Parenting

How to Get Your Family Ready for Church Without Losing Your Mind

how to get to church without losing your mind

You know that Lionel Richie song ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning’? Yeah, it lies.

Sunday mornings in our house mean church. Going to church is an important part of our faith and family life. Our family attends the 11:00 service at our church in order to give us time to sleep in, get a little exercise and have a nice breakfast before heading out the door. That sounds like a lovely morning, doesn’t it? Family gathered around the table, eating waffles and singing kumbaya as we peacefully prepare to go to the Lord’s house. Yeah, that’s not what it looks like.

This is what Sunday mornings actually look like in my house.

going to church

My husband or I telling a child 5 times to hurry up and finish their breakfast and get in the bath.

Somebody usually needs something ironed or better yet, they don’t know what to wear so they sit in their room and wait for you to come in and tell them what to wear. Best part of that scenario is they don’t tell us they need help picking out what to wear BECAUSE THEY THINK WE HAVE ESP.

There’s usually a fight between our twins over the bathroom, even though they each have their own sink. Apparently they can’t brush their teeth while the other one is in there? So married life is going to be really fun for them.

By the time we’re trying to get everyone in the car, I’ve yelled at at least 2 people, one of them is usually my husband, somebody asks why we have to go to church every single Sunday and we all get in the car not speaking to each other. Lovely. Jesus would be proud.

getting to church on time
Getting to church is hard work!

Here are a few things that our family started doing to make getting out of the house on Sunday mornings a little easier:

NO PHONES

Our kids would be watching YouTube on their phones while they were eating breakfast, brushing their teeth and putting on their shoes. Insert eyeroll here. When the phone is in their hand, they turn from a human being into a sloth. They move so slowly that dust begins to gather on their head and shoulders. This phenomenon would then cause my husband or I to freak out on them in a way that Jesus would probably not find appropriate.

So the new rule on Sunday morning is that you don’t touch your phone until you’ve eaten breakfast, gotten dressed, brushed your teeth and put your shoes on. The first Sunday that we did this, they were ready for church in 10 minutes. No lie. And I was so happy that I kissed their sweet little teenage faces. Because I realized that I was not the jerk, THEY WERE! They were the reason we yelled on Sunday mornings, the reason we felt like we were losing our minds, the reason we walked into church frazzled and frustrated. It was not because we were terrible people or bad parents. Oh, sweet relief.

PREP WORK

On Saturday night, we make at least 2 of our 3 boys shower. This saves us time in the morning and prevents the argument of ‘Why do I have to shower first, I showered first last time’. Bless their hearts.

We’ve also started having them pick out what they’re going to wear the night before. Two ways this has helped: One, I’m slowly teaching them to pick out their own clothes (things like red and orange don’t go together and no, we don’t wear a Bucs jersey to church). Two, if they need something ironed, my husband can take care of that the night before. (See what I did there, ladies? DELEGATE).

 

PRAYER

I believe that going to church is important for my family. I also believe the devil would prefer if we didn’t and I think it gives him great pleasure to see how difficult Sunday mornings can be. He wants us frustrated and mad at each other. He wants us to think it’s just not worth it. He wants us to STOP GOING. Well, that’s not happening.

So, I pray. Saturday nights, I pray. I pray that Sunday morning would go smoothly, that everyone would be respectful of each other, and that we would treat each other with grace. I pray for patience for my husband and I, with each other and with the kids. I pray that God would honor our humble efforts to do better and that He would stand guard against the devil’s efforts to bring strife into our family.

And you know what, it worked. Since we’ve started doing these 3 things, our Sunday mornings have gotten easier and more pleasant. Now, I’m not saying we don’t still have times where the boys are fighting over who ate the last piece of bacon or someone is sitting on their floor twiddling their thumbs because they can’t find their shoes (Lord, hear my prayer). But in general, our Sunday mornings look a little more Leave it to Beaver and a little less Jerry Springer. And isn’t that all any of us want?

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