Bring Those Babies to Worship
by Jerry W. Carmichael
My heart goes out to the parents of small children. I know first hand the kind of problems they face (and my wife knows even better). Training up a toddler in the way he should go is a constant job, a continuous battle, a seven-day-a-week task, not to mention an awesome responsibility. After six days of their whining chorus at home and three hours of embarrassment while shopping, the last thing some young mothers want to face is an hour of agony and humiliation at church.
Many a young mother has asked herself, “Why do I keep bringing them to church?” As she enters the auditorium she utters a silent prayer that the kids will be good and the sermon short. The service begins. While mother is picking up toys, drying eyes, wiping noses, swatting, scolding, going out, coming in, and trying to sing, listen, and pray, the toddler is pouring juice on her dress and pulling a button off the coat of the man serving communion.
To the toddler, church is an exciting adventure. Song books are a challenge to tame, stuffed toys make great missiles to launch over four or five rows and the collection plate would make a great hat!
Most young couples don’t mind the distractions themselves nearly as much as they worry about distracting others. It seems that all around are the staring, critical eyes of those who raised “perfect” children. As they glare down their noses through pursed lips they seem to be thinking, “When my children were that age they sat still and quiet during church and allowed others to truly worship.” At least, this is what it seems like they are thinking.
Young parents, take heart! Allow me to assure you of five things:
- Your children do not disturb others nearly as much as you think.
- Most people really do understand your plight and remember back to the days when their children were infants and toddlers.
- Through proper discipline and training your children will soon learn how to behave properly.
- Remember that you are both wanted and needed in the worship service.
- Have faith that the hand which now hurls the crayon will one day spread the seed of the kingdom.