But when it comes to LEADERSHIP IN THE HOME the job does not fall to the “10 year old” to determine what is best. It falls to mom and dad.
In light of that fact, may I have a small fit for a moment…thank you!
Some time ago I spoke to a nice family at the soccer complex. We talked about sports, jobs and kids and then the subject turned to church. They mentioned they had tried one of our services and loved it. “Now we’re talking!”, I thought.
Then the dad explained proudly that they would be out most Sundays in the Spring because their son (11) was on a traveling baseball team that plays each weekend in the Metroplex. (We live about 120 miles from Dallas/Ft.Worth).
“So, will you just attend church down there?” I asked, clearly trying to make a point.
“Well, er…eh… we will have church together as a family at the hotel”, came the “honest to goodness” reply.
He also mentioned that his daughter (9) really hopes to be on a traveling Soccer team in the Fall so they hope to be with her most weekends too. (So the plan is to spend most weekends in the Spring and Fall out of town and out of church, I guess they have the summer and Christmas vacation to get plugged in to a local church.) THEN to cap it off they asked me to pray that she would make the team!
…. make the team? MAKE THE TEAM! What I really hope is that she does not make the team, her brother hates baseball and the family gets in church more than once a quarter.
JUDGEMENTAL? I’m really not judging their hearts…in fact I would say that their hearts are in the right place...but I am judging their actions! I’ve said it before but these are the “same folks” who will insist their rebellious 17 year olds go to church to get “their head straight” and when that does not happen they will blame God, the church and even Abner Doubleday!
1. NO ONE GROWS IN THEIR FAITH ON A SPORTS FIELD (or in bed) ON SUNDAY MORNING. “…but we are tired….but we were up till 1:30am last night…. but we have been so busy this Spring…. but no one likes us there….. but God is everywhere and we are going to have church at the ball field ….. but kids from “our school” don’t go there…. but the youth guys does not even know my name….but little Johnny’s “ex” goes there and that would be uncomfortable… but the church is full of hypocrites…. zzzzzzz ….heard it all before! I understand that sometime everyone has to miss church. I am not a legalist but seriously. How can you be involved in and grow with a church when you attend only 25% of the time?
TRANSLATION: “Even though Jesus Christ “loved the church and Gave himself up for her” (Eph 5:25 “…just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.) we don’t believe it is all that big of a deal. We will let ya know if we need ya.”
2. YOU MAKE YOUR KIDS GO TO SCHOOL DON’T YA? (applies to home schoolers too) If little Suzie got up one morning and said “Mom”, I don’t want to go to school today because I was up too late last night.” What would you say? How bout if Timmy whined, “nobody likes me there and the teachers are stupid!” What do you say then? You would say (since you love them) “look whistle britches, get your rear out of bed, put your clothes on, brush your teeth and get in the car!” If you can grab a pop-tart as you run through the kitchen then fine….but be in that car in ten minutes!
TRANSLATION: Church is not that important to us…. we will fight to get them out of bed and to school by 7:15 (cuz THAT is important) but we allow them to drag themselves their into a LIFE group 30 minutes late if they go at all (Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it..)
3. A FAMILY THAT REVOLVES AROUND THE KIDS CAN MAKE FOR SELF-ABSORBED CHILDREN. I am NOT implying that the kids should not get your attention...just not ALL of your attention. They need to know that there are things MORE IMPORTANT THAN THEY ARE sometimes. Things like your spouse, those in need….GOD! Every time you make a choice to place them ahead of your spouse, those in need and God, you are creating little self-absorbed “monsters”…..ok maybe that was too strong….how bout self-absorbed “rascals”…yea “rascals” is better.
TRANSLATION: You are the most important thing in the world…ya little darling.
THE CHALLENGE TO MOMS AND DADS IS TO LEAD OUR FAMILIES IN THE THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT FOR MORE THAN JUST “THIS SPRING”