3 “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
I have been captivated by these passages for some time now. As I have thought about them, there are many rabbit trails that could be taken but after hours of writing and deleting, I decided to keep my comments on these verses pretty simple. Today, let’s focus on verse three.
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
The Bible tells us that our children are a heritage and a reward from the Lord. As I think about the word heritage, I think of something that is passed from one generation to another. At times this can refer to possessions that are past on and at other times is can be something more intangible such as a history or maybe character traits, values or beliefs. But we should also think of the word heritage in the context of the future, the heritage that we are now building. The greatest impact someone can have on the world is not what they leave for the next generation, but who they leave to the next generation. Our legacy should not be based on things we leave behind, but who we leave behind when our life ends being raptured into heaven.
I am deeply troubled by that attitude that so many have for children these days. We can look out into society and see lack of value placed on children, from legalizing abortions, to the poor educational system, from the way many discipline their children or the lack thereof. Of course the list could go on and on. And while I am troubled with our nation in general with its view on children, I am also trouble with the view that we in the church take regarding our children.
We talk about how important our children are yet every chance we get, we send them off to worship, play and study with other people. While some of this is not bad, in my view, based on my understanding of the Scriptures, these times should be the exception and controlled and not the norm for a family.
It is unfortunate, but even the church has fallen into the trap of “population control” and often going as far as telling God when and how many children WE are going to have. How arrogant. Should we tell God how He should bless us? Many Christian parents won’t admit it, but often, out of selfishness and pride, we begin allow the world’s philosophy to affect our view of children and we begin to view them as an inconvenience instead of a blessing.
It is not my desire to suggest or tell people how many children I think couples should have, that is definitely between them and the Lord. Nor will I, or should I judge anyone or imply that a certain number of children is godlier than another number. God’s plan for the Duggars is as different for them as it is for us, the Schnarrs, which again, His plan for us is much different than His plan for your family. Regardless of “the number”, each child is a reward and a blessing from God, even the unexpected child, or the disabled or challenged child. God has a plan and a purpose for each and every child conceived. I know of couples who would give anything to have children but God has had another plan for their lives, and I have seen other families with numerous children yet have taken these gifts for granted. The point I want to make today is, if children are a heritage and a reward from the Lord, how do we really view our children? Do we point them in the right direction along the way, take them to Sunday School, drop them off at youth group, and just hope for the best? Or do we contemplate on a regular basis the responsibility that God has given to us as parents and make corrections as needed?
I think most Christian parents that are continuously living in light of God’s Word would heartily agree and state children are a heritage and a reward from God. But let me follow up with this topic, have you, have I, really sat down lately and contemplated the thought of who God has given to us to teach and shape, have we really contemplated the value He has placed on our children? I know that for most, our intent is to view, act, and respond to our children in light if this verse, but I also know that the daily events of our lives and the pressures of this world so easily distract us from following through on our intent.
Far too often due to my pride, I have been more concerned about how my children look on my “display shelf” in the home or at church and how they are positioned in the world for all to see, than being concerned with how God wants to shape them for His glory. It is too easy to get wrapped up in the day to day mechanics of parenting struggling to accomplish immediate needs that we have forgotten to take the time to step back and marvel at who God has given to us to parent. Have we gotten too involved in routine tasks that we have failed to plan how we will shape the life or lives that God has given us? God hasn’t given us children to parent haphazardly and then fling them into the world at a certain age, He has given us someone that, by His grace, and using us as their parents, can be shaped into something much more powerful for His purpose. Are we taking the time to regularly regroup and view our children as God has intended us to view them? Or are we getting caught up in the day to day mechanics of parenting and we need to press the reset button?