When it comes to kids, the Bible makes it plain that they’re one of God’s best gifts to us as parents:
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. (Psalm 127:3)
And while we know it’s true, it feels true in the sweetest ways when a precious newborn is placed in our arms. Or when we hear our toddler first say “I love you.” Or when we walk through the front door and the kids come running for hugs like we’re the highlight of their day. Our children feel like a gift when they’re adorable and funny, curious and smart, open-hearted and eager for closeness. We feel incredibly honored and blessed to call our sons and daughters our own.
Yet for all we gain, parenthood demands a high price of time, money, and freedom. We take on a whole new identity and our priorities are turned upside-down. Sometimes it leads down a road of pain we never saw coming. Kids rebel. They shut us out. They reject our values and good advice and make choices that only lead to heartache or trouble. Or, their physical or mental health requires more support than we’re capable of giving. In the valleys of raising our children, we can wonder if we’ll ever see the “reward” God was talking about. The years ahead can look stressful or hopeless.
“In the valleys of raising our children, we can wonder if we’ll ever see the ‘reward’ God was talking about.”
If you’re walking a hard road of parenting right now, our hearts are with you. We know how difficult it can be to find joy and gratitude in the middle of the struggle.
Here are four words of hope to recapture why kids are a blessing from the Lord:
#1: We’re blessed with God’s presence
When our kids suffer, we suffer too. We’ve cried with our kids when they were rejected or disappointed. We spent hours by sick beds and in hospital waiting rooms. We’ve been their go-to for help after fender-benders, academic troubles, or financial upheavals. Our kids know when life hits hard, mom and dad are there.
It’s no different with our Father in Heaven. We can hold on to His promises with two hands:
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are attentive to their cry…
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:15-18)
No matter what you’re going through as a family, God is with you. He cares. He loves you. He hears your prayers and will see you through to the other side. Today, we can thank God for His constant presence through it all.
#2: We’re blessed with a purpose
When we put our faith in Christ, we realize our lives are not our own. God had more in mind for us than we ever imagined for ourselves. One of my favorite scriptures is Ephesians 2:10—it tells us that from the beginning, God had “good works” prepared in advance for us to do. The kids we’re parenting are part of God’s specific assignment for our lives.
“The kids we’re parenting are part of God’s specific assignment for our lives.”
When you feel like you’re failing as a parent, do you ever wonder if God made a mistake? Do you wish your kids had somebody more patient, wise, and strong than you see yourself to be? Take heart—it’s no accident that YOU are the mom or dad God chose to love and raise up your child. Let’s believe God once more that He is the Creator of our families. He is in control. He’ll give us all we need to accomplish His will and plan. By faith, let’s praise Him for the “good work” he’s given us to accomplish in our households.
#3: We’re blessed with transformation.
Rob and I always say that the birth of our first child was one of the best things that happened to our marriage. All of a sudden, the little things we used to get so worried over—or argue about—didn’t seem that important. Our baby boy was a source of shared purpose who set our priorities straight. We had no idea back then just how much parenthood would keep shaping our thoughts, attitudes, and our faith in God.
“We can take courage knowing that God is taking the strain and struggle and using it to make us new.”
After kids, we’re never the same. It shows the truth of God’s promise that as His children, He will never stop conforming us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). In other words, we’re becoming more and more like Jesus until the day we see Him face to face. And let’s get real—the path to transformation often means we suffer like Jesus too.
Parenting is beautiful but hard. We can take courage knowing that God is taking the strain and struggle and using it to make us new. We might feel rejected. Exhausted. Frustrated. Confused. Discouraged. But through it all, we’re learning to trust God more fully. We’re growing in strength and endurance, humility and wisdom. We’re discovering the power of prayer like never before. We are learning that on the days we feel the most less-than, God is holding us, loving us, and giving us what we need to carry on.
#4: We’re blessed with true love
Remember the “love passage” in 1 Corinthians 13? I’ve seen it embroidered on pillows, quoted at weddings, and printed on cards for Valentine’s Day. Yet as a parent, those verses took on a deeper meaning than I’d considered before:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
I love my kids. But so often, I’m not patient. I lose my cool. I find myself keeping a mental tally of how many times they’ve made the same mistake. I’ve made the wrong call when it comes to their safety or well-being. I’ve worried too much about what others think. I lose hope that they’re ever going to wise up or mature. My love is real, but it falls far short of the perfect love of God.
Parenthood shows us two things: God’s love is better than we can comprehend, and He’s the source of true love for our children. Today, let’s give God thanks for a love that never lets us down. It’s our one sure thing. It holds an overwhelming, endless amount of compassion, power, and grace. And let’s praise Him for His Spirit that enables us to love our children as He loves us.
God’s love changes everything.
Like Psalm 127 says, I dream of taking hold of the promise of a “heritage” and “reward” through the gift of my children. I long for a lifetime of joy and friendship between us. I look forward to learning from them as they’ve learned from us over the years. As we age and need more support, I hope they care for us with the same tender care they were given as they grew. And most of all, I pray that God is building a heritage of faith that will carry through generations in our family.
But the best reward of all will be found in God himself. To hear Him say “well done” for embracing His call to love and parent each of our kids. To know that in our darkest days, we kept the faith. We leaned on Him for help. We released our need for control and placed our kids in His hands. When we failed, we confessed and trusted in His forgiveness. We grew in Spirit-filled love. May our parenting be our act of worship as we trust and obey Him through it all.
Lord, thank you for the gift of my children. Thank you for your faithful love to our family. You are my hope, strength, and confidence that you are doing more than I can ask or imagine in our lives. Help me to keep trusting you with a grateful heart. Amen.