Jessica Albritton, Family Connections Minister, LHBC

Matthew 19:13-15
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.

On any given Sunday you can find me hanging out in the KidMin hall greeting littles and their parents. I’ll be honest, it’s the highlight of my week getting to see their sweet little faces and welcoming them to class. Children excited to see their teachers and ready to learn lessons about Jesus bring life to that side of the building and I love to be a part of it. My favorite age is between 2 and 4. Kids are walking (running), getting more independent, their personality is starting to shine through, and they are all giddy with anticipation to see their friends and teachers. Kids come barreling down the hall, sticky from their breakfast, many with shoes on the wrong feet and clothes mismatched because they insist on dressing themselves. And then comes mama. Exhausted, chasing after their tiny humans, trying to keep up with their energy. 

For the most part Sundays run pretty smoothly. We have an excellent group of men and women that love the kids so well and teach them about Jesus. We sing and dance, read scripture and talk about God and how they too (even as little as they are) can have a relationship with a Savior who gave His life up for them! But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows down the KidMin hall. Sometimes kids have a hard time going to class, sometimes they are fighting a nap, teething is a big one, or maybe they just didn’t get enough sleep the night before and they are a little frustrated. I have had countless conversations with exhausted mamas talking about how hard it is with littles in tow. Many parents echo the same phrase time and time again, “I’m sorry…” I can’t help but to think of the passage in Matthew 19 when having those conversations. 

In the passage parents bring their children to Jesus for Him to bless them and pray over them. I can only imagine what the scene looked like with an influx of children running to Jesus. Obviously the disciples hadn’t spent much time around children because as soon as the kids got close to Jesus they rebuked the parents and started to send them away. Maybe they were too loud, maybe they were asking for too many goldfish, maybe a few were teething and started to cry. Whatever the situation the disciples took it upon themselves to shut it down. Jesus was a busy man after all, he had no time to deal with loud, sticky, distractible children. Except He did. I love this passage so much because it speaks to the heart of our Savior! He didn’t turn the children away, He welcomed them with open arms and went even further to say that the kingdom of heaven belonged to them! 

Parents, are you exhausted? Is it hard to get your kids out the door on Sunday morning and to the church? Take heart, this is only a season, it will not last forever! There are less than 1000 Sundays between the ages of 0-18 years. That’s less than 1000 opportunities to instill the importance of the church and biblical community. What you are doing is not only hard work, it’s holy work. Bringing your kids to church and to the feet of Jesus is the most vital thing you can do as a parent. Bring them to church. Even when it’s hard, even when they cry, even when there are a million other things on the to-do list. Bring them to church. You are not alone in this. There are people within the walls of the church that are willing and ready to help you from there. It’s a joy to walk alongside parents of kids! This is not a burden you have to carry alone and it’s nothing you have to feel sorry for. When you bring your kids to church you are teaching them that worship is important, you are helping them to build their lifelong Christian community, you are being faithful! Those frustrating days are not wasted! You are doing Kingdom work! 

Heavenly Father, You are so good to us! Whether we are big or small, old or young, You love us! God, thank you for the children! Your word says they are a blessing from You! Lord, help us all to see how sweet they truly are and let us not grow weary of them! Lord, help us to bring them to Your feet, help us to point them to the Savior that loves them, even when it’s hard. In Jesus name, amen!

2 Peter 3:18
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.