A young girl, about 3 years old, was sitting with family. They begin to ask the girl where certain members of the family were. The conversation went like this: “Where is Uncle So and So?” and the little girl would say, “He is at church.” Or “Where is Aunt So and So?” and the girl would say, “She is at work”. This went on through various family members and friends. Then the girl was asked, “Where is Daddy?” and the little girl stated, “Daddy at the Club”
We are quick to focus on that dad and make statements like he is a bad example or a bad parent. This affected the dad in such a way he wanted to change and not be known that way to his little girl. Remember while you are reading this, Jesus said, “Don’t try to pull a splinter out of someone else’s eye when you yourself have a two by four in yours.”
I’m telling you the above story to get a point across. We are quick to be proud of the fact that our kids are not saying we are at the club, but what are they saying especially on Sundays. The scripture says to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
Where do your kids say you are on Sundays? I have had many conversations with parents over the last 30 years as a football coach and as a pastor that ask the question “Why won’t my kids go to church”. There are some great pat answers we come up within ourselves: “The youth pastor is not good”; “My kids don’t get along with the other kids”; “It’s too big or it’s too small” (and my favorite), “They have more important things to do”. In almost every case I would ask the question of the parents, “How often do you attend church?” Most of the time the answer would be, with a lot of excuses mixed in, “Not very often”.
Almost everything in life boils down to priorities. Sunday worship and fellowship is way down the list of priorities. Don’t ever expect your kids or anyone else who looks up to you, to make church a priority if you are not willing to. My son was engaged to get married and a friend of mine asks me if I was worried about their doctrinal differences. I stated that I was not worried about that for two reasons: 1) I knew the young lady had a deep relationship with her God and 2) I knew her parents raised her being examples that church and the things of God were the number one priority.
There are many Christians who say, “I have my own relationship with Jesus Christ therefore I do not need to go to church”. I ask this question: “Is it ok to lie, steal, or kill?” The answer to that is an emphatic NO! Yet listed in the same commandments that say, do not do these things, it says keep the Sabbath. Are the rules of not lying, stealing, or killing more important than the rule of the Sabbath? NO! If we know it should be done, then what stops us? Our priorities.
How long would your marriage last if you chose to only see your spouse once in a while or on Christmas and Easter? We claim we have this great relationship with God but never show up at His house. When it all boils down, we all have valid reasons, in our mind, to skip church. Some of my most fond reasons that I hear are as follows: “I only get one day off work”; “I need to rest.”; “I am an avid hunter, I need to hunt during every season.”; “My kids are sick”; “My house is dirty”; “The Cowboys are playing!” or any number of reasons that really are nothing more and nothing less than excuses!
When I first became a head coach in Texas, I was told: “You cannot be successful unless you work on Sundays “. I coached for twenty three years and have various accolades including two state championship rings and I never worked on Sunday. During the season I would put in eighty to a hundred hours a week but still went to church on my only day off. God and church were and still are a priority to me.