To You Who Bring Small Children To Church:

The following was seen on a Parish Website:

There you are sitting in worship. Your child or toddler is restless. Perhaps they're even a little rowdy. You try to silence them - and nothing! You try to pacify them with food or toys - and nothing! Eventually, you resort to the last thing you wanted to do: You pick them up and, before a watching audience, you make the march out of the church. And all the while, you're feeling a little embarrassed. Maybe you're a little frustrated too. You might even think to yourself, "There's no point in coming to church. I get nothing out of it because I have to constantly care for my child."

But I want you, mothers and/or fathers, to know just how encouraging you are to so many! The little elderly woman who often feels alone beams with a smile at the sight of you wrestling with your little one. She's been there before. She knows how hard it can be, but she smiles because to hear that brings back precious memories. To see young parents and their small children brightens her day, and she may have just received bad news this week about her health, but seeing the vitality of your young ones removes, if but for a moment, her fears.

The older man who always seems to be grouchy notices you too. He's always talking about how children in this day have no respect or sense of good. But, he sees you, a young family, in church, and you never miss any gathering any week. Like clockwork, he can depend on the sight of you and your young family. You give him hope that maybe the church isn't doomed after all, because there are still young parents who love God enough to bring their restless children to worship.

The family who's unable to have children notice you too. They'd love to be in your shoes, but for whatever reasons, they are unable to bear children. They've thought about adopting, but they're not sure if that's what they want to do or if they will keep on trying to have children of their own. They'd love to talk to you for a little while about the joys of your children. They need you!

Then there's everybody else. Yes, some people will honestly become frustrated by noisy children in church. They have this warped idea and notion that reverence in church must include absolute silence at all times. But relax - it doesn't!

Keep bringing your children to church. If we don't hear little ones crying, the Church is dying. As hard as it might be for you as a parent, keep on doing what you're doing! We love you and your crying children! You are an encouragement to us ….. and you're starting off your children's lives as you should!