Several weeks ago we ran into an acquaintance of mine at a restaurant. Upon finding out that we have four children, his eyes opened wider and exclaimed with the following: “Four? That’s a lot of work! I only have one and he’s a lot of work already. Man, I feel for you. I really feel for you.” What he was conveying was that he felt sorry for me because I have a lot of work cut out for me. In my unsanctified way, I responded with displeasure: “Don’t, please don’t. Don’t feel sorry for me.” My husband then replied with a more gracious response, “Children are blessings and why would we not want God’s blessings?”
It is very common nowadays to encounter people with a negative attitude towards children in the name of hard work. Hard work equals pain which means it’s to be avoided. In my experience people with fewer children tend to express this negative attitude more frequently than people with more children. Recently a mother told me that she is limiting her family size to two children because they are a lot of work. Since she wants to enjoy life, two is just enough. This saddens me because people seem to be blinded by the fact that children are blessings from God. Do they not know what Psalm 127 says?
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate
We need to look at our children as blessings, not merely as hard work. There is much to enjoy in life with them. I also acknowledge that they are a lot of work as I know this intimately well with my four little ones. My life with them is like a farmer and his field. It is a lot of work to sow seeds and tend the vegetables, but when the harvest time comes, it is a sweet reward. What’s more is that food tastes better and sweeter when you are the one who tended the field knowing that a lot of sweat and hard work went into it. Likewise, motherhood is hard, but do it well so you may reap what you sow. I await for the day when my children arise up and call me blessed (Proverbs 31: 28).