How I found myself enforcing church attendance
Uh-oh, this looks like trouble!
I suppose it had to happen eventually. I thought I would have a bit longer to prepare for it, but it’s rolled around pretty quickly – last Sunday, elder son decided that he wanted to stay at home with Daddy.
This is where everything goes Bizarro World, through the looking glass and into the Twilight Zone, to mix a few metaphors. My wife doesn’t want to end up dragging him off to church when he doesn’t want to go, and she was prepared to let him stay with me. One week off, if he was feeling like it, wouldn’t be the end of the world, and was less of a risk than turning Sunday mornings into a battleground.
I, on the other hand, was horrified. The very last thing I want is to have my family blaming me for my boys growing up as heathens. This would complicate everything by making me look like a bad influence, leading him astray by holding out the possibility of an alternative on Sundays. That sounds as if my main concern is personal and selfish. I hope it isn’t, and I don’t think it is, but that was the first thing that popped into my head at the time.
Here’s where it gets a bit sticky. Obviously, I don’t mind if he eventually decides on a position that’s more or less the same as mine (whatever it might be that week), but I want him to do it the right way, not on a whim or out of convenience. I wouldn’t be comfortable with him declaring himself an atheist just so that he can have a lie in, for example. Fortunately, he’s still at the age where he’s the one trying to drag us out of bed in the mornings.
But why should church be the default? Why shouldn’t he expect to stay at home and need a good reason to go out and be taught strange things? Because like it or not, it is the default for him now. It’s what he’s always done, and it seems reasonable (if not entirely logical) that he should need a decent reason not to go.
At the heart of all this, once again, is the awkwardness that comes from me having different ideas from my wife. We always used to think the same way, give or take, and there’s no disguising the fact that our growing differences are going to cause some problems. They’re also going to require a whole lot more pragmatic compromises between us.
Image courtesy of nicci, used with permission