Just the other week, after a bit of a crazy morning, my darling son said “Why are Sundays always so … hard?”. He was doing his best to be polite, but he was right. At our house, sometimes Sunday morning can be the most unpredictable of the week. Okay, “sometimes” may be understating it a bit.
If you take your family to church every week, you are no stranger to Sunday Morning Mayhem. Why is it that things can go from molehill to mountain quicker than you can say it on a Sunday morning?
My mother was a wise woman. When Sunday mornings got crazy when I was growing up, she’d remind me: “Megan, don’t let the enemy win.” The enemy? Contrary to what I thought at the time, she didn’t mean whichever brother had just popped into the bathroom right when I was planning on using it, making my fists clench and my attitude sour. She meant The Enemy.
See, God’s told us in the Bible that we need to be meeting with other Christians on a regular basis (Hebrews 10:25). But Satan will do anything to keep us from doing what God wants. And what better way to distract us from worship, Bible teaching and fellowship than to create havoc and bad attitudes through sleeping in, a cranky baby, missing headbands, an empty milk bag, and no clean mugs for coffee. And it’s easy to let him win, even if we do make it to church. We show up rushed, unsettled, unprepared for ministry, and certainly not with a worshipful state of mind.
How can we change that? How can we fight back and not let the enemy win?
Have Clearly Defined Roles.
In our family, I’m the morning person. So, I’m the one who wakes the kids, makes sure they get dressed and fed, and that they get to church. When I was working full time, things were different, but this is the way it works for us now, and it works well (most days). Talk with your spouse about Sunday mornings. Decide who will do what when it comes to not only getting the kids ready, but getting the snow brushed off the car, starting the coffee, who gets the shower first, and who feeds the baby. Knowing in advance which responsibilities belong to whom can completely eliminate the “I thought YOU were going to do that!” we’ve all heard so many times on a Sunday morning.
Choose Clothing On Saturday Night.
Whether your family wears “church clothes” or not, making sure you have enough clean socks and underwear, tights and yes, headbands makes Sunday morning go so much more smoothly. Lay the kids’ clothes out on a chair for them, so that they can get dressed quickly and easily, without having to make too many early- morning decisions.
Don’t Sleep In.
Get up at the same time you wake up Monday to Friday. I know it’s a drag – it is the weekend after all! But prioritizing obedience to God’s Word trumps that. Wake up your kids at the usual time too. Chances are you won’t need to be at church before you would normally be ready for school, so follow your school-morning routine. If you’re ready early, spend that time having an extra cup of coffee, reading with your kids, or simply by having a massive, house- wide game of laser tag. Oh wait, maybe that last one only applies to kids like mine . . .
Have A Quiet Time With God.
Make time to quiet yourself before God, read His Word, and pray that the enemy would not get a foothold in your family today.
You may be tested, and your patience may wear thin when the craziness begins, but whatever you do: “Don’t let the enemy win”. Preparing for the battle and making sure you’re ready for action will go a long way in calming the Sunday Morning Mayhem.