February 13, 2015 by Renee Griffin
“Are we going to church today?”
Her question hung in the air between us like a kite caught by a strong wind.
My daughter, around age 5 or 6, had come into the room on a Sunday morning and posed the question very directly. It was of course, Sunday. We had been taking the kids to church somewhat regularly, but not with priority.
I was raised in church. Every time the door was open, we were walking through it. My husband and I had agreed early on that our children would also be raised in church.
Then we began having children.
The first two were born under two years apart, and the second child faced a few medical complications. He had surgery at 10 days old; the first year of his life was challenging.
Between diapers and feedings and all the stuff that comes with babies, it was all we could do to just keep them fed, clean, and alive. Church attendance and involvement was hard.
However, we wanted to leave a legacy of love for the church.
This particular morning, we had no intention of going to church, and I am sure we had a list of “reasons” to stay home. As my little darling’s question lingered between us, I drew in a deep breath as she repeated her inquiry.
“Are we going to church or do you and daddy have other things to do?”
(Insert stammering, sputtering reply.)
As I tried to justify my need to skip church with a very impressive list of demands like laundry, shopping, organizing, relaxing, etc. she gave a simple response.
She turned politely toward her room, and I went back to my very important stuff while trying to shake off the awkward moment.
A bit later, all discomfort forgotten, I heard her talking to someone in her room so I went to check it out. The scene before me sucked the air right out of my lungs.
She was sitting in a tiny chair in the middle of her room with her back to me. The golden curls danced on her shoulders as she spoke and gestured to the crowd at her feet. Her audience of stuffed animals and baby dolls hung on every word of the animated lesson she was teaching. She held her Bible in her hands as she pretended to read to them from its pages.
Even though I knew what was before me, I asked anyway. “Love, what are you doing?”
With a kind, respectful tone she answered, “Since you and daddy won’t take me to church, I’m having church in my room.”
She turned back to the crowd and picked up where she left off.
As she turned, my heart twisted.
The legacy we said we wanted for our children, but so far had only invested slightly was already taking root in our daughter. The Lord had planted a seed of love for His church in her heart.
She was meeting Him on this Sunday right where she was.
As the tears of shame washed over me, I promised the Lord that I would take my children to church.
I would not choose my list over a legacy of faithfulness to His church.
That day, the Griffin household changed.
Two grown-ups repented in the doorway of a little girl’s church.
While we don’t claim any type of perfection where church attendance is concerned, most Sundays you will find us sitting down front of the church that we love. We want to give our children a legacy of love for the Lord and faithfulness to His church.
My story reads of a family who was full of excuses, but now fills the pews.
Exodus 20:6 ”but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
There was a woman sent from God. Her name was Renee.