A Family Affair

Yes! It is very important to
attend church together while
your children are young. They
learn more from parents in what
we do rather than what we say.

If you don’t attend church together,
you are teaching your children not to
go to church. You are teaching them that
worshipping God with His other children is
not important.
Even worse, you are teaching
them your form of idolatry in whatever you
spend your time and money on Sunday mornings.

I blurted these convictions out very quickly. You might even argue that they are just my “pastoral” opinion because after all, I just want more people to come to church.
But let us look at scripture.

Parents Teach By Modeling

“Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it” ( Proverbs 22:6).

This scripture is meant to be a comfort to Christian parents who teach their children to love and worship God. And, of course it is. But, it is a principle that holds true no matter what they teach their children.

If you, as a parent, teach your children to spend Sunday morning involved in sports teams...that will become their “religion”. If you teach your children to attend other events Sunday morning such as 4H or Dream International or Scouting or Skiing or Fishing—anything other than attending church—they will not depart from it even when he/she is old.

Each of these non-church activities are very worthwhile! If you find them more important to do on Sunday morning than church, you can still accomplish the appropriate spiritual goal by finding a church service at a time other than Sunday mornings.

If you, as a parent, teach your children that Sunday mornings are about sleeping in after partying on Saturday night—that is what your children will learn—and they will not depart from it.

If you, as a parent, teach your children that Sunday is another workday—that is what your children will learn—and they will RESENT YOU for it.

But if you teach your spouse and children that Sunday is a day for church, rest, family time—that is what your children will learn—and they will not depart from it.

Many parents (mistakenly) think they can neglect their parental responsibility and let their children decide what religion they will follow once they grow up. But they are unwittingly turning their children over to Satan. A strong statement I know! It is legitimate statement because without church, or Christian friends inviting them to church, they will be invited to the “synagogue of Satan”. Again, a strong statement! Please stay with me here....

The Bible says,
“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). And he is seeking out YOUR CHILDREN. He will engage them in worship of something other than Jesus; typically idols (see above) or even Satanism itself. Jesus says we are either for Him or against Him. There is no safe, middle ground. Without the anchor of church fellowship and daily abiding in Christ—YOUR CHILDREN will most certainly become prey for the adversary. Is this really what you want for your children?

Obey God and Prosper

Deuteronomy 6 was an integral part of daily Jewish life. As you read it, you’ll understand why. This scripture is very relevant for parents today, especially Dads.

1 "Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it,
2 so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.


[ The purpose of teaching the statutes by father to son was that they all fear God and have long lives. This is a reason and motivation for fathers today. ]

3 "O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
4 "Hear, O Israel ! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one !
5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
6 "These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.

[
To love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and might we must worship Him corporately as well as individually. These statutes were given to the people of Israel while in the wilderness during the exodus. They were identified in scripture as the congregation. Rejecting corporate worship and finding other things to do on Sunday morning would hardly be described as loving the Lord with all of our heart, soul, and might. ]

7 " You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
8 "You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead .
9 "You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

[
What are we teaching our children when we refuse to attend church? We are teaching them to shun God’s people and His church as well as His requested worship time. We are teaching them that a day of rest, worship, and family time is not a prime value. ]

10 "Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build,
11 and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied,
12 then watch yourself, that you do not forget the LORD who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

[
This bears out as a metaphor for us in the new covenant. He brought us out of slavery to sin and adopted us into His family. He has given us many blessings. He is our provision of our jobs, homes, and families. And to this we say, “sorry, not going to go to church because...”? This is pure thankLESSness and rebellion. The same reason the congregation had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. We should learn from history. See verse 15,16 below. ]

13 "You shall fear only the LORD your God ; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name.
14 "You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you,


[
Idols are anything we worship. When we spend our time, money, affections on things more than we do on God...it is an idol. Please refer to the beginning of this article. Which activity do you spend your time, money, and affections on Sunday morning instead of corporate worship? ]

15 for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God ; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth.
16 "You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah.
17 "You should diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and His testimonies and His statutes which He has commanded you.
18 "You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to give your fathers,
19 by driving out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD has spoken.
20 "When your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What do the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments mean which the LORD our God commanded you?'
21 then you shall say to your son, 'We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the LORD brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand.
22 'Moreover, the LORD showed great and distressing signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household ;
23 He brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land which He had sworn to our fathers.'


[
Can you credibly testify to your children in the same way? You cannot if you are teaching them to do other things during the week and on Sunday morning rather than attending church or bible study.

Challenge: chart your schedule for one week. Write down what you do and the time spent. Include times spent reading the Bible, praying, and talking to your children about the things of the Lord. Include the times spent doing other things. Then weigh the scales at the end of the week.

Then ask: What are you teaching your children?
]

24 "So the LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God for our good always and for our survival, as it is today.
25 "It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us.

Church—It’s A Family Affair.