The Blessing of Children
Having looked into the tearful eyes of parents whose children have abandoned the Faith, I have learned that there are a million miles between our children “going through the motions” in reference to their spiritual lives versus our children possessing hearts that dictate their actions. In this column I want to share with you what I hope to instill in the hearts of my own children and those whom I love.
The difference is palpable—and tragic. Watch a visiting family with two young children enter a church building and the response you witness is overwhelming. People go out of their way (literally) to meet these new visitors and share with them what their congregation has to offer children. But consider for a moment the response to a family who walks in, followed behind by six or seven children. The response is not as overwhelming. In fact, she is often viewed as odd, irresponsible, not financially wise, lower class, or socially ignorant. More often than not, Christians steer very clear of extremely large families. After all, society has successfully convinced us that “two” is the magic number for children. (Of course there is the unwritten rule that you can try one more time if the first two were the same sex.) Even from the pulpit we hear a preacher joking about “the close call” of he and his wife thinking they might be pregnant. Fact of the matter is, this is not a joking subject.
How sad is it to hear a preacher teach a powerful lesson on children and the home only to realize that his actions are teaching a totally different lesson. I have listened firsthand to a preacher give counsel about the “wisdom” of only having one or two children—and that anything more than that is “foolish.” This same preacher would then mount the pulpit and preach a tear-jerking lesson on Psalm 127 and children. While his voice spoke one message, his life and his actions spoke an entirely different message. There are some Christians who need to really re-evaluate their view of children in the light of God’s Word.
Here’s what I intend on teaching my children about the blessings of children.
Not a morning passes by in our house when your mom and I are not thankful for the sounds of little feet and tender young voices. We feel incredibly blessed by God to have children, and we pray that you will be able to experience the same joys of parenthood.
I’m not exactly sure of the precise date of when children went from being considered a blessing to being considered baggage, but unfortunately I have witnessed it countless times. Parents oftentimes view the existence of their children as competition for their own personal desires and wishes. At some point along the way, parents began to value prosperity more than posterity. I hope that you will boldly reject society’s view of children. Never look upon children as a burden or an expense. Sure, we need to be financially responsible—but children are not a tally mark we put under the “expense” column.
Sadly, many parents today do not even like their children. The responsibility for rearing these children is given to anyone and everyone—except their own parents (see Deuteronomy 6:4-9—a passage directed toward parents). In some homes, children are treated as just another piece of property, a commodity, or a showpiece to be trotted out when guests visit. Parents have forgotten that they are responsible to return the souls of their children to God, and that every soul is precious (Matthew 16:24-26).
Every time you see a child’s face, I hope that the first thought that enters your mind will be “a blessing from God.” The inspired psalmist observed, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3). It then continues by saying, “Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.” When you see a family enter a church building with many children, I hope you will remind yourself and that mother how blessed she truly is. Solomon wrote, “Children’s children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father” (Proverbs 17:6). I’m looking forward to that crown! While I don’t know God’s plan for each one of you, I do pray you enjoy parenthood—whether it be you physically having children or adopting little ones into your family. I wish for you a full quiver so that you too can experience the love, joys, and happiness that you have brought your mother and me.