It is not a surprise that when we do things out of their designed order, as we have a tendency to do, that what God purposed as a blessing can be viewed as, well, a burden. Our sin, then, alters our view of God's blessings. God designed man and woman to be joined together in marriage and make babies. Specifically, the Bible says in Genesis 1:27-28:
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them,
“Be fruitful and increase in number;
fill the earth and subdue it.
Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky
and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
As our extended families spread apart and our immediate families break apart, parenting gets even more difficult therefore making our perception of parenthood even worse. We are constantly told how expensive children are to raise, how much of our energy they take, how we will never get a good night's sleep again, how they will [fill in the blank]. It is rare to hear a parent recall the joys of parenthood, and I am just as guilty.
There are days when I cannot see God's purpose through my own trials. There are days when I do not want to either because I want to believe the lies and take the easiest path. Parenthood has quickly taught me, however, that short-cuts rarely pay off. I find myself in tears, on my knees, often.
I want to encourage everyone to evaluate the reasons behind their current conceptions of parenthood. What forms your beliefs? Who influences them? When was the last time you sat down with a grandmother and let her recall the joys of parenthood?
There are several parenting sermon series that I listen to over and over again to keep me on God's path. Covenant Life Church's "The Parenting Years" is one of my favorites.