We were out walking this morning. One of our neighbors told me I had my hands full. I told him my children were great. I should have said I like having my hands full. Taking that further, I could have said they were not full enough, but that borders on discontentment so I probably wouldn’t say that.
People have no idea what they are saying when they say those things. I usually just smile at them. Most people with large families (I do not really think four is large, but as the prevailing thought goes) want to have large families, but often we are either laughed at or people feel sorry for us. We on the other hand feel sorry for people who think children are a burden. The number of children in a family isn’t really the issue, rather it is the attitude towards children which is important.
I’ve said before that God doesn’t have all families on an assembly line being put together in exactly the same way. We don’t all have the same number of children or have the same family ministries. I know first hand that I have no control over how many children I have. But it makes me sad when I see families who either hate children, or who treat them like pets or annoying pests. Children are an asset, if trained in God’s way of wisdom. I wish everyone could experience the same joy I have because of my children.
My children are sinners just like I am. We struggle daily to work through the heart issues of pride and selfishness (ours and theirs), and all the out-workings of those. We labor to share the gospel message that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and must repent and receive God’s free gift of salvation that Jesus has secured for those who have faith in Him by dying on the cross for our sins. We strive to share the whole Bible with our children day after day and demonstrate a living faith that tries to apply God’s word to everyday life.
We grow weary. We cry out to God for wisdom and strength. We ask His Spirit to draw our children’s hearts to Him. We cannot do any good in our children’s lives without Him. He does the work, but uses us as tools in His hands. And as He shapes our children using us as their parents, he also works to adjust us and make us better tools. It is not an easy process, but we don’t regret any of it.
Children are a gift from the Lord. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling I get when I see my children around the table enjoying meals, conversations, laughter, and times of singing, Bible reading and prayer. I am thankful for the growing closeness and ability to work, serve and play together that is developing in our family. I have no greater joy than to know that my children are walking in the truth, and that is what I pray for each of them.
By God’s Grace, for His glory,