Last Sunday morning was an all-time low for my family. The breaking of bread was wonderful but my kids were not! They kept whispering across me and started fighting over a colouring book. It ended with my husband taking them out and having a little chat with them.
Why not the nursery?
So why, then, do we have our children in the breaking of bread when there is a perfectly suitable nursery 30 feet away where they could play to their hearts’ content? In the past, we have used the nursery and are very grateful to the elders for providing one.
Once our children reached a certain age (they’re 7, 5 and 4 at this writing), we felt that they were old enough to sit with us in the breaking of bread. We didn’t consistently start bringing our children into the meeting until about the age of two. At that point they can be reasoned with and understand discipline. Moreover, we wanted them to learn the importance of coming together with other believers to remember the Lord (1 Cor. 11:26).
What’s the value?
You may ask yourself how a child could appreciate the breaking of bread at a young age. Here are some reasons to consider:
- Children learn that something very important is happening. They may not get it at first, but they quickly learn that the Lord deserves our utmost respect and devotion. Understanding the details comes later, as they observe and ask questions. Our children participate in small ways, be it putting the offering in the basket or singing the hymns.
- Children learn discipline. One reason parents may prefer to keep their children in the nursery is because they don’t want them to be a distraction. Believe me, I have been tempted to just send our children to the nursery after they misbehave, but that would only serve to reward their misbehaviour with playtime. As with all training, it takes consistency and follow-through. When our children are being a distraction, we remove them, address the issue and, most importantly, we bring them back in.
- The assembly benefits from the presence of children. The older believers love to see the children there; it is an encouragement for them. What’s more, it frees up more ladies to be able to attend the breaking of bread if they don’t need to be on nursery duty.
These are just a few reasons why we choose to bring our children into the Breaking of Bread. The Lord Jesus said it best when He said, “let the little children come to Me“ (Mt. 19:14). Pray about it and see if maybe the Lord is encouraging you to bring your children into the Breaking of Bread.