Last week my girls were staying up late watching a movie. I was hugging them good night and warning them that they would be tired the next morning as we had to get up early for church. My youngest daughter asked me the question, “Can’t we just skip church tomorrow?” When I told her “No,” she inquired as to why. I explained to her that if we skipped church the next day because we were tired then it would be easier to skip the next time. Pretty soon it would be easier to not go to church than to go. I told her, “Then it becomes about life coming before God instead of God coming before life.” She nodded her head in understanding.
I’ve seen this true time and time again. It all starts with something easy, something simple. But I’ve always felt that if I can stay up late knowing that I have church the next day – then I can darn well drag my tired body out of bed to go! But you see, I’ve learned that I need church. I need it to help me get through my week. I need it to ask myself tough questions and sometimes to change wrong choices my heart is about to make or has made. I need church to keep me accountable.
Sure, once in awhile we skip church. We might skip when our family is really wiped out from a life that has been super busy for weeks and weeks. We might skip to give ourselves one day to try and restore our bodies a little bit. But I try not to make a habit of it and I certainly try to never skip when it’s just about being tired or lazy because I had put something else first.
I don’t ever want to slip into the habit of coming up with excuses and feeble attempts to rationalize why I am not attending church on a regular basis. I don’t want to lose myself into the routine of my life so much that I don’t miss meeting with God and fellowshipping with other believers.
There have been numerous times where I have been tired, weak, stressed, or hurting and not really wanting to go to church. And yet when I go – God has shown me that that is the exact place that I’ve needed to be. He has touched my heart each and every time with either refreshment, love, or gentle discipline. I’m so thankful for that.
I hope to be a good example to my children of showing them that going to church on Sunday is more than just tradition for me or about doing what I think is right. It’s about priorities and it showcases where my heart is not just on that particular day of the week… but in my whole life.
~Dionna Sanchez is Founder of EmphasisOnMoms.com – you can also follow her on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/DionnaSanchez