Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them!
Whether we view our kids as blessings or projects is a choice. I think the former is God’s intent, and I don’t think it matters who the kid is, or how old they are.
Relationships I have had where someone has considered me their project have not been very helpful to me – at least that aspect of it hasn’t been. But relationships that are reciprocal, where I am simply accepted as I am, where we are mutually blessed by one another, are the best thing about my life.
I think sometimes it takes becoming grandparents to see kids for what they really are. Grandparents don’t have the social pressure to make their grandkids into something like they felt with their own children. They just get to enjoy them. I think that’s why it’s often, in some ways, more rewarding and joyful for many people to have grandkids than it was to have their own kids. But I’m not convinced that succumbing to that pressure was ever helpful.
My son, Luke, is already good enough, and nothing he may become can change that. He is made in God’s image, not mine. I don’t feel like I need to make him into anything, just love him and support him as he continues to be himself. At just a year and a half old, he would literally die without the things he gets from his mom and me, but even now he gives us more than we give him. I’m not sure exactly how God will bless us through him, or how hard it might be to receive that blessing sometimes, but I do believe that’s why he’s been given to us.
We are told that having children is something that requires us to give of ourselves and make sacrifices. I believe that what each child is uniquely designed to give us is much more than whatever we have to give up for them. Maybe the best thing we can do for our children is to simply enjoy them.