When your child doesn’t want to go to church….


Firstly, welcome to my new segmented blogging. This first “episode” is called Standing on Grace. I believe that God has lavished upon  all of us the highest form of grace imaginable to man. Therefore as I live today I “Stand on Grace’….

For my post today….

Its not that my daughter doesn’t really want to go to church in general, but she only wants to go to a certain church…

About 8 years ago I “converted” from Catholicism to a more biblical christian approach.  Really you could say that this started in the winter of 2002 when I was in Okinawa Japan serving in the United States Navy and began questioning everything. I spoke with our chaplain, and he very unbiasedly gave me an overview of the various denominations of Christianity. Today I guess I could consider myself Baptist… I was married by a retired Catholic priest, and my husband and I baptized our daughter Catholic/Christian, but about eight years ago I completely left the catholic church and began attending the largest church in Minnesota.

My husband is either agnostic or atheist. Sometimes he goes between the two… flat out saying there is no God, to saying he doesn’t really know. I honestly think he’s more apathetic than anything to matters of faith.  Not wanting to put in any time to learning etc, or caring in general about doctrine. Conversely to this – he is very very supportive of allowing me to raise our daughter with a Christian upbringing.

After I quit going to the local catholic church I started out going to the largest church in Minnesota, and one of the largest in the country. They have absolutely phenomenal messages, worship music and kids programming, but because of its HUGE size [read: approximately 20-30 THOUSAND attendees] there were always pleas to “move to Saturdays”, and it could literally take 30-45 minutes just to get out of the church parking lot after a service. Because of this I started looking at other churches…

So last spring around the beginning of Lent I started looking for other churches for my daughter and I to attend. We tried out a few before settling on a wonderful church near our home. I quickly got involved with the community there with their amazing “House Groups”, and serving putting up the street signs…. but I noticed that more often than not my daughter did not want to come to church with me. She was always so excited to attend church, but since attending this new church for some reason she didn’t want to tell me about what she learned, or flat out didn’t want to go…. and the last time we went there I got called out of worship service because she was “sick”… but I don’t really think she was…

Since then, she just refuses to go to that church….

One weekend we were driving past our old church and she begged and pleaded for us to attend. It was a Saturday night, and they do have Saturday evening services, so we went. She was re-hooked, and excited about church again. Immediately wanting to memorize her, “bible memory verse” and telling me all about what she had learned.

So what am I to do?

Here I have this amazing [smaller] church that I adore, and that I am involved with serving, and in their community…. yet my child refuses to go… and yet she WANTS to go to this other completely amazing other church that “I found” inconvenient……?

Whenever I feel myself faced with a difficult decision I think its wise to look to the bible and see what God has to say. I found these:

 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, talking of them when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. Deuteronomy 11:18-21

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. Mark 9:42

The bible is clear that not training her up is not an option… so for now I’ve resolved to taking my daughter to the church she wants to go to, and listening to my “new” beloved church on podcast, and still staying involved with serving and community.  A few times my daughter has said to me that she doesn’t want to go to any church, but my wonderful husband has told her that she isn’t old enough to make that decision yet. I’m so grateful to him for standing up for my faith and my upbringing of my daughter to the christian faith even though he doesn’t believe in it….

How easy would it be for him as an agnostic/atheist/apatheticist to say, “yeah church is dumb, you can stay home”… but he doesn’t.  Although he doesn’t carry the same beliefs as I do, he still remains a wonderful spiritual leader in our home. I’m so thankful to God for him, and for his willingness to allow me to raise our daughter as a Christian. I think its so important for the father to be the spiritual leader in the home, and while my husband doesn’t share my Faith yet… I’m so grateful to God that he supports me.

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