We were blessed to welcome Emily Nicole Erickson into our lives on June 28, 2016. I want to share a few thoughts regarding misconceptions I had about parenthood before I became a father. Satan has slowly convinced many of us (even those among the Christian community) of several lies regarding parenthood. I felt like I should set the record straight using the Bible and my own limited experience. These are thoughts which I often subscribed to in my single years. Maybe this post can encourage my single friends and also my friends who are married, who feel that having a child will be too self-limiting. Without further ado, here are three lies the devil tells to keep us from experiencing the blessing of having children:
Lie #1: Children are a burden
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” Psalms 127:3 KJV.
Yes, we are in for a long ride. Yes, there will be nasty diapers, projectile vomiting and diarrhea, sleepless nights, crying and pouting, and all of the other things that go along with raising a newborn, BUT, I can’t tell you how grateful we are to have little Emily as a part of our lives. She is such a precious blessing that any trouble she could put us through will be worth it. And I know that, just like God did for Enoch, having a child will develop our character in ways that wouldn’t have been possible had we not chosen to have children. The devil wants you and I to think that having children consists of work, work, work, and that leads me to the next lie of the devil:
Lie #2: You’ll never have any fun or free time again, so it’s better not to have kids
While it is true that children are a TON of work, and yes, our “free time” will likely go down and be taken over in large part by interminably repetitive children’s songs, but I’m already looking forward to all of the fun Emily, mommy, and I are going to have together. I can’t wait to teach her how to ride a bike, go hiking with her, splash in the water with her, and teach her how to hack a lighter (but not until she is at least three years old, of course. JUST KIDDING!). I’m looking forward to finishing our home and yard for her to live and play within. I feel like I’m living my second childhood all over again. And, as my little nieces and nephews can tell you, I’m still the biggest kid in the room (or the water) when we get together. I never used to like playing and interacting with kids, but during Amanda’s pregnancy, God changed my heart to love children and to enjoy making them happy. And now that I’m part of the “parent club,” I can relate to my other friends and family in a way that I couldn’t before.
Lie #3: You’re not ready to be a parent
Here’s the thing–you’ll never be ready to be a parent (I wasn’t). God doesn’t use perfect people, he perfects imperfect people through His Spirit living within them and in learning how to lovingly interact with those around us (especially those within our families). God wants to use our relationships to teach us more about His true character and His deep love for us. Through the messiness of family relationships, we learn how to forgive, heal, love, laugh, and learn together. When each family member is open to God’s voice, we can begin to experience a little bit of heaven on earth. Our relationships on this earth are not for our own comfort and enjoyment (though they certainly can bring those things), but rather, those relationships exist to expose flaws in our life that were previously undiscovered and to help us to develop a Christ-like character.
Enoch Walked with God After He Became a Father
I find it interesting to note that according to the Bible, it was only after Enoch had his first child that the Bible tells us that “Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters…” Genesis 5:22. Remember, Enoch was one of only two people to be taken to heaven without seeing death.
My favorite author described this character development Enoch experienced after having his first child in these words:
“During these earlier years Enoch had loved and feared God and had kept His commandments. He was one of the holy line, the preservers of the true faith, the progenitors of the promised seed. From the lips of Adam he had learned the dark story of the Fall, and the cheering one of God’s grace as seen in the promise; and he relied upon the Redeemer to come. But after the birth of his first son, Enoch reached a higher experience; he was drawn into a closer relationship with God. He realized more fully his own obligations and responsibility as a son of God. And as he saw the child’s love for its father, its simple trust in his protection; as he felt the deep, yearning tenderness of his own heart for that first-born son, he learned a precious lesson of the wonderful love of God to men in the gift of His Son, and the confidence which the children of God may repose in their heavenly Father. The infinite, unfathomable love of God through Christ became the subject of his meditations day and night; and with all the fervor of his soul he sought to reveal that love to the people among whom he dwelt.” (Ellen White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 84).
So fear not, my friends (both single and married w/out children). Being a parent brings the blessing of companionship and friendship, a deeper walk with God, and many precious moments to treasure for the rest of your life.
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