Daily Routine · Family life · Uncategorized

Church with 3 young kids….

So, I’ve been thinking. And thinking and praying and thinking. This has been on my mind for quite some time now and was sparked again by the article that is all over Facebook at the minute! I have been wrestling with it, struggling with it, talking about it, praying about it, studying God’s word on it….church on a sunday morning with my 3 young kids, all very close in age, and what does that look like?!

This past week this article http://veritasvenator.com/2013/09/25/to-you-who-bring-small-children-to-church/ and this one https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=638596362838620&id=151699051528356 have been shared on Facebook a large number of times. And, while I absolutely agree with the sentiments behind these articles I want to add another dimension – sometimes getting out to church with small children is JUST.TOO.HARD. Not because they are noisy, not because they are shouting out, not because they are fussing, not even because I think other people are looking at us, BUT because some weeks it is just too much like hard work. And yes, I agree completely children need to be in church, they should be in church, but church is more than just a Sunday morning, is it not?

I read these articles on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and while they gave me some great encouragement they also made me feel a little guilty. I know what the authors were trying to get across and I really appreciate their efforts and do not want to take away from their wonderful words. But, did I make it to church on Sunday morning? No. Why? We were tired, the kids were tired, it just would not have been worth it. It wouldn’t have been worth the frantic morning of trying to get everyone washed and dressed and out on time with bags filled with snacks, colouring books etc to keep them amused. It wouldn’t have been worth me and daddy snapping at them to ‘hurry up’, ‘stand still’, ‘come on’ because we are tired and lacking in patience. It wouldn’t have been worth all the sssshhhhiing and  desperate scrambling around in those bags during the prayers. It wouldn’t have been worth trying to settle all 3 in the nursery for the sermon….only for me to catch the last 5 minutes. It wouldn’t have been worth the grumpy afternoon that we ALL would have had then, because they missed their nap and had fallen asleep on the way home in the car – only that doze wasn’t enough, so now they are grumpy! It wouldn’t have been worth J being really tired from the day before and so is grumpy/upset at nursery. Because, this is what church looks like when we are tired and they are tired. So, instead we had a relaxed, peaceful, stress free, restful morning at home…we read our Bible, we sang praises to God, we prayed as a family and I felt refreshed. There had been no arguments, no shouting, no rummaging around for food, no over tired kids, no hungry kids (church is at the worst time – nap time AND lunch time 😉 ) no shushing, just enjoying being in the Lord’s presence and learning about Him.

Don’t get me wrong, I want my kids to grow up knowing the importance of going to church. We try to make it as often as possible and we often succeed. But I want to encourage maybe some other mum or family out there, who too, just find it too hard some weeks…..don’t be discouraged. Do not be disheartened. Jesus knows and sees your struggles. He knows your heart. He knows you WANT to be there and He cares. He will meet you where you are. I have come to accept that for us right now as a family, this is the season that we are in. Church EVERY Sunday morning is just not possible, for so many reasons. I look forward to the time when we will be able to make it church every week again as a family, when it will not be as hectic to get out on time or as stressful to sit through a service….but for now we will go when we can and not feel guilty about that, believing that church is about so much more than an hour on a Sunday morning.

Hugs and blessing to you all.

11 thoughts on “Church with 3 young kids….

  1. I hear you! I could have written it. It’s so tough and I sometimes feel people judge us if we’re not there and we seem to have feeble excuse called children.

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  2. I hear you Karen, wish I had that mind set when the kiddies were younger, now my big two are both in Sunday School during church so I have to get out cos I hate them missing out on anything, and a lot of Sunday mornings it is just me getting three ready whilst getting me ready cos hubby has to be down early for music and I am exactly as you said above, I snap and get so grumpy, then put on a smile when I arrive although that is not what i am feeling inside 😦 but I do get to leave the baby in creche and the girls sit with me for the first part and they are usually good (usually being an important word there) 🙂 Your right this is a season and it won’t always be like this 🙂

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    1. You’re doing a great job Lynda. It is hard when you are on getting things organised on your own. My husband is also involved in the music some mornings which really adds to the stress, with us having only the one car it means we all have to be there 1 hour earlier!!! Good for you for being so determined to have them there each week xx

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  3. It’s bad to say but most Sunday mornings I’m ‘angry Mum’ trying to get the girls (and husband) out of the house.

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  4. Church is right at nap time and it really ruins the whole morning. My son has finally gave up his morning nap but a one year old does not want to sit still for an hour! Don’t feel guilty about not making it to church every Sunday! Or maybe just take one of your kids and go. This past Sunday I dropped my son off at Church with Daddy and then I went back home. And I definitely did not go back home to read scripture and pray. I think you are doing an awesome job with your family, do what works for you right now!

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