My heart goes out to the parents of small children. l 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 man serving communion. To the toddler, church is an exciting adventure. Song books are a challenge to take, stuffed toys make great missiles to launch over four or ﬁve rows, and the collection plate would make a great hat. Young parents take heart! Let me assure you of six things:
1. Your children do not disturb others nearly as much as you think they do.
2. If people without children are detemined to sit at the back (where most small children sit) then they deserve any distraction they get.
3. Most people really do understand your plight and remember back to the days when their children were infants and toddlers.
4. Through proper discipline and early training your children will soon learn how to behave properly. When they do begin to show signs of improvement, move down closer to the front where you and your children will feel a part of the worship.
5. Remember that you are both wanted and needed in the worship service.
6. Have faith that the hand which now hurls crayons will one day spread the seed of the Kingdom.
Church of Christ
Rush Springs, OK
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