It’s more and more common for churches to exclude children from their services these days. They want the children in the nursery, in the cry room, in the training room, at home, or in the children’s church, or anywhere but with the rest of the church family. Mothers of young children adn babies are made to feel guilty if their children so much as peep during the services. They feel like it would be better to stay home sometimes. I don’t agree. I love them there. It saddens me when some of God’s children see their younger siblings as a ‘distraction.’ Worship is not about ourselves. It is about our Heavenly Father.
Imagine how offended you would feel if all of your children came to honor you, say, on Mother’s Day, or for your birthday, and one of the older children complained about his younger sibling’s presence, saying, “I want to spend time with my parent, and I didn’t come here so that I could have that special time interrupted by a whining toddler.” How heartbreaking.
I come to worship my Father with my brethren. That includes the presence of children, about whom Jesus said, “suffer the little children to come untio me and hinder them not.” I have no right to exclude them from the assembly because they distract *me*. If that is the case, I need to think less of myself and more of them, and even more of our mutual Father. It is the Lord’s Day, not mine. If He did not ordain that the children be excluded or isolated or sent elsewhere, I certainly would be out of line to require that of others.
I am not ever offended by a mother having to get up to take her child out. If I am distracted, that is an opportunity for me to practice concentration and focus and charity. I am sometimes annoyed by parents who do not appear to be _trying_ to train their children, but even there, it is an opportunity for me to practice charity, concentration, focus- and perhaps prayer.;-)
Please do not stay home because of something that amounts to sibling rivalry betwixt older believers and children.