Okay so let’s be honest!

Parenting from the pew is hard and I am a minister’s wife, which makes me no different from anyone else, but people tend to think it does. I remember the days of what seems like so long ago. The days that I thought I would never make it through a sermon again. It’s great when your babies are newborns and you feed them and then they would take a nice luxurious nap in their cozy little car seat during services and just like that we are back in the worship like we hadn’t missed a beat.

Then comes the toddler times…..and you know what I am talking about!!! The Crying fits, the tantrums, wanting a snack, wanting a drink, potty training, and the list goes on. We find ourselves focusing on meeting every little need of our child. (There are several things I learned from this process which will come in another article) Since I am the wife of a minister, we were in our designated pew, you know the one right up front for the whole world to see. Before becoming a mother, I loved being up front to focus on worship and I wasn’t seeing any of the distractions going on behind me, however being a parent with a toddler up front, all while daddy was preaching, kind of changed my thoughts on worshiping from the second pew and Here’s why.

First, sitting up front with children makes you feel as though every eye is on you and what your next move is going to be; in a way it makes you feel a bit vulnerable. As a momma you are tired, and some days you are just in survival mode. We barely made it to the class that morning with two minutes to spare, a burp cloth strung over my shoulder, and almost in tears. Now sitting in the second pew trying to get myself together all while getting my son situated and all of his busy items out to keep him somewhat entertained, in hopes that he would not be distracting to anyone, I found myself mentally and spiritually drained. I wondered who around me had witnessed the distress that I had entered with. Something I loved so much, which was coming together to worship had suddenly become a chore. I found myself so consumed with what was going on with my child and all his demands that I felt somewhat defeated. My mind was not at all ready to worship. My heartstrings were pulled and it came to me; I was so worried about my child distracting someone that I had allowed myself to be the one who had become distracted.

I missed the boat!

I was distracted from worship and from honoring my God. I didn’t come to services to check off a box like I had done my duty by showing up, I came to worship my God that morning and that meant something would have to change. I had to refocus and reflect on how to reengage in worship while nurturing my child. If we allow ourselves to be so distracted, our worship will not please the Lord. God didn’t care if I came to worship with all my ducks in a row, what he cares about is that I am actively participating with all of my heart, soul, and mind. I am here to offer my praise and thanksgiving:

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him, Bless his name!”…Psalm 100:4

Secondly, becoming a parent is one of the greatest blessings. I am so thankful that God bestowed that honor on me but it is also one of the biggest responsibilities that God has placed in my hands. As I began to think of the ways to get the most out of worship for myself, I also had to figure out how to get my little guy engaged and for him to know that although he is the apple of my eye, he was not my first love, therefore, all my time and attention did not need to be devoted to him.

I want to encourage you mommas, especially those of you who may be going through this season of motherhood. This time will pass and you will get through. There is a time for everything but in worship time, be there with our Lord. Give Him your all. Your child will mimic what you do and if they see that it is important to you it will become important to them. Parenting from the pew is hard but if it is done in the right way, your child will develop a sense of importance in developing their own worship with our Lord.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: even when he is old he will not depart from it.”...Proverbs 22:6