This past Sunday my kids and I went to church, like we always do most Sunday’s. When I say my kids and I, that’s it, just us. I’ve been asked before, where’s your husband? Sometimes I’ll say, he’s working, which sometimes he is, but most the time he isn’t. Here’s the deal, my husband doesn’t like going to church, and I do, so I go to church and he stays home. There’s no fight, it is how it is. Church is something that I enjoy going to, I don’t want to force someone to go who doesn’t want to be there, that’s not what church is about, at least for me it isn’t. I’m not going to church to try and impress anyone, or make an appearance, I truly enjoy being there. My kids enjoy going, they get to play games and sing songs in Sunday school, color and play outside on the playground, it’s a nice Sunday morning for them. I enjoy listening to the Pastor at my Baptist church, while I sip my hot green tea the church offers me as I walk into the lobby. This hour and a half of singing and service helps to prepare me for my up coming week, it calms some of my anxiety, I feel more at peace when I walk out of Church service on Sunday mornings. Some people may find this same type of peace after a hot yoga class, a long run, or meditation, I find my peace after church.
My opinion about church and my husbands opinion are completely different, this has a lot to do with our upbringing. Both of my parents were raised as Christians, they both believe in God, Jesus and praying, this being said they were not big “church people” when I was growing up. They rarely took my brother and I to church, I can remember going to Sunday school here and there as a kid, and these memories don’t start until around 4th grade, I don’t believe we ever went to church before that, if we did I don’t remember going. I can remember it was 4th grade, when I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart, something we’re told to do if we are true believers, and then you are supposed to take the steps to be baptized, I was never baptized. Christianity is different from Catholicism when it comes to baptism, in that Catholics baptize babies, Christian’s do not, you have to fully understand what you are seeking from Christ and asking from him to be in your life in order to be baptized, baptism is an act of obedience to the Lord after Salvation. Why was I never Baptized? I don’t really know, like I mentioned earlier, we didn’t go to church enough for me to get involved, as I got older into my teen years I would see in the handouts that the church would give me as I walked in the door, they would have upcoming baptisms and I would consider it, but I would never take the next step. As a kid I can remember wanting to go to church more, and would suggest it, my mom never seemed to like going to church and my dad sometimes would take us while my mom stayed home, similar to the way my husband and I operate now in regards to church.
My husband and his family didn’t go to church, I don’t even know if his parents were believers in Jesus, I say were because my husbands father is no longer with us, he passed away almost 5 years ago, and his mother is still alive but we don’t see her often and if we do we don’t discuss religion. The only time I’ve ever heard my husband refer to church is when he went to a church winter camp with a friend of his he grew up with, and an ex girlfriend he had, whom he would go to church with her and her family. The church winter camp he talks about fondly, the church that he attended with his ex girlfriend seems to have left him a little bitter. He has it in his head that churches are full of hypocrites and the church is only after your money. I’m not saying he’s wrong, churches are full of imperfect people, no ones perfect, am I right? And churches do ask for offerings at their services, but if you cannot give no one judges you, at least at the church I attend they don’t. Money is always a touchy subject to my husband, we disagree a lot in regards to money. I feel if you have the money to give and help others you should, he doesn’t see things as I do. This different outlook we each have in regards to charity in general and giving to the church has a lot to do with our upbringing as well, we are definitely polar opposite in so many ways, but I love him despite all of our differences.
I don’t let my beliefs and feelings about attending church cause fights between my husband and myself, to me that’s defeating my purpose in attending church, as I said earlier church is my peaceful time alone with God, not a time to try and guilt my husband into doing something that he doesn’t want to do. I’ve also decided that this is the year that I want to finally get Baptized, I feel secure in my religious beliefs and I want to lead by example for my 3 children. I’ve had some really dark times in my life, and every time I’ve gone down to my knees and begged God to help me figure out what to do, one way or another he always comes through for me, it’s time that I do the same for him by publicly stating my faith.
My hope is that everyone finds a place where they feel welcomed and at peace while they can learn about the glory and grace of God. It brings me comfort to have a place to go to when I feel defeated, I know that I am among lots of other imperfect people who are trying to find their strength through the Lords word. I want my kids to have what I didn’t have, a church home base, where they can learn and feel secure and confident, rather than intimated and shy as I did showing up to church randomly with my dad, sometimes my mom, and kind of lost as to what was going on and what was being taught. I also strive to be more knowledgeable about religion and my beliefs, so that I can answer questions knowledgeably when my kids are shooting questions at me, it’s important to have facts to back up our answers especially when we’re setting an example for our children.
We should all strive to live with intention and purpose, and make ourselves the best that we can be so that we can offer that to the rest of the world. We all need a starting point, every day taking little steps towards the big steps in our lives. Church has helped me to feel gratitude for the opportunities that I have been given despite the obstacles I’ve faced. Problems in life should be seen as opportunities for God to demonstrate His power and for us to acknowledge our dependence on him. I encourage you to look for a place that gives you that same feeling of peace and comfort, stay persistent in working towards your best life. Our time on this earth is short, make the most of it.