Cheat the Church

I was plagued with the guilt of decision making. Should I stay or should I go? My women’s bible study was having a social last night, a cookie swap for a time to get to know each other. I really wanted to go because I’m new to the group and wanted to hang out with my new friends.

BUT. . . And this is a big BUT. My husband is only home 3 evenings this week. Last night was one of them, and I worked late the previous night.

“What should I do?” I asked my husband.

“I’m cool with whatever you decide,” he replies. Doh! I was secretly hoping he would tell me to stay home, thus I’d be relieved of the responsibility of decision making.

As I prayed about it, the phrase “cheat the church” rang in my head. Andy Stanley coined the phrase in his book Choosing to Cheat: Who Wins When Work and Family Collide? He’s urging pastors that its better to cheat the church than to miss an opportunity to minister to your own family.  There will always be a need, but your kids will only be at home for a season.

So, I decided to cheat the church and stay home with my man and girls. Gone was the guilt for saying no because I knew I had made the right decision. If I went, I would have missed on the fun we had opening goodie boxes sent from our out-of-town relatives.

Ava and Kaitlyn sit in the box of goodies we just received from their grandparents.

Ava and Kaitlyn sit in the box of goodies we just received from their grandparents.

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;  1 Corinthians 1:26

I struggle with signing up for “good” things to do, but that causes me to miss out on the “best” things to do. This verse keeps me in check, to “consider my calling,” and to not major in the minors. For this season in my life, I’m called to be a wife to my husband and a mother to my girls.

Question: How do you say no to good things? Is it a struggle for you like it is for me? Or is it easy? What works for you?

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14 thoughts on “Cheat the Church

  1. Ah yes – that struggle. I always thought it would get easier when my children got older but it really didn’t. It seems like the older they are the less time we have together because of their other activities. I, like you, decided early on that this is a season of my life when I am first called to be a wife and mother. I still am. Now that they are starting to move out I can honestly say I have no regrets missing a study or meeting or gathering because I chose to spend the time with my family.

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