Are You “Missing In Action”?

By on February 15, 2015

By Deborah McCarragher−

There’s nothing worse than missing church and feeling guilty. Well, that is what the enemy wants me to focus on.

I have had an unusual situation arise since my husband had back surgery in mid-May.  We have two large dogs that require a morning walk.  Now that we have downsized to a condo, we no longer have a yard to let them out. We have to take them outside on leash and walk for a while. I have created my own monsters by walking them every morning – thus they expect it (weather permitting).  However, my husband cannot physically take them on their walk alone until his back gets stronger.

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So – the enemy has taken great delight in making me feel like a backslidden Christian for missing church for so long. You and I know that is baloney – but it does affect your thinking nonetheless.

My husband generally does not attend church with me.  During my hiatus from my local church I have fallen prey to the idea that I am a bad Christian – a slacker for staying home.  Of course, there have been many instances where I read my devotionals and listened to sermons online, did personal Bible study, or walked and talked to the Lord instead.

My being a Christian has more to do with my mind, my heart and my relationship with my Savior than it does with church attendance.  

I have a personal relationship with Jesus – not religion.  I wrote a Blog post about this subject and you can read it here:   It’s All About a Relationship With Jesus  

Ministering to my husband and meeting his needs right now are more important to me (and certainly to the Lord) than my desire to be in church for my own pleasure and fulfillment. Don’t get me wrong, I worry about staying away from the fold too long.  I don’t want to be complacent about missing the fellowship, Sunday school time, and corporate worship.  My spiritual gifts are needed in my local church.

However, I know that there is a season for everything, and I will make my way back to the flock soon.  I have already signed up for a Ladies Bible Study group starting up in August when school is back in session.  I really miss my woman to woman time in God’s Word with God’s people.

In the meantime, I am struggling to find my own balance between quiet time and husband time.  Since his retirement I have struggled to get into some type of daily routine with the Lord. 

But alas, flexibility is the key to harmony within a spiritually mismatched marriage.  There are many times I just have to go with the flow and plug into Jesus when I can do it.

Here is a brief excerpt from my book MISSION POSSIBLE:

Chapter 6 ~ In the Meantime – Serve

Balance is crucial when it comes to home, church, and work.  Pray that God will prepare their hearts and give you that understanding and favor regarding “God assignments”.  Use spiritual sensitivity  and discernment  when it comes to volunteering yourself for everything that comes your way at church.  

God will affirm to you the “right things to do”, and conversely, He will squelch those things which are “wrong” for you at the time.  You must stay in touch with God on a daily basis through prayer, reading the Word, and the Spirit’s leading in order to know His will for you and your household.   

There were many times I would talk to my husband, asking him if he would mind if I went to a conference, or took a class, or volunteered for a project.  I believe respect went a long way…  He knew if he really didn’t want me to do something (within reason), that I would decline.  However, if God made it clear to me that I “must” do something for Him,  I would risk the flow of harmony in the home and pursue it with gentle love and understanding.

Do you struggle with similar circumstances in your marriage? Do you find yourself reeling in guilt because you missed another church service? Will God understand again this time?

Oh yes… He understands.  He knows your heart’s cry and your deep desires.  He extends His mercy where pain and heaviness reside.  He is ready to infuse you with His Spirit and enfold you in His grace.


Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion. It will encourage and challenge the reader to embrace God’s promises for their spouse and future together.


About Deborah McCarragher

Deborah is the author of a Christian non-fiction book titled “Mission Possible”. It is written for women who love the Lord Jesus, but their spouse doesn’t share their passion. Deborah is also a devotional contributor to the e-magazine "Ruby for Women as well as for "An Encouraging Word" print magazine, which is published by Wisdom's Gate. You can visit her blog at:


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Are You “Missing In Action”?