From our guest Lynn Donovan:
Wow my friends, one week passes swiftly. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for welcoming me to your home here on the web. Thank you Courtney for allowing me to be part of your amazing family. I love you!
I remember a time when my daughter said “Mom, I don’t want to go.”
I stood staring at my daughter’s small face glaring back at me with pinched determination, her arms crossed in a defiant stance. In that moment I felt a panic creep up my neck, followed by a twinge of fear; but mostly a great disappointment overwhelmed me.
My daughter was entering into middle school, and for months I’d excitedly expected that she would join the middle school youth group that met on Wednesday nights at church. My mention to her that youth group would be held that evening had brought about this unexpected reply.
I gathered myself.
Later that afternoon, after I ‘d had time to think, I talked with Caitie. I listened to her objections, which were valid. I insisted, however that she give youth group a try. After all, she had yet to attend a meeting. I assured her that it would turn out to be fun. I asked her to commit to attending for the fall season, from the start of the school year through December, and if she still didn’t want to tattend at the end of the year, I would be completely fine with her decision to quit. She agreed.
December arrived. My daughter’s report? “Mom, I’m done.”
I honored my promise and released her from attending youth group. This scenario repeated itself with church camp, Sunday morning youth church and a number of other church youth events. Ugh! How I longed for her to be involved with other teenaged believers, but in our house, it just wasn’t to be.
I will state here, however, that attending church on Sunday morning was never negotiable…
Parenting with love, grace and authority means walking a fine line. Balancing between our desires and our children’s is at times a challenge, and it increases in difficulty as our kids become teens and young adults. For me, continuing to force my daughter to attend youth group would have birthed in her a resentment to all things of faith. I know my daughter well, and for most of her life she has been painfully shy. Her comfort in church on Sunday mornings exists because I’m by her side. Imposing my will on her to make her endure something that she disliked could have developed a hatred in her, leaving a lifelong impact on her adult faith.
I’m humbled to share that my daughter made her choice to enroll this fall at BIOLA University – Bible Institute of Los Angeles – a Christian University.
My friends, I wasn’t a perfect parent. No one is! But I loved my children, I loved my husband, and I loved my Lord God and His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. And that was what I was supposed to do. Love will cover all those questions of doubt and guesses about whether or not I had been enough. The love of Christ fills in the empty spaces, and it’s always enough.
I’m convinced that if we have prayed for our children and have lived out our vibrant faith in front of their eyes day in and day out, our example, our love and the love of Christ will resurface in them later in life.
I acknowledge there is real pain when a child chooses a rebellious and prodigal path. But our first step of action in learning to cope is to acknowledge our pain, disappointment and fear and then to immediately take these thoughts and emotions to God in prayer. Tell God that you are hurt, fearful and heartbroken. Lay your child at the foot of the throne everyday in prayer.
~Excerpt from: Not Alone, Trusting God To Help You Raise Godly Kids In A Spiritually Mismatched Home.*Affiliate link
Precious mother, you are treasured, favored and esteemed in the eyes of God. Your high and noble calling will bring faith to the generations, and your life greatly honors the Lord Jesus Christ.
For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation (Ps. 100:5, NLT).
Thank you for spending time with me. I love you. I really love you.
Thank you Lynn for being a guest here all week long. You have been a huge blessing to me and I have enjoyed your Titus 2 words of wisdom and love. I get many emails asking about the very areas you have addressed this week. I am so grateful for your willingness to tell your story here and give us hope.
Chime In: Have you faced this challenge of a child not wanting to go to church? How did you handle it?