parent I have had to make some difficult decisions. One of the decisions I
had to make was whether or not to force my children to attend church with
the family. As each became independent they each tried to convince me it
wasn't necessary for them to go to church. I made a rule that everyone who
lived in our home had to attend church.
My oldest son resented
that rule. He went, but he made sure to let everyone know
he didn't like it one bit! He wouldn't sit with us during church. During
Sunday School and during church he either sat with his eyes shut and
pretended to be asleep, or would glare at the teacher or pastor (or me, if
he happened to catch my eye) and grind his jaw. If looks could kill we would
have all been dead with just one look from him!!
the reasons my oldest son had for moving out was because we forced him to go
to church. When I heard that I wondered if I had made a bad decision. (That
was in the bad-old-days before I would pray about decisions I needed to
ended up getting invited to a Bible study by some students at his college.
He went to their Bible study and ended up getting saved (Praise the Lord!)
and going to their church. He called me one day asking me how he would know
he was saved. He had been hearing doctrine preached at the church he was
attending that didn't match up with the things that had been taught in our
church that he had been forced to attend.
We spent long hours discussing
salvation, fruits of the spirit, baptism, and many other topics. He took
scriptures I gave him and began doing a lot of searching on his own. He
discovered he had gotten into a cult that was trying to tell him he wasn't
saved until he was baptized by his "discipler" (the one who led him to the
Lord). The "discipler" wouldn't baptize my son until the "discipler" felt my
son was knowledgeable enough to get saved. (GOOD GRIEF!) My son left that
church. He eventually moved back into our house and resumed going to our
church. That time we didn't have to force him; he went willingly.
people advise against forcing children to attend church. Some are speaking
from their own experience as a child and others from their experience as a
parent. If the Word of God is being spoken in a church it will
enter the hearts and minds of those present.
son, like a sponge, had soaked up the Word of God which was spoken in our
Word entered my son's head and heart despite his unwillingness. The Word of
God is a powerful weapon. Consider the following scriptures describing the
Word of God:
"So shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not
return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it
shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
"For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any
twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit,
and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents
of the heart."