I clearly remember asking my parents WHY we had to go to church during the summer. I could not understand why, if we were on vacation from school, we couldn’t be on vacation from church!
My mom explained, more than once, “God doesn’t take vacations from us.”
Hebrews 13:5b – God has assured us,
“I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you.”
Matthew 28:20b – “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
Deut.31:6 – “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”
As a child, growing up in a Christian home, my negative feelings about church attendance were not allowed to fester and fester until I didn’t want to attend church ever again. My unhappy opinion was nipped in the bud the moment I voiced it!
“Would you want God to be on vacation if you needed Him?” My mom would cleverly question. No, I didn’t want God to go away- even as a child. That concept was clear.
We attended church, many times each week as a family, and I did have lots of fun once we arrived on the campus. My hesitance had more to do with getting up early – having to shower, have clean hair and pressed clothes in the middle of summer! It wasn’t fun! My temperament was YELLOW even back then!
Looking back, I was so fortunate to have had parents who insisted we attend church- period. Habits that form in a child, tend to adhere like glue.
The few vacations our family took always involved visiting a church where we happened to be on any given Sunday. The “church attendance” habit stuck like glue! Both of my siblings attended church and made it a priority in their families as well.
To be clear, attending church doesn’t get anyone to heaven. It DOES get us familiar with the God of the universe. The more we know Him, the easier it is to fall in love with Him. The more children love the Lord, the easier life will be for them in rough times.
When I wrote Teaching Kids Authentic Worship, the publisher actually chose the title. They didn’t like my working title, “How to Glue a Child to God for Life!!”
However, I still love the glue analogy when talking about what we do to keep kids close to God.
One of the most important suggestions- is to develop habits that will carry them to adulthood!
Habits are a form of “Super” glue! Kids can tell if church attendance is a high priority in their family. Does it get bumped for soccer or baseball? Camping? Disneyland? Vacation?
I especially love churches where an effort is made to change things up, during summer months, in their children’s programs. Surprise kids with a new theme or project during those three months. Vacation Bible School was also a highlight during our break from school.
This glue analogy can be used for prayer and Bible reading as well. The more a person does something, the more likely a habit will form. I have heard it takes 30 days to form or break a habit!
Children are so moldable for things of the Lord. We must wisely use the time we have with them.
At our house, we also have ‘home church’ if someone in the family is sick, or can’t get to church, on any given Sunday. Just singing a few songs, reading some scripture and telling a Bible story impresses on a child the importance of spending time with God.
I was excited to find a plethora of books and ideas for keeping God first place on vacation!
Few people take vacations from the ones they love the most – probably for that very reason. They love them the most and choose to be with them!
How much do we love spending time with God? Lets remember Him during vacations this summer!