What to do when your kids don't want to go to church and your husband is the children's pastor...hmmm...
I'm going to be a bit transparent here and don't act like you can't identify with what I'm talkin about! I think every mom, at some point, feels some pressure of living up to other mothers' standards or expectations. Because women can be brutal. Really. We can! Not me. But you know. ;-) But can I just be honest for a minute and tell you there's not any pressure in child rearing quite like having a husband who is a CHILDREN'S pastor of all things? Aren't my children supposed to be perfect? And quote scripture as freely as a 12 yr old girl sings Hannah Montana songs??? Aren't my kids supposed to be "issue free" if you know what I'm sayin? Don't our family nights consist of memorizing scriptures and singing Kum-Bi-Yah around the fire? Aren't I supposed to have all the answers when it comes to child rearing, because I must, after all, have the entire Bible memorized. Isn't that a prerequisite to marry a pastor? (I'm sorry, that one makes me laugh!) Let me amuse you by blowing all stereotypes OUT of the water right this second.
But what does the Children's Pastor do when his own kids don't want to attend church??? My children have never really enjoyed church since we moved here to FL. And I know it's in large part just due to their ages. And personalities. But I, like every other mom, have wracked my brain trying to figure out WHY they don't like to go. And I don't think there's any one particular reason, other than that stinky ol devil tries REALLY hard to mess with pastors' families in a multitude of ways! This being one of them.
But this past Sunday during the weekly, ritualistic, ugly, outright WAR of getting the girls ready for church, (I'm telling you, they REALLY don't want to go!) I approached things from a different perspective. Rather than saying my usual, "You know you don't have a choice, it's where daddy works for Heaven's sake!" I changed my tune. And some of you are going to be thinking, "Duh...Heather...this would be the common sense thing to do" Well, I'm a little slow! I explained to the girls that church really isn't about having fun or seeing friends or eating a yummy snack or playing outside on the playground. It's about worshipping God. God tells us in His word to reserve this day as our Holy day. And church is not about US, it's about HIM. We don't go to get something for US or to make US happy, we do this to honor God and to show Him of our love for Him. It's a sacrifice. And we don't always FEEL like going, but we have to do things in life we don't FEEL like doing.
I wish I could say they were all smiles and frolicked like gazelles happily into the bathtub singing How Great Thou Art. It wasn't THAT magical of a transformation. But I could see that FINALLY I had given them a reason they understood for WHY we go to church every week. Not to say I won't have to have the same exact conversation with them next Sunday morning. But eventually one day, maybe all this head knowledge I keep pumping into them will really be a heart decision.