When our children were newborn babies, we would look down at them in awe that God had gifted us with this amazing miracle. Remember? Wrapped in a tiny yellow blanket, our own little girl looked so peaceful. I realized we didn’t know what we were doing. Not really. The responsibility felt overwhelming.

So we took our child to church.

As they grow up, we send kids off to many places where we can’t guarantee their safety. I would drop my daughter off at school, for example, and pray God would protect her. I wanted her to feel as safe as she could, and know she is valued, by her mom, her dad, and by our heavenly Father, who would always be with her.

So we took our child to church. 

School introduces our little ones to a whole new world. I would hear about certain things she’s learning, and we’d have a discussion about the concepts of opinion and perspective. She’d tell me what some kids said on the playground or the school bus, and I’d remind her we don’t use “those” words. It was important she knew how to live a life of integrity.

So we took our child to church.

Life is about much more than our individual families. I wanted our daughter to consider all the ways she can encourage people, and make her community better because she’s a part of it. It was important she understood that praying for herself, for others and the places where we live, makes a difference in more ways than we can possibly know.

So we took our child to church.

Someday, they’ll leave our homes. Our sons and daughters will set out on their own, meeting new people and making their own way. I want the young woman we raise to be an excellent judge of character. Because of the godly men and women we introduced her to, many of whom were part of our church family, I want her to know good friendships are vital to her own well-being.

So we took our child to church.

When our adult children (for they are forever our children) feel lonely, or overwhelmed by a busy schedule, realizing their weary souls need filled back up, what will they do? I want our daughter to know what’s necessary to find balance and peace again. She can pick up her Bible, sing praise and worship songs, call a good friend, bow her head and pray. She can surround herself with other people doing these very same things.

So we took our child to church.

Traci Rhoades

My name is Traci. I live in southwest Michigan, somewhere in a triangular section connecting Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids with all things Lake Michigan. My husband and I parent one daughter. We have dogs, cats, ducks, pigs and chickens. Their number is always changing, as farm animal counts tend to do. I enjoy watching sports, reading, cooking and all things Bible study. I am a writer. When I first started blogging, I wondered about what unique voice I could bring. I’ve landed on this one line: A country girl goes to church.