Yes, I know that we read Psalm 127 yesterday, but there’s another major subject raised by this passage that I thought needed to be addressed today.
There are a few moral issues on which American culture and the Bible heartily disagree, and I would nominate the top two as sex and kids. Try to find anyone--outside of Bible-believing circles--that agrees that all sex outside marriage is wrong, and you have a long search ahead. And once you get past the blather from politicians about how “Children are our future,” you’ll find that 1) how most secular people view children, and 2) how the Bible views children, are very different.
Some of this is actually a sign of how the extremes of the environmental movement have influenced our thinking. Remember what we said about it a week ago? Due to missing out on the truth of Gen. 1-3, they don’t understand that every single human being is created in God’s image. If you don’t get that, and you believe that this world is all we have (thus denying the afterlife), then it’s easy to fall into misanthropy and see people in general as a parasite on the ecosystem. From there many people make the not-so-great leap that this world would do a lot better off with a lot less people.
Another reason why secular people (and by that I mean people who get their worldview from the prevailing culture, not the Bible) have such an antipathy towards children is, quite frankly, selfishness. They're enjoying a self-indulgent lifestyle, and children would provide a real hindrance to that. They don’t want to be around kids at all, much less be parents. Just a clue: If they refer to children as “ankle-biters,” I think that’s a hint as to their attitude.
Can I be perfectly honest here? I completely, wholeheartedly disagree with the environmental extremism, but there’s a small part of me, purely emotion-based, which sympathizes with the second group. I enjoy intellectual pursuits, and I like consuming TV shows and movies which are geared towards adults. I’ve been exposed to “Barney” and other like-minded shows, and when I do I feel my brain leaking out my ears. I realize that once my wife and I have children, then sacrifices will have to be made, and there’s a selfish part of me that rebels against it.
But how does God's word view them? I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover several times, and I can tell you that children are always seen as a blessing, never as a curse. The only exceptions I can think of are from the book of Proverbs, such as the verses which warn about a child rebelling and/or going astray, such as this one. But that's the result of a rebellious child, not an indication of the intrinsic worth of the child himself. In and of himself, a child is an incredible blessing from the Lord, as today’s passage indicates. Maybe we don’t say out loud that children are a curse, but sometimes they feel like a burden we have to carry.
So when the Bible’s view of something and my emotional reaction to that same thing are different, that what do you think needs to change? I heard my pastor once point out that, humanly speaking, Christianity is always one generation away from extinction. For those who read this as parents, the Lord has honored you with the most awe-inspiring responsibility: the chance to have a part in shaping the future of the world and the church. And for those of us who don’t have children (like myself, for now), we still have responsibilities. Every child we have contact with on a regular basis is watching us. If they know that we’re Christians, then they’re learning about the Father from us. If we see them as interruption of whatever we’re doing, then they get a sense of how valuable they are to us. And we worship a Savior who, when the disciples thought he was too busy for children and were turning them away, got angry with his disciples. Does our treatment of children reflect his heart?
Lord Jesus, you value every child. The child that’s about to step on my last nerve, the child who’s about to drive me to the loony bin, you regard as more precious than your life’s blood. May I see them the way you see them, please.
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