I stood talking with a woman at the checkout and her 5-year-old was climbing first up her leg, then squealing, then dropping to the floor, still holding her mother’s arms, jerking her downward, demanding to be picked up, running round and round while the mother’s face grew more tense, trying to focus on our conversation–both of us attempting to ignore the giant elephant of this demanding child.
“I have two and I’m exhausted”, she said. “They’re wild.”
Wild. Her words played back as I drove home. The lady appeared to be a Christian–I know at least that she attended church regularly.
Lately it seems that I see too many mothers not enjoying their children. Some of them say so right out loud. They scramble to go places, to find activities to entertain them. It seems impossible to them to just be at home for any length of time with their children, playing, hanging out, soaking them in.
Just being….something, I think maybe children need more than anything.
What is the problem?
I sit frozen at my computer after typing that question. I think of so many things, intertwined, reciprocating, and it’s impossible to make a list.
I think of mothers and fathers who simply lack the wisdom and understanding of basic child-training. I think of a new wave of parenting among Christians that shames parents for even believing that the Bible teaches they have authority over their children. What do we do with that?
I think of parents too busy to engage in child training if they did understand it; too consumed with other pursuits to roll up their sleeves and perform the arduous task of raising children.
I think of how the birth control mentality we embrace inadvertently distorts our view of children and makes them a burden before they even arrive.
I think of the sheer lack of time parents spend with their children that hinders the natural friendship and affectionate bond that should exist which draws us to enjoy them.
I think of our addiction to entertainment and distraction and how it destroys family relationships.
I think of so many organizations that subtlety pull the already-fragmented family in different directions–physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I think of a century of feminist dogma that convinced us that motherhood was peripheral, at best, and not worth our full attention.
I think of the utter death of the “Christian soldier about my Father’s business” in the 21st century.
And I think of how all these factors become a vicious cycle that reaffirms our decision to stop having children–godly offspring that were intended to “speak with the enemy in the gates”.
I think of apathy among Christians, and a lack of theological depth and a flippant belief system.
What we believe affects how we live.
And if we believe that “it doesn’t really matter–this way or that, whatever works for you” we all end up swirling around in this cesspool of confusion and consequences from rejecting the wisdom of God.
Yep, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick with “Do You Like Your Children”.
Everything’s connected. It’s about our whole world view.
That’s my life message.
And we’re going to have to do a lot of rewinding to get to liking our children again.