“Why did we have to have these crummy kids?”
Small men do not appreciate children. They kick the dog the day they find out their wife is pregnant. They see kids as a glitch in their self-interested goals. They plot the number of days before they will be free of these brats and have home to “normal” again. They take on their teenagers as a personal challenge, rather than a compatible human being. God did not intend children to bring us stress, but rest. We must raise them with this mindset. They are to be the joy of our lives (II John 1:4).
Men who do not love children are selfish
Jesus publicly corrected his men for driving away the children. He wanted to sit with a baby in His arm. He enjoyed the squirming toddler who could not sit still in his lap for a whole minute. When God looks at children, He sees potential. So did Lamech.
Now, Lamech, son of Methuselah, had every right to be grumpy about his wife getting pregnant—he was 182 years old. He probably wanted to retire, not paint the nursery. Yet he cherished the thought of having a child. He called his son “Rest” (Noah in Hebrew) because he saw this boy bringing relief to the difficult world they lived in (Genesis 5:28-29).
Cherish the children
Overwhelmed with life purpose, full-time school, and ministry, I had begun to see my children as a complication to my plans. Then God shined on us with another little gift who distracted me only for a moment. Then at three months old, she decided to get my full attention by landing in a hospital, coding blue, and keeping us up at night for a couple months. God taught me to cherish her. He taught me to rest. I had to slow down and refocus my life and begin to see my children as part of my life purpose. They are my comfort.
If I raise my kids with disrespect and grumpy obligation, they will treat me the same. If I fuss and cuss them, they will respond alike. Dads who demand the most for respect from their children often give them the least.
In spite of the bills, expenses, runny noses, mood swings, sinful nature, and everything else inherent to childhood, my kids are my greatest asset. They are my future. They redeem me from the curse as Lamech said of his son, “this child will bring us relief from all our hard work” (5:29, GNB). Ask the Lord Jesus to help you take your children on your knee and love them the way He did. Ask Him to help you see your children as a comfort, not an expense.