How He Loves – a Lesson in Worship from a Four-Year-Old

by Andy Wood on July 14, 2008

in Following Your Passion, Insight, Life Currency, LV Cycle

(Rachel Brown and her husband, Pat, are dear friends who live in Atlanta, where Pat is on staff at Buckhead Church.  She’s also the daughter of Michael and June Carter, two of our dearest friends.  Michael is one of our elders at TPCC, and June is our office manager.  Rachel wrote the following beautiful account of an amazing experience she had in worship with her son, Ethan.  I think you’ll be as touched as I was.  Enjoy!  Then check out the song at the bottom.)

Rachel & EthanRight now my spirit is welling up with great joy, gratitude, and praise.  My mother’s heart is proud, humble, and completely blessed by my four year old son, Ethan. Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried to be more intentional with my three precious kids, teaching them about Jesus and how they can be a lover of God and worship him.  Several times this week I’ve resisted the temptation to allow my kids to watch TV in the morning. Instead we decided to turn on our worship music.  We have had a great time jumping around spinning and singing songs.  Honestly, it’s a great break from Bunny Town songs on Disney Channel.  If you have kids you will know what I’m talking about.

We are a family deeply moved by music and have a love for all different genres.  My three precious kids didn’t have a choice to love music! God has created their daddy with the love of music and great musical gifts.

We were deeply moved by “How He Loves,” a song we sang at Buckhead a few Sunday’s ago.  I couldn’t wait to download this song on my IPod and plug it into my ears and just worship.  Pat and I both had eyes welling up with tears and hearts full of unexplainable emotions when we heard this song.  For Pat it was a mixture of emotion; he has not led worship for almost two years, now, and such a great love is deeply missed.  His heart was moved by the love of God; for me, a funny moment with God. I humorously asked God why I have such a heart of worship but such a horrible voice. My humorous prayer is that all the people on earth that can’t sing will be HIS most gifted singers in heaven. If I can’t sing beautifully on earth, I’d better be able to sing in heaven! I think that you get the picture. We love worship!

This morning Ethan, our 4 year old son, asked to listen to “How He Loves” (by Kim Walker).  This song has to be the most moving song I’ve ever heard. The story from which the song was written is POWERFUL!  During this song, the worship leader pauses to share how we can experience the love of God. While listening this morning, Ethan came over to me with eyes full of tears and began to cry.  I thought he was hurt from jumping around. I asked what was wrong. He simply could not explain his emotion except to say he was sad.  He simply said “HIS PRESENCE,” then looked up at my decorative cross wall and said “I want to hold one of those and look at it.”

He said “I am sad Jesus had to die on a cross.”

I explained to him that Jesus doesn’t want him to be sad. “Jesus wants you to know how much he loves you and wants to be your friend forever and he died to save us because he loves us…Jesus gives us joy and makes us happy!”  I scooped my precious boy in my rocker and began to hold him and give the comfort of his mommy.  He cried for daddy, as if there is this special bond only they share when it comes to worship.  As I held him, I was reminded of the story of Hannah and the gift of Samuel.

The LORD had closed Hannah’s womb and she was barren for many years, but God chose to give her a son. “I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked Him for, I now give the boy to the Lord.  For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord” (vv.27-28a).  After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three year old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh (v. 24). When Hannah took him to the house of the Lord scripture says, “He worshiped the Lord” (vs.28). The Hebrew word for worship is shachah.

was not used in a general sense of worship, but specifically to bow down, to prostrate oneself as an act of respect before a superior king. I could not even begin to imagine a boy of such young age falling on his knees to worship the Lord, until I experienced this moment with Ethan. His words could not express what he was feeling in his heart. I believe at the core of who we are, we are created to be worshipers of God and my son is discovering this at the age of four.

Samuel, after arriving in the temple, at his young age, says “There is no one like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God” (2:2).

This precious experience teaches me a great deal.

One, as a mother and as a parent, God has entrusted me to teach our kids to know and love God.  If we don’t, who will? So many precious children are left to the influences of this fallen world and swept away in the rapid rivers of lies, deceit, hate, lust and much more!

Two, if my four year old son can show emotion before the Lord, so can I.  I think emotion is often overlooked as a society.  Hannah wept to the Lord and asked for a child.  This is clear evidence that it is okay to fall before him and lay my needs, desires, frustrations and wounds before him.

Three, trust and have faith in God and His love that is deeper than the ocean and sink into the sea of His grace.

Lastly, to seek out this great love, to abandon heart and allow his love to overwhelm! OH, HOW HE LOVES!


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tree Newt July 14, 2008 at 8:24 am

Andy, thanks so much for sharing this. What an awesome, powerful illustration of a couple training their kids up in the way they should go. I can only imagine the mom’s heart when she heard her son say those things to her. That’s got to be every Christian parents’ hope for their kids. What an awesome, awesome example of how we, as parents, are called to disciple and teach our kids, and what a clear example that what we DO is so much more powerful than what we tell them to do!

Tree Newts last blog post..Retraction and Apology

Robin Wood July 14, 2008 at 11:19 am


Do you remember when Carrie and Cassie were so passionate about Jesus as such young young kids. Carrie was four when she cried out to God too and it stuck, she still has that love and passion. I think there has to be something there when God calls out the children; that is why it is so important to teach them when they are babies to love him. Rachael is raising three incredible kids for the kingdom and while her hearts desires are for them to love and serve Him all the days of their lives, it is her foundations that He will honor. It thrills my heart and fills it with such expectancy. They will be called out for Him because she and Pat have openly loved Jesus before those three precious ones. This is the training up of a child…It will be so exciting to watch God’s call on Ethans life. AMAZING!!!

Nana July 14, 2008 at 1:54 pm

How sweet–Rachel, you are great at communicating spiritual thoughts. You must keep us posted regularly on what is happening spiritually in your home. How we pray every day for our grandchildren to know Jesus personally at an early age and to love Him all their lives. How we miss watching them grow daily. Makes Nana sad to not be there to experience all these events in their lives first hand.

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