Posted by Highland

Mentors,

My preschooler does not like to come to church. She cries and whines when we bring her. I think it is important that we come to church, but I don’t want her to grow up with a negative view of church because we force her to come. We have been skipping church some on Sundays and Wednesdays if she’s especially resistant.

-Anonymous

 

Anonymous,
One of the most difficult parts of parenting is making decisions that are unpopular with our children. However, since children lack the maturity to know what is best, God entrusts parents with their care. Ephesians 6:1-4 explains God’s design for parental authority:

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right. Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise—that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life in the land. And, fathers, don’t stir up anger in your children, but bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Parental authority must always be tempered in Godly wisdom and love. We can be confident as parents, that if we bring our children up according to the instructions of the Lord, we can make the best choices for our children. That confidence frees us from second guessing our parental decisions when our children disagree.

It is not uncommon for children to experience separation issues and cry when parents take them to church. These issues usually resolve when parents consistently bring them each week.

Here are some tips to excite your kids about church:

  • Tell your preschoolers why you enjoy going to church.
  • Tell them about their teacher: “Ms. Karen loves the Lord, and she loves you, too. She can’t wait to see you on Sunday!”
  • Remind them that their friends will be at church, and they will get to learn about Jesus with their friends
  • Challenge your kids to listen closely and remember something exciting about the Bible Story. Follow up at lunch and hear about what they thought was interesting!

When children come consistently and become familiar with the environment, you will notice that their anxiety about coming to church lessens. And, eventually, most preschoolers begin to look forward to the next time they get to go to church!

Most importantly, God promises in Proverbs 22:6 that “If we train up a child to choose the ways of the Lord, he will remain in it when he is older.” While there is no guarantee that a child may not turn away from the ways of the Lord at some point, our Lord promises that they will turn back in due time if we have trained them in His ways. Our role is to train; trusting God to take care of the rest.

Training your child is best learned by example. If they grow up seeing you make the Lord’s Day a priority, it speaks volumes about your faith (Exodus 20:8-11). The Sabbath is a day set aside for honoring God. While it is also a day of rest from the usual activities of life, physical rest alone is not enough. We need spiritual refreshment for our weary souls.

Train up your child to understand these principles. His commandments are always for our good! The spiritual roots of learning God’s Word and developing friends now thru adolescence among families who share your values and faith serve to ground your child in their faith for a lifetime.

What greater legacy for your family than to claim Joshua 24:15 — “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

May you be encouraged as you seek His guidance for your family.

Mrs. Paula Webb


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