Sundays are the only day most people can sleep in. We live hectic, fragmented lives. Everything vies for our attention and there are only so many hours in a day. There are many reasons people give for not attending worship: I used to go, but am too busy; the church is full of hypocrites; I don’t want to push religion down my kid’s throats; I was made to go as a child and that’s why I don’t go now; and, you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian. While all of these may have some validity, it doesn’t take away from the benefits of worshiping together.
We have all heard these rationalizations for not adding worship service to already overbooked schedules, and they are legitimate. However, our schedule is a barometer of our priorities and values. We can say we value family, but how much time is set aside to interact as a family?
Our lives are like a three-legged stool. As long as all the legs are present, sturdy and placed properly, it holds our weight. But if one of them becomes loose, rotted or goes missing, we are off-balance. We begin to wobble a bit, then more, and finally we crash. Our legs are physical, mental and spiritual. If one of these legs is not working properly, we are in for some tough times.
A few benefits for worshiping together have been gleaned from several sources.
Togetherness is a major benefit. It provides a routine, creates traditions and strengthens the bond between members of the family.
Moral Compass It instills morals and ethics. In the 2010 Child Trends’ review it was found that kids from religious backgrounds are less likely to be involved in violence, theft and vandalism or to struggle with substance abuse problems than their peers.
Common Thread throughout all churches is an emphasis on love, charity and faith. Children are often involved in church projects that teach them compassion and volunteerism.
Extended Support System of like-minded people. Your children will have a community of people who love and applaud them. The parents have support from other parents going through the same joys, fears, and doubts of raising children in today’s world. Marriages are often healed by mentoring couples.
Social Skills are learned through Sunday School, sports, and mission projects.
These are just a few of the benefits of families worshiping together. Prime Behavioral Health has counselors that can be one pathway on the road to healthier families, marriages and children. Your place of worship is another. Find a church or synagogue of your choice near you this Sunday (or Saturday) and feel the warmth of togetherness and common goals.
written by Shirley Verhey, LPCC-S