Mommy, why doesn’t daddy go to church?

You may be in a situation where you are taking your kids to church, and your spouse stays home.  Your spouse may not be interested in church, may not be a believer, or be against church.  Whatever the reason is you attend church without your spouse, and are responsible for getting the kids there.

Your kids may ask you why mommy or daddy doesn’t go to church.  It’s good if they do, and it’s an opportunity to teach them.  It’s important at times like this to show our spouse respect even if they don’t go to church.  Our job is to demonstrate Christ to our kids, and we can do that by treating our spouse with respect even when they are not around.

Here are some ways to handle this question.

  • Explain that mommy or daddy does not want to attend church, and then explain why you feel it’s important to go to church.  This is an excellent opportunity to teach your kids about Hebrews 10:25 “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some”, and Proverbs 22:6 “train up a child in the way he should go”.
  • We can explain to our children that we are called to love others.  Daddy or mommy may not go to church, and even oppose us going, but we are to love them.  We can teach our children about John 13:34 “love on another”, Matt. 22:39 “love your neighbor as yourself”, and Romans 12:10 “be devoted to one another.”
  • We can pray.  This is an excellent opportunity to pray for our spouse, and other people who don’t attend church.  Always show your spouse respect.  We want to show them grace and mercy just like God shows us.  We don’t want to put them down or make them look bad.  We want to show genuine concern and care.

It can be difficult to explain to our kids why our spouse doesn’t attend church.  It is difficult to be the spouse that gets the kids to church every Sunday.  We do it because we want to please God.  When He is our focus we will be able to diligently attend even when our spouse doesn’t.

If you attend church with your spouse, remember those who don’t.  It can be a lonely time.  It can be frustrating to watch married couples attending when our spouse doesn’t.  It’s hard to get the kids up by ourselves, get them dressed, fed, and out the door to church while our husband or wife sleeps in, stays home, or goes out to have fun.

You are doing a good job mom or dad.  You are pleasing our Father, and I respect you for that.

Marcy Pedersen

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