Children in Worship

In my early years, I was quick to offer the advice of Proverbs 23:13-14 concerning unruly children in the worship assembly. More than once, I was advised: “You just wait until you have little ones. You’ll change your tune!” Well, having survived that stage, still singing the same tune. Allow me to offer some advice concerning children in the worship.
First, be thankful for the fact that you have children to accompany you in your worship to God. A two-year-old is a challenge but children are a gift from God (Psalm 127:4-5). Encouragement and example contribute to the development of child who needs to know the importance of worshipping God. We should never undermine parents’ ability, responsibility, and privilege of controlling the child-rearing process (Proverbs 29:17).
Second, don’t be afraid to discipline your child (Proverbs 22:6) understanding it is more than a meeting with the board of education. Share the songbook with them (Colossians 3:16), get them their own Bible so they can look up scriptures with you, and teach them to bow their head, fold their hands, and reverence God in prayer (Luke 11:1). These little efforts impact the lives of your children for an eternity.
Third, if your child does become unruly (and this will happen, Proverbs 22:15), take the opportunity to teach the child that leaving the assembly is not a reward for misbehavior. A trip to the cry-room should be for crying. Corporal punishment, if necessary (Proverbs 29:15), teaches the importance of the worship event and that bad behavior has consequences.
What a great reward for the Christian parent who follows God’s advice in raising their children to see them faithfully attending and participating in the public service to God.
JDS