By Vanessa Rasanen
Parenting is an awesomely hard gig somedays. Amidst the laughs and fun we have our share of messes and frustrations, tears and fights. But above all it’s the worry that wears me the most thin. If I claimed to never fear or worry about what life will bring for our children, it’d be a total lie.
Then the news hits. Another atrocity. More heartache somewhere for someone. And I struggle to block it all out so I don’t completely fall apart and fail to be a wife and mom. Inevitably the question comes up… “Why have kids at all when the world is so awful?” And shamefully I admit it sometimes causes me to pause.
The world is indeed fallen into sin, and if we ever doubt this fact, all we have to do is wait five minutes and then check the news again. When we bring children into this world, we do so knowing they will one day have their blinders removed and see just how evil, hard, and sad this life can be.
I hear it echoed often among friends — from the single, to the newlyweds, to the growing families — this fear of what our children may face, and the heartache of knowingly subjecting them to sin. And I get it.
I get that fear. I think it’s normal — but just because it’s normal, doesn’t make it right.
There are a few Truths we should remember as we face this worry amidst the ever-troubling news and its constant reminder of evil and sin.
First, let’s remember we aren’t the ones who create life. Sure, it “takes two to tango”, as they say, but we are not actually in control. Just ask the couple who, despite trying everything and seeing every doctor, cries for their empty arms. Or talk to the couple who, despite the doctor’s assertion that they’d never bear children, now have two little blessings — naturally. Or look at the couple who, despite never planning to have children and taking all the precautions to avoid it, now have a sweet surprise blessing.
We may think we are in control with our pills or our charts or our knowledge and plans, but it is God who opens and closes wombs as He wills.
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Job 1:21 (ESV)
While we may choose to take steps and measures to limit the creation of life, we are good to remember that children are always a blessing (Psalm 127:3) even in a sinful world — and a blessing God gives when He chooses.
Secondly, these times seem awful, but we’re not special snowflakes here. We are quite quick to believe we are living in the worst of the worst, the scariest of times, when everything seems to be falling apart. Yes, the news is terrifying at times, and there is immense evil at work among us — but we are not the only ones in all of history to face such an age.
Every generation has known death, destruction, disease, devastation, and sin. It may seem worse today, partly because of our ability to hear of atrocities on the other side of the world within minutes or even seconds, but we face the same enemy today that has been at work since the fall.
And lastly, God works through people — including our children. I’m not going all purpose-driven-y on you here, but vocation vocation vocation. Our children may not solve world hunger or cure childhood cancer, but they do serve their neighbors — even if we don’t always readily see how. Even the child who needs twenty-four hour care is a blessing to the neighbor who serves them.
We cannot know what this earthly life holds for us or our littles, but we know it won’t always be easy. It very well could bring great suffering. But we also know that in Christ Jesus we have a future brighter than any of the darkest moments Satan can dish out. In our baptisms we share in His death and also His resurrection.
We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:4 (ESV)
In our baptism we have the blessed assurance that — no matter what heartache and despair we may have on this earth and in this life — through the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ we have the blessed gift of salvation and life everlasting.
And what better future could we hope for our children?