Dear parents of babies who cry in church,
Is it odd to say that I’ve missed your children’s noise in church?
Over the past many months of online worship, I have honestly missed that one moment, usually just before communion, when one baby whimpers and the rest follow their lead and break out into wails like a mini choir.
I miss the rustle in the back row and the gurgles and tiny whispers that break through moments of silence.
I know getting your children to church isn’t easy. I’ve enough experience with younger siblings to know that getting even one child up, fed, and clothed early in the morning is exhausting. Packing enough clothes, diapers and snacks to last through two hours of church takes the coordination and speed of an army.
Sunday might be the only day of the week that you have to catch an extra hour of sleep, and yet you spend it waking up early and shepherding your children into the car, hoping for a spare few minutes to dress yourself as well.
And I’m sure trying to keep your baby quiet while focusing on the church service isn’t easy either. Maybe you have to field well-meaning comments and the not-so-well-meaning side eyes and irritated looks from other churchgoers.
But your presence on Sunday morning is an encouragement.
Your presence on Sunday morning is an encouragement
I’m used to hearing concerns about young people abandoning the church, but when I do, I often think of your dedication not only to attend the meeting yourself, but to teach your children that the body of Christ matters. That worship is a priority for your family even when it’s not the most convenient for you.
Taking your children to church doesn’t guarantee their future spiritual state, of course, but it’s an excellent start. In Matthew 21:16, Jesus quotes the Psalm: “From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise.”
The noise of fussy babies and fidgety toddlers is the sound of a growing church, and sometimes I wonder if the most expertly arranged worship song brings as much joy to the Lord.
You also set a wonderful example for late-risers like me. Sometimes, when the alarm on Sunday morning blares too early or I’m tempted to skip church, I think about your faithfulness in attending meetings when you have so many more reasons than I do to skip a meeting. And I know that God honours the sacrifice of your time and energy to fulfil your vocation of training your children in His ways.
So, please know that when your baby fusses during the sermon, or you walk in late because of a last-minute diaper emergency, that God is using you and your kids to encourage His people.
Keep up the good work, and hope to see you (and your kids) in church soon!
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