Do you ever get a rush of love for your child, where your heart seems to swell for a moment and a fluttering sensation develops in your chest? The moment often catches me unawares, when I just happen to look up and see my child sitting there, or perhaps interacting with his or her dad or sibling, or even playing with the dog. It reminds me that, in spite of the eye rolling or moodiness or occasional back talk from them, God has blessed me with the wonderful gift of being a parent.
Children are supposed to be a blessing. There are days when that’s hard to remember. Like, when your baby has an explosive bout of diarrhea while sitting at the photographer’s and you didn’t bring a change of clothing. Or when your toddler has dismantled the bookcase for the fifth time that day. Or when your child’s behavior has landed him in the principal’s office. Again. Or you catch your teen in a lie, and instead of coming clean she yells that you just don’t understand.
Where’s the blessing in all that?
The blessing comes when we daily recognize that our children are given to us to honor and glorify God, that children are how His legacy continues generation to generation. Malachi 2:15 is seldom quoted, but is a good reminder of why the Lord places children in our care:
Has not the Lord made them one [husband and wife]? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring.
Our children are not for our joy or to continue our family name, but for God’s joy and to carry on the name of Christ. All the decisions we make on our children’s behalf, all the guidance and counsel we share, all the tears we shed and prayers we offer up, should be done with the focus that God is central to who we are as a family.
As Christian parents, we have no greater mission field than our own children. We are servants to the Most High God, called in obedience to His Word, to teach our children about Him and to make God the biggest deal we can in our homes. To do less is to mock His sovereignty and make light of His truths.
And where’s the blessing in that?