The Child who Cries in Church Dies in Church

imageOkay, this phrase will never be as popular as “The Family that Prays Together Stays Together.”  It probably will not be embossed onto artwork at your local Christian bookstore.  It likely will never even find its way onto the top of some organization’s letterhead.

But it is equally as true as the much more popular phrase above.  Oh yes, there are exceptions to every man made axiom, but the general wisdom is true.  And what is the wisdom here?  It is this: people brought to church in infancy are more likely to still be there in their maturity.

Wisdom says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).”

I think way too many people assume that this wisdom only becomes applicable once a child has the mental and vocal faculties needed to understand the content of our faith.  That is not true.  It is relevant from day one of life.  All research reveals that even the youngest of children are learning all the time.  The beginning of their training is gained by observation of the habits of those who care for them.

Many young moms and dad worry about bringing their infants to church because despite their best efforts, the child may break out into loud cries.  And when this practical fear is combined with the satanic lie that infants can not really benefit for being in church anyways, often young parents and their infants remain willfully away for a time from Christ and his Church.  And sadly, those willful choices often become permanent habits for parent and child alike.  An all the while Satan chuckles as how he can use one or two  disapproving looks in the pews combined with a simple misunderstanding to remove people from Christ and his Church.   When this happens, his work seems all too easy.

So young moms and dads, bring your infants into the Lord’s house.  Doing so trains them in the way that they should go.  When they are old, they will not depart from it.  And next time someone gives you that look when your baby is not as quiet as they remember their own being years ago, go up to them after and say, “The Child who Cries in Church Dies in Church.”  They certainly will not know how to respond.   The chuckle can be yours that day.

Tags: , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 29th, 2012 at 1:57 pm and is filed under Marriage and Family, Theology and Practice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 Responses to “The Child who Cries in Church Dies in Church”

  1. Jaime Says:

    I think you may have to explain the idea a little bit. Otherwise, it sounds like your church’s policy on kids in church is “You cry – you die.” 🙂

  2. Jaime Says:

    I think you may have to explain the idea a little bit when you pull that phrase out to random people. Otherwise, it sounds like your church’s policy on kids in church is “You cry – you die.” 🙂

  3. Keturah Says:

    When I saw the headline, I thought you were going to go along Dr. Bertel’s lines from Spiritual Nurture of the Mid-child that the feelings a child has early in church stick. E.g. for a young child, being uncomfortable in clothing = how they feel about church = how they feel about God. But…I think there is tons to say for catching what is happening around you, and that starts from birth. I was fortunate enough to be in a two grade classroom growing up until 4th grade and I was always in the younger class…I learned a ton just eavesdropping.

  4. Philip Hoppe Says:

    Explanation would ruin all the fun though 🙂

  5. kelvi Says:

    did you get your insight to write this article from my youngest child? 🙂

  6. Philip Hoppe Says:

    Kelvi-
    Actually it was this girl named Maria Hoppe at service last night 🙂

  7. Andy Says:

    Great post, Phil. Permission to reprint? Might like to use in our congregational newsletter.

  8. Philip Hoppe Says:

    Andy- Absolutely.

  9. Chris Says:

    Phil,

    I fail to understand why parents should bring their kids to church especially if the kids are deemed “unworthy” of receiving the Mystery of the Eucharist. Why is it denied them? Do infants and children not have need of the nourishment for both bodies and souls. Until Lutheranism and Protestantism as a whole get rid of this idea that the Eucharist is reserved only for certain ages and certain people (provide me the Scriptural bases for those please) at certain times (why not have the Eucharist every Sunday; do people not have the same struggles week in, week out?), then why do you expect the children to be brought? Nourish their souls and the nourishment of the mind will happen in due time.

  10. Philip Hoppe Says:

    Chris-
    Man does not live by Eucharist alone.

  11. Chris Says:

    Phil,

    Nowhere did I suggest such. But as long as LCMS parishes keep denying the life creating mysteries to all of its communicant members regardless of age, the LCMS is intentionally allowing her sick sheep to go on longer without being healed in both soul and body.

  12. Chris Says:

    One clarification–“but as long as LCMS parishes keep denying the life creating mysteries to all of its communicant members regardless of age on a weekly basis…

  13. Rose Says:

    “Many young moms and dad worry about bringing their infants to church because despite their best efforts, the child may break out into loud cries. And when this practical fear is combined with the satanic lie that infants can not really benefit for being in church anyways, often young parents and their infants remain willfully away for a time from Christ and his Church.”

    OR young parents and their children endure persecution at the hands of church leaders and ultimately find a new place to worship where Jesus’ commands regarding children are taken seriously.

Leave a Reply