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To Schedule or Not to Schedule? Part 3

Posted by Matt Postiff July 4, 2017 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Family 

Part 3: Raising Children: The Schedule and Church

Both extremes of scheduling (none or rigid) can lead to families not attending to a more important schedule—that of the church. God commands that we faithfully participate in the ministry of our local church. A parent who raises a child without a schedule may find that the child's normal self-set rhythm does not coincide with the church schedule. I may be overly pessimistic, but the spiritual element of a child's sinfulness, laziness, and Satan's use of any distractions that can be used to keep a family from attending church will contribute to this situation. Some Christian parents have found that Sundays are the worst day of the week in terms of what can go wrong to prevent us from getting to church.

Don't allow your child's schedule to override God's schedule.

On the other hand, a rigid schedule that is set without regard for the church meetings can conflict with God's command for church attendance. If the child's bedtime is 7:30pm, and church doesn't get out until then or later on Wednesday night or Sunday night, well then church has to be disposed of. Thus, the child's schedule, which is not found in Scripture, has overridden God's schedule, which is found in Scripture. Bedtime has become more important than church. Obviously the church shouldn't be purposefully difficult by scheduling meetings at the worst possible times, but reasonable waking-hour times for services are in the purview of the church leadership as it works with the assembly, and should be followed as much as possible by the members of the church who have promised to support the ministry with, among other things, their attendance.

So, to schedule or not to schedule? Yes: schedule, because a child needs structure in order to grow into a normal life that meshes well with the culture in which he or she is being raised. And yes, because a child needs time boundaries to develop his or her moral character. But do not set a rigid schedule. Do not be worried that a child will be ruined if she misses a half-hour of sleep or has to sleep in one day. Teach the child in age-appropriate ways that sometimes sacrificing personal comfort is a necessary part of life.

Part 1 and Part 2.

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