Monday, October 25, 2010

Sunday Morning Stress: A war for your soul.

How many times has our family been under so much stress on Sunday morning that it would have just been easier to call it quits and go back to bed? I’m embarrassed to say: too many to count. Actually, Sunday isn’t the only day that this could occur, but Sunday seems to be particularly bad because we all know that we should be in peaceful, joyful moods on our way to worship the Lord. It seems hypocritical to be yelling at the family minutes before you are to be studying and worshiping God. I think we could add that it is hypocritical to act one way on Sunday and not on every day of the week.

I have been tempted to give up and not go to church at all, hearing that voice in my head that says, “You are a hypocrite, you shouldn’t go to church until you resolve these issues.” I am reminded of Jesus in the wilderness telling Satan, “Get behind me!” I fervently believe that it is Satan’s lies that are trying to keep me from going. There is nothing he wants more than to stop believers from worshiping and learning about the Almighty.

As with any good lie, it is mixed with truth. Am I a hypocrite? Yes. I know very well that I should not lash out in anger. What makes it hypocritical is that I tell my children not to behave like that and throw temper tantrums, but then I go and do it because things aren’t going my way on Sunday morning. The lie is that because I am a hypocrite and a sinner that I somehow don’t deserve God’s word until I stop the behavior. LIE. LIE. LIE. There is never a time I need it more!

And let’s just say it isn’t me who needs it, it is my husband. Well then move out of my way Satan because I need to not be a stumbling block to my husband. I am his helpmeet. Nothing runs smoothly in this family if he is not right with God. He is our spiritual leader.

One of our family’s biggest stumbling blocks on Sunday, or any day, is lack of preparation. We do not function when the house is a mess, clothes aren’t clean and orderly, or when we don’t have enough rest. It can be all or one, but when those things are not running smoothly, Satan sees his opportunity. My husband and I lose our tempers with each other and/or kids and it is all downhill from there. We then hear that voice, “Stay home.” “Go back to bed.” “You are too tired, just miss this one Sunday, it won’t matter.” “Nobody will miss you anyway.” “You should resolve this argument before you go sit in that pew.”

Thankfully, I can say that we haven’t missed one Sunday because of this to my recollection. We go anyway, in our sin, and we sit and listen and receive God’s word. However, the temptation is there and I want to eliminate the temptation and never give myself a chance to fall victim to it.

So how can I neutralize the enemy’s opportunity?

It is simple isn’t it?  
  1. Get the house picked up (clutter is the main issue not a dirty toilet).
  2. Keep the laundry under control and lay out clothes the night before.
  3. Get a good night’s rest.

 Easier said than done, right?

“So tell us guru, how do we solve this issue?” 
  1. Remember that this is a war for your soul and the souls of your family. There is nothing more that Satan wants than to keep you and God separated by sin. On Saturday night it may be nice to stay up late and watch a movie, but it is far more important that you get to church the next morning and are fully awake and rested so that you can receive God’s word with an open fresh mind. This goes for your children as well. Nothing can put an ugly stain on Sunday morning than a whiny, disobedient kid.
  2. Remember during the week that this is a war for your soul and the souls of your family. Keep the laundry going all week long. 1 load a day, 2 loads a day; it will depend on the size of your family. Whatever it takes to have clean laundry hanging in the closet of every person in the house, do it.
  3. Remember every day, but around here especially on the weekends, that it is every person’s job in the family to keep up with the house work. We often like to pretend that moms, working or stay at home, are there to be the maid. That just isn’t so. Mom holds the right to delegate any task at any time to any person in the family because she is the home manager. If dad is the home manager, then he holds the delegation power. “Submit to one another.”
Overall, just remember whatever your issues are on Sunday getting out the door, there is a war on for your soul. You are a participant regardless of whether you are aware of it or not. If you can’t find the motivation to eliminate those issues which keep you from church on Sunday, focus on it being a war, not a war between you and your loved ones, but a war between God and Satan. Whose side are you on?







As a side note: is a great place to start getting your home and life under control. I read a multitude of blogs about homemaking, but this one is very helpful because you can sign up for a daily email reminder that keeps you on task for the day. If I find myself in a funk, I read the email and just do what it says. Someone else does the thinking and planning and sometimes that is just what I need.


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