Proverbs 22:6 tells us, “Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it.”
For my family, choosing the right path means regularly attending worship and participating in the ministries of our church. It wasn’t always that way. A couple of years ago, we found ourselves making frequent excuses for not getting to FPC: We were too busy with other activities. The kids were tired and needed rest. The drive was too far. (In our defense, we do live about 25 minutes away.) But as we bought ourselves extra free time by skipping church, it didn’t feel right.
When school was about to begin the following September, I declared to my husband and three kids that we were going to make church a priority—worship, Sunday School and youth ministry activities were going on our calendar first, and our other activities and downtime would have to fall around them. At the time, I worried it would be difficult to keep our commitment, but God has richly blessed our desire and efforts to put Him first.
My 5th grader, 7th grader and 11th grader have gained more than I could have imagined from their active involvement in FPC’s Sunday School and youth ministry. The opportunities they’ve had to learn, make friends, lead, act silly, share their talents, serve others, meet cool grownups and grow in their faith have been truly life-changing for them. And there are few greater feelings than worshiping together as a family, which we now do every weekend, although we’re often a few minutes late for the service. (The drive is still far.)
As the start of school and the busyness that comes with it roll around again, we’re recommitting to making church life a nonnegotiable on our family’s hectic calendar. I can’t think of a better investment of our time or better lesson to offer my kids than to put God first. And I pray that in doing that, when my children are older, they will remain on the right path.
Colleen Whitby has been a member of FPC for five years and is currently a YCX leader and a member of The Tangents K group. She is a communications consultant, an avid reader and a semi-reluctant runner. Colleen lives in Wescosville with her husband Dave and their kids Ben, Jon and Meghan.