Sunday after church we had a student ministry teacher lunch at Pasta Express. I stay fairly quiet during these type of meetings, mostly because I’m not super acquainted with a lot of the other teachers, and mostly because I was corralling my two small children (who did a great job at being quiet…for the most part!).
Anyway, the topic of parenting came up towards the end of the meeting. One particular teacher (who is a mother of two) shared that she feels like we are losing this generation to sports, music, drama, ________ (fill in the blank) because parents are allowing those things to be more important than church. For example, a family gets home late on a Saturday night from a full day of band competition, and stays home from church the next day because they are exhausted and need rest. What message does this portray to the kids? That it is ok to miss church if you’re tired? That it is ok to spend all your energy and time in band, but if you don’t want to go to church you don’t have to? That being hit and miss when it comes to church attendance will be enough to stay committed to Christ?
Please don’t get me wrong, I know that church is not a magic cure-all for life. BUT, it is a place where students can find answers. It is a place where students can learn to cope with life, the ups and downs, in a way that will please God and keep them on track. I hope this is what most parents want for their children.
We need parents who will break away from the norm. We need parents who will take their kids to church, more than that who will GO with their kids to church. Ask questions. Challenge them. Lead them to Christ. We need parents who teach their children that although the stuff they are involved in is important, NOTHING is more important than a growing relationship with Christ, and that happens at church. My parents taught me this at a very young age. I played basketball on an AAU team that traveled nearly year round. We would leave Friday after school and not get home until Sunday evening. Intense. This meant that we missed being at our home church A LOT! My parents broke away from the norm though. Many of those weekends, my mom would find a local church no matter where we were, get us up Sunday morning and take us to church. I didn’t always like it, being a visitor can be overwhelming at some places, but I learned something. I learned that, while basketball was important, church was important as well. Being a part of a group of believers, strangers or not, is crucial in not falling off the wagon later in life. Valuing my commitment to my church body, is something that I still maintain to this day.
(Stepping off the soap box…)
What kind of parent are you? What kind of parent do you hope to be?
I hope that our children are passionate about the things they are involved in as they grow up, but I pray that no matter what we always place God first in our home. I pray the same for your family.