I hate Sundays.
There. I’ve said it. Twice in fact. Not sure if this makes me a bad Christian or not, but it’s the truth. I used to enjoy it and look forward to it. Going to church to sing and hear God’s Word taught was one of the best things of the week.
Then I had kids.
Now I dread Sunday mornings. My wife and I get up, knowing that the next 5 or 6 hours are going to be grueling. We wake up the two oldest (7 and 3) who, for some reason, are hardly ever in a good mood on Sunday mornings. We fight with Jeremiah to get him to eat the breakfast that only yesterday he was begging for. Carlos complains his tummy hurts, but in the next breath is sure it will feel better once we get to church and he gets a snack in Sunday School. The youngest two (1 and 2 months) are fed, clothed, and re-clothed after one or both has an eruption out of one end or the other. Between all this, we’re trying to shower and get ready, too. As we rush out the door (already late), Carlos is asking me to help him with his memory verse so that he can get a prize. Not sure why he couldn’t remember during the week, but anyway.
We arrive at church, Carlos is off to his Sunday School class, and my wife takes the three youngest to the nursery where she stays during Sunday School. Off I go to teach my class.
Between S.S. and the church service, I have to discipline Jeremiah for throwing a huge fit because he couldn’t have a snack and this is because he didn’t eat his breakfast. I drop Natalie off kicking and screaming in her nursery, and we all make our way into the sanctuary. We sing a few songs – or at least, part of them as we keep reminding Carlos to turn around or to stand up or keep Jeremiah from falling off the seat he is trying to stand on. The rest of the service goes pretty much the same. Sarah has to go feed Ben and I eventually have to take Jeremiah out (again!) for more disciplining opportunities. By the time the service is done, I’m exhausted and I honestly couldn’t tell you what the sermon was about. I pick Natalie up from the nursery while she lets me know in no uncertain terms she is highly upset at being left in the nursery.
So, yes, I hate Sundays. But this morning, I was greatly encouraged by a couple in our church who I greatly admire and respect, and whose own children are grown now. They had sat behind us in the service and as we were walking out to the van, they said to me, “Stephen, I just want you to know that it does get better. Just remember that right now you are in a training period. You probably can’t stand Sundays and we didn’t either (they DO know what it’s like!!)! Don’t expect to get anything from the sermon, but again, remember that you are training your children and teaching them to hear God’s Word.” I swear, I could have hugged them both! So while Sundays aren’t exactly at the top of my list of most favorite days, it helps to know that, first, others have gone through this and survived (their kids too!). And second, I am fulfilling my role as a father, hard as it may be, to teach my children the importance of church and hearing God’s word being taught.
And on the way home, Carlos asks if we are going to church this evening, too.