Over the past two years, our little church has been blessed with the addition of a number of young families. You know who you are. And in addition to families joining, those young families have been adding to our numbers by adding to their households. All this addition is God’s blessing upon us. God’s blessing on you young families, and His blessing on those of us who are blessed to live alongside you young families.
Now, great blessings are almost always weighty blessings. And so, as parents and as a congregation, we all need to remind ourselves that the extra load created by little ones is the weight of a blessing, not the heaviness of a burden. May God grant us His grace to never confuse the two.
Consider the children in your pew like sacks full of grain seed. In addition to being heavy and difficult to carry, they are also the means by which God has ordained to bring about the greatest growth for you and the greatest blessing for you. That little guy or gal in the pew has the potential for a great harvest.
You must preserve them well; tend them well; cherish and guide them well. Whether God grants you the care of that child only in the womb, as with a miscarriage, or for a lifetime, there is no greater honor than being placed in the charge of an image bearer of the Almighty.
In them, God took care in crafting.
From them, God shall bring generations of the faithful.
To them, God shall hand to the keys of the church.
With them, does the living God dwell.
So, rejoice in the diapers and detritus. Rejoice in the successes and the heartbreak; the skinned knees and the failed homework; the concerts and the competitions. Savor it all. Most of all, rejoice in bringing your children with you into this worship service. Snuggle them tight in the pew. Smile at them with their questions and drawings.
Do they need to be taken to the back from time to time? You bet. Are the acoustics of our church like an indoor pool? Absolutely. Are we ever tempted to find an alternative to children in the service? Not for one hot second.
Here, you offer up not only yourself as a tribute to God, but your whole family. Here, you would not only have God restore and renew you, but your whole family.
There is no better place to raise your children than in the presence of the All-wise, All-loving God, Who calls them His children.
“Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 19:13-14)