Welcome! This is where it all began. I no longer post on this website and some of the content reflects former convictions and understandings. Some of these posts are hard core on issues that I am softer on these days. I deleted many posts that I feared would lead people into legalism, so if you find a missing hyperlink that may be why. These days I write at Covered By His Hand.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Family-integrated Lord's Day

(Update 8-21-2017: Paul and I currently attend a church where children over age 4 are encouraged to gather for worship with their families. Paul and I have kept our children with us in worship for many years, but we do NOT hold that conviction for other families and Paul has been a pastor at churches that were not family-integrated. This is not a topic over which Christians should divide.)

We went to a family-integrated church this past Sunday.

I have been convicted of the need of family-integrated worship for a relatively short time, but Paul and I had not been able to experience the atmosphere in real life. (It is one thing to read about it in books, it is another thing entirely to be there in reality!) It was such a blessing to see so many children in attendance.

The entire time we were at our former church (where Paul pastored in IL) our children were in worship with everyone else. So, I have been working with them for 3 years. And, before that I would take 2 year old Rebecca to seminary chapel services. I have had hard days, to be sure, but I thought my kids were doing pretty well.

Now, I see how much more improving we need to do! The children who are regular attenders of Covenant Family Church were SO very quiet, even the babies! I am filled with a longing to know "How do they do that?!" People have often asked Paul and myself that question, and I thought we were doing very well. But, yesterday I saw just how much better they could be! And, not only in church worship, but in fellowship at someone's home afterwards!

We were invited to go to Pastor Marcus Serven's home for dinner and fellowship (that's right - they invited over complete strangers!) It was a fabulous time, except that the kids (mostly Nelson) mortified us! Well, it wasn't the kids so much as it was knowing that we were the most immature parents in the bunch.

I long for older women to teach me and train me. Since we started having kids (then added another, and another) friends have been looking to us as a model. That is so much pressure since I myself do not have a model! I have the Bible, and I have books - but no real-life woman.

Paul and I are greatly stirred by what we have seen. Though we are embarrassed to recall how our kids behaved, we were sharpened by the experience. What would it be like to go to that type of church atmosphere every week? The kind people at that church could teach us much about marriage and parenthood!

We are talking about what this may mean for our family... Do we stay where we have been attending, as an example to others (a very poor example at times)? Do we go to another church where we ourselves can be fed and nourished with both the preaching of the Word and with real life living it out? Could God be leading us a new direction in life? Could God be showing us what type of atmosphere Paul may be serving in, in the not-so-near future? So many questions... so few answers.

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