4The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:4-5)
Blessed Wednesday family. So for the first two days I have been gushing over the beauty, the innocence, the sweetness of a newborn child. I have, hopefully, painted a picture of how precious they are to this world. How they will change your life forever. How they will help you find a love like never before. But before I go any further about how great it is to be a Father or Mother, I do want to spend some time making sure I paint a truly accurate picture. As I said yesterday, time quickly slips through your fingers and a newborn becomes an infant in the blink of an eye, and they just race toward being adults from that point forward. With that in mind, I do what to remind y’all of three things you need to have a thorough understanding of as parents, and that is your responsibility, your role, and your reward, which we will cover in the next three days.
Being a parent is an enormous responsibility. But becoming a parent can happen at any point when we are reckless and not careful. I know that the abortion debate continues to be a hot-button topic in the U.S., but I continue to preach that the issue is we need to fix the sexual immorality that exists within our country if we want to eliminate the need for abortion. We all understand where babies come from. As adults, if you are not willing to take on the responsibilities associated with bringing a child into this world, you better take the precautions to make sure you are protecting the process of conception. That being said, back to the enormous, lifelong responsibility of bringing forth a child. It is not just providing food and shelter for 18-years of the child’s life, it is building a life, establishing a person to be a productive member of society, or neglecting their needs and creating a menace to mankind. When you hold a newborn in your hands, you are holding a future president, professor, preacher, prophet, doctor, nurse, teacher, business owner, soldier, sailor, firefighter, police officer, public works manager, retail manager, you get the idea. As a parent, it is our responsibility to nurture and guide our children to follow paths that enable them to thrive in society. Every baby born in this world has the potential to change the world for the good. Or for the bad. Make no mistake, it is a parent’s responsibility to raise their children to know the difference between right and wrong, to walk with discipline and know compassion and mercy, to know how to love and look out for those less fortunate.
“Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
So if the last two days made you want to have a little newborn of your own, just take some time to assess if you are ready for that responsibility. I know Mrs. Z and I were not ready when we had our first. But we made it work, and our oldest continues to impress us everyday. We thought we were prepared with our second, but due to my foolish ambitions, we moved states, changed careers, and left everyone we knew, but again, we made it work and we were moving forward in the right direction. With number 3, we are somewhere between thinking we know what we are in for, and flying by the seat of our pants. But several things are different with number 3 that were not present in our lives with our first two. The most important is Mrs. Z and I have a beautiful relationship with God and Jesus, and we try to grow closer to them every day, and we have dedicated our lives to raise our children in Jesus’ shining light. Careerwise we are both in stable job markets that we highly enjoy, though we are both just beginning these careers. To do life right, I always tell young couples to make sure they have found their first careers, that they are done climbing the promotional ladder, and in a comfortable spot, both for income and position, before they decide to have children. Your children need their parents to be present, not just an empty figure providing a source of income. Make sure you are with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. At the very least, it must be a person you can trust to raise your children with. A person of good character, high morals, strong integrity, and some kind of sense of humor. I would recommend finding someone who has an accurate grasp of Biblical truth, but that is increasingly hard to find. And if you are having a hard time finding that right person, ask yourself if you are the prize catch you think you are. Do you meet all those criteria if someone were looking for you? Find that right person and spend quality time with them, with just the two of you, live those wild adventures before you bring a child into your life, because, most likely, life will come to a screeching halt with the birth of a child. Not for everyone, but for most, having a baby means the extravagant vacation funds turn into college funds, sport trips, savings accounts for all the random things children need to thrive in this world. Of course, a lot of that is a Western culture norm. Many of the children around the world grow, live, love, and thrive on far less than most Americans have.
A lot of what I have written in this post is common sense for most. And for some, none of it is ever a worry. Regardless, the first point I wanted to make in regards to being a parent is to consider the monumental responsibility of bringing a little human into this world. And with that responsibility in mind, live a life that protects the sanctity of creation and life, and fosters healthy, productive relationships in this world. We all have an important role to play in the upbringing of the next generation, and I’ll discuss those roles tomorrow. Until then, have a blessed day my friends, and enjoy the newest single from the legendary Chris Tomlin.