It is vitally important for families to attend church, praise, and worship the Lord together, which affirms the stance that we choose to serve God regardless of what other households have decided (Joshua 24:15). My childhood memories include my parents, my sister, and I, as we sat together, singing, clapping, and repeating the “affirmation of faith,” which summarized our church’s biblical beliefs. My parents taught me early on that serving the Lord was important, so I joined the choir as a child.
God commands parents and caregivers to raise children on biblical principles so that if they go astray, their foundation will lead them back to God. This is true, especially for myself, who went astray after my parents divorced when I was in middle school. For many years, I floundered and struggled with my identity in the world. One day I realized that my identity was within the body of Christ, found my way back to church after being witnessed to by a local pastor, and have continued to rebuild my faith since then.
God desires us to experience life through our interactions with others, within our family, through involvement in our support networks, as we work alongside employers and colleagues, and in everything that we do. It is all about our purpose – to worship God, to witness of His goodness to others, and to profess our faith to everyone. A fond childhood memory is the song “Yes, Jesus Loves Me” because as the Father has loved Him, He has loved me (John 15:9). This hymn holds special meaning because although the particular details of childhood church service escape me, the feelings of the assurance that this song brought me still rest deep within me. As the words wash over me, the hope that only rests in Jesus and the salvation that He brings warms and renews my heart. As a child, I was taught this love and filled with His Spirit and is now reconnected to the true vine.
Another childhood memory is of Willie Banks and the Messengers singing “Lord, I Know You Been So Good.” This song was sung in church, at local gospel concerts, and at home around warm slices of an old-fashioned molasses cake. Memories of church from my childhood all include my family as a unit serving and praising the Lord which set the precedence for instilling those same values in my own children – the importance of attending church, serving in the church, and praising and worshipping God as a family. God wants all of us to give our children these same types of memories.
Contributor: E. Taylor