Staying Home from Sunday School is Not an Option

Turning to God for answers will become natural and enjoyable for a child as long as the parent establishes clear expectations and habits for learning and growing spiritually. Not to learn CANNOT be an option!

By Caryl W. Krueger

Categories: Family

"My kids don't want to go to Sunday School!" That's a line we parents don't want to hear. But is there something we can do about it? Most certainly, and the Bible will support you in this important endeavor.

Keeping youngsters interested in religion is not a parental option - it's an absolute necessity! Think of the promise in Proverbs (22:6): "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." That's an admonition that ends with a beautiful promise.

The question is, how do we "train up" children in today's challenging world environment? Well, you know where to begin! When stumped, there is nothing better than prayer first, action second. And this prayer should be WITH your children, not just FOR them. Starting each breakfast with prayer sets a standard for the day.

When the kids are young, help them compile a little booklet on how God has helped them. Encourage them to add to it regularly. Daily, at breakfast or dinner, talk about opportunities to pray about problems and get results. Make attendance at Sunday School or church a "given" as long as kids are under your roof. One Dad says, "If you eat here and sleep here, you pray here."

Sometimes teen problems seem overwhelming. Yet, a calm and forgiving approach can often do more than a harangue. The Psalmist reminds us that God too understands: "Bless the Lord, O my soul.....Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; .....who healeth all thy diseases....Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." Psalm 103 is a good response when kids make mistakes, when they prefer junk food, or when they complain of being tired.

Encourage friendships with other Sunday School youngsters, perhaps planning something for Sunday noon and afternoon. Choose a summer camp that is Bible based. And, set a shining example yourself of what God has done for you.

Age has nothing to do with God's goodness. God loves parent and child equally. The Apostle Paul says: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, purity. (I Timothy 4:12). Be sure you are not despising youth - or glorifying your adult wisdom.

Don't give in or give up. Encourage church membership as early as your church rules provide. So often, church membership is a guide to staying on that straight and narrow way. The Apostle Paul was a mentor to the young teen Timothy who received a good religious education from his mother and grandmother. Don't hesitate to involve other relatives in talking about the importance of religious principles in daily life. Paul says to Timothy: ..."continue thou in the things which thou hast learned.....knowing of whom thou hast learned them.....And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise. (II Timothy 3: 14, 15)

Soon you will find that turning to God for answers will become natural and enjoyable for a child. And, that happy day will come when these words from Psalms (145:4) become a reality at your house: "One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts." God's acts are mighty, and working with Him, you can gracefully leap over those supposed stumbling blocks of today's parenting.