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Teaching Little Children To Worship

Nancy Farley

Many of you older women may remember Virginia Oliver, wife of R. C. Oliver. She once told me that she wanted to write an article about teaching little children to worship. She has since departed from this life. I cannot write what she would have written, but I will attempt to make some suggestions that might be helpful to our young mothers.

In Deuteronomy 6:6-7, Moses taught the children of Israel that they should teach God's commandments to their children and "talk of them when you sit down in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up."

How important it is for our children to learn and obey God's word today. Paul, in 2 Timothy 1:5, remembered the faith that was in Timothy, which had been first in his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. Paul wrote to the young man Timothy so he would know how to behave in the church, the body of Christ. (1 Timothy 3:15)

Teaching our children to worship must begin soon after their birth. As your baby grows, have him or her sit quietly on your lap or beside you on the seat. Give him or her a small Bible. Always deal very quietly with children during services. Give them soft, quiet toys no musical or talking toys. A child should not be standing up entertaining the people who are sitting behind you. After all, those people have the responsibility of concentrating on the worship service.

On the way to the church building, it is good to talk with your children about how we should behave in the worship services. When children are very small, they will not understand the full meaning of worship and why they should be quiet, but they will understand that we want them to be quiet.

It is good to keep your children with you. If you need someone to help you, select a willing person from the congregation to sit with you, but explain to that person what your expectations for your children are.

At home, talk with your children about good behavior and learning about Jesus. Talk with them about singing. "Practice" at home: Sit down; read from God's word; sing a hymn; have a prayer. Encourage your children to sing during the worship service.

School age children can take a notebook and pen or pencil to write down things they hear while listening to the sermon. Make sure they have their own Bibles with them. Let us leave those video games at home! Children need to listen.

In conclusion, be consistent. Teaching children is an ongoing job. We all make mistakes as we learn how to help our children to do their best. Do not become discouraged. "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." (Galatians 6:9). Rt. 5 Box 1468, Salem, WV 26426.


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