Once, Monica and I were talking with a couple who were a little younger than us. Rachel and Jamie were three and one at the time.
This couple had not been attending services like they should have been attending. They had a two year old and, as we were talking with them, they said something to the effect of, “It’s just so hard for us to keep little ‘Joey’ (not his real name) quiet during the services...especially during the sermon.”
I was about to make a witty reply to this comment about the sermons when Monica (who has a fair amount of Italian blood in her) answered their “excuse.” She was very calm and polite (I was proud of her, because I saw in her eyes a “little Italian fire”) in telling them she had a three year old and a one year old that she had to control during the sermon...and she had to do it all by herself as her husband was busy preaching.
Oddly we never had much of a problem keeping Rachel and Jamie quiet during services. Once they were old enough, we taught them how to behave during the worship service. And they were both very aware that if they misbehaved “when Daddy was talking” that Mommy would take them out and then Daddy would take them OUT afterwards…but I never remember this ever actually happening.
I do think that this couple took the hint/instruction. Their attendance improved after this discussion. And “Joey” was never much of a distraction either.
The point is that we are training our children...one way or the other. Either we are training them to understand that attending church services is something we don’t let anything else interfere with or we are training them that attending church services is less important than just about everything else.
Which lesson are your children learning?