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10 Bad Assumptions in Raising Children : Assumption Number 10

Posted by Remy on April 20, 2009

There are several assumptions parents make that are detrimental to their children. As a parent who teaches I am afforded the opportunity to spend time thinking of ways to train children. This is not to say that I’ve figured anything out, I have three rascally boys all under the age of five, so what do I know, right? But because it is my job to train children, both as parent and teacher, I know that good thoughts only follow thoughts and I have thoughts. What follows is a few thoughts that strike me as important, but are also not emphasized enough. These are not meant to detract from any other fine advice, but to compliment it.

10. Churchtime is Time to Sit Still and Quiet

 Our most important role is to train our children in the art of worship. We are not thinking man, homo sapien, we are worshipping man, homo adorans. Because of this we head into our church with the goal to raise up our children as faithful worshippers, but we often go about it the wrong way.

 Church is hard for little kids. A view of worship that exalts adulthood tends to be heavy on the rational abilities and thereby leaving children by the wayside. Worship becomes something they can’t do and we bide our time until they can become “real” Christians. Because sitting still is hard for kids, discipline goes up on Sundays, they day of rest becomes the day of beatings, the day of God’s face shining on us becomes the day of stern looks, the day of rejoicing becomes the day of sadness.

 Thankfully, the Lord is merciful and He drives the nails straight that we hit crooked. Often the worst that comes of our efforts is a difficulty in moving from “sit quiet and still” to an engage worshipper. I wonder if there is a better way to do this.

 Rather than emphasizing quiet and still-sitting we should emphasize being happy. I try and point out a key words or names from the sermon, sometimes I’m tapped on the shoulder and told that “he said Moses”. Drawing is an excellent way to get them involved in the service, drawing the action of the sermon or just Jesus fighting dragons. Highfives for good singing should accompany the hymn’s amen, quiet catechisms should exchanged during the liturgical downtime.

 I have seen kids who can sit for hours and yet there’s nothing going on in their head, they’re not engaged, they have learned the art of keeping their head down, bidding their time until freedom. We want to take up our children in worship, because they are necessary part of the people of God, they are our models for entering the kingdom. In worship we only want quiet from the enemy and the avenger, which are shut up by the mouths of infants and toddlers.

2 Responses to “10 Bad Assumptions in Raising Children : Assumption Number 10”

  1. jon paul pope said

    Thanks for this post Remy. I agree with you 100 % and really needed this reminder.

    It’s still difficult at times for me to let my children be “children” during worship. I battle being overbearing on my children during church, mostly because I want them to think of the others around them. I don’t want them to be distractions to their fellow worshipers. But then, then reason I do this is because I assume the worst in my congregation. I assume that the adults surrounding us are petty, that their attention hangs by a spider’s thread. I assume they hate children. This too is sinful–it is both judgmental and personally revealing. Most likely, I’m projecting my own frustrations into others.

    Miles is really doing pretty well in church, but as the other two come up, I’m always open to this kind of creative advice. Thanks!

  2. Remy said

    It’s a fine line to be “bearing” but not “overbearing”. Besides sitting still seems to be a relatively easy lesson to teach, but being engaged and excited to worship, that’s the most important lesson and I don’t want to wait until their eight or nine to begin it.

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