I sat in the back of church today for the first time in a long time. We used to sit in the back all the time when we had small children. Now that they are older, my children want to sit closer to the front. I had forgotten what it was like in the back of church. It is a very different service in the back than in the front.
It can be very stressful to bring your children when they are small. They are squirrely, loud, and can be very disruptive. They not only disrupt the people around them but also your worship. It is so hard to concentrate on the service when you are busy trying to concentrate on keeping them quiet. So why do we go through all that work?
Some days, I’m sure it is a question that fills your brain and makes you think twice about continuing to do it. When you’ve taken your screaming baby out several times already, you start to wonder if its worth even coming back in for the last 10 minutes of church. Perhaps, it’s the toddler who just can’t seem to understand that the pews are not tunnels to climb under and resurface three rows behind you. Each child and sometimes each worship service present new challenges. The amount of sweat that pours from your body and the embarrassment that is flowing just as quickly is making you think twice about coming back.
Yet, we need to. We have to. It is our responsibility and privilege to return. Sure, it doesn’t really seem like a privilege. When our children are young it seems more like a punishment. However, I’m here to tell you that it does get easier. Your children will learn if you keep coming and continue to show your children how important church is. They will learn two things from coming to church regularly. They will learn about their Savior’s love for them and they will learn to love their Savior. Can you think of anything more important for them to learn?
Jesus specifically speaks about children to his disciples in Luke 18: 16 when he said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” God wants his children to learn about him. He also wants us to have the faith of a child. We should all believe without doubt and trust in God completely. Trust and know that God wants your children there with you in church.
Parents out there struggling in church, I feel your pain. It will get better. Don’t give up. Giving up is not an option. Your children need you to show them and teach them. Slowly the struggle will decrease each week. Before you know it they will be showing you where to find the hymns! Your heart will be filled with joy!
Dear God, Please help us to remember the important job you have given us to help us give our children every opportunity they can to know you as their Savior. Give us patience and love to guide them closer to you and in return also grow closer to you. Amen