Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Loving Your Children

Sometimes we forget just how much of a blessing children are. Homeschooling, laundry, meal preparation....getting caught up in the busyness of the day, we have a tendency to depreciate our children and easily become annoyed or bothered. I was having such a day when I received the Kingdom Notes from Highlands Ministries, the ministry of Dr. R. C. Sproul, Jr. I was touched and thankful when I read it and am sharing it below.

Children, according to the Word of God, are a blessing from the hand of God (Psalm 127). That includes all children, no matter the circumstances. One of our children, who is a profound blessing also has profoundly special needs. Two of our children have come to us from troubled circumstances. In both instances there are unusual challenges. In both, however, there are unusual blessings. Shannon, my twelve year old whose abilities more closely match those of a one year old, blesses most potently in and through her disposition. Her nickname, Princess Happy is apt. Her happiness in turn is contagious. She smiles at me, and I am at peace. She laughs, and I forget my troubles.

Reilly and Donovan, who are four years and three months old respectively, bless in unusual ways as well. Reilly has an energy that is often a challenge, but is in turn a blessing. He is enthusiastic about whatever he is about. Last night, as we watched elder brother Campbell’s baseball game in near freezing temperatures, Reilly danced to music only he heard. Donovan only dances by accident- while I am dancing and holding him at the same time. He does, however, snuggle with passion. He wiggles on my shoulder, seeking to burrow his way into my neck.

In the end, however, the blessings from these children, who clearly and immediately strike strangers as “different” are very much like the blessings we receive from all of our children. Children are a blessing from the hand of God in the end less because of the lessons we learn, certainly not because of the love they bestow on us. They are blessings instead because they are the objects of our love. We are blessed because we get to love them. My daughter Darby, our first born, gave me, as her mom did before her, the Grinch experience. The day she was born my heart grew three sizes. My first born son, Campbell, proved the phenomenon did not diminish with each new child.

Delaney, God bless her, still calls me daddy, and still my heart expands. Erin Claire’s guilelessness not only evokes my love for her, but exhibits for me the child-like faith we are called to. And Maili is proof that even as I age, my heart can still grow. These are the olive plants about my table. They are God’s gift to me and my dear wife, our gift to their grandparents, uncles, aunts. They are objects of our love, drawing from us what best reflects the very image of God.

The moral then is not so obtuse. You need not break out your lexicons or your systematics texts to know what to do here. Love your children. Love them deeply. Love them faithfully. Love them without restraint or shame or fear. It will serve you well. It will serve them well. It will serve well your grandchildren. Best of all, it will make manifest the glory of the reign of Jesus Christ over all things.

This was and is a good reminder to give our God the thanks He alone deserves. Be encouraged and reminded to thank Him today for the blessings of your children.