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How to Handle a “Church is boring” Attitude

“Church is boring, I don’t want to go.”

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Your perfectly blissful Sunday morning comes to a screeching halt as your oldest utters those dreadful words.

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Just five minutes ago, your hands were wrapped snuggly around a mug as you inhaled the life-giving scent of fresh-brewed coffee. The serenity of a perfect Sunday morning was complete with fresh-baked pumpkin bread and two giggling children at your kitchen table. Fast forward five minutes and you feel like you’ve entered the twilight zone.

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From the comfort of his bed, your oldest continues by explaining that since he has just turned twelve, he gets to decide if he wants to go to church or not.

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Do you laugh? Cry? Yell? Do all three?

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You’re racking your brain for an appropriate response to this shocking defiance. Suddenly, the Holy Spirit does what He always does. He whispers truth, comfort, and love into your sometimes overly dramatic thoughts. “It’s just a phase,” He says. “Be kind,” He says. You take a deep breath and gently convince your son that he is going to church; you are the parent, and he is the child. That is that.

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Parenting a child who refuses to go to church can be tough, but there’s hope. The Holy Spirit and God’s Word reminds us that “…we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” Hebrews 10:39 Make that verse your battle cry for the trying phases of parenting.

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Church is Boring

Five effective ways to pursue your child’s heart when they’re struggling with a “church is boring” attitude…

  • Pray. One mom put it best when she said, “We have a direct line of communication to the God who created our children and chose to put them under our care.”[1] God’s Word tells us to give our burdens, including our anxious and worrisome thoughts, to Him and to simply pray; pray hard! Philippians 4:6.
  • Don’t give up. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” When you feel like giving up, don’t. Rest in knowing that He hears, knows, and loves both you and your children.
  • Speak life. Proverbs 18:21 says, “The tongue has the power of life and death….” Never underestimate the power of your words. It was amazing to watch parents handle a child who was struggling with whether or not he even believed God existed. They never criticized or scolded him. Instead, they told him Jesus still loved him. They spoke encouragement; they spoke life.
  • Crown them. Refusing to go to church with the rest of your family can automatically make a child feel like an outcast. They may be “proud” of their newfound rebel status, but don’t let them push you away. Instead, “crown” them. Psalm 103:4 says that the Lord “crowns [us] with lovingkindness and tender mercies”. The Lord pursues us and loves us in every season of our relationship with Him. In tough seasons, follow Christ’s example and “crown” your children with unconditional love.
  • Check your church. Maybe the reason they don’t want to go to church is because your church makes Jesus seem boring. Maybe the other kids aren’t very nice, or maybe their youth leader is insensitive or hypocritical. Ask your child to give specific reasons for not wanting to go to church, and be willing to change churches for the sake of your child’s relationship with the Lord. “Check” your church, and do what needs to be done.

Five Effective Ways

When the “church is boring” day comes, take comfort in the fact that the Lord knows and loves our children better and deeper than we ever could. He wants to empower us as parents during a time when we need His power the most. Trust God’s sovereignty, and pursue your children in faith!

Related:


[1] http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2014/march/when-your-child-doesnt-like-church.html?start=1
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OneHope

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