I hadn't thought about the rhythms of call and response in our home until a sweet friend of mine posted these thoughts to her blog.
Growing up in a tradition that for the most part didn't have much formal liturgy in worship, it hasn't been until recently that a call and response has been a part of our rhythm at church.
Each week we take part in several call and responses as a time of worship. And I've loved it. The rich words. Hearing the good news that Jesus saves sinners. That He is my only hope. And when I say them out loud they go down deep from my lips to my heart. Rehearsing the gospel is so good for my soul.
So I've been thinking about the things we say in our home. Over and over. Without even realizing what we're saying.
If you spent a day in my home, you would hear things like:
"Keep your hands on your own body!"
"Find something positive to do."
"That's an outside ball."
"We use kind words on our home."
Over and over and over. Sometime in grace. Sometimes in anger. Often in frustration.
But I do know of one thing that's repeated several times a day, over and over, that I want spoken continually over our children and their hearts. It's a sort of call and response that Isabelle and Jackson have heard for years now.
Mommy or Daddy:
How do we obey?
Bella or Jackson:
All the way. Right away. In a happy way.
I didn't come up with this one. Over coffee at a party the sweet Therese Engle shared this part of her parenting with me years ago and it stuck.
It's easy for my kids to remember. It's helpful for parenting and shepherding my kids hearts. They know that they haven't fully obeyed unless it is done all the way, right away, and in a happy way. That I'm more concerned about the attitude of their heart than if they go through the motions of obedience.
But it stuck with me because I need to learn this same lesson from my Father.
Child, how do I want you to you obey?
All the way, right away, and in a happy way.
Do we answer all of his call? Are we quick to follow his directions? And are our hearts delighting in obedience?
He doesn't want my half-hearted devotion.
He doesn't want my sluggish obedience.
He doesn't want my begrudging service.
God doesn't just care about if we do what he commands. He cares more about the how and why of our obedience.
He cares about my heart posture when I obey.
I'm glad this is part of our call and response in our home. My heart needs to hear it just as much as my children. I need to say it out loud so it goes down deep from my lips to my heart.
Yes, rehearsing the gospel in my home is good for my soul.
How do we obey? I want to obey all the way. Right away. And in a happy way.