En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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Are Children a Burden or Blessing?

Posted by Scott on May 22, 2008

In a society that is quickly moving towards limiting the family size we must ask why is this?  Have children suddenly become burdens upon society or has this happened gradually?  Maybe the question should be asked “Are they a burden at all?”  God tells us throughout the scriptures of the Holy Bible that children are a blessing from above.  So, the question that pops into my mind, “Who made children a burden?”

I have a long article circling my small brain about this very topic.  Children are very precious to my wife and I.  We are committed to allowing God full reign over every aspect of our lives has been an 18 plus year quest of ours…this includes our family size.  Although it has not been easy to release our lives into the hands of God completely, just out of human nature, it has been the most rewarding.  In these kids of ours we can see God develop a desire in their hearts for Him.  We observe him drawing them to Himself.  We now have 10 beautiful children that reveal to us the characteristics of a loving and sometimes humerous God every day of our lives.

I heard a question raised by a parent who called in to a well know talk show the other day.  The question the fellow made was “shouldn’t Christian parents have fewer children so their children can have a better life economically and socially?”  Wow!  That question raises the hair on my neck as to what may Christian parents are thinking these days.  Does scripture support this kind of thinking anywhere within its pages in true context?  I doubt it!  The problem with the question is that it shows insight into a growing belief among Christian parents that we should spoil our children and give them more than we  had growing up…of course we would like our kids live’s to be easier, but should we really strive to achieve that?  This kind of pie in the sky philosophy is dangerous and in fact this kind of philosophy is producing one of the most spoiled, disrespectful, snobby, unprepared generations of children to ever dawn the face of this earth.  They will not be able to stand in the face of the enemy and defend the family or the Christian faith someday.  Their faith is being built on posh, tender footed, pansism rather than real life hardness with biblical answers. 

What is up with Christian parents thinking we should have fewer children in order to pamper the kids “behinds”?  Is this real?  I would hope this is one parents mistaken question, but I am affraid it is a growing gas that is spreading across our nation and will eventually ignite into a ball of fire that will consume anyone in its path of opposition to detriment of this Christian nation.  This question as it is raised in all of its “rawness” is supposing that large families grow up poor, disadvantaged, uneducated, and down right burdens on society.  Well, I dare you to do the real research on large families and their contribution to society over the past 300 years…I don’t have time to expound on that in this post, but will try to update this post later on. 

Here are few other questions that arise from this regurgitated question:

1. Are we as parents suppose to be able to buy our kids everything they want, send them to the finest schools, provide them with the finest friends, with the finest homes and cars?  At this moment, I know what you might be thinking, so, put aside the thought of this being jealousy or condemnation of wealth, because it is not.  This probes far deeper than anything that shallow.  True wealth is not a sin, but it can lead to much sin like anything else in this life including poverty.

2. Are we as parents to involve these kids in every worldly social activity under the sun like all the sports they can play at one time, all the camps that can be afforded them for the summer, all the birthday parties they can stomach, all the “play dates” you can schedule, all the “Mothers Day Out” programs one can afford?  All of this so that we as parents can be the personal chauffers to our kids and their “loyal” friends, so we can have “Me time”, so we can go to the gym and jogging with our other friends lest we allow one ounce of fat on our bodies and many other vain issues that would take more blog space to address…one disclaimer here, “Staying healthy is a good thing and there is nothing wrong with working out”.  Really parents, think about these questions for a long moment.  Where is this kind of thinking coming from?  Where in all of this does glorifying our heavenly Father come into action?  How much personel time do we spend with these precious God given kids of ours compared to the time they spend under the influence of everyone else in the world that has little interest in the spiritual well being of our kids?  How is any of this activity preparing them for the future in the world?  I know you can make up reasons to justify the action..I hear them all the time, we all can do that including taking biblical verses out of context to support them, but I am talking about taking our live’s and laying it open and bare before God and from His Holy Word scripting out examples from the Bible as to the pros and cons of our life!

3. Are we as parents listening to the Word of God anymore?  Isn’t it in reality that we are listening to our peers put pressure on us to put the kids in everything so they will be “socially well rounded”, “every child should have the opportunity to play a sport”…”this is a right of passage” they will tell us, the peer pressure is we don’t want our kids to be outcast with their “friends”…we teach them by our very actions to be like everyone else instead of being different from the world?  This is tragic that we allow family and friends dictate to us how to raise our family all the while we know in our hearts we are not raising them according to God’s biblical standard for them.   we have not only been living in the world, but we have also become like the world…we have grown into and rooted ourselves in this worldly society.

These are some of the probing questions that pierce deep into the mind of each of us or should.  The issue is really not the size of the families or economic status of the families…that is just the face or front of it all.  The real issue is which worldview we as parents have.  Is our worldview truly a biblical worldview or is it a humanistic philosophical worldview many times disquised or counted as a biblical worldview?  We must be careful…we have the Book that tells us and shows us the difference.

Are we willing to risk the eternal lives of our children by raising them under a humanistic worldview?  Think about that for a moment!  How can raising the kids under a worldview that wars against God, that is against its Creator…how can this be of any benefit to our children in eternity?  We will all have an eternity somewhere…the question is where will our eternity be?  What do our children do each day that is of eternal benefit in heaven to them?  From the education they are getting to the sports they play…what is the eternal benefit?  Does it even matter until they are near adulthood?  I hope that answer is that it matters from their first breath in this world.  Read this creed and see if we can make it our own…it was tweeked with one new word by John Piper:

“The chief end of man is to glorify God

BY

enjoying Him forever!”

Society has produced over the decades a desirable flavor for sin that taste good to most people by saying in a bold way that “children are a burden”.  This is what I hear from people all the time it seems:  Kids cost money, they get dirty, they make your house smelly, you have to take them places all the time, kids have no respect of adults, kids cannot resist temptations, kids are like animals, kids eat too much or all the time, kids are “whiny”, I would not bring a kids into this vile world, you are insane or crazy to have that many kids, and so on.  You know for many kids I find nothing untruthful about those statements…no one has ever said raising kids was an easy thing.  However, was raising children any different 50 years ago from the way it is done now?  Yes, the world is different, the risk are possibly greater, but the end goal is still the same…godly adults that will glorify God with their lives and the way they raise their children “BY enjoying Him forever”.  Did God say along with the fact that children are a blessing that they would be perfect?  Raising children is not easy, but done in the raw-authentic parenting fashion is the most rewarding for us.  To see your kids learn from everyday life how to handle situations that come up in their lives is a great display to watch. 

Proverbs is a great place to find the wisdom into raising children in the ways of the Lord.

-Teach them about social evils Proverbs 22:28; 23:10; 30:14

22:28″Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers
      set up by previous generations.”

23:10″Don’t cheat your neighbor by moving the ancient boundary markers;
      don’t take the land of defenseless orphans.”

-Social Obligations in Proverbs 18:24; 22:24-25; 23:1-2; 25:6-7,17

18:24″There are “friends” who destroy each other,
      but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”

22:24-25″Don’t befriend angry people
      or associate with hot-tempered people,
      or you will learn to be like them
      and endanger your soul.”

-About Poverty in Proverbs 17:5; 18:23; 19:4,7,17

17:5″Those who mock the poor insult their Maker;
      those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.”

18:23″The poor plead for mercy;
      the rich answer with insults.”

-Concern for the poor in Proverbs 14:31; 17:5; 18:23

14:31″Those who oppress the poor insult their Maker,
      but helping the poor honors him.”

17:5″Those who mock the poor insult their Maker;
      those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished.”

-Against laziness in Proverbs 12:27; 20:13; 2:14-15

12:27″Lazy people don’t even cook the game they catch,
      but the diligent make use of everything they find.”

20:13″If you love sleep, you will end in poverty.
      Keep your eyes open, and there will be plenty to eat!”

2:14-15″The [lazy] take pleasure in doing wrong,
      and they enjoy the twisted ways of evil.
      Their actions are crooked,
      and their ways are wrong.”

-Important passages from Proverbs 10:22; 13:11; 19:4

10:22″The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich,
      and he adds no sorrow with it.”

13:11″Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears;
      wealth from hard work grows over time.”

19:4″Wealth makes many “friends”;
      poverty drives them all away.”

-Relationships in Proverbs 18:24; 22:24-25; 25:17

25:17″Don’t visit your neighbors too often,
      or you will wear out your welcome.”

-Foolish Teachable People in Proverbs 1:4,22; 7:7-8; 21:11

1:4″These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
      knowledge and discernment to the young.”

1:22″How long, you simpletons,
      will you insist on being simpleminded?
   How long will you mockers relish your mocking?
      How long will you fools hate knowledge?”

7:7-8″I saw some naive young men,
      and one in particular who lacked common sense.
     He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman,
      strolling down the path by her house.”

21:11″If you punish a mocker, the simpleminded become wise;
      if you instruct the wise, they will be all the wiser.”

-Arrogant unteachable fools in Proverbs 3:34; 21:24; 22:10; 29:8

3:34″The Lord mocks the mockers
      but is gracious to the humble.”

21:24″Mockers are proud and haughty;
      they act with boundless arrogance.”

22:10″Throw out the mocker, and fighting goes, too.
      Quarrels and insults will disappear.”

29:8″Mockers can get a whole town agitated,
      but the wise will calm anger.”

In all simplicity, we need to look no further than what God says about children. 

Psalm 37:26
“The godly always give generously to others and their children are a blessing.”

Isaiah 29:23
“For when they see their many children and all the blessings I have given them, they will recognize the holiness of the Holy One of Israel. They will stand in awe of the God of Jacob.”

Matthew 11:25
[ Rest for the Weary ] “At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”

Matthew 18:3
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

  1. Matthew 19:13
    [ The Little Children and Jesus ] Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them.
    Matthew 19:12-14 (in Context) Matthew 19 (Whole Chapter)
  2. Matthew 19:14
    Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Some final thoughts.  Children are looked upon with high regard by God.  He does not ever use them in context with a burden, but uses them numerous times throughout scripture in context with blessings.  In light of this fact, we are to take our job in raising them spiritually very serious.  This includes the activities and worldview we pass down to them.  Parents, this life is not about you and me.  Our life is about glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ as the supreme holy One.  It is all about raising our children in a home with a biblical worldview…a worldview that will contradict nearly everything you think is right in this world and could bring about strong convistions from your peers.  This will be a life that is radically different from the world.  It is parenting that is radically different from the way society tells us to raise our children.  Parents, this authentic life will be met with constant questioning from fellow believers and non-believers alike.  It will be a life that is ridiculed by our neighbors because a life truly lived for Christ and the raising of our children along the same lines is a reflection of Christ that our humanistic society simply cannot tolerate.  If we reflect Christ we will be in constant conflict with the world.  Man cannot stand to look at his own sinfulness and a life lived for Christ will mirror the sin in others lives that are not living for Christ.  If we have no conflict with the world by the life that we live, we need to prayerfully think about how we are living.  We should not measure our success or the success in our kids live’s in this life based on anyone around us, fellow Christians included.  Our measuring stick, our plumb-line is found within the pages of God’s word not in the pages of science, Aristotle, Hercules, Einstein, Carl Marx, and anyone of the like.  Humans have placed such strong faith in science being the truth while the Bible must be false and yet many Christians have fallen into the same trap by buying into and co-mingling this scientific language into the Christian faith.  Science has many unproven theories that are challenged and shown to be false almost daily.  Darwin’s theory of Evolution is a biggy on that list.

I have heard so many Christians bring the “big bang” theory into their Christian beliefs believing that may be the way the Lord created it…concluding that He could not literally have spoken it into existence.  This is a dangerous belief.  You are either on the scientific side of evolution or you are on the literal creationist side of this.  Stop trying to stand on both sides so you can get along with everyone…our kids are watching and listening to us and they hang on our every word.  Many Christians believe that evolution is how God created human beings.  What?  Surely I did not just say that.  This is the result of sending our kids to these fine upstanding public institutions so many Christians defend on a daily basis…if we don’t want our kids for example to live like the Roman’s then don’t send our kids to the Roman (government ruled) institutions for their education and influence.  Think about how the government is run today and corrupt it is…this is the same for the schools.  Our two hours per day with them will not over come the 8 plus hours per day the worldly government sponsored institution has them.  I cannot say this enough concerning the time spent with our children on a daily basis.  Society wants you to believe that the child’s education is most important and his or her social skills come next…and we should let them decide upon faith and religion in their spare time.  Parents, no child will come to faith in Christ on their own…God must draw them to Himself and He wants to use us to help them along the path by giving them biblical truths on a daily basis by word and example…help them to “feast on the word of God”.  The lie goes further to say that you can only accomplish a true kind of education and social ability in a public institution.  The public school system is not a friend of the Christian nor is it at peace with God…it is actually at war with God and has been since its beginning, yet, this is dangerous for even me to say, because so many would defend the public school faster than the word of God, but who ever said “truth” would be acceptable to the majority!

In the end of all this, who is creating burdensome children?  Could it be us as parents are creating little monsters rather than great Christian young people that will contribute to society in a way that brings true peace and true light into the world rather than further darkness?  The conclusion can be yours.  In my opinion, which is worth about a quarter cent, parents better wake-up t-o-d-a-y!  The children are growing up faster than we know and soon they will be adults out in the world.  What kind of adult are you producing?  The numbers do not support the job the Christian parents and church has been doing over the past several decades.  With a high percentage of young people dropping out of church once they leave home for college, the number of young people renouncing their faith are further results that prove the humanistic philosophical worldview is not working and it has not worked for decades…actually it has never worked.

Will we become bold parents that will decide today to refocus on the scriptural, spiritual way of parenting and put far more emphasis on the spiritual aspect of their life rather than the educational aspect..more education will not add one day to their life nor will it get them any closer to our heavenly Father?  Will we as parents decide to reduce our children’s exposure to societies traps?  Will we as parents choose to make some hard decisions to ensure our kids receive the most intense biblical training possible before leaving the nest?  Will we raise the standard higher from the low expectations the world sets for our kids…this is both at home, school, and in the church?  Yes, it is true our actions speak louder than words, but we must remain in the Word in order for our children to put the words with the actions…otherwise it is simply action with no foundation.  Lean hard upon God to make these difficult changes in life, but they are necessary if you really want your children to succeed beyond this life and become great godly adults for the society we must endure.

-Scott Bailey 2008

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7 Responses to “Are Children a Burden or Blessing?”

  1. David said

    The answer for the Christian must be that children are a heritage from the Lord – a blessing from above.

    It was the modern – and now postmodern – mindset that pits the rearing of children over and against the temptations and desires of this world. By God’s design, man was placed in a garden from the very beginning with the mandate to cultivate and subdue the earth.

    Historically, this mandate has been fulfilled generation after generation by families passing down their inherited way of living – which as been – up until very late – an argarian way of life to their children. Cultivation of the earth – meeting your needs from God’s own provision, requires many hands.

    The diversity of skills in a man’s labor & the labor of a large extended family working together – the means to provide for one’s self, made men self-sufficent – capable of taking care of themselves and those under his care. Children were a blessing from the Lord because, among other things, they help a family be a productive contributor to society.

    Much more could be added. But suffice it to say that modern technological society has stripped away a man’s ability to maintain self-sufficency, it has specialized labor to the degree that families can no longer produce to meet it’s own needs. Families anymore are almost wholly consumers, not producers. We have become dependent upon others (read: the government) to meet our needs.

    All of this to say, that children are now viewed as a curse simply because they have become an expense – a liability – to the family. They are an inconvience to pursuing other wordly interest. The family is no longer the center of society – the workplace – outside the home is. Until we, as men, turn our hearts back towards our homes and our families, to our kith and kin – until we are willing to forsake the idols of this world and fulfill God’s purpose for our lives, I fear we will continue to view children as a curse – rather than the blessing they truly are.

    I could not agree more. This is a great addition to the post. Thanks.

    In Christ,
    Scott

  2. […] also found a few other blogs that have written about this: DestinationBlog, En Gedi, and BecaGirl. Posted by jylan on Tuesday, May 27, 2008, at 6:58 pm. Filed under Strange Verses. […]

  3. Jennifer said

    This is a great post, may I link to it?

  4. This was great! My children (21 and 19) are grown now, and I have to admit, we raised them according to the normal middle-class way of child-rearing. We limited our family size, because that’s all we knew. That’s what everyone did, even Bible-believing Christians, and that’s what we were taught. This “new” way of thinking (not limiting your family size) is RADICAL thinking to me, but I have come to believe it is right. I’m probably one of the few who have changed their thinking, though. Too late for me, alas. But, I can encourage younger people in a better way. Thank you for posting.

    • Scott said

      I hope the post was beneficial…feel free to pass it along all you want as long as nothing is changed in its content. As you have said you did all that because it was what was taught….you knew no other way. My parents had me…they wanted more but God stopped at me. They basically were taught the same way as you have described and are just now at nearly 70 understanding the falasies of the limited generation. So, I grew up an only child in the public school system. Once the Lord really got a hold on me and my wife conerning all this before we were married, it opened up an entirely different way of thinking. We started thinking biblically rather than worldly. Now, the new way that seems so radical is really not new or radical. It is according to todays society of course, but the thinking of limiting family size and how to educate the kids is really only about 60 to 80 years old. Before that parents let God take care of the size of the family and many took care of the education of their kids. In the last 40 years the thought of only having a couple of kids has prevailed. However, the good news is that God is raising up a new generation of young people that want to do things God’s way and only His way. So, you now have a great position in discovering this way of thinking so you can help your kids and grandkids to look at things biblically…not necessarily logically, but I have found much of what God has us do does not seem logical to the world.

      So, just keep encouraging those young people…help them not to look at having children as a burden or as a part of the “things” a family has. You know that is another area we must struggle with in the young people is that they have kids for the same reason they buy a car or a house. They use the kids to show off different talents, dress them up in the best, social reasons, but they do not have the concept of building a godly legacy in those kids.

      Have a great year.

      Pressing on in Christ,
      Scott B.

  5. […] Readings:Musings of the Dings: The Blessing of ChildrenEn Gedi: Are Children a Burden or Blessing? Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)I’m not dead, I just have twins.Jennifer has […]

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