If you haven’t noticed, our congregation is populated by a goodly number of pint-sized saints. This is a visible evidence of God’s goodness and blessing. Children are indeed a blessing, but a foolish son is like bone cancer. Parents who treat these blessings like burdens, or who crush these blessings with burdens will find they’ve raised fools for children. Parents who receive their children from God & offer them up to God will enjoy the blessing that accompanies such faith-filled parenting.
Part of offering them up to God, is by bringing them with you into the company of saints as we worship God together. Fathers, the task of shepherding your children to participate in worship falls primarily to you. To that end, here are a few reminders for raising your children not only to be present with us here in the worship service, but for them to be a blessed contribution.
Crying children are not unwelcome, but oblivious parents of crying children are like the neighbor in the book of Proverbs who shouts a blessing to his neighbor at 3am. Fathers, take initiative in whisking the pip-squeak out, disciplining them as appropriate for any unruliness.
Don’t think that it’s less spiritual to have missed half the sermon or losing your spot in a song because you were correcting your child. You are coaching them, leading them, training them. Very soon they’ll get the hang of it, and you’ll once again be able to hear the pastor’s very funny joke after his third point.
Talk about church during the week. Ask your children what they learned. Sing together. Practice sitting still & silent, and reward them with jelly-beans. In short, actively parent your kids both here & at home. Don’t grow flustered, but faithfully train your sons & daughters to delight in the worship of the Triune God.
Our culture abhors children. It glares at them on airplanes, calls the murder of the unborn a right, and lets the television raise their offspring. But God’s Word tells us that the Lord has ordained praise from these tiny lips, and from these cries of infants. Many parents grow weary or frustrated with the, at times, slow progress of rearing little children. Parents must go to God for grace to diligently train their children to walk in all His ways, and this congregation must exercise joyful patience in assisting each other in nurturing up these children to love & fear God. May God forgive us as a nation for despising our offspring, and let the people of God demonstrate the great joy and calling that it is to raise up sons & daughters in the grace of our Lord Jesus.