Monday, March 7, 2016

A Church Diet for The Family

Photograph by Arthur Rothstein: Library of Congress

Sunday used to be family day. 

 In my childhood home, we would get all dressed up in our best clothes on Sunday morning.  We would hear Dad singing some hymn as he went about the house, preparing for the day.  He would put on his best suit and get his much loved, worn Bible.  Mother would put on a special dress and her pearl necklace.  She had a pretty Bible Dad had given her. I can still see her, in my memories, holding that Bible with a sweet smile on her face as we prepared to go to church.

We children loved that drive to the church, with the family all together.  Dad had worked every weekday. Then on Saturday, he would work on the house and maintain the cars. He would labor in the garage and in the yard. But on Sunday, all of that work was put aside.  It was a day to worship the Lord, and be with the family.

Our social life, as a family, revolved around the church.  We were delighted to see everyone there each week. There were programs to get involved in and plenty of opportunity for ministry.  My sister and I worked in the nursery, were involved in Sunday School, attended youth programs, were members of the choir, and part of the nursing home ministry. We loved this work because we loved the people we went to church with.  Most of all, we loved doing the Lord's work.

After the morning Sunday School and Sunday service, we would go home for lunch.  We always sat at the kitchen table and ate together.  This was normal for all of our meals in those days.  This was a big part of manners and building a bond with one another.

At this time we would rest, perhaps lay down for awhile. No one ever did chores on Sunday (other than basic meal preparation and clean - up).  All of our major housework, laundry and cleaning had been done during the week, along with a big cleaning day on Saturday morning for the weekly work.  Sunday was a free day of real rest and family time.

We would have a light dinner in the early evening, all together.  Then we would head back to church for choir practice and the night service.

Our Sundays were full of Bible reading, prayer, Christian fellowship, rest, and precious family time. This was the common way of life for generations of Americans until recently.

These modern days, we have fallen into step with a corrupt world. Few go to church. Many have dusty Bibles from lack of use.  A great many parents work 7 days a week, from home, or at their jobs. They are less available to their families, with cell phones and computers making more "work" and "productivity" a normal part of a great deal of their time. This has caused a weakening of morals; it has become a destroyer of health; it is a major contributor to the destruction of the family unit.

Yet, there is a solution. . . .  We need a steady church diet . . . We need to stop working on Sunday. This is the most acceptable day of the week to take a break from the hectic pace of modern life.  The churches are open.  The bells ring on Sunday morning to remind us to stop what we are doing, gather up the family, and worship together.

We need to read our Bibles, pray, and be with our families without the interruption of work, chores, or worries.

A Diet is something we do for our health. Sometimes we start a diet thinking it is boring.  We are often forced to begin a healthier way of eating by a physician.  Once we start that diet, we begin to feel better. We establish a routine, and our health and energy improve. It is not long before that "boring food" becomes our favorite and we begin to crave it;  It does amazing things for us.

There is also The Great Physician - We are being warned that our spiritual welfare is in peril.  We need a healthy diet to feed our souls. That first Sunday morning of going to the church will seem boring.  We will think of a great many things we'd rather do. But taking that first baby step of going to church and making it a priority in life will start to heal the soul.

We need to get back to the old paths.  Our parents, our grandparents, and the generations of parents before them, knew the way of peace for the soul. They knew how to keep a family together.  They knew how to nurture the love and unity each household needs.  They knew that Sunday was the Christian family day and they kept faithful to that church diet.  We need to be reminded of their wisdom.

 Today, I am remembering the example of my parents.  I am grateful for all the effort it took for them to take us to church and spend time with us all. They made our family very close by their time and attention.  They taught we children to love the Lord, to love the Bible, and to love the Church. They did this by example. 

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Encouragement - How a Godly Mother May Guide and Imperfect Family.

Lovely Days at Home - The Gentle Art of Homekeeping.

Financial Struggles - How the Old Time Mothers Survived Poverty. 

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 



Laura Lane said...

I agree Mrs. White. I shared it on twitter and google +.
Mrs. Lane

Oh, I like writing that!

Patty B said...

Well said, Mrs. White! It is exactly what the world needs. But I fear the world never goes back to the old ways. I grew up this way, too, and the Sunday family time was very precious to me. Through the years I have tried to be an example to others about how to spend Sunday time, but I am often laughed at and told "nobody lives like that anymore". But I still try to encourage others to adopt more of a Sunday attitude and to trust in the Lord and to walk in His ways.

Paula said...

Such a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing such truth. It is always so inspiring.

Tammy said...

I recently read a story about some Chinese believers, and it described how some had walked fifty (50) miles in order to get to a village where they could hear God's word, and the teacher had traveled equally difficult miles to get to the village to teach. I guess it was more important to them.

living from glory to glory said...

Hello, Yes, I agree wholeheartedly! But the world and families seem to go in another direction. But I will stick with the old ways! But I still think a post like this one still needs to be written and read!
I appreciate this so much, I miss the old ways!
My church family is so very special to me, and a rest after church and a good meal is wonderful!
Blessings, Roxy

Deanna said...

Enjoyed this read. It reminded me so much of my childhood.
Spring blessings to you,

Unknown said...

What a beautiful childhood, and yes what a difference our world would be if every family did this. Mine does well with the church, reading the Bible and family but that resting on Sunday we haven't accomplished yet.

Always Learning said...

I loved that your dad wore a suit and your mom wore a special dress. Now many pastors wear jeans and so do the women as it is too much work to make Sunday a special day and dress up for church.

Stephanie said...

My dear Mrs. White, I love how you said we need a steady church diet... a hearty amen!

It is such a blessing to be able to attend church and we do indeed need that time in the Lord's House.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

JES said...

Thank you for sharing this special message of Sunday/Sabbath worship! I couldn't agree more... Also, I will add that turning of all electronics on that day will also be a blessing. Less distractions and more time for the Lord. Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! This speaks my heart too...

Susan said...

Things are different, aren't they? I purpose to celebrate Sabbath Rest each week. #16 at FrogsLilyPad

Lori said...

AMEN! This week I was able to live stream the meetings from a Pastor's and Worker's Conference in California. Old Time Religion was the theme and boy did those speakers really hit the nail on the head about the new modern way of doing church. One phrase really stuck in my mind - watch and see what these new modern churches are doing in 20 years, they will more than likely not be around. I honestly believe we are coming to a point where these new modern ways will be kicked to the curb and the old ways will be revisited. Thank you for sharing your beautiful memories with Thankful Thursdays.

A Salty Life said...

Congratulations! This post was featured on the link up party this week at So Much at Home. I hope you will come linkup more this week.