A Better Family Life Starts with a Better Church Life

When we got married a little over two years ago, we found a great church as a couple, got into a small group, and finally felt like we were getting involved in the church community. We were making great Christian friends as a couple (since we dated semi-long distance, we never made couple friends during our dating years) and felt like we were growing stronger in our relationship with the Lord through it all.

Jump forward a year and a half later, out comes our precious baby boy, we move back down to Justin’s parents’ house, away from our fresh community and church. The craziness that comes with being a first-time parent made it hard to stick to a normal routine and attending church took a big hit.

Lately, or even over the pass few months, as we have really figured out the whole parenting thing, and Cedric being older and a little easier to handle, Justin and I have both felt a huge pull and conviction to make a pact to ourselves and to God to get back into church. No excuses, just do it. For any Christian/follower of Christ, church is a priority, not an option.

It is a huge must for the single, the dating, the married, and the families. Now having a child, the biggest prayer, desire, and hope is for our children to one day acknowledge the Lord as their Savior, to follow Him, and to happily desire all the ways of the Lord. We would be ineffective as parents if we did not take our children to church. Not for the sheer act of going, but for the connection to God and His word, His people and community. This last year of sporadic church visits left us feeling a lack of community, isolated, seemed to run into more personal problems with each other, and of course not as strong of a relationship with God.

It really just hit us. A better family life starts with a better church life. We must make a choice now. Every Sunday we will go to church.  We need it, not just for our personal relationship with God but also to set an example for our family.  And this is with a joyful heart, not a frustrated, forced decision, but a willingness to obey our Lord. We cannot expect our children to go in the way we teach them when one of the most important aspects of being a Christian is the church community.

Excuses. Oh the excuses. We have all been there. Let’s take an honest look at what these really sound like.

When it comes down to it, we are sinful humans, and we will always find an excuse not to go to church. It is amazing how I sometimes dread the idea of going to church on Sunday. Then I go, have an amazing time of worship and hearing from the Word, get this great spiritual high, and think how amazing it was that I was able to go this week. Who doesn’t want us in fellowship? Satan, and he will do what ever he can to make up excuses and play with our minds to try and show us better things we can be doing on our day off.

Here are some of the most common excuses we have probably all struggle with, but are they that important to not be in your church community?

  1. Fun Family Outing.
    I think this is a huge one that strikes home with us and I know so many others. Dad’s off, we are all here as a family, let’s go out and have a fun day together. Go to an amusement park, the movies, the beach, a sports game. What kind of leader are you being to your children when you show them entertainment is above God? Why can’t church be the family affair? And guess what? You still have most of the day to go and do other fun activities as a family, maybe even with church friends you have met. I really urge you to think twice the next time you decide not to take your family to church to go to a family outing.
  2. It’s a family ordeal to just get out of the house in the morning to get to church.
    Yes, it is hard. It is always hard to take the whole family anywhere. The sad part is, if we want to take the family say to an amusement park that day, we wouldn’t think twice before doing all the hard work to get our family packed and ready. So why does Sunday church have to feel like a chore to us? We need to have a joyful attitude and show our children our true desire to get to church and instill that feeling in them.
  3. Rest for the weekend.
    Okay, I work all week, I only get one or two days off you might be thinking. I need sleep and the couch or the next week will not happen. Ever hear of a second service? Usually doesn’t start until 10! I call that sleeping in (unless you’re a mother and your child doesn’t sleep pass 6 😉 )! Also I have realized once I get to church, I am on this spiritual high that I get more rejuvenated for the next week to come then if I had rested more.
  4. You don’t connect with your church.
    I think this can be a big one. Some churches may not preach from the actual Word of God, not have sound doctrine, have negative guilt-tripping people, or just not a small group that is in your walk of life. Or you may have a great church but you don’t connect with the people there. That’s fine! Sometimes it is just time to go church looking and find the right one that you can feel uplifted and encouraged.
  5. We are fine, we participate (inactively) watching the Sunday sermon online.
    What relationship with any person can you have that is inactive? If you really can’t go, sure, it is better to hear the sermon online, but that is the exception to the rule not the norm. Matthew 18:20 says “For where three or more gather in My name, there I am with them”. It is wonderful to listen to sermons and do Bible studies with your spouse, but as Matthew says, three or more. I think it is purposely telling us to get out of our little house comfort zone and get with the body of Christ.
  6. I have a baby or toddler I can’t focus on them and the pastor.
    This one I used many a time as an excuse. And it has its reasons, but even when I did go with Cedric, we were still able to worship together (my boy likes his music!), and build community with the other young moms around me at church. It was always refreshing to see the other moms who decidedly came to church also, even though it wasn’t the easiest thing to do.

Benefits of going for children.

  1. Building great friendships.
    We talk about our adult fellowship and friendships we can make at church, but it is a huge way your children can make great Godly friends as well. In a world where there is so much corruption, I can get to a place where I fear already for who my children may befriend. But think of the peace and happiness you can feel if they found their best friends at church.
    Having great friends at church also helps with their desire to go to church to see their friends and fellowship, and they understand church is more than just a sermon and a day to wear nice clothes (which it really isn’t either of those).
  2. Teaches them the way they should go.
    A big part of their Christian faith is how Mom and Dad live out their lives day in and day out around their children. In the end, we are the ones who share the ways of our faith to them. Church is another huge building block to building a solid foundation so that when they are older, you see their own desire and faith in the Lord in their personal lives.
    Also being around Godly friends and role-models help them see how they should act and the moral standards God has on our live, so that when they go out into the world, they can be the light in the darkness and know how to stand up to temptation.
  3. Gets them used to being a part of church.
    If you are not consistent in taking your family to church, when your children get older, who’s to say they will want to attend church, or even stay in the Word? This encouragement at a young age builds their own independent relationship with the Lord so that they will hopefully continue on as they mature into adulthood. For in the end, we cannot choose their faith nor personal relationship with God, we cannot always “mommy” or “daddy” them forever, so shouldn’t we try our hardest to influence them in the right way now?

Benefits for the family.

  1. Creates a place for a family to be open about faith in general.
    Kids can go to Sunday school, then ask questions and have organic Biblical discussions we may not of had just at the house.
  2. It keeps the family putting the most important person of the household first, God.
    This is major. Everyone needs to be on the same page here. The reason for our life on earth is to put our main focus on God. Not video games, movies, or sports teams. We need to show through our lives that God is our number one, and taking the time to go to church with a grateful attitude is a huge part of serving the Lord.
  3. If you think it’s a chore to go, your family is going to think the same thing. But the benefit of being excited and them seeing the joy and desire to go to church will make everyone happy to go. It is crazy how much parenting really does impact your children’s attitudes and choices. What a great blessing to have a family who is so excited to go to church as a family outing, worship together, and hear God’s Word together? Isn’t that a major desire of your heart of parents? Well it all starts with checking where your own heart is with going to church.

In the end: It extends far beyond hearing an hour sermon on a Sunday morning.

church

  1. Small group.
    For that accountability and fellowship with like-minded, in your same stage of life group of people. To encourage each other, have real raw discussions, and praying together.
  2. Community service.
    We are called to be Christ-like. What did Jesus do on earth? Serve others. Church is a great way to get involved in community service and help others as a church body. People who do for others always feel better. In the end, we are called to give, not live for our own entertainment.
  3. Church activities.
    Fun-filled Christian activities with your church body. What a great way to have fellowship and know whatever you are doing is going to be child-friendly and encouraging.

Again, remember that being a Christian is two-fold. There is a God side and a demonic side. Our adversary does not want us to go to church, to worship, or deepen our relationship with Christ. So us not going is our own sinful nature’s desire. Following God’s direction is not always the easiest choice, but in the end the highest pay out. What a blessing and rejuvenation I feel at the end of a church service!

This has been on our hearts for sometime now and I felt the need to encourage you all as well. It’s funny how I was talking to one of my best mom friends the other day and telling her what we felt God had on our hearts to blog next about.  She told me that she had this exact talk with her husband the night before. Hmm, I think God is trying to tell us both something!! In the end, it doesn’t matter if you have five children or are single, the Bible clearly commands us to be in fellowship and get to church.

Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV)

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Our prayer is that this post may be the wake up call to others like it has been to us. Today is better then any other day to consider making a pact with your spouse and family to make a choice now to make sure God is your number one in your life and your families, and get back into the church body.

How has this opening of our hearts resonated with you? I would love to hear you view on the subject!

A Better Family Life Starts with a Better Church LifeFeel this could encourage others as well? Please pin and share!

7 COMMENTS

  1. Marisa | 8th Jul 16

    I could not agree with this more! Love what you said about church being a priority and not an option for the Christian. Those times when we didn’t have a church home were so lonely for me. I am so thankful we are a part of a wonderful community of believers now, and so many of our good friends attend there. It was especially important for us to find a great, solid church since my husband was going to be employed there and we were moving halfway across the country for his job. 🙂

  2. Nikki Crump | 8th Jul 16

    I’ve been searching for a good church for my family. I have visited a few and I found one I really like. The only thing is it’s far from my house and they don’t have a child care area for the kids, and the members are a lot older than me. I get so discouraged sometime because I just want to find “the one” and end my search for the perfect church. I completely agree with all of the benefits you listed.

  3. Lauren @ Growing Up Expat | 6th Jul 16

    This is so great! I find it so much easier to get to church since my husband leads us to go each weekend. I didn’t grow up with that. My mom was the one who got us to church and I feel that we all went a little reluctantly most of the time because of that.

    • Bree | 6th Jul 16

      That is so great! Thank God for giving us Godly, leading husbands and fathers to our children!

  4. beth kelley | 5th Jul 16

    Being connected to a church is so important. It is vital to a healthy life and family.

  5. Hannah @Sunshine and Spoons | 3rd Jul 16

    Amen!!!! My husband and I both grew up in a small church together, and I’ve watched as so many of the other kids we grew up with stop going to church altogether and, in some cases, turn their backs on God. Without exception, the families who made it a point to be in church every Sunday and Wednesday night are the ones whose kids continue to attend in their adult years. The ones who were hit or miss and who chose other activities over going to church are the ones whose children are falling away from God in record numbers. There is a reason why God commands us to fellowship with other believers.

    • Bree | 3rd Jul 16

      Wow that is so sad but crazy how you personally could see that huge impact on those families. Yes I am so glad that we listened to God’s calling us to make it a point now instead of later on when the kids where older. I know it will be a lot of work but we are so excited to make it our life!

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