Hi Mrs Ong, i have been a silent reader of your blog. There's something i like to ask you, with so many kids, how do you and hub keep them interested in going to church?
Maybe a little bit of myself, i have a 4yr old boy and 9mths baby. Every Sun, it is a struggle to attend church service, coz the 4yr old will cry to say he did not want to go sun sch. And i have so many things to pack for baby, or last min baby want to nap. In the end, most of the sun, we did not go.
Hub and i were not believers from young, so it is also a struggle for us, my hub will grumble his tired or lazy to go. I believe one of the reason also becoz we are not able to find a church which we feel comfortable to stay and we do not koe other bros n sis. The current church we attended to 2yrs, elder boy also cry when go sun sch and 1 of us have to accompany him in the class. So in the end, both hub n me did not listen to the sermon, coz i be in the baby room busy with baby either eatnng or trying to keep her quiet and not disturb other parents. Too stress to listen and too huge logistics just for a church trip, since we take public transport too.
I koe that these are excuses, as parents we are not presenting a godly role model to our kids. Feel like giving up at times. But we koe we owed it to our kids to lead them the way in knowing Jesus.
....... I guess i like to koe how do u strive in motivating your kids to go to church? My hub accepted christ when he was 16, as for me in my early 20s. U koe, my kids does not have much patience n make noises. So we dropped out of CG. We were not able to commit to activities like outdoor spreading of gospel or serving in other areas in the CG. We could not cope, as i do not have a maid..."
Thanks for writing to me. I appreciate that u are concerned about this and you want to find answers. Your Sunday struggles are not uncommon, I am in your situation like every other year or so with the birth of a new baby! There are many angles to consider in answering your question and I'll take some time in my response. Bear with me! :)
If you don't mind, I would like to post your letter (anonymously) and my reply on the blog to benefit others who might be in the same situation. Is that ok? (She replied it's ok. )
It is in fact a very important topic that you have brought up because I have seen young parents stop going to church when the new additions in the family come along: service time clashes with baby's nap time, service time clashes with child's lunch time, I can't even attend the service when my child comes, etc etc etc.
In my church right now there are 2 dear sisters (young moms) who are in the same shoes as you. They, too, bring lots of barang barang (cook porridge, change of clothes, nappy, toys, pram etc). Some Sundays, it's spending the whole time at church changing diapers, feeding, disciplining, putting on shoes, taking off shoes, persuading the older one (2 yrs old) to go to Sunday school but they want to cling to mama.... Certainly, it's not doing what all the other adults are doing- sitting (sanely) in the worship hall, singing and listening to the sermon. It's enough to ask yourself why you don't save yourself the trouble and just do all those same things at home???
As a guo4 lai2 ren2 (I've been there, done that, maybe still doing that but in a lesser degree as I have more helpers now) I can say, this will soon pass. The older clingy child will outgrow the separation anxiety soon (my eldest was about seven yrs old, yes, he wouldn't let me go till around that age), and the baby will also grow and need less contingencies when it comes to the equipment.
Question is, why do we go to church? Will our church attendance outlive this "troublesome" period when the kids are small?
The bigger question is: how is our love for God? Because that is the order that the Bible states- before we can impart to our children God's laws, we need to first love God.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (Deuteronomy 6:5 KJV)
.......And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. (Deuteronomy 6:7 KJV)
Our "philosophy" determines the outcomes.
"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.." (Proverbs 23:7 KJV)
Firstly, the most important thing is to be at a good bible believing church. The end times are characterized by churches that have fallen away from the true gospel.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (2 Timothy 4:3, 4 KJV)
I will say this, Church attendance is important but not as important as having a real relationship with Christ. To walk and talk with Christ, to know you are truly His child, to want to joyfully walk in His ways and obey His commandments.
When one truly understands God's plan of salvation and repents and makes right with God, he will become God's child, he will love the things of God (attending, serving in church, spending time with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, growing in knowledge of the bible, shunning old sinful ways etc)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV)
The New Creature loves the things of God! It can't be "worked up". It is intrinsic in the inherent new nature of a saved person.
How do we keep our children's interest in church? Well, for our family, church service on Sunday is the icing on the cake. Our daily lives, Mondays to Fridays, are peppered with bible study, worship, singing as a family, talking about God, talking to God in prayer together, thinking about what the Bible says, trying to put into practice what we learn from the Word of God, fellowship with the brethren.... The families we hang out with are church families and we have wonderful outings together. Saturday afternoons, the whole family will be in church for orchestra practice, prayer meeting and choir. So you see, we can't quite compartmentalise "church" because the Christian life is so much a part of who we are and what we do.
My husband and I didn't grow up in Christian families.. However, having come to our church, Maranatha Baptist Church, we have grown so much in understanding God's will for His children and patterning our lives after His ways.