I’ve been really challenged as a parent as of late. I’ve got three wonderful children who love to pile up in the backseat of my pickup truck, wrestle and tickle me, and talk with me (or jabber with me) about every little thing on their mind.
I know they are blessings. I love them. I would do anything for them.
But sometimes, I get really tired as a parent. I get overwhelmed. Some of that is due to the fact that they are children. It’s their “fault” I’m tired, but a lot of the fault is mine.
It made me think about the joy I first felt when I heard I was going to become a father, and how, unfortunately, my perspective can shift overtime if I’m not careful.
Think about this:
“We’re expecting!” Do you remember what it felt like when you first heard those words? When news first reached your ears that you were going to become a parent, nothing would ever be the same. Nothing could ever be the same.
God was entrusting the care of a new life into your hands.
If you were like many other parents, your original thought might have been: “What is God thinking? He’s going to entrust a child to me!” Maybe you still felt like a kid yourself. How could you care for another life when you were still trying just to get your own life straightened out?
Yet, along with this growing nervousness you might have felt, you probably also experienced immense joy upon the impending arrival of your first child. Maybe you received the news that you were pregnant. You might have first heard this news when you had been matched with a child through adoption. However God brought that child into your family, everything changed in that moment.
Remember that feeling?
These moments are often full of excitement and joy. These moments are hard to forget. Revisiting these stories hopefully remind you of how precious of gifts that your children are.
That was then.
This is now.
Instead of declaring the news, “we’re expecting,” many parents probably would resort to the phrase, “we’re exhausted!” Let’s be honest: parenting is a challenging endeavor. You never fully clock out of this job. Whenever you feel like you have made it through one set of parenting challenges, it seems as if something scarier looms around the corner waiting to stop you in your parental tracks.
We remember how we felt when we got the news we were expecting, but how have you felt in the last week as a parent?
I have repented recently concerning my parenthood rhetoric. I guess since I have 3 young children and I’m not afraid to do stuff with them by myself so my wife can get some mental and physical rest sometimes, I have invited people to comment upon my family’s dynamics. “Boy, you got your hands full, don’t you?” As they say this, it’s not a polite comment. It’s an indication that they think my children must be a burden.
And due to weariness of my own or weariness of hearing these statements, I started to given in: “They sure are! It’s always something!” Whine. Complain. Moan. Belly-ache. Yada, yada, yada, I do my children a huge disservice.
God forbid that my children ever hear their father talking about them as if they are a burden to me.
Parenthood can often be described by saying that we show joy concerning their potential energy and weariness concerning their kinetic energy. When they finally get here, our perspectives can change.
You might be the same way. While you still love your children, the hectic pace of life may be robbing you of expressing that love to your children in an authentic, daily manner. Instead of joy filling your heart, maybe you feel like anxiousness has taken hold. Where excitement abounded, stress has now taken its place.
We must relearn to see our children the way that God himself sees our children.
How does God see our children?
3Behold, children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Children are a blessing and not a burden. Maybe today is a good day to be reminded of that fact.