Glory and Joy

This afternoon while I was hanging up laundry, I was surprised when our four year old came into the laundry room with an armful of DVDs. I was not surprised to see that she wanted to watch a movie, but what did catch me off guard was her line of questioning. She started going through them one at a time, asking, “Does Jay Jay  glorify God?” “”Does Noah’s Ark glorify God?” “How about The Hugglers? Does this one glorify God?”

I was surprised by her vocabulary; I don’t think I have ever put that question to her. We have turned a movie or tv show off if we found that it didn’t merit a yes answer, and we have had these conversations with our older children, but apparently I have underestimated this child’s capacity for understanding and responding to theological matters.

As I was standing there hanging up shirt after shirt, and answering again and again the same tiny voiced question, “Does this one glorify God?”** I realized anew that it is exactly that question I need to be asking myself when I am faced with choices. Sometimes the choices are as simple and unrehearsed as where I will spend time, or how I will spend money. Often the choices are fleeting, but more complex in execution and ramifications – deciding about how I will respond to a person or a situation. But in each situation, I need to be as intentional as my four year old was, repeatedly asking that same little question: does this glorify God?

The Westminster Shorter Catechism opens like this:

Q: What is the chief end of man?

A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Glory and joy. I like that answer.


**I was really curious what our little seminarian thought it meant to glorify God, since we have not discussed this directly. When she asked me about a favorite show, I turned it back to her.

Q:  What do you think? Do you think this one glorifies God?

A: Oh, yes.

Q: What makes you think so?

A: When the dog is sad, the others come and keep it company. They love the one who is sad.



  1. Kirstin

    “They love the one who was sad.” She can see beauty in the brokenness at 4 years old – some never attain this vision, even after many more years. Thank you for showing yourself to us again, Lord, with this sweet, tiny little voice!


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