Oh who doesn't want a perfect child? I mean, after all this is something the world thinks is necessary to be a good parent. Many will walk by a screaming child at the grocery store, looking disdainfully at the mother of this horrid brat. I mean,really, get your child together!
The other mother, with the super wiggly child in church. They fidget left and right, whispering loudly. Some may look over with nasty stares and looks, trying to make the mother understand their utter distaste at this neglect to reverence in church.
To me, a child's whisper is a joyous thing. Instead of beating them down with a glare, a small smile of affection is so much better. The frazzled mother with a child throwing a temper tantrum..why not give her a look of understanding then disdain?
I was this mother of a wiggly child and a temper tantrum in the store. Why? Because he didn't get what he wanted. Did this mean I was going to give him what he asked to appease him? Not in your life. Did he embarrass the life out of me? You bet. I wanted to just shrivel up and disappear. My wiggly Maddie in church. Bless her. We did have to walk out a few times with firm scoldings, but there were other times, my friends next to me helped me instead. Instead of glaring, they reached inside their stash of kids books and lent Maddie something to distract her. Helping me in my load so I could listen. Parenting is tough and having people judge you makes it even harder. The looks don't help, but only make it worse. You don't know the frazzled feeling that is going on inside a mother. Maybe she's feeling like having a total breakdown because of the week she has had. The load on her shoulders heavy. A church should be like a family, willing to reach out and help. To smile encouraging smiles not grumpy frowns. Let's think about Jesus. Remember that busy day with all those people. The children wanted to see Jesus and to touch Him. The mothers desired to let their children have this wonderful experience with their Savior. The disciples grumpily trying to push them away, no time for children. Jesus is much too busy. What happened next makes my heart know how important children truly are in this world. He beckoned them to come and I imagine they clambered all over him, giggling and laughing. I see Him hugging them close and sharing wonderful stories to them. Some wiggling on His lap, but He just smiles lovingly at them. I could never imagine Jesus frowning. Ever. He shares that we must be like these innocent children to be able to go to heaven someday. To love as they love. If we are like the disciples, discouraging and pushing them away, we will be without a youth someday. For when these kids grow up, they will remember how they were treated. The mothers may not want to come back to church after being so horrified and embarrassed by the way their kids acted and the looks they received. Wouldn't a mother feel a desire to come back if they had the experience I did. Where when my child started squirming too much, a friend reached out to help me. A feeling of gratitude and overwhelming happiness to be there filled inside me. Remember how it is to be a parent and also a child. Let's not be so hard on them that they won't want to be in church someday. Let's show the parents and children what church should be. A warm and welcoming place, with love and kindness...no judgement set before them but only a welcoming embrace. That mother on the grocery aisle. Let her see Gods grace inside you. Maybe a soft chuckle of reassurance that you've been there..anything instead of frowns. Let's help the mother, lift her up,not judge her or criticize her parenting skills.
Let's walk the path Jesus walked, beckoning the children to come...let's not push our youth away but draw them closer. They are our future someday.
Lord,my heart is humbled, and I give up my pride .
I will no longer look down on others or preoccupy myself with being great. Instead, I will be content and at peace with myself, quietly resting in you as a baby rest in his mother's arms, or child secure in his father's love.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”