Whether we enter a restaurant or head to the park, eyes around us always swiftly count my children. Some even squint to assess just how old my husband and I are. Usually, when people see a lot of children, they immediately assume it’s a great burden to bear. I have four children and had all of them by the time I was 30.
After the initial “How old are you?” I’m often asked, “Why?”
Why did we have them at such a young age? Why did we keep going after having two? Why did we have them so quickly, one after another?
These days, society sees children as emotional, physical, and financial responsibilities, which leads many couples to check their budgets before they choose to have a child or not. Some may check their career plans or life goals to see if there’s room for disruption. You can always tell how the world sees children as a burden by the way people roll their eyes or quickly walk ahead when one of your tiny ones begins to wail in a restaurant or — God forbid — in an airplane.
For our culture to have a low view of children is not something new. When people tried to bring the little children to Jesus, the disciples rebuked them. The disciples saw them as distractions, a burdensome inconvenience. To this, Jesus was indignant (Mark 10:13-16). He values children to the degree in which He takes it personally if we were to disregard them (Mark 9:37, Matthew 18:10).
And the truth is, children do cost a lot and take up a lot of space. They will forever keep you from doing whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it. However, aren’t all great things a burden and an interruption? Marriage. Promotions. Even buying a house falls under this category!
I used to think that Psalm 127:3-5 was just a poetic exaggeration for us to just appreciate our children. However, I have come to realize through personal experience just how true this passage is.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.” (Psalm 127:3-5)
Every child my husband and I had was and is a gift, which are the reasons why it was easy to be open for more when the opportunity arose. Although each came into the world with specific needs, God supernaturally provided for every single one of these costs. Indeed, with each new birth, there was an increase of responsibility, a longer list of things to do for my husband and me.
However, we were also empowered with a release of new anointings over our home. Our ministry in the church grew at the same pace that my family grew. And, of course, each child brought a new voice onto the dinner table, a new laugh and personality. My children have blessed us in ways that money and promotions could not. That is why the sacrifices of having them did not deter us from being open for more.
Kingdom perspective taught us this: God blesses us in mysterious ways, through unlikely vehicles. Just as the Savior of the world was found in the unlikeliest town in the unlikeliest socioeconomic class, so are many of God’s greatest rewards found. For my family, His rewards are found in four little wildlings called Moriah, Elias, River, and Adalynn.
Of course, that number is different for every family, and how that number comes about, whether is through natural means, with help from the medicinal field, or through the gift of adoption is up to your unique journey with the Lord.
Jesus said that there are angels for every child (Matthew 18:10). Therefore, whether you have one or six children, you know that each one carries a supernatural favor, a greatness that I hope no parent overlooks. When you shift your perspective into a kingdom perspective, you stop seeing tired and overworked parents as unfortunate. You see them as blessed.