This has been weighing on my heart ever since Christmas Eve Mass. We are Catholic and we are raising our kids in the Catholic faith as well. I am struggling right now though.
Every week when Sunday morning rolls around, I have this mental battle of whether I should take the plunge and haul the kids to church or if we should play it safe and just stay home. I have a deep love for the Catholic faith but I also find myself frustrated with it more times than not. For the most part, children of all ages are expected to be quiet and kneel, stand, sit, kneel, etc. just like the adults. There is relatively little conversing between families before or during service as this is a time for reflection. So basically from the minute you walk into the sanctuary until you leave an hour later you and your tiny army you brought with you should have voices off and hands to yourself (mama’s rules).
Now do you see why I struggle every Sunday morning…
I love God, I mean I truly with every ounce in my body love God and I want my children to share that same love for God. I don’t think you can just go to church every Sunday and expect your kids to truly KNOW and LOVE God. It takes hard work at home on the parents part to truly instill those Biblical values. However, I also believe that you need to attend church regularly in order to keep those values instilled. It’s peaceful, it’s humbling, it truly is a sanctuary…until my daughter decides to pull her sisters hair in the middle of Father’s homily all while telling her she smells poopy.
Seriously today in church, a nice older gentlemen tried to shake my daughters hand and said “Peace be with you,” her response…. “No!” and mean mugged him while saying it!
Here’s my struggle…
Evidence has proven that the foundation of a child is built from infancy-5 years old. This foundation is the structure that the rest of their life is built on. For me personally, if I’m building a theoretical house for my children for the rest of their life I want that foundation to be built of purposeful Biblical values but mainly a faith in Jesus Christ. However, right now our church does not start faith-based education until the 1st grade so (6/7 years old). While I do believe that 75% of our children’s teachings of God should come from parents and family in the home setting. I also believe the church has a responsibility to teach our young children specifically during those foundation forming years of 0-5 years old more specifically 2-5 years old.
“Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6
I’m not upset or angered by this, I’m simply concerned and hopeful. I’m concerned we may be doing a disservice to our younger children. But I’m hopeful…I’m hopeful in our church to find the right solution but more so I’m hopeful and trusting in Jesus. He more than anyone wants our children to learn of him and help spread his message and teach his ways so I know that while I may be a concerned conflicted parent on Sunday mornings, I know that Jesus will not let me down or our children go without his teachings.