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6:00am the alarm sounds. Opening my sleepy eyes I try to recall how many times the baby woke up last night, while toddler is sounding his battle cry.
Is it worth it today?
The next couple hours are a whirlwind. Not the magical kind. Getting ready, making breakfast, trying not to spill coffee. Setting out two tiny outfits, just hoping they still fit. I can’t find my left shoe and my toddler doesn’t understand why he can’t ride his baby brother like a horse. 100 tantrums later, he still doesn’t understand.
What if we just stayed home and watched a movie?
We take deep breaths and repeat “BE KIND”. After shoes and car seats, we made it in the car on time! But there’s still curlers in my hair and mascara only made it on one eye. Whatever, let’s just go. Key in the ignition and the gas light turns on. Now everyone is crying.
Is it even worth it to go? It might actually be easier to just go back in the house at this point.
Get behind me satan. We make it to the church parking lot a respectable 7 minutes late, now it’s just multiple bags to bring in and two wild banshees to wrangle. Breathe.
Hi, I’m Kim. You might know me as Pastor Josh’s wife. The most popular greeting I get on Sunday morning is “you sure got your hands full!”. And they would be right; my hands are full. I have two sons under the age of two and sometimes a simple day at church feels like an Olympic sport. I’m coming to understand it’s not just me though. The process I described above is what it looks like for a lot of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other brave loved ones who dare to bring little ones to church. Please don’t misunderstand me, friends, I love church! We look forward to it every week. I don’t desire to grumble to you, I merely want to normalize the difficult feat of bringing young kids to church and encourage you as someone who is currently in the trenches with you.
Because the truth is, friend, on this Sunday it would have been much easier to turn on the tv and stay home instead. It would have been easier to cry on the floor with my toddler (like I do sometimes) and forget church. If that’s true, then why bother?
As always nothing is truer than God’s Word, and the Lord has commanded us not to neglect the gathering of His people (Heb 10:25). He makes it clear that we need each other, we need the encouragement of a friend after a hard week (1 Thes 5:11). We need to praise our great God corporately, to lift up His name in honor and adoration (Col 3:16). We need help, the support a church body offers to love our families well (1 Thes 5:14). We need accountability when we fall short, guidance to forgive one another and reconcile (Gal 6:1-5). We need to be with likeminded people who will weep with us when we are hurting, as well as celebrate in our joy (Rom 12:15). We also need to learn from God’s Word, timeless, soul-saving, life-changing truths only offered in the Bible (Rom 15:4; 2 Tim 3:16-17). I am always encouraged to hear stories of other parents who have gone before me and raised godly children.
Many years ago there was a woman of strong faith, both she and her daughter were committed to teach her grandson about Jesus. The little boy, although he likely couldn’t tie his own sandals yet, believed. The Scriptures were his guidebook and he followed the Savior whom he loved to the ends of the earth – working alongside missionaries to pass along his faith to others. You know this little guy, church; his name was Timothy. He was the recipient of 1 and 2 Timothy and in 2 Timothy 3:14-15 Paul wrote to him, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Friends, God is the one who does the saving. God is the one who calls men and women to do great things. But this man’s journey started as a little boy with an adult in his life that cared about his relationship with the Lord. In God’s kindness one child can make an impact on many for Christ, to the praise of His glory.
If I could offer one last bout of honesty to you, brothers and sisters: if you bring a little one to church it might not always be picturesque. You’re going to have to wake up early, carry lots of bags, and shepherd hearts that don’t understand the significance yet. Some weeks you’ll have a hard time getting out the door, l forget to feed them breakfast or lose a shoe. They will be way too loud, sing off key and sometimes throw temper tantrums in the middle of the aisle. *Sigh* that’s how it goes. But that’s okay, their tiny hearts await to hear of a tender, gracious Father. We don’t mind dirty faces or loud voices; they’ll be in good company. So, press on!
Strive to pass on the faith and bravely keep bringing His little children in. I’ll be right there with you, tiny disciples in tote and my hands full just as they should be.
By: Kim Bridges
Office Hours: M-Th 8:30am-4pm