Before I have every mother and mother-to-be breathing fire and coming after me with pitchforks, allow me to explain the title of this post. I firmly believe that parenthood is the most worthwhile pursuit in this short life we have on earth. It is the most noble, fulfilling calling that God has given to mankind starting with Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. It is wonderful, life-changing, and awe-inspiring in ways that I am only beginning to understand since I got pregnant nearly eight months ago. It is also one of the most difficult, tiring, expensive, and time consuming undertakings there is.
When I say children are inconvenient, I do not mean they are so because of their existence, nor because of the inherent demands placed upon parents. I say they are convenient because in a world where having everything you want when you want it, it is impossible to be a good parent and get everything you want. In fact, many parents put off things they need, like sleep, in order to nurture and care for their children. It is one of the most difficult sacrifices a couple can make to have children and then raise them well. Suddenly, that new dress you wanted becomes unimportant compared to making sure your child is outfitted for school. Your “me” time is drained away by the pressing needs and wants of the little child/ children in your care. Weekend parties and dates are shortened and/or replaced by quality time with your little ones because you were busy all week.
Isn’t it wonderful?
I mean that last question sincerely, by the way. Isn’t it wonderful that we have the opportunity to step outside ourselves, to let go of things that seem so important to the world, to nurture and love the way God loves us? There are times I wonder if the reason that we are given children in a family relationship is so we can learn to be more like Him. He wants us to have every opportunity to grow and progress, and I can think of no better way to learn to see things from His perspective than by being placed in his shoes where we must learn to love, nurture, and raise children. It is humbling to think that our Heavenly Father trusts us with His children, and allows us the privilege of bringing them into the world.
It is moments like this when I can feel my little one moving inside me that I understand why God is so strict about moral cleanliness in the scriptures. Some of the harshest reprimands on mankind have come because people decide only to do what is convenient for themselves with no regard to the hurt they inflict on future generations. I know the security, and love I have felt because my parents waited until after they were married to have sex, and further, to start a family. There are many who do not have this experience, though. Too many children are being raised in broken homes, or are being shifted from place to place because nobody wants them. Even worse are the stories I hear of children who are deprived of life completely because mothers, who do not want the inconvenience of children to complicate their lives, opt for abortion rather than take responsibility for their actions. (I am aware that there are a few extenuating circumstances in which this is not the case, but for the most part I have found that my above statement is true.) People want the convenience of sexual pleasure, but not the responsibility that follows when a child is conceived.
I wish I was grossly understating the severity of the breakdown of traditional families and moral values. Having served as a missionary and seen the devastating effects of broken homes first hand over and over and over again, am sad to say I have no words to convey just how serious the crisis is. It is heart wrenching.
We need more people who are willing to set aside the conveniences of the world for the sake of children. More than that, we need people who have enough humility and love to set aside worldly things for the sake of a much greater reward, of which children are only the beginning.
I hope that I may become half the parent my mother and father were to me, and that I can serve and love my son, and all my future children (God willing) in such a way that I will draw closer to Him and draw them closer to Him as well. I can only pray, and do the best I can.