How do I handle attending services when there are family outings planned?




I am wondering how to handle getting to church in various situations.  One is when my husband, who is not a Christian, has family functions that we are all expected to attend, i.e.: Easter Sunday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.  My husband usually says I can't go to church because it's too much driving on one day and it wouldn't allow us to get to the his folks on time anyway.  I don't like to cause strife in my family or his, or to make our son feel that I'm the bad person by taking him to church.  (He also likes to play off his Dad on other Sundays and get out of going to church, but that's another topic).  

Another situation is when we go away and there are no church of Christ assemblies anywhere near us.  We have a small cabin that we go to and have wonderful family time but I'm wondering if this is wrong.

You have to examine your life and ask, "What legacy of memories am I leaving behind?" I recently was asked to do a funeral for a woman who was freely acknowledged as being the woman who held the congregation together. The group had gone through several periods where it almost faded away, but this particular woman was such a rock that it eventually began to rebuild and to grow. It was a "different" funeral because while people were sadden that she was no longer there, it was the type of sadness of knowing your best friend was moving across the country. But everyone knew she had gone home, that she was happy, and they were happy for her.

It reminds me of I Peter 3. "In like manner, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; so that, even if any don't obey the Word, they may be won by the behavior of their wives without a word; seeing your pure behavior in fear. Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing; but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God very precious" (I Peter 3:1-4). I've seen women hide from their responsibility by claiming that they are being submissive to their husbands. But in doing so, they have placed their husbands above God. "But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man, and the head of Christ is God" (I Corinthians 11:3). The reason a woman follows her husband is because he is following Christ. Even when a man is not a believer, when he does what Christ wants of him, then joyfully submit to his lead. But if God is first in your life, as he ought to be, then when the demands of family is against what you know is right, then the only response should be doing what needs to be done. No arguments because that tells him that you are open to being persuaded.

For instance, when your husband wants to visit family. I would suggest saying, "Wonderful. I'll meet you there right after services." If he argues that it uses too much gas, the answer is, "That's your choice. I've made mine. Have a safe trip and I'll see you soon." If the place you are going is far, find a nearest congregation and make arrangements to get a ride, borrow the car for a few hours, or get a taxi. Yes, it might be a bit more expensive, but if expense is a problem let your husband know that you are open for options that lets you get to services. There aren't very many places in this country where there isn't some congregation within an hour's drive or so. You might have to attend a service with a group whom you don't totally agree on all issues, but as long as you can worship correctly, it won't matter for a visit.

Even if you don't get your son to go with you to services every time, what do you want him to remember about you when he gets older?

See also:

Questions and Answers regarding Attendance