What's a practical explanation to a 6 and 4 yr old of what it means to glorify God? What we've found is that in teaching our kids they internalize it by "works" instead of by the hearts orientation.
The basic definition of "glorying God" is to think highly of someone or something, and to want others to think more highly of him or it. Let's consider a practical example for a preschooler, and then use it to work back to the abstract idea.
Glorying the MoosePretend that you have a favorite stuffed animal. In honor of my Canadian friends (I have two of them!), we'll say it's a stuffed moose, named "Maple."
Now you love Maple the Moose. You always think about Maple. You look after him, and make sure no one messes with him. He's the best, and you want everyone to know it.
There are some things you do for Maple the Moose because you love him so much.
- You don't let him get dirty.
- You always put him on top of your pile of stuffed animals.
- You sleep with him.
- You tell everyone how great Maple is, because he is special to you, and you think he should be special to others.
Yes, you take concrete actions, but those actions are only because of one thing: you really love him. You think about Maple all the time. He's the most special thing to you . In fact, it's not that you think about DOING so much for Maple, but that you love him so much that your actions are natural and automatic.
In the same way, glorifying God is not about a bunch of actions that show how much I love Him. Glorifying God is just about recognizing how great He is, and wanting others to know how great He is. Sure, some of that requires actions, but more than actions, it's an internal awareness of all that He is, and all that He has done.
I know this gets close to being about "works," but I think that is a struggle for us adults as well.
Does this analogy help? Or have I turned your kids into a bunch of moose-worshipers?
If you can come up with a better analogy, or offer any changes, I'd appreciate it. Let me know in the comments (or if you having trouble leaving a comment, contact me some other way).
- Biblical Parenting vs Gospel Parenting
- On Moralistic Teaching
- Parenting in the Lord
- Heart Connection, Moralism, and Grace
- Teaching Preschoolers About the Crucifixion?
**image courtesy of sideshowmom via morguefile