Sibling Rivalry

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.

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12 Comments

  1. Joe Jon
    Posted July 27, 2005 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    Great observation. Our church actually requests that you bring your children in, and just about makes you bring them in once they turn two, if they are not already a part of the service. We truly seek to rear our children as an integral part of the church, not as a distraction until they reach the age of (insert adolescent age here). Were it that all faithful churches did the same.

  2. coffeemamma
    Posted July 27, 2005 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree. This is the reason we have had many seasons where we hardly attended church at all- it was very sad and upsetting, to feel so ‘unwanted’.

  3. coffeemamma
    Posted July 27, 2005 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree. This is the reason we have had many seasons where we hardly attended church at all- it was very sad and upsetting, to feel so ‘unwanted’.

  4. coffeemamma
    Posted July 27, 2005 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree. This is the reason we have had many seasons where we hardly attended church at all- it was very sad and upsetting, to feel so ‘unwanted’.

  5. coffeemamma
    Posted July 27, 2005 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree. This is the reason we have had many seasons where we hardly attended church at all- it was very sad and upsetting, to feel so ‘unwanted’.

  6. coffeemamma
    Posted July 27, 2005 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree. This is the reason we have had many seasons where we hardly attended church at all- it was very sad and upsetting, to feel so ‘unwanted’.

  7. coffeemamma
    Posted July 27, 2005 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree. This is the reason we have had many seasons where we hardly attended church at all- it was very sad and upsetting, to feel so ‘unwanted’.

  8. coffeemamma
    Posted July 27, 2005 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree. This is the reason we have had many seasons where we hardly attended church at all- it was very sad and upsetting, to feel so ‘unwanted’.

  9. tootlepip
    Posted July 27, 2005 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    AMEN SISTER!!!!I do think that we sometimes have forgotten what services are meant for.

  10. B. Durbin
    Posted July 27, 2005 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I go to church in a fairly new building, where the cry room is basically a glassed-in part of the church. We do have a “children’s mass” which gathers and leaves just after the opening prayer, and returns after the Gospel.

    However, nothing is as much fun as a toddler escapee during mass. Up the aisle, down the aisle…

  11. kerri
    Posted July 28, 2005 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Amen! I am so glad to be in a church where the children are part of the congregation, not distractions to be gotten out of the way!

  12. Eric
    Posted July 29, 2005 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Excellent thoughts. I linked to you from here.

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