Commanding Your Children to Praise

Parents have no problem commanding their children to obey quickly or to be kind to others. There is no dispute about teaching children that they should not hit each other or that they should respect authority. But what about commanding your children to praise God? Does that seem a bit unusual?

Let’s explore this for a moment. The statement praise God is not just about saying the words praise God. Psalm 78 exhorts Israel not to hide the praiseworthy deeds of God from their children. As you read the psalm, you see that this is exactly what occurs. God’s deeds are listed so that he can be praised!

So, when the scriptures state “Praise God”, it is not an option to consider whether one feels like singing praise songs. It is a command to remember and relate the praiseworthy deeds of God to ourselves and others. Just as “love your neighbor as yourself” is a command, so is “praise God” a command.

This means it is right to include the praise of God in the instruction of your children. Refusing to praise God is an act of disobedience just as much as refusing to come when called is an act of disobedience.

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