Last weekend, my mom came to visit us from Pittsburgh (a four hour drive). She attempts to see us least twice a month, a testament to what a wonderful mother and grandmother she is to myself and my daughter. We had a great time hanging out, strawberry picking, and laughing way into the late hours of Saturday night. So late in fact that when we woke up we didn’t have time to get dressed and go to church. Anya was playing in her room and pulled out a dress she said she wanted to wear to church. I told her that unfortunately we had missed the service and she burst into tears! Sobbing from the depths from her sweet little heart I could sense the true disappointment she felt in missing Sunday school. My heart ached for her and I felt terribly guilty for not setting my alarm and sleeping late.
After she calmed down, my mother said, “What a blessing. Most kids don’t want to go to church and Anya is crying because she missed it.” This was one of my “aha moments.” As a Christian parent I had a tangible moment where I saw God working in my daughter’s life and how incredibly important it is to foster a love for church and for God in your children.
Church plays such a significant role in a Christian family’s life. Church becomes our extended family. A place where we worship the Lord, develop friendships, form a spiritual foundation for our family, and fellowship. Sunday school teachers teach our children Bible stories and instill in them valuable lessons, morals, and Biblical principles. They have the opportunity to interact with other children whose families share the same Biblical values, an opportunity that they may not have in school. We can never underestimate the significant effect that attending church has on our children.
How do we foster a love for church in our Children?
Simply attend. No excuses, it should be a permanent activity you and your family do every Sunday. Of course there may be times when we can’t get to church, we all have days when the kids are sick, the car is broke down, the weather is bad, etc. But we should make a conscious effort to make going to church a family ritual. When we have to miss a Sunday find a way to worship at home, have a Bible study, pray together, don’t allow the Sabbath to pass by without worshiping God.
Get your family involved in your church. Be members that treat your church as if it was your extended family. Getting your children involved in volunteer activities, bake sales, etc. fosters a sense of community for your children in the church. Their involvement in church is critical their spiritual development into adolescents, teens, and into adulthood. It helps to shape their character and gives them a foundation based in Christ.
It is the purest and most spiritually enriching activity that your family can do together. We can easily waste away hours in front of the television or wandering the mall, but do we create the time to attend church on a consistent basis? Do we run out as soon as the service is over or do we spend time with the other members of our family as well. Letting our children experience the full richness of church is a priceless gift.
By the way…Anya stopped crying and we wound up having a nice Bible study at home followed by prayer. I had to ask God to forgive me from keeping one of his babes from assembling together that day because of my laziness. I also apologized to Anya and told her how pleased and proud of her I was that she loved God and church so much. It is such a blessing to see the fruit coming from your children when you raise them as a believer in Christ. Plant the seeds of the love for church in your children and watch them blossom. Oh and don’t forget to set that alarm!
Copyright © Chere Williams, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved