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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Do You Fight On Your Way To Church?

photo by laffy4k

Let’s see by a show of hands: how many of us have fought on the way to church Sunday morning? Come on, get them up.

Mine’s up.

I admit, the one day of the week I’m allowed to be a super Christian is the day I tend to have the least control over my attitude and tongue. It’s not so bad now that the kids are older and I don’t have to be totally responsible for dressing and feeding them before we go. Now I just stand at the back door, trusty Bible in hand (thoroughly dog-earred and underlined, mind you), tapping my foot and wondering why NO ONE in this house can keep a better handle on the time.

Do you ever wonder why tensions flare on a morning we’re supposed to be the epitome of godly love and faith in action? I hadn’t really thought about it until the other day when it was brought up in church.

Who’s the one person who doesn’t want to see us spending the morning in God’s house? Who, especially, doesn’t want to see us purposely showing our children enthusiasm for worship and God’s Word being preached?

If Satan could do anything to throw a monkey wrench in our enthusiasm for coming together with God’s people, wouldn’t tension in the household as we get ready to leave be the perfect ploy?

Okay, so here’s what we do. We throw the monkey wrench back in his face. Nothing new here, just a renewed focus and a kick in the pants.

We get up a little bit earlier. Fifteen minutes may make all the difference in the world. Of course, if we’re staying up late Saturday night, that’s going to make getting up early on Sunday morning a tad bit difficult. Start that movie marathon earlier in the evening so you all get the rest you need.

We take care of what we can the night before. Standing in the closet, arms folded in front of you, staring at the same clothes and hoping some of them magically come together as an outfit is a terrible time waster. Get baths and showers out of the way before the movie marathon starts, lay your Bibles out, write the check for the tithe, and put out the cereal, bowls and spoons the night before. Lay your clothes out and DON’T CHANGE YOUR MIND a half dozen times. Nobody really cares what we look like in church, just that we’re there.

Put on praise music Sunday morning. Nothing better to help set the mood and tone before going to church. Dancing and humming allowed.

Play a game in the car on the way to church. Ask the question, “If you were a cookie, what would you be and why?” My oldest son did this one morning. He asked, “If you were any of the Hostess snacks, what would you be?” In record time someone answered from the back seat, “You’d be a Ding Dong.” We were laughing hysterically by the time we arrived at church. Great way to start worship.

Promote the idea with your children that we get to go to church, not that we have to go to church. Attending church isn’t an obligation we fulfill because we’re Christians, it’s the party we get to go to because we celebrate a risen Savior. Who would want to miss out on worship, learning more about our great God, fellowshipping with like-minded friends and occasionally breaking bread (or an awesome casserole) with fellow believers? That’s the attitude that needs to be consistently demonstrated to our children.

Tension between family members on Sunday morning will be much less if you practice these basic principles. It’s hard for Satan to get a foothold in your door if you’re all smiling on the way out.

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lynnmosher said...

Great post, Deb! Super suggestions. Makes me wish mine were little! I take that back! LOL! You always offer great suggestions. Be encouraged to keep it up! Blessings...Lynn

Deb Burton said...

Thanks Lynn, I know what you mean. Kids are a blessing, but let's keep moving forward, right? ;-) Thanks for stopping by.

Kellan said...

Boy, I had my hand up in the air. I never thought about all these great tips and reasons for the chaos we create ourselves on Sunday mornings - and we have our share of chaos and fights around here. Thanks for the great tips and post!


Deb Burton said...

It kind of puts things in perspective when we realize it may not be only our sinful flesh that's causing the chaos. But then it gives us impetus to strive against him, doesn't it?

Joy in the Burbs... said...

This is a good post. I also deal with the "boring" part of church with my 9 year old. I read the post on boring sermons. We have started attending the VERY traditional service at our church after a couple of years of casual rock band worship it's been a nice change for my husband and I. But my little one thinks it is Boring. She doesn't say her "r's" quite right. I wish you could hear the way she says it. Anyway, I've been allowing her to stay in kids worship for 2 straight hours hearing a re-peat the 2nd hour. I'm not sure if this is the thing to do, I'm hoping she will grow into it soon. I feel kind of stuck. I know I'm the mom, but I don't want church to be a struggle. I want her to enjoy going and learning.

Deb Burton said...

Joy in the Burbs,
Thanks so much for your candor. Transition is always hard, especially when there's either a cultural or tradition shift.

Our family has also experienced a variety of worship settings since we have found ourselves moving so many times, and not all of us enjoy the same kinds of worship. Our younger children and I tend to like the contemporary worship while my husband and oldest son enjoy more of the traditional. Right now we're attending a contemporary church, so my husband is 'biting the bullet' on this one :-(

When we did attend a more traditional church we tried to engage our children in service, study and fellowship opportunities and to get to know the pastoral staff more intimately. As a result, they felt more involved with the community of the church even though the music may not have been what they would have chosen for themselves. They loved the pastor, they loved their friends, they loved being part of the children's choir or service projects, so overall, they loved the church.

Just some thoughts.

Joy in the Burbs... said...

Those are good tips. I think it is important to worship as a family. I'll see about introducing her to the Pastor. To be honest I've never had a face to face conversation with him myself. It is a huge church about 3000+ attend on Sunday mornings. We're blessed to live down here in the Bible Belt.
We've moved often as well, but not so much since she's been old enough to remember. So my husband and I have enjoyed different churches around the country. I pray for her that God will give her a desire to be in "big church"
Thank you for your sweet response and ideas.

Allison said...

What a great post! And sooo's so clear that satan doesn't want us to go to church! He does this to us a lot...thanks for the reminders on how to kick satan to the curb and stay on track! :)

Ronnica said...

I think there are some good ideas here. I think the point is that we need to prepare to go to church, not just go. This is something I struggle with, because I tend to roll out of bed just in time and then rush off to church.

BPOTW said...

Awesome ideas. It's amazing how easy it is for Satan to steal our joy. I like the "kick in the pants" comment :)

Pink Ink said...

I have to say, Amen, to your suggestions. Great ideas! A few minutes' effort is really worth it.

Braja said...

Good post, and so thoughtful. I think it's important what you said about we "get to go" not that "we have to go." It's a privilege. My Mum didn't instil that but the rest stuck, so it's ok :) I still laugh at our dragging ourselves to Church days. I grew up to be a fulltime devotee of the Lord, and though I didn't stay in the Christian tradition, it is my roots and gave me everything I needed to be where I am today.