"I'm tired of Saturdays consumed by soccer games. My evenings revolve around baseball practice, basketball games, student ministry small groups and PTA meetings. Loud talking and yelling fill the air at family meals. Afternoons consist of required reading, math assignments and spelling tests. My life would be so easy if it weren’t for my kids." Often these are the cries and whines of my heart when it comes to my children. Grab some of these soundbites and all you would hear is the sound of me complaining about parenting and children. While I say I love them, you sure can't tell it by the complaints from this father of four.
A few months ago I wrote a post on For The Family called "What Can You and I Do To Help Premarried Couples?" The basic premise and main challenge of the post revolves around our need as married couples to change the way we speak about marriage. If all we talk about is how hard it is, then why would any young couple want to get married? Instead of helping resolve the marriage problem of our world, Christian couples often make the problem worse by complaining about all the challenges of marriage. We can help premarried couples by talking about not just how hard it is, but how great it really can be.
Today I write in a similar vein, but instead of talking about marriage, I want to focus on parenting. If all we do is talk about how hard parenting is and how challenging our children can be, then why would we expect young married couples to want to have children? If all they hear about are the busy schedules, the demands of school and the lack of freedom, then why would any couple want to do their part to multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 1:28)?
The discussion has to start with what God says about children. A quick look in the gospels shows us Jesus’ great love for children (Matthew 18:1-5, Matthew 19:13-14, Mark 10:13-16, Luke 18:15-17). Jesus wanted the children to come to Him, He prayed for the children and He loves them. In spite of the reaction of the disciples and others, Jesus always welcomed children.
We also need to look at what the Psalmist says about children in Psalm 127:3-5:
"Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
Solomon says children are a heritage (gift, blessing) from the Lord.