Nancy Campbell of Above Rubies sends out periodic email newsletters. As I contemplate the end of my “freedom” in church in a few weeks, I found this part especially timely. I hope it encourages others as well.
(For the record, I don’t agree with going to church when you are sick.)
IS IT WORTH GOING TO CHURCH?
Recently an Above Rubies reader wrote and asked me, “Have you ever had difficulty sitting in church with many little ones? I wonder if it is just our season to stay home and not even bother attending church since we are so busy handling the little ones. Were you ever in this season in your life?”
I think this is something that many mothers wonder about so I thought I would share my answer with you all.
“Dear mother, I know how you feel. Many times when my children were little I wondered whether it was worth going to church too. However, I realized that church was more than sitting in a building listening to the pastor. Church is the people. We need to be reminded of that. So when you go to church, dear mother, even if you spend your whole time in the nursery, or much of your time training your children to sit in church, it is still worth it.
You are doing three things. Firstly, you have opportunity to fellowship with others (fellowship with other mothers in the nursery can be precious fellowship) which is so important. This is as important as listening to a message. You also have the opportunity to share with others and to pass on a blessing or a little encouragement to someone else. Remember, you don’t go to church to get, but to give-and preeminently to give a blessing.
Secondly, you are training your children to sit in church. It sure takes a lot of training, but if you stay home, your children will learn that you do NOT have a commitment to church. If you go, even if it isnt all perfect, and you don’t even get to hear the preacher, you are accomplishing something. You are showing by your actions to your children that you put God first in your lives and that it is important to fellowship with the saints and go to church. You show that God is a priority in your lives. You show to your children your commitment to God and to His people.
You take seriously the admonition in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is: but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching.”
My husband just said to me today, “Many people want the church to be there for them, but they are not there for the church!”
Thirdly, you are following the example of Jesus whose habit was to go to the house of God. We need to keep to this habit in our own lives and to establish this habit in the lives of our children. If our children see that we decide to stay home from church for whatever reason, when they are older they will stay home for even less reasons.
We have never missed going to church as a family-rain, hail or snow! And even when we were sick. It’s the best place to get healed!
Luke 4:16 says, “And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.”
Keep plodding on. It’s not always easy, but you are doing the right thing. Never stay away from church, just because the children aren’t perfect. That is a defeatist attitude.
We expected our children to be in church every Sunday morning and Sunday evening. I would bring sheep skins for the little ones to lie on and go to sleep for the Sunday evening services. Did they get sick of church? Never! They are all in church today and all involved.
Loads of love, NANCY