Monday, December 16, 2013

If you take your kids to church - read this.

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Growing up I went to church - every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night.  There wasn't really children's programs on Sunday night and sometimes not on Wednesday nights and then there was the time where I grew too old to go to children's programs on Sunday mornings so I sat in the service.

Now that I have children I think about that.  It was what I knew.  But yet there were sermons that I heard that I probably shouldn't have heard.  Once when I was around 7 I was there with my grandma.  I tried to sleep (she let me sleep on her lap) and the pastor told a story - a horrific one - that was in the news.  Of course he had to detail it.  Of course my seven year old mind could not grasp the horror of it and so I had nightmares for years.

It still haunts me.  It haunted me so long that when the internet came into existence I actually looked up the details of the story to make sure it was real and I hadn't imagined it.   Sadly, it was real.

Why am I telling you this?  Because well meaning Christians who would never let their kids watch a PG-13 movie allow their kids to sit in church with them and listen to sermons that have PG-13 content.

There is a big push now with the Family Integrated Church (Or movement - whatever) to have your kids in service with you.  And that is fine.  I don't care if you have your kids in service with you - but please, please, please screen the content and if it gets too much, get them out of there.

Another thing happened when I was 9 - it was during a Wednesday night AWANA's program and we were in there listening to a tape from the perspective of the child who was being aborted.

WHAT??????????????????????????????????????  I would never let my 9 year old listen to that.  My parents probably did not even know that I did listen to it.

It also shook me up and scared me to death.  I was a fearful child and had nightmares pretty much constantly so none of this helped.

Because of this, I am a much more discerning parent - or at least I try to be and I have vowed that I would walk out of a sermon if they start saying things like that with my kids present.  I also walk out now if it gets political.

Listen, kids don't need to hear that stuff from preachers, they need to hear it from parents in a loving home environment.  Just because it is from the Bible does not mean it is okay for kids.

I also once visited a church and had my kids in service with me (because they were to scared to go to their class).  The pastor started talking about demon possession and I had to run out to take care of my baby and I left the older ones in there for a moment.  Ack!  I wish I wouldn't have and I wish I would have left.  They don't need to hear that.  Not that he was wrong in what he was saying just that it was not for children's ears.

Yes, we will talk about all of those things someday and I will be the one to talk it through with them. 

Kids are quite literally a captive audience.  Think about them as you listen to sermons and teachings.  If it hurts you and makes you uncomfortable then get the kids out of there.  

This has been on my heart lately so I wanted to share it.
 
 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything you said. We are a family that really enjoys having our children sit in church with us, but after a few uncomfortable instances, we decided to give that up. I honestly think some pastors go a little too far in their sermons, divulging details that really aren't necessary or edifying.

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