God is pretty tricky.
He lures us into wanting to have kids by making newborns adorably snuggley. Their heads smell good, and their outfits are so cute we can’t stand it.
Then they start to grow.
They learn to talk and think and ask questions. They study your every move and file away every word that comes out of your mouth. And, slowly but surely, they are shaped into mini-you’s. These little people start to act just like the grown ups they are around most.
And that would be fantastic if everything that I said and did honored the Lord.
I want better for my kids than I do for myself. I require them to eat
more fruit and vegetables while I eat donuts and ice cream. I make them brush their teeth every night before bed, and then I pass out without giving a second thought to my own dental health. My kids take vitamins each morning. I stopped taking vitamins as soon as I birthed them (but I took my prenatal vitamins religiously because those babies I was carrying needed them…). I make sure to read the Bible and have a devotional with my 4 year old every day…sometimes I don’t crack my own Bible for an entire week.
You can call me a hypocrite if you want. But, mostly, I just want the best for my kids. That’s my focus. I am not my priority. I fall by the wayside.
And that would be okay if everything I said and did honored the Lord.
If my two girls mimicked my Christian awesomeness and were somehow oblivious to my hurtful brokenness, then I wouldn’t have to address my baggage. I wouldn’t have to go to the Lord and allow Him to do open-heart surgery on me.
If it were just me, I’d be content to only brush once a day, only eat vegetables when they are on top of pizza, and continue living out of my own self-centered defense mechanisms. I’d be fine never learning how to relate in a healthier way to God and to others. I’d be unmotivated to better myself.
And God knew that.
So He gave me two beautiful little girls to “encourage” me to work through my crap. If I want them to be confident women who love the Lord and others, I have to model that.
I HAVE TO MODEL THAT?!
You mean I – the chick who hasn’t willingly purchased a dress since my wedding gown 6.5 years ago – have to become confident in my femininity? I – the tomboy turned wife and mother – have to develop godly female friendships? I – the woman who thinks more about how others should be serving her than how she can serve them – have to develop a compassionate heart for those around me?
No wonder God makes babies so irresistible. If He told us on the front end that having a kid would emotionally manipulate us into surrendering to Him for a lot of painful renovations, WE’D NEVER DO IT!
If God put all His cards on the table before we had a chance to fall head over heels in love with our little bundles of joy, that would be the end of the human race. We’d refuse to procreate out of fear that our subsequent soul reconstruction would be too hard, too painful. We’d live in that fear the rest of our lives, missing the innumerable blessings children bring.
Even worse, we’d miss the innumerable blessings that follow cooperating with God to allow Him to heal our wounds.