When Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go To Church


when your child doesn't want to go to church

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!

www.geodun.com

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.

*******************

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.
~Lynn Donovan

Visit me sometime at SpirituallyUnequlMarriage.com & MismatchedAndThriving.com 

 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?

Dear readers – I can’t wait to be back here blogging again next week – until then have a great weekend and…keep walking with the King :) ,
Courtney

Who is the Spiritual Leader in a Mismatched Marriage?

www.geodun.com

Lynn DonovanLynn is back for part 3 of our series:

Who Is a Spiritual Leader?

Our online community at www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com often tackles many of the unique and challenging areas of living in a spiritually mismatched union. One of the common struggles we face has to do with spiritual leadership.

The spiritual direction of our home is monumentally important. We all wrestle with how to handle this issue well. In my own marriage this was an area of great confusion for me. Many difficult questions troubled my mind, such as,

•          Do I wait for my husband to become a believer before setting the tone in our home for prayer and Bible reading?

•          If I take any initiative to teach my kids about faith, will my actions be perceived as disrespecting my husband?

•          Can I be the spiritual leader of our home and yet follow my husband’s lead in other areas of our marriage?

•          Will my kids listen to me if I’m not the head of the household?

•          Does leading spiritually make me the head of the household?

•          Am I up to the task of spiritual leadership all on my own?

Tell me that I haven’t been alone in this! If you, like I have been, are in the midst of this kind of confusion, today I want to set your feet on a path to freedom.

Many years ago I heard this statement:

If your husband is unwilling to lead spiritually or has abdicated his position as the spiritual leader of your home, then God expects you, the believing wife, to step into this role.

Upon hearing this single sentence, I felt the cloud of confusion lift from my soul, and freedom flooded my heart. I will add that if you are raising children as a single parent, God looks to you to step into this role as well. Somehow I guess I needed permission to become the leader for my kids, and it came with those words. What a relief. But how do we step into this role and do it well?

It begins with our motives. The effectiveness of our parenting and successful navigation of our marriage greatly increases when we consistently check our motives. I had to ask myself, “Does my desire for my husband to lead our home come from a place that is me-centered or Christ-centered?”

Let me be specific. Here are some of my thoughts from years past:

•          If only he would believe, he would help me get the kids ready for church.

•          My life would be so much easier if only he was a believer.

•          If he believed, I wouldn’t have to sit with each of the children tonight and pray with them. I wish he’d help.

•          Going to church alone is so embarrassing.

Okay, I know I’m not the only one to have had these kinds of thoughts. But there comes a time when we must move past ourselves and truly focus on what is Christlike. Motives born out of love and humility will move us to wake the kids on Sunday morning and take them to church, even if we must do it alone. Out of a loving heart, you can say to your husband, “Sweetie, watch the television without me for an hour. I’m going to go tuck the kids into bed and say bedtime prayers.”

There are many ways you can build respect for your man and still quietly lead your family closer to Christ. More than anything, I go back to the truth of 1 Peter 3:1: win them over without words. Win your kids, your husband, your friends, your neighbor and a world that is lost and broken. Win them over with your boundless, crazy, passionate, fervent, zealous and adoring love for Jesus. When you love Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, over time it is irresistible to people. And that’s a promise.
~Not Alone, Lynn Donovan & Dineen Miller

CONVERSATION: Have you struggled, wondering do I lead my kids in faith or do I wait?

See you in the comments. Have an amazing day.

*****

Congratulations to Gina M – our winner of Monday’s giveaway (I emailed you)!

Here’s our second giveaway of the week –  1 copy of

not alone 3

Not Alone: 
Trusting God to Help You Raise Godly Kids
in a Spiritually Mismatched Home.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thriving In a Spiritually Mismatched Marriage – Part 2

www.geodun.com

 

Lynn Donovan

Hello House of WLW: Lynn Donovan here again today.  And as promised, let’s jump right into a powerful passage that has absolutely changed my life.  I pray you step into this truth with new understanding and hope.

One verse in particular gives me the greatest comfort as a mother. What is utterly fantastic about this passage is that it is written specifically for those of us who live in a spiritually mismatched home. I’m humbled and thankful to realize that God knew thousands of years ago that there would be marriages such as ours. What relief and freedom this truth brings to my heart. Read it with me from the Message translation:

For the rest of you who are in mixed marriages—Christian married to non-Christian—we have no explicit command from the Master. So this is what you must do. If you are a man with a wife who is not a believer but who still wants to live with you, hold on to her. If you are a woman with a husband who is not a believer but he wants to live with you, hold on to him. The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband. Otherwise, your children would be left out; as it is, they also are included in the spiritual purposes of God (1 Cor. 7:12-14, THE MESSAGE, emphasis added).

for clarification:

{in the KJV verse 14 reads as: 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

in the NIV verse 14 reads as: 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

in the ESV verse 14 reas as: 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.}

I’m learning that when we as believers love Jesus and walk in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit, we impact our environment. And, in fact, we bring God’s will and purposes into our lives and into the lives of our children. The living presence of God within us becomes so powerful that, Paul tells us, through the believing spouse every member in the home is sanctified. The living presence of God is so contagious, so powerful, that it creates an umbrella of safety over anyone who comes into that environment.

My friends, we as believers are uniquely positioned to release the purposes, the love and the very power of God into our children’s lives. Our kids are then included in God’s plans for their lives. They are sanctified—set apart as holy unto the Lord. They belong to the Lord. When we grasp this truth, praying with faith through the Holy Spirit for our kids, we need not live in fear for their salvation. Our love, our example, our Jesus is always enough. I believe this promise for my children’s future and for their eternity.

~an excerpt from Not Alone, Trusting God To Help You Raise Godly Kids In A Spiritually Mismatched Marriage by Lynn Donovan & Dineen Miller

**************

Wow…… just WOW!  Today let the truth of this passage roar in your spirit. Your faith covers your home. This was a paradigm shift in my thinking and changed how I approached spiritual warfare for my kids and husband. My holiness covers them. They are under the love umbrella of God because an ordinary wife lives with Jesus in her heart and home.

Never doubt that God hears our prayers - lynn

On Thursday I tackle this question: Who Is A Spiritual Leader? See you then. Have an amazing day today.

Lord, let this passage bring freedom to every woman here today. Let the truth and the power that comes with your living and active Word permeate every place in her heart and home. I ask that the Holy Spirit would prove the truth of how the prayers of a righteous mama availeth much. In Jesus name. Amen.

CONVERSATION: Do you worry about your children’s salvation?  What are your thoughts about this passage above (1 Corinthians 7:12-14)?

Love and hugs,

Lynn,  www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Thriving in a Spiritually Mismatched Marriage – Part 1 {& a Giveaway!}

www.geodun.com

 

Hello Family of Women Living Well!

Lynn Donovan

My name is Lynn Donovan and I’m joining your community this week while Courtney is vacationing. I met Courtney years ago as a sister blogger. She is the bomb! And I love her book. She and I connected a few months ago as I was reading her book and I asked her to read my recent book. We both have a heart filled with love for Jesus and for wives and moms.

So, I hope you will sit with me for a few minutes, a couple of days this week while she is away as I share a story that I pray leaves you filled with a fresh encounter with Jesus. Thank you for welcoming me to your House: Women Living Well.

My friends, my story is about a Prodigal child – me (Luke 15:11-31). I fled my childhood Sunday school days in my twenties. I left my loving Father for all the promises the world said were mine. I met my husband in these dark years and we fell in love. We were married and for the first three years everything was fine. But the world’s lure proved shallow, unkind and untrue. I heard my faithful Father calling in the distance and He wooed me.

I went running home into the arms of my Papa and was thrilled to once again have a relationship with God. But, I ran home dragging my unbelieving spouse behind me kicking and screaming all the way. To say that my husband was unhappy about this new “Man” in my life, was a serious understatement.

I am unequally yoked.

There are many women such as me who sit alone week after week in church. There are women who are married to men who say they believe and yet they are also like me, living in a spiritually mismatched marriage.

My journey has been a crazy adventure, filled with loneliness at times as my husband and I view life through two different world views. On this journey I’ve had to face fears over my children’s salvation. And attending church alone as well as wanting to be a “normal” couple and the most difficult, the rejection of my faith by my best friend on earth.

But don’t feel sad for me….  Because I serve the risen Savior and through His love and power, I have discovered that the unequally yoked can truly thrive while living with an unbeliever. We can grow in our faith, love and respect our spouse, raise our children to a vibrant faith, and walk in the Presence of the Most High.

Throughout this week I want to share what I’ve learned on this 22 year adventure. I will tell you that by the grace of God my husband is fully supportive of my ministry and he encourages me to help others who are also spiritually mismatched. I call that a “Way cool God thing.”

For today I want to leave you with a powerful scripture that changed everything about my marriage.

(Jesus) answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Mark 12:30,31)

When you love God, His Son and the Spirit with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength you are transformed. Your mind is transformed and then disappointment and bitterness no longer has influence in your life. You discover an unending joy bubbles out of you, flowing onto your husband and your children. This kind of love transforms a heart, heals a body, restores a marriage, and leads little ones to faith.

I had to remove my eyes and expectations from my human husband. And place all of my hopes upon Christ. When I did this our marriage moved into THRIVING. My husband found freedom to discover God in his own way without my manipulation and I found my expectations were replaced by God explanations. I was transformed by the love of God.

It’s a miracle! Woo Hoo!!!!

Tomorrow I have another passage that will Blow Your Mind. It’s a promise that an ordinary woman, an ordinary mom, CAN change the atmosphere when she walks into a room.

I love you my friends. Have a triumphant day in His Presence. Remember:

A man can ignore a nagging wife, but he can't ignore the truth of a transformed life.

With love and affection, Hugs, Lynn
www.spirituallyunequalmarriage.com

Jesus. Let Your Holy Presence reign in this House. Today I ask for a powerful anointing to fill each heart, each soul. Let Your Holy Word go out and change the world through ordinary women. Lord, let us be carriers of your love. Let us walk into our homes and because we are anointed with your Holy Spirit, we change the atmosphere. Let love flood our kitchens. Let our grace and goodness pour over our children in such a tangible way that they see Your eyes. This week Jesus there are many who will come to this house to read. Place upon them wisdom, healing, a fresh anointing of hope. Lord, let us be the ordinary women who bring faith, hope and love to our homes, our communities and to a world that is desperately in need of a Savior. In Your powerful name, Jesus. Amen.

CONVERSATION: Today, if you are unequally yoked or you know someone who is unequally yoked, leave me a quick comment and I will pray for you.

Also, enter to win a copy of my book, Winning Him Without Words below:

winning him

a Rafflecopter giveaway