Let me start off this post with a total disclaimer. I want to make it clear that this post is in no way condemning people that don’t have a desire to have their own children, work with children, or who aren’t particularly passionate children. I actually found myself in one of those categories at one time. So this isn’t meant to come down on anyone. I’ve just had it on my heart to share for a long time- mostly out of my OWN conviction and through what God is teaching ME about being a mom. It’s also completely changed the way I view my friends children and even children I don’t know.
I have always heard people talk about children in such a way, as if they were a burden. Now, I knew I wanted to be a mom someday and I knew that I would have several children. But I had always heard about ‘how much work it is’, ‘how tiring it is’, and ‘how motherhood is a thankless job’.
And it IS all of those things, at times.
But I had even heard people say things like ‘they don’t like kids’ or ‘kids are annoying’ or ‘children a just a burden to society and every family should only have ONE and that’s it’.
And to be honest, I sort of agreed.
So I became a mom and found myself falling into that same mindset. They’re so much work, I’m so tired, no one is thanking me for this, they kind of annoy me, and it’s kind of a burden to stay home with them. THEN. My motherhood world was totally rocked. Someone shared this verse with me:
“Behold, children are a gift from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.” Psalms 127:3-5
And it totally hit me smack. in. the. face. It was like a bomb went off in my heart. I have never felt so convicted about something in my entire life, aside from accepting Christ as my salvation. It made me start to really think about children, MY children, and what they really mean to me. It made me think about what my children, and ALL children, mean to Jesus.
I really believe that Jesus loved children. I believe that he saw them as a blessing. Their innocent and childlike faith, their awe and wonder, the way their little minds worked. I believe that there is a very special place in Jesus’s heart for children.
This verse makes it very, very clear.
They are a GIFT from the Lord. A reward. Probably one of the biggest blessings and rewards that God can bestow upon anyone. Once the gravity of what this verse meant hit me, my whole attitude, opinion and mindset about children, MY children, changed in an instant.
Yes, I am tired. Yes, I get annoyed. Yes, I want uninterrupted sleep. Yes, I want to have more time to myself. Yes, I want them to stop making my house dirty and asking for more milk on most days.
BEING A MOM IS THE HARDEST JOB.
But this verse sorta changed everything for me. It was as if I finally realized, what these gifts that God has given me, actually mean. They are the biggest blessing he can bestow upon a person, a family, and a generation. They are a reward, a heritage. And he thought enough of ME to grant me THREE of them. To entrust me with THREE little lives that He views as more precious than gold. So precious that he promises the kingdom of heaven to such as these (Matthew 19:14).
When people say that they don’t ‘like kids’, I now just wonder what Jesus thinks about that. That His greatest blessing that he can give, whether naturally, through adoption, or however any one family is created, just isn’t liked. That our society so easily views children as a burden instead of a heritage and a reward. And that so many people truly think that to have many of them is ridiculous, outrageous, and that there should be limit to how many kids each family has. I wish more people viewed children as a true blessing.
How different would this world be if we saw them through the eyes of Jesus?
My whole life changed that day. Am I being dramatic? Maybe a little. But it’s actually true. I left that conversation, cried the entire way home, and had a complete mind change about what my children are to me, us and our family.
I still have hard days. I still cry sometimes. I am so exhausted in some hours that all I can think about is making it to bedtime so I can just SIT DOWN. I don’t always have the best attitude about cooking three meals a day for mouths that can’t do it themselves. I loathe laundry. I cringe sometimes when they ask ‘why?’ over and over and over and over again. And breaking up brotherly fights from sun up to sun down is definitely a thankless job. Raising children IS a thankless job.
When I start to feel the enemy creep in and ask me, ‘don’t you hate this?’ or ‘isn’t this a terrible burden?’ or ‘don’t you wish you were anywhere else right now?’- I know exactly how to respond.
Although I am tired and sometimes frustrated and have moments of frustration with being a mom, I am able to keep this verse at the forefront of my mind. I have been CHOSEN by GOD to be their mother. HE saw it fit to BLESS me not once, not twice, but THREE times with three little lives that I am entrusted with. HIS blessings. His reward. His favor.
Even once would have been more than enough of a blessing to last me an entire lifetime. And I am quickly humbled. Because I certainly don’t deserve something this huge. I have done nothing to deserve such a blessing, and especially not three times worth.
But God doesn’t see it that way. And I am immediately brought to my knees by the gravity of what that verse means.
Yes, kids are annoying sometimes. They are a ton of work and require constant care. No, it doesn’t make sense why God gives children to some families and not to others. There are so many parts of God’s plan and could drive me insane if I questioned him for too long. It doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t.
But nonetheless, children are God’s reward. The next generation coming up under us is a reward from God and isn’t something to be taken lightly. I don’t feel extremely passionate about children. I’m passionate about MY children, but don’t feel called to work with all of them. And I think that’s ok. God makes up the body of Christ and gives us all strengths, passions and a heart for many different things and that’s why the body works. I think it’s ok to not desire to have a family of your own. Or to not necessarily want to work with them full time.
But I DO view all children differently now. When people say, ‘I can’t stand kids’. My heart just drops. I wonder if Jesus’s heart does too. While we all might not be created with the desire to be mothers, or childcare workers, or youth leaders, children are still very near and dear to the heart of Jesus.
And to be like Him, means we need to align our hearts with his. I mean, right?
You can’t read a verse like that and not be changed. To be like Jesus is to have the heart of Jesus. And Jesus loves, cares for children, and says they are always welcome in his presence.
This one simple bible verse tucked away into the massive book of Psalms has totally changed how I mother and my thought life about what it means to be a parent. It’s not something Jesus takes lightly. It’s him entrusting his most precious blessing to us, even though we’ve done nothing to deserve taking care of such a treasure.
I can only hope that I am capable of treasuring a gift so huge as that. And that every day I would remember that they are a gift from him, can be taken away at any moment, and that ultimately- THEY BELONG TO HIM. I want to care for them like they are His and that I have been trusted with them for such a brief time.
Making the most of every minute and making it all count while I am with them.
They are not a burden. They are a beautiful blessing that Jason and I have been gifted with. And while I THINK we might be done having kids, ultimately, we know we will welcome as many children as God sees fit for us. They are, after all, completely His.
A incredibly valuable, precious, reward, blessing and heritage to us.
*Photo was taken for my Instagram. You can follow me there at @stellardayblog.