Why I Am Thankful I Was Not Raised In Church

There is nothing we can do about the past.  It is history, set in stone and unmovable.  However, there is one thing we can do “with” our past.  Hold on to it and remember where the Lord has brought us from.  Take the past and use it as a testimony of God’s great work and give him the honour and glory he deserves.

Looking back at the last 16 years, I can honestly say that I am thankful that I was not raised in church.  I know, you are thinking, “what!?”  But seriously, I am and there are good reasons that I can make that statement.  First, I would hate to think that I had been raised in church and still have the testimony that I do.  Yes, if I were raised in church, my testimony “could” have been quite different.  One of the problems of raising kids in church is that although they are brought up in the Lord’s house, quite often He is not made prominent in theirs.  That is why there are children all over the world, who were good kids, brought up going to church every service and yet, their lives are complete disasters.

Which is exactly how mine would have been.  I would have been this kid.  How do I know?  I attended a very prominent Christian School in my area from Kindergarten through fourth grade.  In those five years, my parents never once – not once – attended a church service there.  Do you have any idea how confusing that is to a kid?  This would be the reason that I got saved about 12 times from Kindergarten to first grade.  And yes, even though I went to a Christian School, nobody told me that one time is all it takes.  What if I did get saved that day in kindergarten, down on that old brown alter with my teacher?  That would mean that from age 5 to 13, all the sin that I had surrounded myself with and got involved in, I did all that while I was saved.  I claim the date I accepted the Lord as October, 25, 1995, but I guess I’ll never know until I stand in front of Jesus, whether or not that is the “actual” date.

One thing that I can hold on to is that God is merciful to those who don’t know any better.  Yes, the majority of the things in my past, I knew better.  But when it came down to knowing about God and what he expected of me, I was completely ignorant!  I am thankful for Romans 4:15, “Because the law worketh wrath:  for where no law is, there is no transgression.”  Does this mean God overlooked my sins?  Absolutely not, but it does mean that he did not deal as harshly with me, because of my ignorance.  God expects more out of a person who grew up their whole life knowing what he wanted them to do.  A kid who grows up in church, whether it is lived at home or not, is not ignorant to the things of God.  They know better.  This is why it seems like the chastening is so much worse for those who know what God expects from them.

The second reason I say that I’m thankful is my church membership.  My children are growing up with parents who have a good standing in their church (as far as I know – lol – Thank God!).  We are active in church and DO make the Lord the center of our home (or at least try our dead level best).  As they grow, they will listen to their parents talk about church, membership and serving the Lord.  When they become adults, they will already have preconceived notions as to what this means.  I pray that we establish a good ground work with them so that they will continue to serve and love the Lord as adults.

When we started going to our church, I was 19 years old and already married.  I had absolutely no idea what it meant to be a church member or what they were supposed to do.  I was a blank slate member.  No preconceived notions, no expectations to meet, and no judgments to offer on how things were done.  I could fully engulf myself in the church service and not worry about the things going on around me.  There are two great things about Blank Slate Church Members.  Number 1 – they are willing and ready to serve – anywhere!  Number 2 – they are 100% trainable.  I have been blessed to have some of the greatest examples of godly women to learn under.  My knowledge of what a church member is came from them.  How to behave, how to live (at home and at church) and how to serve I learned at the skirt tale of my fellow ladies.  Had I have been raised in church, my thoughts of these women might have been tainted.  I would have thought, “well I know what to do, she does not need to tell me!”  I am thankful that I was teachable and trainable in the ministry.

My girls will also have some of these examples to follow, but now it’s mama’s job to set the standard of a church member for them.  Yes, they will be church kids and eventually active adults in the ministry (Lord Willing – and he is).  But there is absolutely nothing that I can do to change the fact that their mama was not raised that way.  I love to hear testimony from women who were brought up in the admonition of the Lord their whole lives.  They are so pure and well, just lovely to listen to.  This is the testimony I want for my children.  It’s my job to take what I have been given through my life and mold them into the women that I am not.  Train them to serve the Lord and not pass judgement.  To be a Blank Slate Member and learn the “good” from those around them.  To say, “Look here now, mama didn’t do it this way and it caused her a lot of pain!”  Because ultimately, I want to present beautiful and God loving children before the Lord every day of their lives and the only way to do this, is to acknowledge and be Thankful for what the Lord has done with this mama who was not raised in church.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on being raised in church.  Comment below or send me an email and share how growing up or not growing up in church has affected you.

Posted In:  Walking Worthy

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