Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Blessing of Children

To a degree, ignorance is bliss. One of the challenges of approaching 'mommy-hood' coming from a large family where I was pretty involved in the care of my younger siblings is to remain positive and upbeat about child rearing. That's not to say that I do not rejoice in the coming of our child, for I do! However, you must understand, I not only remember the glorious wonder of holding a newborn child, I also remember what it's like to have the baby screaming in your ear and being unable to get him to calm down! I remember the sweet feelings of tenderness as a little tike crawls into your bed in the middle of the night because he had a bad dream, I remember the blessedness of snuggling close and comforting them and I know what it's like to wake up 2 hours later drenched in urine because aforementioned little one wet the bed. I remember the pleasures of being handed a fistful of flowers for the "sweet, sweet Monique!" and I remember the same child going into hysterics later when they hurt themselves, refusing to let you see the injury, lest they let go of the wounded finger and bleed to death! I remember the feeling of satisfaction when the young one you've been helping teach finally understands how to work a math problem: their little face lighting up with confidence. I also recall the times of weeping and whinning and gripping and down right refusal to even look at their math book. I remember the victories of hearing a little one read for the first time, and the challenges of trying to keep their attention on the sound of the letter "A" rather than the mouse that they just saw dash under the couch!

One of the qualities that the older women are commanded in Titus 2 to teach the younger women is that they "love children". Frankly, I see why. It's easy to happily coo over the new baby at church when you hold them while they contentedly sleep, it's a completely different ball game to be happy while you change a baby's diaper blow out and then rush into the kitchen to discover you've burnt supper while you were at it! 

I believe that children are, among other things, a tool God uses to help sanctify us. The needs of children and the demands of raising them up to be God fearing adults takes us to the absolute end of ourselves which means we must learn to throw ourselves on the sovereign grace of God and humbly walk with Him in full reliance on His spirit!

I know that there is much in my life that is in need of God's refining fire; I believe one tool He will use to surface and deal with these issues is my children.

All this to be said, I do genuinely believe that children are a blessing from the Most High, a reward, as Psalm 127 tells us. Children are, in many ways, our hope for the future. The little baby who currently delights in kicking my ribs will one day be a rosy faced, curious tike who will one day grow to be a man or woman who must take his stand with the enemy in the gates (Ps. 127:5) The children that God gives us, each with their own unique gifts and abilities, must be molded and prepared for the day when they are sent forth as arrows into the midst of the war that rages all around us. They must be ready to take a stand for the suffiency of scripture, the Holiness of God, the wickedness of sin, the truth of the gosple, the glories of biblical family life, the roles of men and women in the home, church and civil sphere, the biblical and constitutional limits of government, and whatever other areas become a part of the bloody battlefield on which we fight.

I want to make the most of each season that my children go through. I want to delight in looking into the eyes of my baby for the first time and treasure that memory, and I also desire to learn to delight in looking for grasshoppers in the field even though there are a thousand other things that need done. I want to joyfully pour out all that I am, even though I know it will be harder and more exhausting than I can probably imagine.
Most of all, I want to see children through the eyes of Christ who declared "suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." (Mark 10:14). I want to treasure them, knowing that it was God who knit each child in the womb, it is His eyes that look into the secret place, beholding and delighting in the creation of a child. It is God who gives each child an eternal soul and has already recorded the days alloted to that little one (Ps. 139). It is God who declared that children are a blessing, that one purpose of marriage is the conception and raising up of godly seed (Mal. 2:15, Gen. 1:28, Ps. 128:3).

As I look forward to the future I feel both excitement and trepidation, but I am confident that although children require a lot of hard work and sacrifice, they are indeed a good gift from God to be recieved with joy.


". . . be thou the mother of thousands of millions, and let thy seed possess
the gate of those which hate them."
Genesis 24:60

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