Several years ago, while living in another city, one of the elders in the church here and this writer were making some calls on some of our members who had become negligent in their attendance with the house of God at the times of worship. As we sat in one home, we listened to a young mother give, as an excuse tor forsaking the assembly of the saints, that her children were unruly, they were difficult to handle, and very noisy, and that it was a source of embarrassment for her to bring them to services. Though this writer had heard these excuses before a hundred times, though he had always gently explained that children can never be expected to learn how to behave themselves in services until they are brought to services, he had never felt that such explanations had gotten the job done. And this also became apparent from the lack of success in getting people to resume attending. And like most preachers, on at least one occasion, this writer assumed that it was his fault and moved because he could not move the people.
But as we sat talking to this young mother, the elder, who had obviously dealt with this kind of problem before and couldn’t move away, very gently asked this young woman one of the most startling questions that this writer had ever heard. He asked, “What if God took your excuse away?” The woman responded immediately by asking what he meant. He explained that she was using her God-given children as an excuse not to do at least a part of the will of God, and he just wondered what she would do if God were to decide that he was no longer going to allow her the privilege of, in effect, blaming Him for her unfaithfulness and just took her children away. The woman was absolutely thunderstruck and so was this writer. She was immediately restored to Christ.
D. Gene West
via Nettleton church of Christ