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Faith in the home

Updated: May 22, 2022

Life is tough. Sometimes we roll with the punches, sometimes the punches come so hard that we find it hard to even get back up. And on those long dark days we still have choices. We can chose to believe that we are victims of our circumstances or we can chose to find strength to just fight.

Those close to us will know we’ve been fighting a long dark fight for many weeks now. I had my heart completely shattered by someone I put all my trust in. We are victims of the CSA and Mental Health systems. My sons anxiety became so heightened that he couldn’t bear to go to school or even leave my side, including nighttime’s, which are still the worst. But I have a choice. I can chose to be angry at God, stomp around and shout or I can run to Him and let Him comfort me in our time of darkness.

Two weeks ago we started our own home church. I’ve been going to church since being days old. And despite a spell in my late teenage years, I’ve pretty much been going every week since. However as a single parent, church can be a struggle. How do you split yourself when all your kids need you? How do you join a house group when they are all in the evening and you can’t get a babysitter? How can you stop judgemental looks and comments from people? There is so much more than churches can do to welcome people on the edge like myself. Just this week I read a damming tweet from a vicar describing people on the edge and I was horrified! But this isn’t the time to talk about those things.

Church is still a great place to be despite all its complications. We decided as a family to start our own home church just for the time being. Traditional church for our little family just isn’t working in this season. But instead of walking away from God and church altogether we decided to create our own space to worship, pray and wrestle with questions that we all have. We each take it in turn to read the Bible and talk about it (the traditional preaching bit, but more conversational), lead worship and pray. The conversations are amazing.

Where do we hold it? Well as I’m sure you might guess we aren’t traditional! Today it was in our PJs at a time that we were all ready. Next week it might be at the beach. The week after it might be in our garden. One of my sons said that the thing he loves about home church the most is that we can create it to fit our needs; not just the space and location but the content as well. Yes there are flaws, but for the moment, this fits our family and that’s the most important thing.

Faith in the family is talked about a lot nationally at the moment. Just this last week General Synod passed the Growing Faith report which amongst other things talks about the need to help empower parents to talk about faith in their own homes. Parents face many challenges as their children grow. A baby doesn’t come with a manual and every single child is different. Just because you had a compliant baby the first time doesn’t mean that the second one will be the same, or worse. As a parent this means that we have to grow with our children; learning on the job, with no one to give you any real training; but lots of people ready to share their wisdom about their own parenting journey. What if we all shared our own spiritual journeys with each other in the same way that we easily share our stories about teething, nappy rash, bedtime routines and teenage angst? What amazing conversations they would be.

You see we all struggle with our faith at times. There are times when we look at the Bible and are just confused about what it says and how it relates to our current walk. Is God really good when we are stuck in our bed with depression, or is He only only good when we have the answers that we need?

Can I just encourage you in your own journey of faith. Include your family on it. Don’t be afraid that you don’t have all the answers to give, you never will. But together you can be stronger in faith. Just this morning my anxiety filled son talked about how David was overlooked by everyone, but God saw him and he beat Goliath because every giant has a weakness. Come on, if that doesn’t fill you with excitement come and see me and walk with us for a while.

Every journey has seasons. Recognise what season you are in and don’t be afraid to be untraditional in your approach to worshipping God.

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