Why Men Hate Going To Church And Some Gentle And Practical Tips For Helping Him Want To.
By Aaron Waid
If your guy doesn’t want to attend church with you, don’t feel alone (though, of course, that is how it feels!) Women from all walks of life struggle with getting their partner to attend worship with them. According to Pew Research, women attend worship and engage in prayer quite a bit more than men. But you probably don’t need research to prove that.
I personally believe that men are just as interested in topics of faith as women, but like most things in life, they express that interest differently. Sometimes church doesn’t fit into their concept of expression and men struggle with making it a priority. If this sounds like your relationship, and you’d like more insight into why church might not be a higher priority for your guy, keep reading! I’m going to lay out six possible reasons why the man in your life might not be keen on attending worship with you. Then I’ll share a few ideas for meeting them where they are, and hopefully, ways to help them make church a higher priority.
But before we get started, I just want to note that I’m primarily writing this from the perspective that your guy at least considers himself a Christian on some level. If he is openly and honestly not a Christian, then much of this article probably won’t apply to you. Ok – with that being said, let’s get to the list.
Why Men Hate Going To Church
He Thinks Church Is “Your Thing.”
Some couples have a wide range of shared activities in their lives, while others have an eclectic range of friends and interests that don’t necessarily intersect. Although it’s easy to assume that faith and worship are something you should both take part in, the question you should ask yourself is if your guy views your church as something you do and doesn’t see it as an activity to do together. Has worship ever been something you’ve shared together, or are you the one who has introduced church attendance as a possibility in the relationship? Ask yourself if there are ways you might be able to make church a shared experience.
He Doesn’t Care For Your Church’s Worship.
Simply visiting the next church down the street will highlight how different worship experiences can be even within the same town. Has your guy attended worship with you in the past, but since declined every opportunity without much reason? Did he grow up in a church very different than yours? For example, was his church as a child a traditional worship church, but now he doesn’t “get” contemporary worship – or vice versa? I’d encourage you to, at an opportune time, ask him what he honestly thinks about your church. Prayerfully consider how you can be open-minded to the response you receive beforehand. If you love your church, but he doesn’t seem to be responding to it well, what are some steps that you might need to take to find resolution to each person’s concern?
He Doesn’t Want To Spend “Free Time” At Church.
Not every person works a Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job, but Sundays are still undoubtedly the most common day off for many people. Faced with limited downtime, many men fail to see how church is a good use of an otherwise free morning.
Tip: If your guy frequently schedules fun activities while you’re heading to worship, maybe a change in your schedule is in order.
Is there an alternative worship time you could attend? Would helping him plan his schedule throughout the week, with worship attendance as a goal, help him prioritize church a little more?
There Are People At Your Church He Doesn’t Want To See.
Are there people at your church that he’s not gotten along well within the past? Has he had a bad experience previously with the church? Does he think he’s avoiding hurting your feelings by just declining to attend, rather than telling you he just doesn’t want to be there because of something in the past? If you suspect this might be the issue, look for ways to gently bring up the topic and ask his perception of the church. Be willing to listen carefully and with an open mind, even if you disagree.
He Doesn’t Want To Be “Pointed Out.”
Men don’t like being questioned about their decisions – come on, who does? Although it may seem innocent conversation, many men hate hearing, “Hey, haven’t seen YOU in a while!” when they walk into a church. It instantly puts them on the defensive and feeling vulnerable. If your guy is sensitive to those kinds of encounters and you’re aware of it, why not offer some easy entry points? For example, ask him to go to return to church with you, but offer to “sit in the back so we can duck out quickly” afterward for lunch. Although he should meet some of your friends, his first time back in a while might not be the best opportunity.
Tip: If you’re planning to ask your guy back to church with you, and he’s not the ultra-outgoing type, then make it as low-key as possible for the first few opportunities. That will give him some comfortability to build on in the future.
He Had Bad Experiences In Church As A Kid.
Does your guy tell “horror stories” about church growing up where he felt shamed or had a negative experience? Those tales about getting kicked out of youth group, being lectured because of the music he listened in high school, or his family’s confusion when his beloved childhood pastor was suddenly fired, are indicators that he has deep-seated issues with church. Even if he often laughs them off, they are a sign of bigger concerns that he has.
Tip: Look for ways to sensitively discuss his past with church, with no expectations of his attendance with you. Issues like this take time to work through, but it begins with a recognition that they are present.
Do any of these six reasons sound like your guy?
The best way to address the topic is with openness and understanding, and again, you have to be willing to hear what he has to say. You should expect for him to say something negative about your church, because if he were feeling particularly great about it, he’d likely already be attending.
I hope that these six reasons your guy doesn’t want to attend church with are helpful in thinking about the issue. Like us on Facebook or leave a comment below and let us know what you think. Is there a reason your guy doesn’t want to attend church with you that’s completely different than what you see on this list? Let us know!
Do you long for your husband to grow closer to God? Do you long to love him better? If so, then check out these awesome prayers we have written for you to say on behalf of your husband. Prayers to say for your husband
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