Snake’s alive! This world sure is a Debbie Downer when it comes to kids.
I have a friend who is expecting Baby # __ (insert any numeric value over the culturally acceptable number of two), and almost anyone and everyone I tell about Baby’s pending birth says of my friend: “Wow. She has her hands full!”
Not, “Congratulations!” or “Wonderful!” or “How exciting!” or “Praise God for His good gift!” but a pair of raised eyebrows and strained words of judgment.
Is it really such a strange thing to us in the Church that a married couple should welcome more than two children into their family as gifts from God? For, you see, that is what children are to us. They are gifts. We know this to be true, because that is what God tells us in His Word. Children are a heritage from Him, and the couple who has them is blessed. (Psalm 127)
Sure, children may be work. They may require us to give up our annual trek to Sonoma or to forgo buying a new dress every Easter or to miss sleeping for an entire year, but that does not change the truth in God’s Word that children are a sign of His favor. And God’s Word doesn’t differentiate. Baby #8 is just as much of a blessing and a gift as Baby #1. We are so selfish when we think that it is our love and desire that make a child valuable, as if our own wanting or not wanting should determine the goodness of God’s gifts. It is God’s love that gives any of us value, including the children He wants to give to us.
So, whenever someone gives me a “Wow, she has her hands full!” in response to my friend’s blessed state, I usually have to manhandle my eyeballs to keep them from rolling and squeeze my lips shut to keep a sigh of exasperation from escaping. Once my body parts are properly submissive, I try to smile brightly and confess boldly, “Yes, her hands are full of blessings from God!”
Either children are a blessing, or they aren’t. Either God’s Word is true, or it isn’t. Which one is it?
If you don’t know, ask a barren woman.