“As for me and my house we shall serve the Lord” Joshua 24:15 (KJV)
Any given Sunday morning my alarm goes off at 6:20AM (yes I’m a techie so it’s my iPhone alarm) and it sounds off with the message saying “As for me and my house…”. For me it’s just a simple reminder for me that the push I need to get up and go that morning is about more than just going to a church building. It’s about a foundation. Instilling something in my Kiddies that they can lean on when they are older, when times get rough or simply when they don’t know where else to turn. A foundation built on Christian values, prayer and community.
Trust me getting 3 Kiddies ages 2, 4 and 6 and a 16 year old Teenager showered, fed and out the door for an 8 o’clock service is not easy but it’s worth it. I try to keep them as active and dedicated to the church as possible. This means participating in Sunday School, being involved in Vacation Bible School, the Junior Usher Board and anything else the church offers that I deem as beneficial to my Kiddies. Why? Why not?
As a child, I was almost raised within the walls of our church. Literally. My grandmother raised me and she was on the deacon board, an Evangelist, an Elder as well as one of the founding members which meant she was at the church all the time. Which in turn meant I was there all the time. We had Bible Study, Prayer Nights, Business Meeting Night, Friday Night Service, Sunday Morning Service and then an evening service. So in all honesty, my Kiddies are getting off pretty easy when it comes to the amount of attendance they put in. Of course, at the time I felt she was torturing me and couldn’t wait until I was old enough to say I wasn’t going anymore. But let’s get that part straight. Not going wasn’t optional until I turned 18. Until then, if she went…I went. As a child and teenager I felt this was totally unfair. Yet now, as a mother I understand why.
Children and teens will always choose what is comfortable to them. My Teenager would choose to stay home more Sundays than not if he had the options simply because it would be more comfortable to him. Yet as his mother I feel it is my responsibility to make that decision for him. At this stage in his life, he needs a foundation of truth, knowledge and teaching and it is up to me to give it to him and make sure it is available to him. The way I see it the same way the State requires that children attend school until at least 15 or 16 before they can decide to drop out that is the same way I require my Kiddies to attend church. I don’t feel they have the mental capacity to decide otherwise until then. Of course I raise my age limit to 18…I’m calling Momma Rank 🙂
I’ve seen way to many friends and even relatives who were allowed to make that choice and children fall to the side as adults and completely loose their foundation in God and the church simply because there was no one there to say ‘Get Up, Get Dressed, Let’s Go!”
So, come this Sunday and for the next 20+ years of Sunday’s I will be saying:
Do you feel children or teenagers should be allowed to decide whether to attend church or should they attend as long as their parents attend? When should they be allowed to make the decision on their own?