What I’m Thankful for #14: Blessings (and Responsibilities) of Children

This is one in a series of daily posts I conceived of writing many weeks ago while the election still raged on, as I looked for something to write about of more lasting value. The weeks leading up to Thanksgiving seemed perfectly appropriate for it. Just in case you wondered, the topics introduced are not necessarily in any particular order. I hope the series is of some small encouragement to you, even as my site traffic takes a dive.

There is a divide between parenthood and non-parenthood that you don’t really get until after it’s thrust upon you. It seems to be one of those well-known secrets of the generations that doesn’t completely make sense to try to explain to the uninitiated. But I will weakly try to tag it as a unique combination of curious wonder and tremendous responsibility.

Psalm 127:3
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Anyway, I am very thankful that God has given the lovely Mrs. Virtus and me two beautiful children. God takes care to let us know the value of children and the gift they are. And indeed, we are to have gratitude for God’s gifts.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but you can look a long time through the Scriptures and never find a reference defining children as anything akin to “a burden” or “a hassle.” Strictly speaking, we don’t need a reminder of that. In our natural fallen state as parents, we come to learn quite quickly that the cutest small baby on up poses a challenge to the conveniences and priorities of our own kingdoms. Perhaps not so ironically, the completion of this post itself was delayed by a restless little one who needed daddy’s arms.

Not how I had planned for things to go, but the good parent recognizes and adapts to this responsibility. We need God’s grace to be good parents, which all too often includes acknowledging our failures and shortcomings, and moving on. And many days we recognize just how much more we seem to be learning than the children themselves are supposed to be.

A final comment: Having one child stretches your imagination, your understanding, your hopes, your plans, and your patience. Then the second child comes, and all bets are off. You realize that of the things you have learned thus far from rearing the older child, not as much as you like carries over to what might resemble effective parenting of the younger child. They truly are individuals, with signs apparent in some of the earliest days of life outside the womb.

And that – I think – is a big part of the blessing. As you get to nurture some of those unique talents, gifts, and inclinations, you hopefully get the chance to see somewhat bigger glimpses of what God can do through each child. And because there’s a huge investment of time, tears, hopes, fears, patience, and prayers, each and every sign of positive fruit yields a proportionally large sense of thanksgiving as a parent.

Personally speaking, I am still a relative novice and newcomer in this world. But I certainly appreciate and thank God for what I’ve learned and have been blessed with so far from having two beautiful, healthy, and unique children.

Comments

  1. says

    While my girlfriend and I aren’t married, for the past two years I can’t deny that I’ve been something of a father figure to my girlfriend’s (now 9 y.o.) daughter. It is just so hard to think how small she was when I met her when she was just 7.

    A couple of nights ago, we were working on long division, and when she said to me, “Why don’t we just put the remainder to the side, and bring it back when we’re done,” well, I was just thrilled because that’s exactly what she needed to do.

    “Long days, short years,” is the phrase I learned while at KOA.

    While I receive so many blessings just being around her, the greatest blessing is when I hear her and her mother laughing at something at the same time.

  2. ira says

    Take your experience with 2 and raise it all the way to 6.6 billion unique souls … and we get a glimpse of what God’s mindset and angle of view would be like

    I’ve come to your site via Redstate and Colorado Republican blogs — even though I reside in New York City

    good luck with the Thanksgiving season, IRA

  3. says

    Todd, there’s a lot of truth in that statement: “Long days, short years”

    Ira, welcome to my site, and thanks for introducing yourself and sharing your thoughts. I agree that parenting has done a lot for me to reshape my perspective and my relationship toward God – what patience He has!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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