Monday, December 23, 2013

Parents, Please Remove your Crying Children!

Please take a minute to read this before you go to church in the morning...

We went to a great Christmas concert tonight! Since we were a few minutes late (shocking, I know) we missed the announcement to anyone with babies asking if they would please take them out of the room because the concert was being recorded and apparently they did not want crying babies in the background. Sounds like a good idea, right? Wrong. Think about it this way... That little baby and his/her family may have had to juggle nap times and feedings, fussiness and busy schedules, last minute diaper changes, siblings who can't find their socks or who have emotional meltdowns as they’re walking out the door, phone calls and washed out roads, etc. It may be the only outing of the week for a mom and dad hanging by their last thread. The last thing they need is to be asked to leave when it may have taken them everything they had to get there. 

I never thought about these things before I had children. I never appreciated children. I never even liked being around children. It's not that I disliked children;  I just didn't love them like God does. I didn't really get it. When we are single, our world is pretty much just about us. When we get married, our self-centeredness starts to show its ugly head as we realize that opposites really do attract, and that God uses our differences to sharpen us and make us more complete, more like him. When we have children, all thoughts of self go out the window, and your children are your world - and that's the way it should be. I don't buy the garbage our world tries to feed us that pushes children aside so parents can pursue what they think they need to - always sending them away to play in their rooms or outside, or shuffling them from one sitter to another. 

Why don't we want to hear their voices? Why don't we want to see their smiles? We only have our children for a very short time, on loan from God. We have a huge responsibility to train them up in the love, grace and truth of God's Word. We need to discover (along with them) who God made them to be and encourage them in their uniqueness. We need to instill clear vision and purpose into their lives. We need to be with them to do these things, talking with them, listening to them, doing things with them. If we neglect our responsibilities or pass them off to someone else, our children will walk in darkness and confusion down a path of destruction all their lives.

So, the next time you hear a baby crying in a church service (or other public meeting), if you catch yourself wishing the parents would remove their child from the room, ask God to forgive you and change your heart about those wonderful little creations of His. You might even offer to hold that little one for a few minutes and give those parents a little unexpected blessing!

Photo source:

Guest post by Amy Humphrey, and was not actually a post at all, but just an honest and heartfelt plea that she had written in a Facebook post after attending said concert.  Amy makes lovely handcrafted jewelry and bags that can be found in her Etsy shop and website, U.R. Unique.