Every Sunday parents face the daunting task of getting the kids out the door in time for church. Oh, I know what you are thinking...prepare the night before. Yes, I have laid out the church clothes, packed the diaper bag and even set out the cereal. But without fail, SOMETHING always makes my Sunday morning look more like a circus than a quiet family day of worship.
Finally, the shoes and coats are on and the dogs are in their cage...and the baby poops through his entire outfit (no surprise). After threatening all the children to keep clean and head to the van...and after changing the baby again...we finally arrive 15 minutes late for church. Rushing in the door we enter the sanctuary to join the worship service. We don't even finish one song and someone has to use the bathroom, Kyrsten smacked Nicholas, and the baby wants to nurse. After trying desperately to "make it through" another service we head to the van.
I survived another Sunday.
I have no idea the topic of the sermon, my toddler threw an epic tantrum in front of the Pastor, and the baby is screaming in his car seat. Completely frustrated I wondered "What is the point?" But regularly attending church as a family is important. So don't give up mommy!
It's easy to make excuses. I get it! If you are waiting for perfectly behaved children...well, Jesus will have returned by then. There is NO such thing. Children see what we see and learn to love what we love. Regularly attending church together reinforces to your children that church is a priority. In our home, church attendance is not debatable.
But why does it matter that we attend church together every Sunday? Let me explain:
According to a study at Harvard University children who regularly attend church while they are growing up reported having better lives in their 20's while others who did not attend church did not. Studies also show that children who attend church with their families are 18% happier than other children and are 33% less likely to participate in risky behaviors, such as drugs. It was reported that they were more forgiving and more emotionally stable.
Numerous studies from Duke University, Indiana University, and the University of Michigan found a positive correlation with child development and church involvement. Their studies showed a significant impact on good grades, a link between desired child behavior, and even a positive effect on health. Yes, those crazy Sunday mornings are worth it!
Of course, church-going families are not perfect. They still have troubled kids while non-church families can have the model teen. But statistically, this is not the norm.
Yet, with all the positive effects that regular church attendance offers a family, I am shocked at how many Christians struggle with the idea of church attendance.
"You don't go to church. You are the church"
I disagree. The popular view is not healthy. How can one BE the church unless you GO to church?
Why go to church?
1. It's biblical. Hebrews 10:25 says, "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the day approaching." It's God's will that we attend church.
2. A place to love one another - I John 4:12
3. To be encouraged and to encourage others - Hebrews 3:13
4. A place to serve one another - Galatians 5:13
5. For instruction - Romans 15:14
6. To be kind and learn kindness - Eph 4:32
Church is a gathering where we can learn, serve, build up our faith, be encouraged and worship the King of Kings.
Satan does NOT want your family to succeed. He will use anything to prevent you from attending a church where family values are taught and encouraged. A place, when your marriage is struggling, you can get much-needed support. A community of believers that will pray with you and believe for the impossible with you as you withstand the storms of life together. Attending church will bring your family together while providing a moral compass to direct our lives.
CHURCH IS IMPORTANT!
I realize that getting up early on Sunday morning, getting all those little ones fed and out the door in time for church can be a bigger ordeal than planning the Super Bowl. But it's worth it! So as we enter a new year I want to encourage you and your family to attend church together. Let the year 2020 be a better year for your family as you grow in your relationship with the Lord together. God bless!
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