Friday, 7 September 2012

Ten disciplines... part 2

The next two disciplines…

5. You shall take your children to church…

Some of us take it for granted that we were brought up in a Christian family or going to church every week, but this is a gift that you can give your children that can help teach them something very special. Not only are you teaching them more about God by bringing them to church, but you are installing in them the importance of community and fellowship in their life and faith. We can’t do this alone… and we weren’t created to. I know some Christians who don’t think they need to be part of a church, but I don’t believe that to be true. We read in Hebrews 10:25 –

“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of His return is drawing near.”

If you find a church where you are getting good Biblical teaching and good fellowship, then stay there, see what you can give into it and train your children up to be a fully functioning part of the body. They will see you and take your example to heart, so make sure you are REALLY there, not just going on a Sunday to be seen and not listening to what’s being taught. And if God hasn’t told you to leave – don’t even consider it!! It’s not about what the church can do for you… it’s about how you can be part of the body of Christ, the church, and help to build people up, glorify God in all you do, and reach the people in your neighbour with the Gospel.

Ladies, I am totally speaking to myself here. For years I suffered from panic attacks, brought on by post-natal depression and I had been unable to regularly attend my local church. While this was a perfectly honest reason THEN, it no longer applies. Yet I still struggle to go out every week with my family. It has become so much of a problem that my husband often has to take all four of the boys out to church with him, while I sit at home…  And every single week I feel it. I feel the fellowship that I should have, but don’t. I feel the fact that I have so many ideas for church, but don’t feel as if I have any right to voice them (even though I still do sometimes!!) as I am not properly a part of the church. I love my church and really want to get fully involved, to help build it from strength to strength for God’s glory, so trust me when I say that today’s post is really for me instead of you!!

6. You shall choose your children above all other people and pursuits…

It is very easy as a mum to believe the lie that we can do it all or have it all, especially when celebrities with perfect hair and perfect children are telling us that its easy! But we can’t. But I believe we weren’t meant to! Let’s face it, most times when a celebrity gets back into their size zero skinny jeans a couple of weeks after having a baby, it isn’t because of their amazing metabolism! They have an army of people in their lives – from make-up artists, personal trainers, nannies, maids, chefs and of course personal assistants! But most of us don’t have that! When we try to be all things to all people and do it all, we will ultimately fail at something, and most often it will be where you are at your most natural and at the place you feel most comfortable. For the majority of women it will happen at home. If you work out of the house, are involved with every committee and organisation your church has to offer, or you let your hobbies and interest fill your time, you will end up tired, frustrated and most likely not at all amused when your 5 year old comes down the stairs to tell you he just saw his 3 year old brother drawing a picture on the bedroom wall.

But we need to make sure that when we are trying to balance our busy lives that our children don’t get lost into the mix. Children, as we’ve been reminded earlier in the chapter, are a gift from God, and as such should come third only to God and your husband in your list of priorities. With God first, your husband second and your children third, you should be able to balance your life and your time accordingly, giving them the focus and attention that they so desperately need from us.

My husband is away this week and I have to admit that I have struggle with the boys. They didn’t seem to be in any kind of a ‘listening to mummy’ mood at the start of the week, and then I realised that I was part of, if not the whole of the problem. When Alan is away I tend to spend the first couple of days in a comatose state in front of the TV, catching up on all the shows I’ve taped and not sleeping for more than a couple of hours. This is always the case, and I’ve tried many times to break the cycle, but this was the first time I noticed the effect it had on the boys. They too decided to do nothing and just relax… a little too much!! So this morning it was back to porridge and giving them the attention and focus that they needed to get them, back into routine and being the wonderful helpful children they usually are!

 I did tell you today’s points were more for me today than any of you!! I have definitely been challenged and hope that you have too… if you needed it!!

Keep shining… J

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