How do you normally spend your Sunday mornings? For some, Sunday mornings revolves around attending a church service and hopefully, a nice brunch afterwards at a local café. For some, however, the thought of having young children among the congregation, for an hour-long church service, is just as bad, if not worse, as a poorly prepared sermon given by a monotone preacher!
Most regular churchgoers know about the babbling toddlers who insist on babbling alongside the preacher’s sermon. It seems no matter where you plant yourself in the church, the babbling toddlers find you and in the next hour or so, you wonder what to do.
Should you try to decipher the preacher’s sermon lesson as your head is uncontrollably nodding itself to sleep or simply give in to the toddler’s distracting babble and try your hand at understanding and translating the toddler dialect instead?
Hmm, as you ponder this great mystery, you may begin to wonder as well; maybe young children belong in the age appropriate children’s church instead?
I say, no! Children should be encouraged to attend Sunday services with their family from an early age. Having children learn patience through “uninteresting” events–no offense to any pastors out there– is lessons that may help to squish the, BUT…BUT… “I thought the world revolved around me,” syndrome!
One may argue, but why not offer an age appropriate Sunday service for the children. I simply have to disagree because this demonstrates to the children that one; you do not ever need to learn to be patient especially if boredom sets in! Second, families really should worship together. I love seeing a whole family take up the entire pew.
I know, you say it is hard to discipline and train kids to sit relatively still and remain relatively quiet. Yikes! As adults, do we sometimes have to practice such atrocities?
Of course, we need these skills and so much more the reason to have children become part of the Sunday church congregation to learn these waiting skills. This may seem unattainable but I know a young couple from church who believes in rearing their children in the church. They have a six-year-old boy, two-year-old girl and less than a year old baby just starting to learn how to stand. Their children do not go over to the nursery or children’s church. Every Sunday they worship together. Both parents actively supervise their children, quietly reprimand the older two if need be and the mom uses the baby sling and breastfeeding method to keep their baby calm.
I am not sure how much of the sermon the parents actually hears to gain any wisdom from it, but it may be just a passing season for them. During this lean winter months, they may find little to nourish their own souls but instinctively feed their growing family first. As the children get older, I suspect the solid foundation built will allow the parents to relax and hear more of the sermon. Once the children grow up and branch out on their own, the parents can finally enjoy the warm and lovely season, summer. In peace.
What do you think?
* * *
Do you feel children should attend Sunday worship with their family instead of an age appropriate children church services?
* * *
Inspiration came from this, Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap.