Just in case you’ve been laboring under the laughable assumption that we are the Mary Poppins family (practically perfect in every way), let me set you straight.
We normally sit in the back row at church. I know many families find that the front row works better, but we have our reasons.
Reasons to sit in the back row at church:
- It’s nearest the exit.
- It’s nearest the bathroom.
- It’s the easiest place to insert 12 people who are often late with minimal disruption to others and embarrassment to us.
- It’s the least intrusive place for us to whisper corrections and threats, and play musical chairs as we rearrange and divide bad influences from one another.
Last Sunday we were a few minutes late. Believe it or not, we were late for legitimate, unforeseeable reasons of church business. Doubt me if you dare. Even the pastor would probably agree we had a pass. However, because we were late, our usual seats were occupied and we had to sit near the front.
Reasons to sit in the front row:
- The pastor will see fidgeting, bickering children and correct them by name from the pulpit.
I am reasonably confident we will never have to warn those particular children again – at least, not if we sit near the front where they know the pastor can see them. I don’t know if that’s enough to entice us back to the front of the church, but it does change my outlook a little.
By the way, lest you think less of him, I am exceedingly grateful our pastor has the frank, outspoken personality that brought him to do this. Perry was not sitting with us, and I was rightfully embarrassed that I missed the behavior that was happening under my nose. Our children were rightfully embarrassed by being called out. The pastor spoke with us afterward to make sure we weren’t hurt or offended (we weren’t) and to make sure we understood what the problem had been (we did).
Are you wondering which children were corrected? They’ve suffered enough for their crimes. I’ll never tell – unless it happens again. Then all bets are off!