The question “why children?” never really occurred to me until I was pregnant. In our culture we often have a romanticized idea of what it means to have a family. We want a baby who is born in perfect health, rarely cries, and is cute. We want them to grow up to be quick learning, strong, and well mannered. Of course, a nice house with a beautiful nursery and a big back yard helps too.
We all desire these things for our life and our children. I think the desire to have a healthy, happy baby is natural. But this is where I have really started examining myself: Why do I want this child?
I think the first place we need to start is in asking the question: Whose child is it?
Children are not primarily created by their parents, but by God. Psalm 139:13,16 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb…Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none of them.”
We are far too familiar with these words. God is the one who plans for, predestines, and creates life. Before Brent and I had even met, He had plans for our future children. We need to view God as the Giver of this precious life, and ourselves as the receiver and temporary steward of this awesome gift.
James 1:16 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”
If God is the primary Giver of life, then He is also the primary possessor. He is the sovereign King of our children and will have the ultimate impact on determining their steps in life. My children will be under the secondary guidance and control of Brent and I, but behind the scenes God is the one weaving the threads of their life for His purposes.
This truth leads me to examine and reprioritize my desires. It causes me to seek out the motives of my own heart and test where my faith is.
I want a healthy, happy child, in a comfortable, pleasant home. I am praying for it, and pursuing it; I am not discounting my desires or casting them aside. But join with me in examining your own heart:
If your child was born disabled, would you thank God and praise Him to the same extent you would if your child was born healthy?
If your child was disfigured or just simply not as cute, would it dampen the joy in your heart?
If your child was born sick and needed to undergo treatment, would you question the goodness of God?
Consider the following verses:
Isaiah 53:2 “He (Jesus) had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.”
Exodus 4:11 “Then the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?”
John 9:2-3 “And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
It is God, not Satan who chooses to create some children with disabilities and some without. It is not the direct result of particular sin or the lack of faith in a parent, but a result of God’s loving choice. He has a good and perfect purpose for every illness, disability, or deformity that children might face. God can use all things for His glory.
1Corinthians 1:26-29 “For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”
The Result of Self Centered Child Rearing
This topic could easily cover an entire book. I’m going to look at the most drastic result in brief, but I sincerely believe that self centered child rearing is causing devastation in our society today.
Today, when a woman is pregnant, she will be asked if she would like to be screened to see if her child might have Down syndrome or spina bifida. I am not being tested because ultimately, it doesn’t matter. I find it irrelevant to my level of joyful expectancy. However, it is estimated that 92% of women today who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome will abort. They did not love their child unconditionally. They loved themselves.
Our self centered, romanticized view of family has brought on the eugenics of the disabled by the means of abortion.
But dear friends, this horrid mentality must not creep into Christ’s church.
God has blessed me with the opportunity to work with disabled children, as well as dozens of other children over the past several years. He has opened my eyes to see much of the harmful philosophies that drive today’s parenting.
But this is the conclusion I have come to:
I will love my children, bless the Lord, and count them as gifts whether they are healthy or not, disabled or able bodied, blind or seeing, intelligent or slow to understand, plain or cute and whether we are rich or poor. The baby growing inside of me is not ultimately mine, it belongs to God, and I am so grateful for that. What more capable hands are there? How dare I question His plans or His goodness? He is an awesome God, and all of His works are marvellous; my soul knows this full well!
Our greatest prayer and heartfelt desire should be that our children and family might grow to glorify God and magnify His Son Jesus Christ, no matter what it takes. We must surrender our perceived “rights” from God, and be willing to embrace whatever He places in our hands. May our children be for Him. May our parenting be for His name’s sake, and may our homes be filled with thanksgiving and praises regardless of all circumstances.
I know this is more easily said than done, and I don’t deny that circumstances can be grievous and painfully difficult. Lord I pray for myself and whoever might read this, grant grace to sustain, hope to endure, and a love for our children that flows out of the recognition of what You did for us well we were yet sinners, in laying down Y our life.