For the Mom Who Hasn't Sat Through a Sermon Without Distractions
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"What's the point of going to church?", I thought as I packed up the diaper bag to go to church.
At the time, my oldest was just over 2 and it felt like it'd been 2 years since I'd really sat through a sermon without any distractions.
Going to church to me just meant that I was taking care of my babies at a church. Many weeks I left church thinking, "I had no idea what the sermon was about."
When going to church was so unfruitful, why even go through the hassle of packing everything up and getting everyone in the van?
Why You Should Keep Going to Church
Going to church is not just about listening to a sermon. If that's the sole purpose, one could argue he could do the same at home listening to a sermon on a podcast. The "church" you go to is really just a building. What makes it a church is you and your brothers and sisters in Christ; it's the body of Christ that makes it a church. When you attend a church service, you are reuniting as one body. You are reconnecting with other members within the church body. It gives you opportunities to bond and uplift one another. That is something you don't get when you're just watching John Piper preach on YouTube.
Your kids need to see you put God first. If God is as important as you say it is, your kids need to see you live it out. They need to see you pursue Him even when it's hard. By doing so, you will show them that sometimes in life seeking to know God is not always smooth sailing, but through perseverance, you can rise up above the obstacles.
How to Minimize Distractions
Entrust Your Kids to Sunday School Teachers - I should've sent my oldest to the nursery early on, but it was so hard for me to leave them there when I knew he'd make a scene. Z had (and still does sometimes but he's come a long way) separation anxiety. He'd cry and cry and cry if I left him at the nursery. But for the sake of your spiritual well-being, mama, you just gotta do it. Don't feel bad about making it hard on the Sunday school teachers. Even as a single lady before I got married, I understood that kids just needed to get used to being by themselves. You're not burdening the teachers by leaving your crying kiddos to them. Over time, your kids will be okay spending time away from you.
Bring Snacks & Toys - If the kiddos have to stay with you during the sermon, bring lots of distractions for them. Finger snacks like the Gerber puffs or little crunchies help keep them busy. I also like quiet toys like this wooden puzzle fidget - I like that it fosters creativity. If your kids are older and can work on activity cards by themselves, I suggest these Usborne wipe clean activity cards. They spark creativity and problem-solving skills through games, puzzles and quizzes.
I want to encourage you that this is just a season. You will be able to sit through a sermon and learn from the teaching. Persevere, mama friend. If you can, send your kids to the nursery so you can be fed spiritually. When you are poured into, you can then pour out to your family well.