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Suggestions for connecting with God on Sundays (or Saturdays) in lieu of church

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

DH is not about to attend church on a weekly basis because he is wiped out from his job during the week and wants to relax on the weekends.  And his way of relaxing is either sleeping, lying down while playing his video games, going off on his own or with friends to do whatever guy things he does, or we all go out as a family.  His personality is also the type to be bored stiff listening to a sermon and sitting in a pew for 2 hours.  He wouldn't really want to read the Bible I'm sure.  He wouldn't really like to do stay at home things unless it has a clear purpose and a clear beginning and end to it, like a project (building a model airplane for example).  He's the type to always want to go outdoors to somewhere, anywhere, as long as it takes him out of the house.

 

He does lead the family bedtime prayer which he says (almost) every night, but that lasts about 1 minute.  He also joins in when we all say a short grace before dinner (like in, speaking Japanese, it'll be, "Kamisama, itadakimasu.")  This is so insufficient in my opinion, especially for the kids' spiritual development!

 

I want us as a family to connect more with God but am wondering how to do it.  DH is not against God, but grew up with no religion, so he doesn't know how to lead spiritually.  He did become Christian as an adult, but then after several personal life experiences, he became more of a "Christian only in name" kind of person.  I know *I* should be the one to pray about this, but I am severely flunking at this.  Instead of being strong, I am being affected by his lack of participation, to the point that, for the past month, being so discouraged, I even stopped going to church myself with the kids.

 

Prayers also appreciated!  Thanks!

post #2 of 15
It is hard to do it all yourself. I am married to an atheist so our children's spiritual education is my responsibility. And, to be honest, it needs to be yours too. Your DH sounds like he is not a practicing Christian at the moment which means that he isn't going to be the spiritual head of your household.

I would suggest that you make a real effort to start going to church again. Try to connect with people there, get the kids interested in Sunday School and look into joining a Bible study group if you have the time. I think this is really important for keeping you motivated and on the right track.

How old are your kids? Mine are 3.5 and 1 and most of their Bible teaching comes in the form of stories and general chat "who made me?" "God made you and you grew in mummy's tummy." "Why is that bird green?" "That's just the way God made it." We also have a CD of kids Christian songs they love singing and dancing too. I feel that this is about right for their ages.

It is hard, I know. Start small and be kind to yourself. And pray as well, you're not doing it alone :-)
post #3 of 15
Quote:

Originally Posted by PeachBaby View Post

 

He's the type to always want to go outdoors to somewhere, anywhere, as long as it takes him out of the house.

 

Prayers also appreciated!  Thanks!


I agree with katelove. You need to take the lead.

 

What I wanted to add is maybe do some worship outside! I love to be with the Lord in the outdoors!

 

Loving Grace Ministries/Wayne Monbleau talks about worship outside. He even has WORSHIP IN THE WOODS. www.lovinggrace.org

 

I will ask the Lord to help you find a group of believers to help you and your children

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for replying and for your prayers and advice!

 

My kids are 2 and 5.

 

Which option do you think would be best?

 

1.  A Thursday worship/fellowship service.  This is the one that the kids and I had been attending.  It doesn't take away from family time with Daddy/DH on the weekends.  It is a convenient time and place for us to go (on the way home from preschool).  But recently I have been getting extremely concerned that the kids are not getting any formal in-depth lessons about God and Jesus and the Bible, etc.  DS just likes to go ONLY for the treats they serve after the service.

 

2.  A children's Sunday class.  Even though it's only 1 hour,.... to get the kids ready, bike it there and bike it back home, and by the time we get home, I'd have to feed the kids again.....  I'd feel like our whole morning is gone (in terms of getting to spend it as family time).

 

3. Sunday service.  I used to attend this one before.  The sermon and everything else is in Japanese so I understand 0% of what is being said.  It sometimes depresses me instead, such that I go in waves of not wanting to go to church, then wanting to go to church, then not, (repeat, repeat).   And same as above about feeling like our whole morning is shot.  This service lasts 2 hours and runs into the afternoon.

 

4. Both children's Sunday class and Sunday service.  This would be a very long day, not just for the kids, but for me as well.  It would drain me out for the rest of the day and then our family time with Daddy/DH would be cut pretty short. 

 

I did have a talk just recently with DH about the kids and their need for spiritual growth and he (NOT enthusiastically) agreed to attend Sunday service with us, but at most only once a month.  I told him, I don't want to force him, so don't go if he really doesn't want to, but by that point he kind of insisted because he knows *I* would like him to and also because, although he himself doesn't want to go, I believe he thinks it is important for the kids to learn about God (he just doesn't want to be the one to do it because he doesn't know how to lead/teach).

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeachBaby View Post
 But recently I have been getting extremely concerned that the kids are not getting any formal in-depth lessons about God and Jesus and the Bible, etc. 

I only have a moment. This stands out to me. So I would make this the biggest part of what you do. I think that having a good teacher for your children A-1.

 

I will come back when I have more time. Also come join us on the Christian mom's thread. We would love to have you :D

post #6 of 15

One thing we do to make sure we are reading the bible everyday is to read the corresponding Proverbs, so tonight we will read chapter 25.

 

We also use catechism for the kids to help to teach them what we believe. We like this one - http://www.christianbook.com/first-book-of-questions-and-answers/carine-mackenzie/9781857925708/pd/92570X?product_redirect=1&Ntt=92570X&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP - it is written from a reformed/presbytarian so depending on what you believe you may find you don't agree with every single answer but I think it is a good basic one. The same author also has some other q&a on different subject like prayer,the church, etc... though I haven't seen them.

 

The Hide Em in YOur Heart CDs by Steve Green are a really easy way to help children memorize scripture. You can find some of them on youtube.

 

I've been told this is really good - http://www.timberdoodle.com/The_Jesus_Storybook_Bible_p/079-179.htm - Our library has this available as an ebook through Overdrive, you might check yours.

 

And I've also been thinking about getting these - http://www.timberdoodle.com/Long_Story_Short_Ten_Minute_Devotions_p/536-536.htm and http://www.timberdoodle.com/Old_Story_New_Ten_Minute_Devotions_p/536-540.htm - they are supposed to take about 10 minutes a day.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggested resources for children, I just looked at a few and already like a couple of them!

 

I mention DH a lot because I am really hoping that we can all spend family time, the four of us, together in some way that brings us closer to God.  I think it is important for the kids to see their father connecting with God too. 

 

The worship outside idea is a great one.  It is something I am trying to get DH interested in.  There is a mountain nearby that we can go to - sometimes we go there to the playground - and there is a hiking trail.  But I imagine, going there week after week will get boring.  Maybe we could do that in the spring time when the weather is best.  I'll still have to think about what we can do for the rest of the seasons.  Any other ideas for places we could go to?  It doesn't have to be literally outdoors, but just so long as we get out of the house (DH doesn't like to be cooped up at home all day).

 

Or maybe even more important, for the places we do go to as a family, what is a good way we can actively remember God throughout our day (instead of getting caught up with the activities and completely forgetting about God)?

post #8 of 15

we make outdoor worship a once a month thing. (Spring/summer/fall) We read & sing something that goes with being outside. Nothing long & very simple. Everyone is so different and you really need to find what works for you.

post #9 of 15
Would it be a possibility for your family to look for another church? It sounds to me like the current church isn't working for anyone in your family. Your DH is bored, your can't understand, and your kids aren't getting anything out of it...
Quite honestly to me church is about fellowship and edification. Due to the new covenant, the man who leads the church (pastor, priest, minister, etc..) is NOT the one responsible to teach you. Yes, he should be confirming the things that you've learned through revelation of the Holy Spirit, and yes its his job to shepherd that flock, but not his job to teach you. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but no one wants to acknowledge that were under a new covenant now, that the word would be written on our hearts and no man would have to teach...
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3LilChunklins View Post

Would it be a possibility for your family to look for another church? It sounds to me like the current church isn't working for anyone in your family. Your DH is bored, your can't understand, and your kids aren't getting anything out of it...
Quite honestly to me church is about fellowship and edification. Due to the new covenant, the man who leads the church (pastor, priest, minister, etc..) is NOT the one responsible to teach you. Yes, he should be confirming the things that you've learned through revelation of the Holy Spirit, and yes its his job to shepherd that flock, but not his job to teach you. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but no one wants to acknowledge that were under a new covenant now, that the word would be written on our hearts and no man would have to teach...

I don't agree with this. I think good bible teaching is a very important part of church. Jesus taught. Paul taught. I don't think ministers have the monopoly or that ordination on its own confers special wisdom or insight but they have the benefit of theological college and, hopefully, the gift of teaching so there should be something to gain. What else are sermons and bible study groups for if not learning and teaching?
post #11 of 15

A person with the gift of teaching is very valuable. That is why it is important to find a good church with elders that are strong in the grace and knowledge of Jesus the Messiah.

post #12 of 15
I didn't say they shouldn't teach, but that what they teach should confirm what the Holy Spirit is already teaching you. If the only understanding you get is from a mere man, you are in trouble. Confirmation through teaching is *very* valuable indeed. But to deny that there is an old *covenant* and new covenant, not testiment, that's not the same thing. If you deny that we are under a new covenant, your basically denying the cross, resurrection, and all that it accomplished. Just because your pastor never taught on it doesn't make it untrue. That's the danger of getting all your understanding from a man. Allow the True Teacher to wash you with the Word.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 is where it talks about this. I'm not typing all of that but I will type 33 & 34. "I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; I will be there God, and they will be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man teach his brother, saying 'know the Lord' for they shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more"
That's not my idea, not my words, that Is God's idea, straight from His Word.
post #13 of 15
Just to clear this up for the OP, I am not in anyway advocating some anti-church movement or anything like that at all. Which is why I suggested that you look for a church where your family is being fed. Just as important though, is what happens at home. Are you praying, digging into the word, leading by example for your children, and allowing the Spirit of Truth to renew your mind...Not really looking for you to answer those, but examine yourself.

Just to once again reiterate, since I seem to have caused confusion, and that is not of God. Pastors and teachers are very important to the body. In fact the word says that they deserve double honor! I just wanted to bring the new covenant to rememberance. While pastors, preachers, and teachers have their place, if we are not depending upon the Teacher that the Father sent us, then we have put our faith in men and not God.
post #14 of 15
Ok, I see what you mean now. Yes, I agree that there is a new covenant and that we can communicate with and learn directly from God through the Holy Spirit :-)

Sorry for taking us off track.
post #15 of 15

PeachBaby- How are you? What happened?

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