Monday, May 21, 2012

The Battle in the Pews Trenches

By Mark Ray

In my years of preaching I  have had an easy time of it during  worship assemblies because I sit up front. I have missed out on the experiences of wrestling with small children. But I have seen young mothers and fathers work diligently to keep those babies peaceful and content. Sometimes it has even involved Cheerios! These parents are doing a tremendous service to these children, to the church, and to our world by doing their best to raise these little ones in the training and instruction of the Lord.
    To those who fight this battle, we are proud of you. Keep up the good work. The chaos that currently characterizes the assembly for you will not last forever.  And you will have the blessing of   looking back and knowing you made a difference. 
    An anonymous mother put it well:

Has your child ever tossed a doll back two rows during the  services while you wished you were invisible? Or, have you heard the voice of your own little one during  the pause of “Rock of Ages” singing “Jesus Loves  Me” in an off-key? You may have heard, during the interlude of    announcements, a little prayer loudly praying for dogs and cats.
Incidents such as these make one wonder at times, “Why am I here?” No sooner do you sit down that you reach out, get up, pick up, and take out. You want so much to keep your children quiet and not distract others. Everywhere, there are mothers like you.

They pick up toys, dry eyes, wipe noses, and bow heads. They swat, they spank, scold softly, and often wonder, “Why am I here?” But they come: a pattern is being set, and the hand that threw the  doll may someday sow the seed of salvation. Many times we mothers wonder...we sit embarrassed, and often our attention is drawn away    from  the worship.  We have moments of discouragement, but we’re here.

    When you see a young mother at worship, tell her you are glad that she and her family are there. A word of encouragement is in order, for there goes tomorrow’s church and the moral backbone of our society. Many times older people forget how their own children behaved or misbehaved in public. Our hats are off to the mothers and fathers who will bring their children because they desire that they grow up with a strong, enduring faith in God and the Bible.
“The bravest battle that was ever fought, Shall I tell you what or when? On the maps of the world you will not find it. It was fought by the mothers of men.”

- Mark Ray; via The Family Friend, a monthly newsletter published by the Calvert City church of Christ, Calvert City, KY.  It is an excellent resource for articles relating to the family.  To learn more consult the congregation's website:

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