“I don’t even know why I go to church.”
Holding my head in my hands, I complained to my husband after a particularly rough night. Not because of the preaching, the worship, or because I was offended by someone…but because I had spent the whole service being the ringmaster of a circus of my own creation: my kids!!
“I didn’t get to enjoy a single part of the service,” I continued. “I couldn’t tell you even a word of what you preached, much less the point of the message!”
My husband wasn’t surprised, as most services have been this way recently. I recently read where an author likened a church service with small children to competing in an Ironman competition. Can I get an “Amen?!” As the mother of a one-year-old and a 5-year-old, church services have been less like the refreshing time of feeling God’s presence. Instead, I was beginning to dread the weekly times of worship I used to look forward to.
I was beginning to be concerned about this feeling toward church services…until my dear mother-in-law took my children to the nursery. I got to enjoy AND participate in the WHOLE service! I even got to pray in the altar after the preaching. Relieved, I realized I don’t have an issue with going to church. I have an issue with trying to keep small kids contained during church!
The more I talk to other moms as I travel, I’ve realized I’m not alone. In one conversation, a friend told me that she struggled with even attending church, knowing she would just have to fight with her kids the whole service. I understand that feeling completely!
From one mama to another: I want to share with you why I still go to church, even if I feel like it is pointless at times.
- Because I want to show God that He is the most important part of my life, and that going to His house is a priority for me.
- Because I want to show my children that God and the church are a priority in our lives. We make time to do the things that are important to us.
- Because I want to instill faithfulness in my children. As a child, there was never a question in my home whether or not we would be going to church on a church night. It developed faithfulness in me, and I want to instill that in my children. In a world where people are unfaithful to their churches, their jobs, and even their spouses, I want my children to know that faithfulness and character matter, especially to God.
- Because I want to give my kids every opportunity to feel God’s presence and fall in love with Him like I have. In a recent revival, I watched as Madilyn began to cry and pray and acknowledge God’s presence for the first time. That moment was worth every single service I’ve struggled through!
I think it’s important to note:
In this season of my life, when long, solitary prayer meetings and quiet, leisurely Bible reading have been replaced with hasty devotions and quick prayers sandwiched between kids’ naptimes and meltdowns…
In this season when it has taken every bit of self-control to drag myself and my children to church…
In this season when my sanity (and sleep!) seem so far out of reach…
In this season when I feel the least spiritual…
God has met me there.
The moments when I least “deserve” to feel His strength are the moments when He wraps His arms around me and lets me know I’m going to be okay.
As Paul wrote in II Corinthians 12:9-10 when dealing with struggles, God’s grace is sufficient for us. If you trust Him, He will sustain you through this difficult time.
Mama, keep bringing those babies to church. If you’re doing your best, you’re doing a great job. This is just a season, and like every other season in life, it won’t last forever. I promise.