Let the children (NOT!!) come unto me….

I received an email that touched a bit of a nerve.  Commenting on the pictures of our recent Shabbat gathering, my emailer lamented that the fellowship/group she gathers with has few children which are not much appreciated.  Among other things on the blog that struck her, she enjoyed seeing so many happy little faces, and we have a bunch of them.

Mazie Grace

Mazie Grace at our recent Shabbat under the pecans…

While I do not know her situation, I suspect it is much like a story I’ve heard multiple times from other fellowships:  ‘Children don’t like to study, they are a distraction, too much noise, short attention spans, etc…’  In their haste to belly up to the table of Truth, they have forgotten the most important task they have: training the next generation.

How sad.

I don’t really want to get on a soapbox, but I would remind all readers that the building block of a nation is family, and family includes children.  Our Messiah said, ‘Let the little children come and forbid them not…’  We should go to great lengths to make our fellowships very family friendly.  [The idea of ‘Sunday School’ and separating the children into a little groups is entirely contrary to Scripture and the Hebrew culture.  Sunday School is a modern invention that dumbs down our little ones and fosters cliques and isolation….  but, that is yet another soapbox.]

If your Torah study is so awesome that you don’t want children to interrupt, ask questions or be a distraction, then you have misplaced priorities.  Period.

In our home fellowships, we include children and insure there is enough low hanging fruit that they can grasp and be fed.  We are cognizant of their shorter attention spans and allow for them to exit and play as needed.  We find they often add valuable insight and can sit and focus much longer than we think…  Find the balance that works.  It is worth having them around and it is worth preparing them to be the next leaders.

Another thought is that is we are serious about building a nation and a culture,  the inclusion of children is absolutely critical….

A side note, if you are bringing children and they are unruly, you have a responsibility to help them learn self control and incrementally grow into boys and girls capable of participating and adding, not distracting and subtracting.  All told, there is an element whereby it takes a community…  In that regard, be not afraid to ask other men/elders to help with having a child sit with them to be drawn in and to see modeled proper behavior.

Again, there is a balance…  It pays to find it.

If the shoe fits….  😉

Shalom!

About Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ natsab.wordpress.com Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!
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10 Responses to Let the children (NOT!!) come unto me….

  1. Extremely good word achi!! We pray we will take seriously Y’shua’s exhortation that if we are stumbling block to children; it would be better if a millstone were put around our neck and that we cast ourselves into the sea (Mtthw 18:6, Mark 9:42, & Luke 17:2). If you have ever seen a millstone, it will give you a very visual picture of just how serious Y’shua thought of putting stumbling blocks in front of the younger generation.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dani says:

    Thank you, Pete, you’ve eloquently stated a solution to a problem that I believe is probably prevelant in alot of Torah Study groups. Alot of discussion has happened about this very subject and it is hard to find a balance in some situations. Especially because just about ALL of us in Torah today haven’t grown up that way and it’s ingrained in us how “church” was done – children go one way, adults go the other and never the two shall step on each others feet, so to speak. I feel that it’s really about all of us being flexible and the ability to change and be stretched in areas that we’re not comfortable in. I would welcome any suggestions from anyone reading this blog that would help the rest of us come to a conclusion on how to operate with EVERYONE winning – big and small:) Here’s to growing in Torah TOGETHER!
    Thanks for your blog, I really enjoy it (especially when you feature my dear friends from Adat)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ann Schultz says:

    Great article! We would LOVE to have children in our Kehila, but we have no young families. We did, for a while, and they were a blessing, staying in the service the whole time, playing, feeling free while not disturbing the flow of worship and teaching. Now we are all older folks and we really miss their energy and delight in life. If you have kids, LOVE them, and enjoy their participation. They catch your love for Torah if they are part of the family all the time…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Tom Washburn says:

    We have friends who have a “signature” at the end of every email. It goes something like this … “The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing, but in our culture, we apply for the curse and reject the blessing.”

    I believe that there should be babies … and elderly folks … and everything in between … in every home … in every congregation. I also believe that this “rejection of children” mindset often begins with the “so-called” birth control mindset. Think about that phrase for just a moment … and see what the enemy has done with “word play”. We are not talking about a “controlled birth”. If we were, we would encourage the expectant to relax in a quiet place, surrounded by those who love her and will help her to bring this new baby in to the world.

    No, we have allowed the enemy to change the definitions of words so they sound much nicer. What we are talking about is “child rejection” … not birth control.

    Liked by 2 people

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  7. Spiralbinder says:

    Hey Pete, do you have any resources for discipling youth in Torah and Messianic observance? The parents with boys are meeting tonight with our Torah teacher. There’s 8 young boys between 7 and 14 in this group! There are 4 girls in the same age spread but they are not having issues with the fellowship and are not attending tonight, since the main focus *and ire of the older ladies* is on the boys.
    I am going to be in on it as I am working towards helping disciple grandchildren and want to watch how the young parents work this all out. The interim solution is have a special group to “catch” the younglings up on Torah, with a special emphasis on outdoor and tribe building activities, culminating in integrating them more fully into the fellowship. Not sure how it will look, but will know more after tonight’s meeting.

    Thanks!

    Michelle

    Like

    • Pete Rambo says:

      Nothing specific, though I do think for young boys, hands on lessons are a huge plus.

      And, young boys may have a limited attention span that can be slowly stretched…. (The mind can only absorb as long as the hinny can endure….). Pray, be creative, etc. Our focus needs to be as much about the next generation as about our own thirst…. Work in some costumes, March around Jericho, etc… Shabbat needs to be something that they look forward to all week.

      Blessings. So glad to hear you are embracing the opportunity!!

      Like

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