Christian you must, on purpose, do what we can to allow good things into our hearts.