Thursday, March 4, 2010

Blessing or Burden? Does our life display the truth of God?

I grew up in what is considered by many to be a large family, the youngest of eleven children.  I think it is downright funny when I enter a store with my THREE children and get comments about how I must certainly have my hands full with "all those kids."  Hmmm...

My children, by the grace of God, all have functioning ears and they hear the comments people make.  They all came to me one day recently to ask "Why do people always say you must have your hands full when they see us Mommy?" I told them my guess is that people just know how much work kids are.  And they are!  But my question for them to think about was whether work was a good thing or bad?  We read about how the Lord created everything in six days, and rested the seventh; and how we are to imitate Him.  Then we  looked up verses about how children are arrows in the hands of a warrior, an heritage, a blessing, etc.  I reaffirmed the pleasure and privilege it is for me to do the work of raising these beautiful children up to know and serve the God who made us all.  None of this was new information to my kids, but it was foundational for the discussion which followed.

You see, they had not only repeatedly heard the words, they've discerned the differences in delivery.  Why is it that some people make this statement with a smile, and others speak the very same words but with pity?  These are such teachable moments!  They are learning that communication involves more than spoken words.  The smiling folks send the message that they know or remember the workload of raising little ones, but they have fond memories of the task...children are a blessing and a work to engage in with joy.  The pitying people, communicate via their tone and expression that they feel sorry for me being strapped down by these are a burden.  And we all "hear" more than the words, do we not?

My kids are learning that there are worldviews behind what people say and do.  It is true that raising children is hard work, but the communication doesn't just say also gives us hints as to what the persons view of work is.  We live in a society of people that generally speaking want freedom, travel, pleasures of every kind, comforts, etc...but they don't want to work.  At best, work is seen as the necessary evil to getting what is wanted.  So those people who believe God, who take hold of whatever He puts into their hand to do and does it for His glory with all their might, SHINE.

Jesus said (Matt 5:14-16): "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."

Fellow encouraged to love on your children, pointing them daily to Jesus and displaying your own delight in walking with Him.  Engage in the good God-given work of raising them up for His glory in such a way that they and all the world know that God is telling the truth when He says they are a blessing.  I have more to say on this next time....


  1. I used to get that comment so often back in the day before I had built in babysitters. Once a woman passed by us and she had her hands full of stuff (pack of cigarettes, purse, cup of something, stuff like that) and she said "My, you have your hands full" and one of the kids asked why she said that when she clearly was carrying more stuff than I was. :)
    Children are so much work, and sometimes the reaping is slow in coming. Thanks for reminding me to get to work and with a will :)

  2. We get that alot...he he he .....I always teach my children that our family is God designed...and what God designs is a JOYFUL WORK! Plus they know that we ALL work together to make our family- work. It is such a Blessing, and we say that constantly to anyone who asks!