Thursday, August 25, 2011

Going to Church

church I’m embarrassed to admit that up until this past summer, we have never taken our children to Church.  Not once.  I’m crazy right?  A believer actually so intimidated by the whole taking your kids to church process that she’s avoided the whole thing for 8 years. 

I did not grow up in the Church.  My family didn’t feel the need to take us to Church although one of my Uncles kindly took me to Sunday School with his family.  It wasn’t until years later that I started to go to a home church.  I eventually met my husband there and it wasn’t until our pastor passed away that the home church ending up falling apart. 

So you could say I haven’t been in a formal church setting in years.  We did try going to a Full Gospel Church after we were married but I found it really hard putting myself out there to meet new people.  Strange to say that pastor ended up dying too. 

I’m seriously hoping this is not a pattern here.

So while we’ve talked to our children about God and we pray at every meal, it has been bothering me that they are not really getting enough instruction.  After all, I have no clue how to explain to them the ins and outs of the Christian faith never mind what’s age appropriate.  Seriously, is it really appropriate for the children’s Bible to show Jesus on the cross when we won’t let our kids watch Scooby-doo? 

So we decided to take the plunge and put ourselves out there.. not only for our children but for us.  This past summer has shown me, if anything how drained and exhausted I am.  I seriously need some help.  When my MIL starts pointing out to my husband that she can tell that I’m not happy, there’s a problem somewhere.

How then do you handle then the embarrassment tadd_toon_infohat is of your  children not behaving in Church?  I like to think that my kids aren’t all that bad and comparatively speaking they certainly could be worse.  But lately E has been pushing all my buttons and challenging everything I say.  Not to mention she takes everything to the extreme and goes on and on.  I never know if she’s going to simply listen to what I have to say or freak out. 

In the Church we’ve started attending, children stay in for the worship time which generally runs about 20 minutes if it doesn’t run over.  I’ve brought coloring pages, felts, activity pads and even allowed them to bring a couple of small toys.  Only the last time, E set up a mini kingdom on her seat and talked and sang to herself rather loudly.  If I so much as shushed her she’d frown and  practically growl at me. Fortunately, our praise team is pretty loud. But still. 

I get that much of it is our fault because she’s not used to Church and so we should cut her some slack.  Still, I’m afraid that not only will we look like bad parents but bad Christians in front of all these people when she acts up. That it’s going to be painfully obvious what a failure of a parent I am.

Add to this that we’ve decided to put our kids in the local Christian School.  While part of me is excited about smaller class sizes and all the great activities the school has to offer, the other part of me is afraid of not measuring up.  I don’t read devotions everyday, I have a hard time fitting prayer in and sometimes, I am probably quite worldly. 

My walk has always been a bit different.  While the rest of the church was forswearing The Simpsons, I could see the satire and humour in it and appreciate it for what it was.  I think I was married to my husband for 6 months before I’d admit to him that I watched it.  I guess you could say I believe in moderation. I don’t just jump in and agree with everyone else and say “that’s bad”, rather I want to see why they say it’s bad and decide for myself.  Not all Christians can accept that.  Just like I will have the occasional (and I do mean occasional) drink. 

I guess what it comes down to is that we don’t know what this Church and this School’s positions are yet.  I am afraid that I won’t be able to be just me, flaws and all.  Right now I have to trust that it’s all going to be okay and boy is that tough.

So if you’ve made it this far through my ramblings, the big question in all of this is…. how do you keep your children entertained during church?

Zeemaid

3 comments:

  1. Unfortunately ... I think practice makes perfect here. Just doing it again and again until they get used to the routine and your expectations. We talk about what we expect during that church time, explain that there will be consequences and then stick to our guns! We've perfected the mommy-stare, the "you may sit quietly alone or quietly on my lap" whisper and the lost privilege for the afternoon for craziness. Hang in there ... it's worth the work!

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  2. Don't fret! We have an hour long sacrament meeting before everyone seperates to age groups. Even children that have gone since they were born have those times when they are noisy. Having a little "quiet kit" like you are doing is good, although maybe leave out the toys that you know they like to make noises with. I've found the 'lace up' cardboards with the string have occupied my youngest quietly for a long time. As with everything, there is a learning curve. If you talk about reverence at home and your expectations as to how they should act at church, over time they will comply. I've asked our older ones to take notes about the talks and think about how the talk/sermon applies to them. Even if it is just a picture and not words they write. We took a long time to make nightly family prayer a habit. What helped in our family was asking the children to remind us each night so that we wouldn't forget in our busy haste to get them to bed. Now of course we are working on daily scripture study. We have our good and bad days. Best wishes to you and your family! Thanks for stopping by my site earlier today.
    Caren with a "C" - preservinghomebasics.com

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  3. I have so been there. And am still there. One person suggested that I bring drawing pads with pencils and crayons. That seems to do well I also have a collection of Christian books that only go with us to church. And then I resort to gold fish or fruit snacks as a last resort.

    I think it's wonderful that you take things with a grain of salt. It's important to question beliefs and authority. It strengthens faith. If they can't handle that, then you need to move on.

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