Taking Kids To Church

We sat on the very back row. Kim on one side and me on the other. Like bookends. No, more like prison guards.

Between us squirmed four children. Luca was begging for my iPhone. Lincoln was coloring. Anna was scattering flannel board pieces around the floor while Kai tossed Cheerios into the hair of a woman sitting a row in front of us.

And when Kim grabbed Kai to hold him, he threw up down her cleavage.

This is how our family sits reverently through church each week.

By sitting on the back row nobody can sneak in behind us and second guess our decision to have four children. Or see when Lincoln gives me a wet willy.

I’m told that children need to get in the habit of attending church. It teaches character. It teaches reverence and respect. It also teaches parents that the patience of Job won’t be enough to last through the speaker from the high council.

I’d have better luck getting live NFL updates piped through the church’s intercom system than I would asking my four children to sit tight during the sacrament service without one of them ripping off a loud belch or worse.

I wondered if attending church was benefiting the kids when I asked Lincoln what his primary class talked about and he replied, “All we do is talk about Jesus. Every week, that’s all we talk about”.

Yet part of me can relate. I remember sitting through long prayers and thinking, “I can’t believe I’m missing the Steelers game for this”.

But we keep going each week hoping the kids will make friends which they have. We aren’t the first family to take young children to church, and people tend to be very tolerant.

And just maybe the kids are learning something based on the last time I asked Lincoln what he learned in primary.

“We talked about Jason the Baptist”, he replied with a smile.

Close enough.

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5 thoughts on “Taking Kids To Church

  1. It seems like it will never end, but it does. Pretty soon you stop looking forward to the day they leave and look wistfully backward instead. Suddenly feel like a blog post coming on.


  2. Montana is now at the point where he’s started listening to the speakers and he gets up, unprompted, to bear very thoughtful testimonies during Fast and Testimony meeting. It’s rewarding. We’re very careful to not pressure the kids or to make them feel bad if they say that church is boring. They don’t say that much but when they do, I just say, “Ya, that’s because you’re a kid. I think you’ll like it more when you’re older but for now you can just look at books and be patient.” We tend to do a lot of cuddling during sacrament. There have probably been less than 5 occasions in 9 years when our whole family didn’t make it to church. One parent will stay home if a child or two are sick. The consistency has really helped them. And thankfully, we don’t have a lot of perfume floating about, like your Facebook friend said. That would be intolerable.

    Very amused and sorry to hear that Kai threw up down Kim’s shirt. But I’m sure that doesn’t happen EVERY week.


  3. My first two kids went to church with Dad alone because I was inactive. Number 3 was 9 when I became active, and years later complained at seminary graduation about how “hard” it was on him when I came back to church and drug him along. Number 4 grew up snoring through Sacrament meeting (and the kid can REALLY SNORE). BUT they are all active, the first three have temple marriages, and my 19-year-old is active and attending the singles ward. There is hope–just be patient.


  4. Sounds like are family. Going to church with 3 boys is always something comparable to a wrestling match. Praying just praying are children will not do anything to embaress us. They do learn though. You will see. I never thought they had learned anything until one day one of our sons teachers came up to us and said. Boy that kid of yours is super smart. He sure knows his scriptures. Though I doubt it came much from us since family scripture study is something we dream of doing but never get around too,


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