Are Children a Blessing or a Burden?

Some days are better than others in our household.

There are days when my children are amazingly obedient, kind, respectful, and pleasant to be around! Those are the days when I think I’ve got this mothering thing down and start thinking about baby number 4 already (not really… I’m not that crazy)! And then there are days when my children throw all manners out the window and seriously act like they have been raised by cave men… clawing at each other, beating each other over the head with sticks, and speaking in loud screeching sounds that don’t even remotely sound like English.

Then there are the days that I am an especially great mother… kind, respectful, and pleasant to be around. And…. there are also the days when I beat myself over the head with a stick and make strange screeching sounds into my pillow at night while I contemplate how I can convince Drew to become a stay at home dad so I can escape the madness! (I’m just kidding, by the way!) =)

But in all seriousness, not every day around here is a perfect day (although most are really pretty good!). But at the end of each and every day, no matter how the day went, I am incredibly thankful to have the blessing of my children and if I could ever rewrite my life story I would never, ever, ever write them out of it. I absolutely {love}  being a mom!

In this era, though, this is not necessarily the norm. In fact, an article published in Time Magazine in August 2013 entitled “The Childfree Life” states that the current birth rate in the U.S. is the lowest it has ever been and that more and more people are choosing to opt out of having children.

Notice the title of the article: “The Childfree Life: When Having it All Means Not Having Children“. An article here claims that the author used the term “childfree” instead of “childless” because “the most educated, highest IQ non-mothers by choice now say, “Childlessness is for someone who wants a child but doesn’t have one. It’s a lack. I’m not lacking anything.””

We live in a world where children are most often viewed as a {burden} rather than a {blessing}. And parents who chose to have more than two of these “burdens” are considered to be especially foolish, unwise, and totally irresponsible.

Even as Christians, we often take on the same view as the secular world around us. We don’t value children. The world tells us that no children or less children are better because it allows you to be more free to pursue your dreams and your passions, have {more} fun with your significant other and friends, less to worry about, less responsibility, and overall more {joy} in life. Our own experiences seem to validate the fact that children {are} sometimes inconvenient, irritating, annoying, embarrassing, expensive, and just down right a. lot. of. work.

I’m not saying that sometimes our children are not these things. Nor am I saying that children are perfect little angels all the time who will be incredibly easy to care for and require no amount of sacrifice on a parents’ part. But when the world tries to paint a picture of something it deems good or bad, a warning bell should go off in the mind of a Christian and we can most assuredly come to the conclusion that it is exactly the opposite.

This girl brings SO much joy into our lives.

The Bible tells us that:

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a {reward} from him.
Psalm 127:3

Since the Bible teaches us that children are a {blessing} and not a burden, it is our job to adjust our thinking to align with what the Scripture says, not to reinterpret Scripture to match what the world says.

Isaiah and Eloise with their cousin, Novalee. Three blessings!

So, how can we start viewing our children as blessings?

First of all, we need to stop viewing our children with an earthly perspective. Most everyone would agree that children often times cost {lots} of money, embarrass us in front of others, get sick at the most inconvenient times, don’t allow us to get as much done as WE want to, make messes that we spend the whole day picking up, whine, disobey, make poor choices, and often take so much physical and mental energy that we feel we have nothing left at the end of the day. Raising kids is not for the faint of heart!

But, to help us understand the blessing of children we need to develop an eternal, spiritual perspective.  God {says} children are a blessing, so they {are}! They advance His kingdom. They are like arrows in the hand of a warrior (Psalm 127:4-5), which we need in spiritual battle against the enemy. They force us to grow up and develop character, to learn patience and selflessness. Children cause us to get over ourselves and learn the blessing of self-sacrifice. And, as any parent knows, children are a blessing because of the sheer joy and delight they bring into a home! I think my kids are the cutest, smartest, most entertaining, and most fun kids on the planet and I could just eat them up! Drew and I video tape or take a picture of almost every cute moment and treasure every sweet and tender one. Our kids have brought unending joy and happiness into our home and I know many other parents feel the same (on most days!).

As Christians, we have the responsibility of raising up a future generation of adults who love and serve the Lord. What an incredible, huge, and daunting task. And yet what could be of more eternal value?!

If I didn’t have Isaiah who would paint my toes while I’m pregnant?!?!
“The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing; but in our culture, we apply for a curse and reject blessings.” 

This is not a post trying to guilt people into having children or into having more children. The decision about whether or not to have children and/or how many to have (or adopt) is between you, God, and your spouse! And I also realize that many out there desperately want to have children and cannot.

I simply want to encourage those of us who do have children to view them as blessings instead of burdens. Being a parent has it’s good days and it’s bad days. Not every day will you be over the top, enthusiastically thankful for the little creatures who are driving you bonkers that day. And that’s ok. That’s part of life and no matter how hard we try we can’t make every day a perfect day (because we are sinners and we are raising kids who are sinners!).

But, whether you have one child or ten, praise God for the blessing of your children and ask Him for the grace and patience to view them as the blessings they are, even when the days get rough. Ask Him to help you see the {JOY} in raising children! It’s an awesome job!

The world sees children as a burden but God sees them as a blessing to help share the burdens of life!

 

My little “superhero” helping me with the dishes last night. So thankful for him.
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12 thoughts on “Are Children a Blessing or a Burden?

  1. This parenting thing is tough. When I prayed that I become pregnant only if it was God's will for my life, I know he gave me the greatest blessing on Earth. Being a parent has taken me through refining fires on so many levels and for it I am grateful. I had planned to remain without children and I am so blessed not to have. There are many paths through life for each of us and I'm thankful for this one.

  2. I'm not the only one who wants to tear my hair out sometimes? 🙂 It's work, but it is the most rewarding work I have ever done in my life. Some of my most prized compliments come from my three year old, no matter how many times he says “Momma, you are beautiful,” it almost always makes me want to cry.

  3. You are so right, parenting is so tough. But I agree, children are one of the greatest blessings on this Earth. I am so glad that you are able to see your child as a blessing and thank God for for giving them to you!!

  4. Haha! Nope, you're not the only one! =) I agree that being a parent is one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet! I also pretty much melt when Isaiah comes us to me after I've gotten ready and says, “Wow, Mom, I like your pretty hair!” or something similar. Kids bring so much joy!!!

  5. Thank you! I am so sorry to hear that your parents viewed you as a burden growing up and that you knew it even at a very young age. That is something no child deserves. Glad you have chosen to have a better view of the little girls in your community. They are blessed to hav e you as their “aunt”!

  6. This is soo beautiful! I often think about that as well. I love my kids and can't imagine my life without them. They are so precious to me. I love how you have worded everything in this post . Children are a huge blessing to us and God blesses us to take care of them. Your amazing at what you do… Keep pushing and know that God has everything you need. Especially the energy to take care of all of them..LOL

  7. Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Alicia! It's so easy, on rough days, to start viewing my kids as a burden rather than a blessing and I'm always asking God to help me remember what a blessing children {always} are…. no matter how the day goes! By the way, your two girls are absolutely adorable!!! SO cute!!

  8. I love your view in this post! For a bit of a different one, let me just say that women (like myself) who have not been able to have children, and are still holding out hope for them, are heartbroken when they hear moms complain about their kids. Oh yes, we know everyone has bad days and everyone needs to vent. But it still makes us a little sad 😦 Because we would give always anything to have a rough day filled with little ones.

  9. I totally understand what you are saying even though I cannot possibly understand the heartbreak of desperately wanting to be blessed with children and not yet having been. I am so sorry and pray for God's PEACE in your life even through this tough situation. I have felt similarly during these past couple of months. My husband has been without work for many many months and we were/ are struggling financially. And I remember feeling bitter when I would hear people complain about their jobs or how much they made because we would desperately like to be making even half as much as them! Thankfully my husband just got signed on as a financial advisor with Edward Jones and, although we haven't yet received his first paycheck, God is faithful and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Heart to Heart, my friend!

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