Husbands and Church
Have you ever had the Holy Spirit step on your toes? I have and I’ve found that sometimes it really hurts! Some topics are just not pleasant. But my goal is to try to be as real with you as possible and to address some of the more difficult issues of being a Godly wife and mother.
The issue I’m going to address today is about husbands and church. Before getting married I had a real fantasy going. I believed my husband and I would load up the kids and go to church together. I believed we would drop the kids off at their Sunday school classes and then we would go off to our Couple’s Sunday school class. My reality was that my husband was a firefighter with a crazy schedule. When we were first married, he didn’t like church much anyway.
During this time the enemy used a powerful weapon on me. The weapon was FEAR. I had read all the statistics of how “if the father doesn’t go to Sunday school the chances of your children wanting to attend church when they grow older went drastically down.” I was so fearful of this that I tried everything to get my husband to go to church and to Sunday school (when he wasn’t working). You name it and I tried it. Shame, guilt and manipulation were my “tools” to get my husband to do what I wanted him to do. Needless to say, we were both miserable.
If he wouldn’t go to church or Sunday school, then surely the next best thing would be a couple’s Bible study, right? Wrong! He would attend for a short amount of time to please me, and then would start using excuses and eventually I could tell he really didn’t want to go. I would end up with feelings of bitterness, anger and resentment towards him.
After years and years of this miserable cycle, the Lord had had enough of me! He confronted me with my fears, unforgiveness and my lack of trust in Him. He told me that I was no longer supposed to worry about Steve. I should go to church for my children and for my own benefit. God would take care of Steve. He showed me that if Steve didn’t want to be there, it really didn’t “count” in His eyes when he did choose to attend.
“But what about the children?” I asked. “What about all those statistics that say my children will most likely fall away if their father isn’t’ attending Sunday school or church?” The Lord told me that I didn’t trust Him with my children and that He was bigger than any statistic.
I had one more problem, though. “But it isn’t fair! He gets to sleep in while I get all of these children ready for church by myself. This is hard work, Lord, not to mention when we finally get to church and then I have to get everyone to where they are supposed to go. Many times I am exhausted and distracted by the time I sit down to worship.”
The Lord said, “Yes, it is unfair and yes it is hard work. That is your sacrifice to me. Stop complaining and grumbling about it and realize that this IS your act of worship.”
From that day on, I trusted God enough to take my kids faithfully to church by myself. I left Steve alone about going. After many years, God has changed his heart in regards to church. If he is not working, he regularly attends. He comes on his own accord, not because he is afraid of displeasing me. Since I left Steve to the Lord, he has changed in ways I could have never imagined. He is growing in the Lord by leaps and bounds! Only God can do that! Steve is still the type of person that is not interested in group Bible studies, but is now reading the Bible all the way through on his own and is loving it.
I may be harried and distracted as I walk into church and I try to worship while having to discipline a child or two, but the Lord knows that the true sacrifice for me is just getting there!
I know several moms that don’t go to church regularly, if at all, because they are waiting for their man to be the spiritual leader and get their family there. Don’t wait! Your children need to see that church is important. They need to go to a place where the lessons reinforce what you have been teaching them at home. If you are one of these ladies, may I encourage you to go to God with your reasons and excuses. Be honest with Him and let Him speak to you. He will give the strength to do what you need to do. I guarantee one thing, if your children do not see one committed parent who wants to go to church, why would they ever be motivated to go when they are grown up and on their own?
Be encouraged, God wants your husband to “not forsake meeting with other Believers”, but He wants to do it His way, which is always the right way. He is wooing your husband to Himself and your husband’s spiritual walk IS a priority to Him. Remember, God will not woo your husband the same way He wooed you. Everyone learns differently. You take care of your spirituality and let God take care of his. The benefit of this is LASTING peace, joy and a renewed sense of love and grace towards your husband. The conflict leaves in the home, then God can begin HIS work. Trust Him in this!
From One Mom to Another,
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