Guest post by Amanda Bacon from Bacon Bites.
Chances are if you have been out in public with more than one child in tow, you have heard comments similar to these:
“Wow, you have your hands full!”
“My! You sure are busy!”
“I don’t know how you do it!”
“You’re brave for bringing them all with you…”
“Are they all yours?”
“Better you than me!”
You get the idea. You give them a weak smile while thinking, “That’s all you could think of to say to me?”
Sadly, in our society, parents are accustomed to hearing these types of statements. These comments are an indication that our society views having children differently than God does. Why are children not universally valued in our society? Can we see children as a joyful addition to life (and shopping trips)?
And by the way, moms always know we have our hands full, don’t we? But that’s part of the joy of it all. I LOVE taking the kids to the store. I really do. It’s a challenge and such fun all at the same time. As I’m sure you do, I treasure any chance to slip into town to the store by myself. But that’s not always practical. Plus, taking the kids to the store gets us out of the house and teaches the kids how to properly interact with the outside world. Also, having the three bigger kids bagging produce for me is an added bonus.
We saw what kinds of things can be discouraging to a mom, now let’s look at how we can build up and encourage one another in our mothering. I can think of plenty of positive things to say when I see a fellow mom out and about with her kid(s). How about: (These are real things that people have said to me, God bless these kind and wonderful souls!)
“Those are some cute kiddos.”
“How old are they? They are just beautiful.”
You are incredibly blessed.”
“You’re doing a good job, Mom.”
“Can I help you with anything?”
“You kids are so well behaved.”
“It must be fun to be out shopping with your Mom!”
I have six children ages ten and under, including the adorable and chubby ten month old baby boy who arrived just three weeks ago whom we are in the process of adopting and the fourteen month old baby girl we welcomed through adoption last summer when she was nine weeks old.
I don’t see our family as large – I see it as just right. It’s our family. And I adore our family. It’s not a burden, it’s an absolute joy. I can understand why a family with more than two to three kids is considered “large” in our culture where reaching the American Dream is something to be strived for, and many view children as little beings that get in the way. Well, I for one am living my dream. No American Dream needed here, I have a God-given dream. God has pieced our family together in ways I couldn’t have dreamed up in a lifetime of nights spent sleeping. He has made me a joyful mother of children. There is nothing that could entice me to live in a bigger house, have a nicer (and smaller) car, enjoy more throw around cash, have designer clothes, and a career that is taking off. Nothing. I laugh at the thought. I love my life. Our children are a heritage. They (and ourselves) are the only things that are lasting in this life in light of eternity.
Children are God’s gift to us. Psalm 127:3 states, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” That passage goes on to say, in verses four and five, “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!”
What might those blessings of having children look like? Sometimes we view blessings as only the obviously good things that come our way. I can tell you first hand that I am blessed to have been humbled on several occasions by my children. They help me continually see my need for God.
No matter what our society says about raising children, we can know that the God of the universe is cheering us on. And that is more than enough as we raise the next generation of arrows to be shot out into this world for his glory.
Amanda Bacon enjoys life with her family in the beautiful state of Alaska. She is married to Jeremy, and has six children ages 10, 9, 6, 3, 14 months, and 10 months. Her interests include helping women grow in relationship with the Lord, adoption, homeschooling, sewing, knitting/crochet, and blogging at Bacon Bites.