When my husband and I met, I was not a faithful church goer. Let’s be honest…I was not a faithful follower of Jesus. I was a believer, but the kind that drowned on the shore when life got tough or temptation was too great. I’m not saying I still don’t have those moments, but I’ve come a long way in my faith. Through mountains high and valleys low, I’ve come to a deeper level of trust in Jesus. Deeper obedience. Deeper desires for holiness. He’s wooed me with His grace and mercy and I am washed in His love. He has shown me His glory time and time again and I am sold out to Jesus. Sold out. But, like I said, this was not me when I first met my husband.
So, over the years, he’s watched this growth. He’s seen the changes. And I’ve never pressured him to do the same. He is a believer, but we’re in different places in our walk and I don’t beat him up for it. Probably because I know what it is to waiver in your faith. I know the difference between attending out of duty versus desire. And, I know it’s a choice that has to come from within. I don’t want a religious husband. I want a Godly one.
But, our children notice that Daddy doesn’t always go to church. He plays golf on Sundays. He hunts or does chores around the house. Sometimes he has to work. And I knew the day would come when they would take notice and they would beg to stay with daddy. I knew it, yet when it came, I was unprepared. What do you say to a little boy who wants to go play golf with Daddy every Sunday?
Maybe you’re there too. Maybe you know what it is to walk through those doors every Sunday minus one. Maybe it’s because they’re working. Maybe it’s because they aren’t a believer at all. Maybe it’s because they’re in a different place in their walk than you. Maybe it’s because they’ve turned away from the God they once so fervently followed.
Whatever the reason, I want to encourage you with the following:
First, the battle is not ours, but His. And just because it doesn’t look like God is moving, doesn’t mean He isn’t. God has a plan. But, you are not helpless. Your prayers are needed and are powerful. So, intercede and pray. And continue to pray. No matter how many weeks, months, or years pass.
Second, continue to grow in your faith. Lean in to Jesus. Be that honest example of what it looks like to follow Jesus. Let His light shine in you and through you. But, don’t beat up your spouse. Don’t hang those burdens around his neck. Hang them on Jesus. He can handle it.
Lastly, be honest with your kids and have that conversation.
Not long ago my son sat on our kitchen floor with tears streaming down his face. He was wondering why he didn’t get to go play golf with Daddy. I had glossed over and avoided this conversation for a long time, not knowing what exactly to say. I didn’t want to throw his daddy under the bus, because he’s a great father. And matter of fact, he had gone to church with us the week before. But, I also didn’t want to him to think that church was optional. So, I said a quick prayer as I walked over to him, asking God to give me the words as I bent down and took both his hands in mine.
Honey, the Bible says that we are to honor the Sabbath and keep it holy. Sunday is God’s day. And we go to church to honor and worship Him. To seek His presence. To listen to His word and grow in our knowledge of Him. We go to worship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. And it’s important because your relationship with Jesus is going to be the most important relationship you ever have. Because He’s going to always be with you. No matter what. Long after you leave Mommy and Daddy. He’s going to be the name you call on when no one else is around. And I want you to know Him like I know Him. He’s got plans for you. Big plans. Small plans. Great plans. And you need to show up for Him because he’s always going to show up for you. We will spend eternity in heaven with Jesus and in this life, He is to be our number one pursuit. And I can promise you, that you will never regret putting Jesus first. It may not always be the easiest thing to do, but it will always be the best thing to do.
The tears stopped and he shook his head yes. Okay, mom. He understood. And with that we went off to church.