Eight Kids! What Were We Thinking? (by Lisa Anderson)
God’s truth confronting the culture . . .
Eight Kids! What Were We Thinking?
With eight children we have experienced it all: a used condom swinging out a pickup widow as it passed our 15-passenger van; the “environmental glares;” and the inevitable question, “Are all those children yours?” Today I will share truth that led us to have the family we have—truth that has not only changed my life, but has also changed the world.
It’s easy to think I am a natural lover of children by the fact we have eight kids. That couldn’t be further from the truth! I had no natural love for children at all. We thought pretty much the way the world thinks about children until I stumbled on a book by Mary Pride entitled The Way Home. God used her book to challenge our thinking about the issue. We began to see that the world’s view of children is diametrically opposed to God’s view.
The world says children are a financial burden and a hindrance to our personal dreams and desires. Population control experts and environmentalists say they are a source of a lot of the world’s problems. Their answer is to severely limit the number of children we have. Multiple nations have bought that lie. The result? Many nations are now on the brink of financial ruin due to the fact that there are fewer workers, fewer consumers, and not enough young people to care for the aging population. Realizing their mistake, some nations are now encouraging (even paying!) parents to have more children.
What does God say about children? Psalm 127 unequivocally says they are a gift, reward, and blessing. It also says a man with a lot of kids is a blessed man.
Proverbs 14:28 states that a ruler with a large population (lots of children) is similarly blessed. And as I stated in an earlier teaching, children are one of God’s modus operandi—His means of building and growing His kingdom in the earth. Often in Scripture, God’s answer to the world was a baby. Some of the main stories we read in the Bible center around the birth of a future leader: Moses, Samuel, Samson, Joseph, John the Baptist, and Jesus. The great warfare surrounding these births—barren wombs or murder edicts issued on their very lives—required God’s intervention. Hmmm…maybe Satan knows something we don’t know about the worth and significance of our children and wants their existence stamped out at any cost!
How has God’s truth about children impacted us? For one, we decided to receive the entire blessing He wanted to pour out on our lives. For others, it has meant being open to more children than they originally planned on having. For all of us, knowing children are a blessing and gift from God helps soften and give meaning to all the hard work involved in raising them. Also, instead of eagerly looking forward to being empty nesters, we feel totally blessed that in our 60s, we still have children at home with us.
Our attitude about our children is very evident to those around us. Beth, an old friend, recently made the following Facebook post. It is easy to see that she views her children as a blessing—quite a contrast to the, “Hallelujah, we’re empty nesters!” mentality:
"Today is the fist day in 31 years Bill and I have not had kids at home. We marvel at the joy, love, music, laughter, tears, blessings, and normal family chaos our five children (including two sets of twins!) brought into our lives. I sincerely can't believe how fast it went. Now they are all on their own paths. Yes, I know they sometimes come back for a spell—which will always be a welcomed stay—but today marks a very significant, new chapter in our lives. #gratitudeforthejourney #gonnamissthenoise"
How is the world a different place because we believed this truth? If we had stopped at four children, Molly, Rachel, Maggie, and James would have not been born. I can’t imagine life without them. We would have known loss, and the world would have known loss. Each one of them is a world-changer.
Mom, the children you have been given are a gift, reward, and blessing from Him. Receive them as such!
PS: For more on this topic, you can order my book Are All Those Children Yours? on our ministry website at www.lifeline-ministries.org
In what ways has the world’s view of children affected your perspective?
Share how people have responded positively or negatively to your pregnancies and children. How have those responses affected you?
What has made it hard for you to believe that your children are a blessing?
The reality of children is that they are a lot of work. How can the truth shared here help you live with that reality?
Pray that the world’s lies about children be washed away and that God’s truth will take hold in your hearts and lives.
Pray that you begin to see each of your children as the gift of God they are and that that view will transform your perspective on the work required to raise them.
Some women grew up with words of cursing spoken over them. Break the power of those words and speak words of blessing over each other.