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Why Have Children?

A friend of mine posted this little something she wrote about having children.  She’s not a blogger or author (although she certainly could be), but she IS a mother of 10 children.  She is ALSO the mother of our son-in-law, Sam, who is married to our second daughter.  I loved it and thought you would too!  Thanks, DeAnn!

Last week Kari posted the question about why we have children and it got me to thinking about this as well. I think the new Mom comes into motherhood with a sweet naivety, but what causes a woman to have more than one? Especially when you factor in the extreme pain involved in bringing a child into this world. (Unless you’re an epidural cheater—you know who you are, sitting there in the labor bed just smiling away with neatly combed hair and not a drop of sweat and it would never even cross your mind to scream at your husband “I’M GONNA KILL YOU FOR DOING THIS TO ME, YOU …?MEANY?”)

Anyway, now that I’m on the other side of the whole decision I must say that one reason to enjoy your children is the lessons they teach us. The first I’ll mention is the first we experience. Laying aside our comforts for the life or the good of another. From childbirth to sleepless nights to preparing meals when you’re running a 103 degree fever. It has been good for me to learn to put others before myself.

We hold our little ones with such joy and expectancy, amazed at their frailty, and struck with their utter dependence on us to safely get them through this life. Will they be sweet and compassionate, strong, discerning: or will they be proud and arrogant, selfish and greedy? We can’t know. So we just love them, feed them, and care for them the best we know how. Here I exercise hope, hope for their future. That God would watch and guide them and assist us in this endeavor.

All the growing up years where we teach, discipline, provide, care, worry, love, scold, plan, and test our children. It’s long and tiring, but the rewards of love, friendship, and the bond that comes from nurturing. God has been faithful to show me through my children’s’ disobedience, my disobedience. “How many times have I told you kids….? How many times have I had to remind you?” God says to me. So I learn to be patient with my children and a little more understanding.

The time comes to all parents when we have to let go. Driving was the first biggie for me. I learned to pray more, and for the whole community. But more painfully was/is learning to let them go as adults. And how to let go and still be available without overstepping—I’m in the middle of this one.

All the sleepless nights, frustrations, anxiety over sickness, anxiety over teenagers, exhaustion, and the fights (because they won’t learn how right I was until they have their own kids), and all the things we give up that would really be fun; these along with the laughs, the hugs, encouragement, compromises, the funny moments as well as the heart wrenching will be the bond, the glue that holds us together. The lesson—I’m not perfect and neither are they, but that’s just fine. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and so will they and some of theirs will hurt me as perhaps some of mine have hurt them. But I love them and forgive them as God has forgiven me much.

And when I come to the end of my days and I’m lying on my death bed, Lord willing those soft, fat, kissable cheeks and those tiny, fragile, little hands will be the strong, capable hands that wisely help me through that transition from this world into the arms of Christ. And maybe they’ll hold my hand and be amazed at its frailty, and kiss my cheeks, and because they know me so well and love me they’ll slip one last little bit of chocolate between my lips—family sticking it out together till the end.

So be bold, have children. You’ll be a better person for it.

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