photo © 2005 Pete | more info (via: Wylio)
We have reached the point in the lives of our kids where there are just so many demands on Sunday mornings. Last year we made a decision not to let them go to parties on Sunday mornings, as not only would it mean they would miss church but that chances are one of us would too. We also tell our 15 year old that if she has sleepovers on Saturdays she needs to be back to come to church. I feel that as a family it is important for us all to attend church together. The kids get great teaching in the kids/youth groups (as do we in the main service) and they have a chance to join together in worship. What's more thay all enjoy it and want to go, for which I am very grateful. At least we are not having to battle them to go.
I also think its important for us to give, as a family, a day to God, but also for each other. As we are all so busy (kids included) it is great to be able to have some family time and doing something together. However it is becoming increasingly hard! The number of kids parties that are held on Sunday mornings now is huge, and practically all the local sports clubs hold their kids sessions on Sunday mornings, which for a sport-mad obsesssed son like ours is hard.
It is funny how things have changed so much in the last 10-15 years or so. I don't think our oldest ever got invited to a party on a Sunday and there were plenty of clubs to be involved in at all times in the week. Sunday seems to have become the day of choice though now. Is that because Saturdays are now so full too that we have to do anything recreational on Sundays? Or maybe because Sunday trading laws are so relaxed that you can buy anything you like now on a Sunday. People actively choose Sundays as gardening/DIY days and all the major stores, in their big retail parks, push this too.
In an era where lots of people do shift work or work odd hours it is of course much more convenient to be able to shop whenever and wherever you like. And in fact I don't think one needs to celebrate the Sabbath actually on the Sabbath. For many it is impossible to do so anyway, so the era of choice is very beneficial to them, but what usually happens is that people don't do it at all, they don't worship and they don't rest either.
Anyway, this Sunday my son has been asked to play in his first cricket match. Starts at 9.30 and finishes at 12 which rules out all local church services! My husband is in the band this weekend so I am on cricket duty. I am really looking forward to this, there is a level of pride in watching your child play their first match and what's more I love cricket. But it is tinged with a sense of guilt too that we are missing church. Not as a one-off but because I fear this may be a can of worms that we are opening.... I am not sure that we shouldn't be sticking to our guns and saying Sundays are out for anything other than church. A friend of ours says that he feels God will be with our kids wherever they are, in church or on the field and what's more they will be a witness for Him too, which I do agree with, but it still feels a bit wrong.
Bottom line, is that for our son (the sport obessesive), he cannot play football, rugby or cricket competitively unless he plays on a Sunday. For some sports even the coaching is on Sunday. For cricket he does all the training but then would not ever be able to play in a match which seems very unfair.