To tell as a parent, Ill let them decide on their own, sounds so enlightened. But it’s the most hazardous thing a parent could say…
By James Uglum
My mothers forced me to feed three times a day growing up. No gag. Three periods. Every. Single. Day. And it wasnt always stuff I liked, either. Matter of fact, I complained a great deal about what my mommy stimulated. Ewww, gross! Meatloaf? Severely? Mom you know we hate this stuff! So as I approached adulthood I made an important decision. Since my mothers forced me to feed while I was growing up, I decided I was done with snacks. Oh, here and there Ill eat out of obligation. I mean, family traditions like Thanksgiving and Christmas, yeah, Im there. But daily eating? No style. Im done .
Set in any other context, excuses people make for not going to church voice completely ridiculous. But set in the context of Christianity, people say these things in all seriousness while others nod sagely in somber agreement.
My son told me a few weeks into school that he didnt like the teacher. He wasnt getting excited enough about learning, and he didnt actually feel connected to the other children in his class, so I told him he never had to go back to school again. Who wants to waste their period going somewhere they arent being fulfilled ? Weve never forced our daughter to stay off the road when playing. We dont want to restrict her imagination. We allow her the freedom to induce her own options in life .
Now maybe the above analogies sound ridiculous. Im sure youre likely guessing, No caring parent would let their children decide whether to go to school or not, and they definitely wouldnt let their kid play in traffic. Thats threatening their lives. Its a matter of life or death. And that is exactly the phase. This is a matter of life or death for your child. Eternity is at stake.
In our family, church is a non-negotiable. Its a non-negotiable because we understand thathow we create our children, and what we teach them( or dont teach them) about Jesus carries eternal consequences. And as mothers we have a responsibility to share with them what God has done in our lives through the love of Jesus. So we read the Bible together at night and we pray together. We go to church. We talk about God at home and in the car and at the park. Will they always be excited about getting up and going to church? I hope so, but I doubt it. But irrespective, my spouse and I still induce them run because we are their parents and we know whats best for them. And so, when they complain we will tell them why meet along with other believers is a non-negotiable. Just likewhen they complain that we serve them healthy meals we explain why we eat veggies and not just cake. We take them to school every morning; no matter how muchthey complain or bellyache. And we explain why school is so important. We defined bounds and limits while they are playing outdoors. We tell them to appear both ways when they cross the street , not because we said so, but because to do otherwise entails perhaps being hit by a auto. We do these things because we love them and we are looking at the long term outcome , not what will induce them happiest in any given moment.
Train up small children in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not deviating from it .
Proverbs 22:6 Will all of that insure that they turn out to be the model upstanding citizens that my spouse and I hope? No. Its even possible for children to be brought up in a caring Christian home and still turn away from Jesus later. That is out of our control. As mothers, its own responsibilities is to teach our children about the world and about God. We teach them how God made this world perfectly. We teach them how the world became violated through that first sin of Adam and Eve. When their own brokenness depicts itself, we point it out, and then we point to the One who came to heal that brokenness; Jesus. And they are never too young to begin learning these things. Each of our children learned to pray all there is in highchairs. Our responsibility as Christian mothers is about so much more than merely taking our kids to church on Sunday mornings . To tell, as a parent, I wont force my kids to go to church. Ill let them decide on their own. sounds so enlightened. But it’s the most hazardous thing a parent could tell. It would be safer for you to let your children play on the freeway in rush hour traffic than to let them decide whether or not they wanted to go to church. One of those options carries temporary consequences( if you let your child play on the freeway in rush hour traffic they will die ); and the other carries potential eternal consequences.
Church isnt merely one good option among many. Church isnt a build. Church, properly understood, is the organization of Christ; the meet of believers in a specific place. And as such, it is a place where we all belong. We are all equally sinful before God and equally in need of a Savior. Church isnt merely a place you go to. Its not a place that you go to feel better about yourself. Its not entertainment. Its intent is not to give you ten easy steps to fix your wedding. Church is the gathering of believers to receive what God has come to give in Jesus . Jesus himself said, Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them . Matthew 18:20 So when we come together as the body of Christ, the church, we confess our sins. Then, having confessed our brokenness and want, we hear those great and unfathomable terms of forgiveness. We hear that, though our sins are many, and we in no way deserve grace, that God in Jesus has forgiven us . We hear Gods word spoken to us as Scripture is read, and we speak those terms to each other through various parts of the service. We sing ballads and hymns praising and proclaiming what Jesus has done for us. We hear sermons that proclaim the good news of forgiveness in Jesus. Dont give up and dont give in to those outside voices that tell you how much more important sleep, or schoolwork, or band, or athletics, or anything may be than coming together for adore every week. Instead, Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without waver, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works , not forgetting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you insure the Day drawing near .( Hebrews 10:23 -2 5)
( Check outhttp :// truthnotes.net/ 2014/03/ 24/ why-i-would-never-force-my-kids-to-go-to-church /for Ruth Meyers article ).
About the Author : James Uglum is a follower of Jesus, a husband to his beautiful spouse Jaime, and parent of three adventurous children. He is also a clergyman, coach, and avid runner. God is always at work around us. The elation and escapade be coming back detecting what God is doing in our lives and the lives of those around us. James write at DirtyHands.Wordpress.com .