Our pastor has been teaching a series about things. When we hear the number one commandment, "You shall have no other gods before or besides Me" (Exodus 20:3 AMP) we usually think about things. We think about little gold images, or money. I have never before thought about activities or time. I have learned that anything you love more than God, can become your god. Even people! I never thought about this before. Our families can take the place of God in our lives. We have to be careful not to seat our children on the throne of our hearts where God should be.
This is a tricky one. Most people can say without hesitation they love their children with every fiber of their being. We want what's best for them, and usually always want better for them than we had for ourselves. How do you keep into perspective they are blessings given to us by God, for God, not to replace God? The story of Abraham and Isaac is a worship story to learn so that you can come back to it if you ever start feeling like you love your children above all else.
Abraham was very old when God blessed him with a son Isaac. He started to love his son more than, and place him above God. God saw this and tested Abraham. God said, "Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region or Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I will tell you (Genesis 22:2 AMP). Can you imagine? God knew He was being replaced in Abraham's heart. Abraham had to choose who was on the seat of his heart, God, or his son.
Do we allow our children to skip church, or even make us skip church for any reason? Do they have practice for their team? Are they too tired to go? Do they want to go hang out with friends instead? Are you just trying to keep the peace all the time by giving in to them instead of parenting them? Believe me I know all about wanting to keep the peace in a house with a teenager! You have to ask yourself what price you are willing to pay for that. Is that one argument worth your soul?
In this day and age we are all too busy. We are over scheduled and over worked. Even our kids. I will admit I am one of the parents who put their kids into activities to keep them out of trouble, and sometimes it seems like all it did was keep me from ever being home. However they know church is not something we have to pencil in, it is a given. Just as matter of factually as we can say it is Wednesday, we can say it's church day. Things have to be planned around church.
Playing team sports makes this difficult. I can't tell you how many times we have had to get up to attend the early service just to make a soccer tournament later in the day. Being the last morning person on earth, this is difficult for me. I just know it's something I have got to do. Is it hard? Very, but my rewards in heaven will out weigh any minor inconvenience. I know the world will never change the way it runs things for me, a Christian. After all, that has become a bad word. Yes, I am usually the only one with a problem on Wednesday nights.
God should come before everything. If you have a good church, it should not matter how long it takes you to drive there when you move across town. Don't get caught up in convenience. If you really want to eat at the new restaurant, do you ever talk yourself out of it because it's too far? Do you always find time to watch your favorite show, but are too tired to make mid week service? What lessons are you teaching your kids? God comes first except when...
Teaching kids God comes first should be just like teaching them to read and write their ABC's and 123's. It needs to go hand in hand with everything else you tell them. The enemy is working overtime to tell them different. You don't even have to watch questionable shows now to know that; it's all over the commercials now too! No, we can't save our children. They have to make that decision on their own. It is up to us to guide them and lead by example. Yes there will be days when you are sick. Yes there will be family vacations and emergencies. There just can't be excuses. We can't let our children grow up to think God only comes first when its convenient.