When Parents Disagree About Church
Marriage is such a gift from God, and children are our greatest reward. While we treasure our families, we all face things that challenge our unity. A struggle many families encounter is when only one spouse goes to church. This circumstance could be due to a number of reasons, whether it be a dislike of organized religion, different beliefs, jobs, or past hurts. Whatever the reason, this home dynamic can have an impact on our marriages and children.
In every marriage, we will have difficulties and disagreements, but Ephesians 4:2 says, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.” This Scripture is full of wisdom and leads us with tremendous advice. If we are always humble, gentle, and patient with each other, our homes will be more joyful and peaceful. Following Jesus and attending church regularly is wonderful, but none of us are without fault.
The Bible also teaches in 1 Corinthians 7, that an unbelieving wife may be drawn to believing because of her husband’s faith and that likewise, an unbelieving husband may choose Jesus because of the faith and example of his wife. It’s important, as someone who follows Jesus and has chosen to participate in church, to love your spouse like Jesus does–deeply and without judgement. It is also important to pray for your spouse continuously–and always keep an unforceful, but open, invitation for your spouse to join you at church.
For spouses who don’t attend church, be encouraged to allow your children to be involved alongside their other parent. Consider the benefits of the opportunity for them to experience God in this way and also the cost of not having that option. Keeping an open mind and joining your family at church from time to time, especially for holidays, can demonstrate value to them and bring unity and life to both your marriage and family. When spouses are engaged in what each other loves to do together, marriages–thus families–are strengthened. ■