This was found on Pastor Philip Hoppe’s blog, Meditations of my Heart. Pastor Hoppe serves as pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Ellsworth Kansas. Besides being a pastor, he is husband of one beautiful wife and father to five children.
The Child who Cries in Church Dies in Church
Okay, 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.