The alarm goes off at 7:00 a.m., or it doesn’t go off at all. We just wing it. There is a mad rush to get the coffee on, breakfast made, and to figure out what everyone is going to wear. It’s Sunday morning, and we have to get the kids to church.
Some of us have husband’s who help, and some don’t. We yell and scream, and frett and somehow end up at the front door of the church not sure if we want to kill someone or worship God. A greeter thanks us for coming, and well meaning people ask us how we are.
We know we can’t tell them the truth. Well I just spanked Sally before we came in, my husband hasn’t been to church in a year and I hate him for it, I spilled a gallon of milk in the kitchen before we left, and freaked out as if the world was going to end. I am so thankful to be at church this morning.
We get the kids to church. It’s what we are supposed to do. We take them faithfully, or not so faithfully, during the years they live in our home. The whole time not realizing that a day will come when they will decide for themselves what they think about God.
We might take comfort when they sing church songs, attend services, act in plays, and receive cute certificates. We may feel assured that all is well with their soul, and that we can check off their Spirituality on our long list of parenting responsibilities.
The whole time we have no idea what they really think because we don’t ask them. We are happy to look at the surface. We presume that if they are obedient and we have things under control all is well. Is it? Was it for you?
Then they leave home. At some point they cut off. That may or may not happen when they first leave home. Some parents stay too close to ensure all is well with their adult children. Some children linger because they enjoy the cash flow associated with mom and dad. At some point there is a cut off, and when that cut off happens then we will see what is going on.
I took you to church your entire life, and now you don’t go. Did I do something wrong? I did a lot of things wrong, but I faithfully took you for 18 years. Yet I didn’t really see that I was taking unbelievers to church for 18 years, and most of the time, if I am honest, it was against their will. They knew they had to go, but that doesn’t mean they wanted to go.
The norm in our home says you go to church, and you act a certain way because of that. But you are an unbeliever. You have no relationship with God. So your obedience is a quiet form of legalism. Do this or that thing and all is well. We will all act like you know God, and not talk about the fact that we are performing evangelism in our own home, and often not dealing with the reality of our children’s hearts.
I took you to church for 18 years. None of you want to go now. Yet I understand it’s because I have a relationship with God and you don’t. Yet, I know that you heard His word, and the gospel. I know that you had 18 years of evangelism and that now you have to hash out what you believe.
I took you to church for 18 years and now my job is to pray. I was being obedient to God and rest in my efforts. Forgive me for shoving God down your throat the way I did. Forgive me for not showing you more grace. Forgive me for not respecting you enough to learn what your feelings and thoughts were about God.
I know a man and His name is Jesus Christ. He changed me. He took me from my drunkenness and slavery to sex, and gave me the desire to live for others. He stopped my craving for drugs, and gave me a craving for His Word. You see I was like you. I went to church for 18 years and left home without having a clue of who God was. No one ever asked me either.
But somewhere along the way, after I was married and had children, I encountered Jesus Christ. I when I did I was changed. I simply wanted you to know Him too. I love you. I want to share eternity with you and worship God alongside of you.
Until you come to know Christ I will pray for you. I know that if God can awaken His Word in my heart He can awaken it in yours. I know that if God can save a wretch like me, He can save a wretch like you.
May God do a great work in your heart and may you come to know and serve Him in even greater ways than me.