My husband didn’t grow up attending church on a weekly basis. He went twice a year. Every Easter and every Christmas.
So why did he choose to parent differently?
Was it simply because we are pastors?
If we listened to all our critics over the years our kids were supposed to turn out rebellious, chain smoking druggies, having sex with lots of people, going off the rails. That’s what regular church attendance does to you!
Why did we defy the warnings? Why did we not follow the trend amongst Christians today to only attend church 12 times a year?
Why did we think it important for their growth and development?
Firstly my husband handed his will over to the leadership of Jesus Christ.
Making the decision to hand his will and life over to Christ wasn’t an easy and simple decision.
There were costs to the decision.
In making the decision he decided to trust Jesus’ leadership rather than his experience, his history, and his logic and his wants.
God commands us to have a Sabbath Day.
Today most people think that means a day to do what you want to do.
A day of freedom to play with your toys, to sleep in, to do what you feel like doing.
I don’t know if you have noticed but days off don’t seem to be working!
Regardless of our many days off as a culture we are exhausted.
Our soul needs rest.
Christians are tired…
We are weary, and heavy laden.
As a culture we don’t seem rested and rejuvenated.
Our kids certainly aren’t rested kids.
Perhaps it is because of a poor diet, lack of exercise, lack of sleep, poor routines, overwork but perhaps it is also because our soul isn’t given a Sabbath Day rest.
Our days off also seem unable to produce great Christ like character.
With all this time off to recharge it seems strange that we are short on love, joy, peace, patience, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
Our resting isn’t producing character.
Perhaps its not because we aren’t getting a day off, perhaps it’s because we’re not resting the way God told us to rest.
Why did we raise our kids in church?
Their soul needed worship.
I often think of a frog whose throat bulges with air when I think of worship and its impact on our soul. Our soul comes alive when we sing, when we praise, when we allow our soul to worship. It expands, it gets bigger, it comes alive.
Their soul needed mystery.
Our soul comes alive when we hear the voice of God. God’s voice is still found primarily in the ancient text. HIS SMS to us. We need to hear it. It brings life to our soul.
Their soul needed the gathering of the differents.
It’s not good for our soul to simply mix with our own kind. We are surrounded by the dysfunction of what happens when we mix only with our own kind. We need to learn to love people who are different to us. God’s body is a motley crew! There are so many wonderful lessons of love learned when we gather with the differents.
The one thing we all have in common is Jesus Christ, his love and his grace. As we meet and gather, as we touch and see one another we see we are more than our difference, our pro or anti. We are people experiencing God’s amazing grace and love. Our soul comes alive as we realise that our spiritual bonds are far greater than blood bonds.
Their soul needed the prayers of the saints.
When someone else prays for us our soul is blessed. We cannot bless our own soul. When someone else prays for us we are taken out of our own little world and made aware of other forces at work in our life.
Why did we raise our kids in church?
God commanded it. Jesus modelled it. I’m a disciple of Jesus Christ.
God says we need a Sabbath Day rest.
There is mystery in the meeting at the local church as part of the Sabbath Day rest.
No our kids aren’t rebellious, chain smoking druggies, giving lots of free sex, going off the rails. They love God, they love the local church, they love being a disciple of Jesus Christ and they are filled with a lot of the fruit of the Spirit.
Like any kid on this journey called life there is lots of room for more filling by the Spirit of God which is why going to church is something we need to do for a life time.