Thursday, September 15, 2011

On Kids, Weddings, and Funerals

I'm a mama who loves having her little ones with her.  In fact, most of the time we choose not to have babysitters.  We simply arrange our lives in such a way to include our two blessings.

Sure there are occasions where a sitter is needed or Mama just needs to run an errand in peace and quiet. But for the most part, we feel that our children will learn best when they're with us.  Sometimes that means taking them to ministry opportunities.  Sometimes it means arranging a lunch meeting at a kid friendly location.  Often it means much more work for Mom and Dad.  But it always entails benefits beyond the temporary.

Within the past year we've been faced with wrestling through where we stand on weddings and funerals.  Last fall Noah and Lydia (then 5 and almost 3) were asked to be in a family wedding.  It was delightful to see them walk in, so excited to be a part of this wonderful day.  They stood at the front as their Daddy officiated the ceremony.  They heard the couple pledging to love each other till death.  And they heard the gentle reminder that a marriage cannot stand unless Christ is the center.

Although young, it's a blessing to have these ideas planted in their minds.  To see that we take marriage seriously as the bride and groom served each other communion.  And to know that this day marked a new beginning in their lives.

And funerals...

Last month, we lost my cousin and the kids attended the memorial service with us.  Circumstances moved us to taking them, and in hindsight, I'm glad we did.  We talked a lot before hand about what they would see, how some family members might cry, and why we were all gathering together.  I also brainstormed with the kids about what they should do if they saw someone crying.  Should they be scared?  Why were they crying?  What they could do to comfort a family member?

It was amazing to see how well behaved Noah and Lydia were.  For them to hear how a family member was so loved.  To hear how a kind heart touched so many lives.  And to discuss what happens after death.  And for a mother's heart to see my almost 6 year old reach over to comfort his Great-Grandma.

And so life goes on.  

Babies are born and we rejoice.  My littles learn what it means to celebrate a new life.

Weddings come and we're reminded of what a sober commitment it is.  My littles learn that God has a purpose for marriage.

Loved ones die and we mourn.  My littles learn that life is a race against time and the worth of life is what we do with that time.

This is just what works for us.  

How do you feel about children attending weddings and funerals?

*Linked to these Parties and Weekend Bloggy Reading


Liz said...

I love this blog post! What a wonderful testimony to your children (now and in the future) for them to see that covenant made between a man and woman and to learn that without Chris, one cannot stand. It is so important for children (even as young as yours) to be poured into in that manner.
Thank you for sharing!

alanna rose said...

We take our kids everywhere with us! And these life events are important for them to see, and experience with us at a young age.

Sometimes we do choose to leave them behind...a few weeks ago we left the boys with my brother while we attended an outdoor wedding, it was 95 degrees, we stood for the whole ceremony, and the reception was not air conditioned. My kids had fun playing with their Uncle, I was sweaty ;)


great topic to cover....

'Becca said...

I agree! I had never attended a funeral before my grandfather died when I was 14. I think it would have been less upsetting if I had previous experience with the funeral of someone not as close to me.

My son went to a home childcare when he was 0-2, and then when he was 3 the lady's husband died. I took him to the funeral, and he was very interested and seemed to get a good sense of closure. I should have prepared him better for people's sadness, though. It sounds like you did a good job of that.

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