Put Your Own Oxygen Mask On First
“These days, I go to my church for my kids. But I personally find it a bit boring,” is a confession we’ve heard a lot recently as we’ve talked with our fellow parents. And honestly, we get it. Faith doesn’t get any less complicated the longer you’re alive. When we’re honest, we’ve all had seasons where going to church has felt hard, stale, or even painful. Sometimes with good reason, and we would never want to diminish that.
But today on the blog we want to talk about what we’ve learned about parenting when you’re bored with church. Here’s the uncomfortable truth: kids know when you’re bored. They can tell when we drag our feet, or make comments about the “same songs” at worship, or that “predictable” sermon. They’re listening to us, watching us, taking their cues from us whether we like it or not.
“Isn’t that why Sunday school exists though?” you might say, “So that even if I’m in a weird place spiritually, they can still get good spiritual instruction?”
Yes…but also no. Sunday school might do a great job one hour a week, but the rest of the time, we’re the ones speaking truth into our kids’ lives. That’s why we believe it’s so important to find a place as parents where we feel spiritually engaged, because our kids live in the overflow of that engagement.
That’s why it’s not good enough to find a church based solely on if they’ve got a great kids’ programme— it has to speak to us parents too.
Now what we’re NOT saying is that you can’t be a good parent without loving church. Of course we’re not saying that.
But we ARE saying that when it comes to picking out a church, we believe it’s important to “put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others.” It matters if we are being spiritually fed and encouraged regularly. As parents we get so used to putting our own needs on hold for our kids, maybe this is just one more area that we differ to whatever we think makes our kids happy.
We’re learning however (sometimes the hard way!), that what makes kids happy is happy parents. They thrive when we thrive.
It took some of us three years to find a church that felt like a right fit for our family, but we can honestly say we’re so glad we kept looking until we visited one and felt like the Holy Spirit urged us to stay.
How did you find a church home that was right for your family? Do you have similar conversations with your friends? Would love to hear your thoughts!