Children are a blessing. We know that. Christians know that's what the Bible says -- but are we living this reality we claim to believe? In one of my all-time favorite books, Family Driven Faith, author Voddie Baucham, Jr asks this question: When did we [as a culture] begin to hate children?
I'm a people-watcher who tends to analyze things. As I've observed family, friends, and strangers, I've noticed what people say and how they feel about kids. Comments and conversations seem to keep catching my ear and sending my thoughts immediately back to that brutal question: When did we begin to hate children?
I recently heard a mom plainly state that her youngest was “a mistake.” That statement has always driven me batty. Not every child is planned, and not every pregnancy is received as a joyous blessing, but once that child is here, what difference does it make whether or not its conception was planned? A child may come as a surprise to us (but not to God!), but never as a mistake.
Families who have more than the culturally accepted one to three children have told me stories of the outlandish things said to them when they were expecting their fourth or fifth child. People ask them questions such as, “Are they all yours?” or “Don’t you know what causes that?” or “How can you possibly handle all those kids?” Why does our culture think it’s so terrible to have a large family?
Many of us have bought into the lie that we have to have a certain size home to allow for a certain number of children, as well as a big SUV emblazoned with stickers from our college of choice. Why?My mom shared a room with two sisters until the day she moved out of her parent’s house. Her family had one car, and they managed to get to and from school, extra-curricular activities, church and church activities, grocery shopping and errands, and her father’s job all with one car.Does the eternal salvation of our children or their walk with Christ depend upon how nice our home is, what college they attend, or even IF they attend college?
Many of us have fallen victim to believing that being a full-time mom is something to apologize for; that we need a degree and a good job to be of value. But what profession is more demanding, more rewarding, and more important than shaping the lives of people who have the potential to affect our society for better or for worse?And why isn’t it culturally acceptable for our daughters, even the really bright ones, to aspire to be keepers of the home, helpmeet to their husbands, and to disciple their children? Motherhood is indeed a high and noble calling.
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard parents say they are “done having kids.” This week we photographed a precious baby (in a
session); after years of trying to get pregnant, this couple knew their baby had a condition incompatible with life outside the womb and he had mere hours to life.
This grieving couple would give anything to have a healthy child -- and yet our culture has become so focused on how NOT to have children (or "too many children").
It's unfathomable to me that abortion has become “culturally acceptable,” but the truth is, there are
many other ways
our culture has made it
clear that we do not view children as the blessing the Bible tells us they are.
My friends, this should not be so. I believe that changing our culture's view of children has to happen
one family at a time
. I encourage you to pray about what this means for your own family. Maybe your family isn't done growing yet, or perhaps your family size is just what God wants it to be, but (and this one convicted me big-time recently!),
do you treat your children every day like the blessing that they are? These are just some things I've been thinking about, and I hope you'll considering doing so as well. I want to live what I believe; otherwise, my faith is just empty words.
Jamie is a wife and homemaking mama in a blended family that includes three kids and one dog. She believes children are a blessing, and since adopting a teen from foster care in 2010, she has become passionate about advocating adoption. (Sometimes, like today, she gets on a bit of a soapbox.) Above all, she is merely a clay pot, useless apart from the treasure inside -- 2 Corinthians 4:7. Jamie writes about homeschooling, parenting, home-making, adoption, and family life at See Jamie Blog.