My favorite dates with my husband are at church. Yeah, you heard that right.
You see, church and “us” has a history. One of our very first dates as a couple was at church. My husband knew I was “the one” when we were driving to church one morning. When we got married, he always wrote me love notes DURING church. I kept all of them, stashing them away in my nightstand.
Then we had a baby, and oh so very subtly, things started to change.
The first few months, our newborn had colic. So we were mostly frantic at church, lucky to sit through 30 minutes of a service.We were surviving for three months.
As time passed, church services began to be filled with tirelessly trying to distract our son into sitting still. We heard bits and pieces of what the pastor was saying, but I was lucky to hear three minutes of what was going on at church. My husband and I spent church taking turns pacing the hallways bouncing, singing, and talking to our babe at church. We surely weren’t praising together, we weren’t even really paying any attention to God or the pastor at church.
Soon, church services started to be the place where I felt like I was failing most. I felt like I was failing at getting my son to sit still. I was failing at teaching him where appropriate places for tantrums were. I was failing at setting boundaries. I was failing at teaching him to be quiet in church in order to be respectful of others. I was failing. I slowly but surely started dreading church every week.
Our church has a nursery/toddler room, where you’re welcome to drop your child off with the teacher while you go back and listen to the message. Most moms stay with their children, and I wanted to stay with my child, too. I loved watching my son make friends, I enjoyed talking to other moms. Slowly but surely church became a spot for me to socialize and to watch my son socialize. However, I never looked forward to church as a place to worship anymore.
Finally I felt God creating an ache in my heart . . . He was pulling me back in. I missed my Jesus, I missed my husband. I missed flirting with and loving my husband at church. I missed praising together.
I wrestled with God, because I didn’t want to drop my son off, and leave that nursery. I felt selfish about that, I felt like I was putting my needs first, and I wasn’t nurturing my son and my son’s faith. God gently reminded me that my son’s faith grows from the love he witnesses. My son’s faith grows from watching his parents love God like He is all we have, and love each other the way Christ wants us to love. Selflessly, recklessly, and wholeheartedly.
God wants us to put our love for Him as #1. It is there where we learn to love our spouse just as Christ loves the church. If I want to make my kids feel loved and secure and grow up confidently, I’m going to love my husband unwaveringly.
So, I did it. I dropped my child off and walked back to church. I grabbed my husband by the hand and said, “Let’s date.”’ For that hour at church, we sparked something back up in us. We were loving our God together, at church.
I know there are seasons of life where dropping your child off is just not possible. I know it’s not even an option in every church and every situation with children, but letting them witness your love for God as #1, is the best thing we can do for our kids. The best thing we can do for our families. Put that mom guilt aside, God doesn’t have room for that anyways. Love Jesus, love your hubby, and your kids loving Jesus? That will fall right into place.
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