by Paul Tautges | January 24, 2019 3:24 am
“Awesome” is one word which has become so commonplace it is at risk of losing its punch. Today, it’s used to describe anything from a chef’s pizza to an artist’s portrait, a baseball team’s double play to a restaurant’s double cheeseburger. For this reason, day in and day out, it’s not unusual for our kids to hear that they and their accomplishments are awesome.
Originally, the word “awesome” referred to “something which inspires awe.” Awe is an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear produced by that which is grand, sublime, or extremely powerful. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a pizza that fits that description! But “awesome” is a perfect word to describe God and the works He performs:
Who among the gods is like you, Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders? (Ex. 15:11).
For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth (Ps. 47:2).
Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! (Ps. 66:5).
Since God is awesome, He’s worthy of our lives revolving around Him. Seeing God as awesome naturally leads to adoration, humility, and submission. For example, it was when the prophet Isaiah saw the holy God in His majestic glory that he found his proper place as a worshiper. Once he confessed his sin to God, the prophet was then forgiven and ready to serve God (Is. 6).
As parents, we should ask ourselves if our kids see in us an awe for God. In the way we speak and live, they need to see our reverence for the Lord.
One of the things I love about children is how readily they accept that God is their Creator; they easily believe He made them by Himself and for Himself (Is. 43:7). This explains why the first sentence in the Bible remains the most foundational truth of all: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). It’s even the reason we have seven days in every week:
For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy (Ex. 20:11).
This simple, introductory truth about God impacts our parenting in more ways than we perhaps realize. When we instill in our children an awe for God as their Creator, we establish the starting point for any sense of accountability. We point them to the only firm anchoring point for living in this fallen, stormy world. We also prepare them to receive biblical warnings like “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecc. 12:1), and “God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecc. 12:14).
We may have never thought of God as the hardest worker of all, but the Bible opens with God working, creating the heavens and the earth, both seen and unseen. On the sixth day, when He created man in His image, God commanded him to be a worker too. But sin affected our entire world, even the world of work. Weeds took over the ground. Work became more difficult and less enjoyable. However, in Christ, God redeems work. For this reason, He exhorts us to work “with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord” (Col. 3:22–23). Here the apostle Paul connects the concept of reverence for the Lord to a hearty work ethic. When we model hard work accompanied by an honorable attitude toward our employer, we elevate the dignity of work, and demonstrate to our kids how new ownership in Christ impacts every area of life.
These truths matter in parenting, since our kids’ view of God will impact whether they grow up to be lazy or diligent workers. God’s works testify that He indeed is awesome. As Creator and Redeemer, He is the only One who is always worthy to be loved, obeyed, and worshiped— not just on Sunday, but every day of the week.
[This post is excerpted from Raising Kids in a “You Can Do It!” World.]
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