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Our quiet evening with family was suddenly interrupted by a gaggle of kids coming through the living room. One asked for a drink of water. The other had a shoe untied. And still another held out a finger with a little cut that needed attention. Later in the evening, right during an important part of the conversation, there was a cry from the family room. Someone rushed to untangle a disagreement over a coveted toy.

A few weeks ago, while sitting in church, I was intently listening to a crucial point in the pastor’s sermon. Just as he made a key statement, there was a bang and some arguing between children just a few pews behind us. I tried not to look over my shoulder since I was tempted to give the “Please-be-quiet” look.

Then there was the incident in the grocery store … and the restaurant … and at the park … and did I tell you about another time we were camping and some children drove through our site with their bikes? They actually broke our clothesline and got our swimming towels dirty! I was annoyed.

Kids. I’ve sometimes wondered what the world would be like without them. Then I’m reminded of a couple of things. First, I wouldn’t be here if parents did not have children. Planet earth would still be inhabited by only two people—Adam and Eve. No children. No teaching little ones to walk. No happy cries of delight over simple pleasures like picking a flower. The world would be a pretty dead place without kids.


The other thing that helps me put children into perspective is the experience of Jesus and His disciples. Young mothers wanted to bring their little ones to Christ in order for Him to put His hand on them and bless them. As they pressed forward, the disciples pushed them away as if to say, “Jesus doesn’t have time for little children. He has more important things on His agenda.”

In order to teach His disciples a lesson, Christ permitted this event for just a moment, then He interrupted them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). The “annoying” kids came to Jesus. Some scrambled onto His lap. Perhaps Jesus’ robe even was marked by dusty footprints. He didn’t mind.

Obviously children need to be trained, but sometimes the “training” we give them by our irritable moods tells them, “You are not important. You are an interruption.” Perhaps we need to check our attitudes. Perhaps there are times when we need these annoyances around.

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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