Usually when the Boy Child is concerned, it's really hilarious. I know that makes me a bad mother, but it's true. Because he's always so serious about it and his concern is something like, "I don't know infant CPR!" or "The red in this pen doesn't exactly match real blood and it won't look authentic!" or whatever.
He's a funny kid. He doesn't mean to be always. But he's really funny.
"What does it mean when you know you love God, but you don't like church?"
So. You know. That wasn't exactly expected.
Knowing what to do isn't my strong point. Knowing what to say REALLY isn't my strong point. I was kind of at a loss right that second, so I told him that he wasn't a bad person and Jesus wasn't mad at him or anything, but I'd have to think about it and talk to him later.
He was cool with that. He accepts my failings as a mother rather graciously.
I spent a lot of time thinking about what he said and I realized something that is very hard for me to admit.
I really don't like church either. To be more exact, I really don't like the church we had been attending. For a whole lot of reasons.
None of them were dealbreakers for me, though. Annoyances, yes. I don't like being treated like I'm a huge freak because I have a job and I especially don't like being treated like I have a job because it's cute and I like to help Jason out like the good little wifey that he deserves. I don't like broad assumptions about anything. I don't like offering my talents and gifts and being told that's not what we need. We need you to do something that you consider soul-crushing and if you don't, then you aren't following God's will. I have serious doubts that God's will includes crushing my soul. I just really don't think he swings that way.
I could overlook it though, and did. I like the pastor and I believe his message. And that's what is important, right?
I talked to the kids, both of them, about what they felt were the issues and I got a really big earful. I won't go into the specifics, but they both had very valid reasons for being unhappy.
Then I talked to Jason who is, as I've mentioned before, a really huge fan of Jesus. I was very surprised to find that he was feeling similarly. He was concerned about the kids mostly, but also about what he was feeling and thinking when he was inside the church. It was troubling to him...just didn't feel right. And he was afraid to say anything because he didn't want to be one of those people who just leave for "no reason".
I don't either.
But I look at my kids, who are almost thirteen years old, and I know that unless I do something right now, they may always feel the way they do. I know that when I was around their age I was very involved in my church youth group...Jason was in his too. It was some of the best times of my life and I know Jason feels the same.
We really want that for our kids.
We asked the kids to talk to their friends and find out where they go to church (this is the South, you can totally do that). Yesterday we went to a different church for the first time. One with a really large, really fantastic program for kids the same age as the Boy and the Girl.
And as we walked to the car? The Boy said, "MOM! That was so awesome! I love this church! Can we come back here?"
I'm still struggling with this, mind you. I feel guilt for not being satisfied with good enough. I feel like maybe God is testing me. Maybe I'm not doing what I should be doing.
Or maybe God sent a little Boy to tell me it's time to move on.
I don't know.
Next week we'll go back, though. Because I really loved it too.