Embracing the Blessings: The Joy and Lessons of Parenting

Growing up, I dreamt of having a large family, filling my home with laughter and warmth. I envisioned my children frolicking like playful foals in a meadow, filling our home with sweet melodies. Living in a different culture only added flavor to these dreams, as I imagined our family serving the poor, enjoying life’s simple pleasures, and raising goats for the glory of God.

Fast forward to today, and I am the proud parent of six amazing children. Though the reality of parenting is far more complex than my dreams, the joy and love they bring make it all worthwhile.

Children, as it turns out, are spicy rather than merely sweet. Raising them can be challenging and demanding, often pushing us to our limits. But through these difficulties, we come to appreciate the unique blessings and lessons that parenting offers.

In a world where having many children often draws judgment and disapproval, we must remember that the Bible calls children gifts from God (Psalm 127:3). They might sometimes exhaust us. Still, they also teach us valuable lessons about love, service, and faith.

In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus provides three significant statements about the value of children. These statements help us see the importance of children and their role in our spiritual growth:

  1. Greatest Among the Lowest: Jesus tells us that by welcoming children in His name, we welcome God Himself (Mark 9:37). Serving the weak and vulnerable, like children, allows us to understand and enter into the heart of God. Children remind us of true greatness and usher in His presence.
  2. Protector of the Weak: Jesus warns against causing harm to children, emphasizing the importance of their protection (Mark 9:42). This highlights the value God places on children and His commitment to their well-being.
  3. Kids Hold the Key: Jesus teaches that to enter the kingdom of God, we must receive it with the humility and dependence of a child (Mark 10:14-15). Children demonstrate the qualities necessary for spiritual growth and salvation.

Parenting is a journey filled with challenges and unexpected turns. But as we navigate this path, we come to appreciate the profound lessons our children teach us about love, faith, and our relationship with God. They may be noisy, messy, and sometimes feel like little whirlwinds, but they are undeniably gifts and rewards from above.

Above my daughter’s bed hangs a canvas she painted, featuring our stick-figure family and the words, “The More Children, the Jollier!” How true and wise these words are. Let us embrace the joy, growth, and blessings that parenting brings, and remember that through both the ups and downs, our children are forever gifts from God.