My daughter was naughty in church yesterday. Like really naughty. She cried for no apparent reason. She yelled “no!” in the whiniest of tones when asked if she wanted her juice. She ran around the sanctuary like it was a track field.
As my husband and I tried to duck out following the service, hanging our heads in embarrassment, a very kind woman approached us and said: “Thank you. Thank you for bringing her to church.”
She went on to tell us that she loves seeing us in church with our daughter. She, a parent herself, knows it isn’t easy, especially at this age, but also knows how very important it is.
(So sweet and innocent, right?)
I have read blog posts about this topic before. Usually they offer encouragement to parents of young children, assuring us that people really don’t mind that much when our children act up.
However, this time it was my rambunctious toddler wreaking havoc on the congregation, my cheeks blushing with embarrassment, my brain wondering if it’s worth it to put ourselves and our fellow church-goers through the mayhem.
It was just the encouragement we needed and it came at the perfect time. It reminds me that by taking our daughter to church our goal is not only to teach her about God’s love, but to involve her in a supportive community, one that wants her there whether she is good or bad, rich or poor, happy or sad.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”