Does this Sunday-morning scenario sound familiar?
You wake up 15 minutes late, then dash about, trying to get ready on time for church. Add to this mix a little hunger, an article of clothing that needs to be ironed, and a missing shoe. Anger rears its ugly head even before you and your family reach the car. Then, when you put the key in the ignition, you discover the gas gauge is on empty!
If you’ve ever found yourself sitting in church with unpleasant thoughts of your spouse swirling through your mind, you’re not alone. I’ve had Sundays where calming my spirit and absorbing the sermon were impossible feats. And if I could have asked God to take my husband, Jim, home right then and there and not feel guilty . . . well, to be honest, I would have put it on my prayer list!
Sunday mornings hold a high risk of relational explosion. And when that happens, too often we end up mentally replaying the entire morning, readying ourselves to pick up where we left off, instead of focusing on the pastor’s message. Some Sundays I’ve had enough steam left over to last me through the drive home.
The problem is, these tensions disconnect our hearts from God. So when your Sunday morning turns tense, try the following positive actions. These might just transform the atmospheric conditions of your car ride and church experience from touchy to peaceful.
- Say a quick prayer once you reach the car. Ask God to calm your hearts and minds to prepare you and your family for what you need to hear in your morning message. Children learn a great deal from a mom and dad who model prayer. And what a great example you’ll provide after a tense start to your morning!
- Slip several worship CDs into your car’s player and crank up the volume. It’s hard to bicker when worship songs about God’s goodness and greatness are playing.
- Hold hands while driving (only if it’s absolutely safe). Or hold hands as you walk into church together and during the service. It’s difficult to remain angry with each other while you’re holding hands.
- Offer a sincere apology to your spouse for being cranky and impatient, along with a promise to work on improving your response to the challenges of Sunday mornings.
- Wake up 15 minutes before your spouse so you’ll have a head start on the morning. Budget time for last-minute ironing and a hunt-and-search mission for any missing shoes!