Saturday, October 06, 2007

Let the Little Children Come Unto Me

There seems to be a trend that has happened without us meaning to do it. The separation of church and child. Children have become synonymous with a lack of being able to hear God during bible studies and church services.

I LOVE Sunday school programs and babysitters who entertain the kids. I think there's a place and time for these things. But, I've noticed that some of us moms (myself included) get irritated or drop out of a group if the kids happen to be around in any way. What does that teach our kids? What does that teach us?

The reason I've been mulling this over is two-fold.
1. I've been praying once a week with another mother for 1 1/2 years and we have learned how to commune with the Father despite our 5 kids playing superhero or arguing right next to us.
2. I've known of people to refuse to continue in a bible study because the kids would be playing w/o a sitter.

I know there are kids that can't handle playing or listening during bible study or church and I'm not advocating the abolishment of babysitters and Sunday School. What I am saying is that we shouldn't train ourselves to be unable to hear God when our kids or someone elses kids are present. I'm sure during Christ's sermons there were plenty of kids running around making a ruckus. Maybe that's why the disciples turned the kids away from His presence. Maybe they were sick of all the unruly noise.

I bring this up because there's been a turnaround in my perspective on my kids' presence in church and how they see their parent's spiritual life.

Any thoughts or opinions?


Dancer said...

I think it's also good for the kids to see their parents and other adults engage in prayer, bible study etc. We think they are just playing but then they ask questions later or they tell stories when they are adults of how much it blessed them to see their mom pray everyday. Whenever I sit down to read the Bible, the kids grab a book and sit next to me. They didn't always do that, but it has been modeled to them so now they do it. Kids are always learning, always hearing.

With that said, I don't have problems hearing from God when children are present, but I have problems not playing police and worrying that someone else is disturbed by my children. That's how I get distracted.

karipea said...

Praying to God is similar to having a conversation on the phone (minus the dropped calls, dying batteries, and other technical difficulties or charges). I think there's a misconception among busy moms that prayer must ALWAYS be a shutting away of oneself in a quiet place, as in a closed phone booth, in order to have meaningful dialogue with our Heavenly Father. True, there are times, as modeled by Jesus, that we need to "withdraw to a lonely place to pray" in order to converse with God without distractions. But, in light of the Gospel's call to "pray without ceasing," it seems that most of the time, prayer should be likened to talking by cell phone.
Think about it: how (and where) do we use our cell phones? Often times we dial up our cell phones to have a chat with someone while we're driving, waiting in line, shopping, while the kids are playing in the background, while we're living out the mundane moments of our day. Shouldn't we also be able to have a conversation with God in those times, too? We can pray in all the distraction-filled places that we might be inclined to make a cell phone call, since of course, we have an invitation to converse with the Lord in all places at all time.
All this to say, Moms, let's encourage each other to pray and fellowship IN THE MIDST of mothering, taking advantage of those conference-call "cell phone" moments of prayer. And, let's help each other out by swapping some babysitting when we are in deep need of an undistracted, "phone booth" conversation with God!