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Patience in the pews

Bethany Byman | The Shepherd’s Voice June/July 2023 - Home and Family Article --


Shortly after sitting down for services, I notice the first signs of impatience begin in our younger ones. Legs start swinging, muffled whispers becoming louder. The four-year-old gets up and not so quietly demands to know how much longer until it’s over. 


I pull her close and whisper in her ear, “Listen to what the minister is telling us. You’ve never heard this story before!” Her eyes slightly widen and she looks at the minister with speculation.


Everyone can feel impatient at times. It can feel like it would be so much more fun to be playing outside with friends. On Sunday mornings, children have often already sat for an hour in Sunday school. In the morning service, I notice little ones meandering about the aisles. Others talk and giggle with one another. They are low on patience.


It’s important to discuss with children why we need to be quiet and be patient in church. There are others who are trying to hear God’s word and we should be respectful to them. We all need to hear the special message that helps us on our journey to heaven. 


We can try little things such as a snack and drink of water before services. We can make sure our children have a good night’s sleep and are dressed appropriately for the temperature.


Adults, let us keep our patience with these precious children. Even if we don’t hear much of the sermon, we are there amidst God’s children and that’s the best place we can be. 


Things to visit about:

  1. What kind of behavior is appropriate in Sunday school and at services?

  2. How can we help ourselves and others when it feels like it’s hard to sit still and listen?

  3. Why do adults bring children to services?


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