2 years, 3 months and 2 days ago, Kristie and received the greatest blessing and our life has never been the same. The fact that God trusts us enough with this blessing to give us another one astounds me.
I’m talking about Jadon, of course.
Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to have children and imagined that someday God would bless my wife and I with them but I never stopped to truly think about the huge responsibility it would be to raise them.
I always loved playing with babies and toddlers when I was younger. I seemed to have this gift to be able to make just the right funny face at them to make them smile or laugh.
When people get married, they typically perceive that the next step is to start a family. Most couples are able to have children without any problems. In fact, even couples who aren’t married seem to have more success in having them, even if they don’t want them.
God obviously had different plans than we did when it came to the timing of us having children. While we could’ve blamed it on PCOS, and we did at times, it was ultimately God’s plan for us to have Jadon when we did.
Just about everyone that I’ve talked to about God’s perfect timing in this, I’ve explained how difficult it would’ve been had Jadon been born within the first two or three years of our marriage. Even though I never thought I would be 32 years old when my first child was born, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
I remember years ago when I was young, I used to think that I would be in my early to mid twenties when my kids would be born. I would think and dream about what it would be like when in reality, I was living in a dream world.
One of the turning points in my life was when I began to contemplate the responsibility that God had given me to lead my wife, Kristie and my son, Jadon (and soon to be second child in July). This thought process began before I even met Kristie. I realized that I was living to please myself and didn’t take seriously my decisions. I would waste a huge amount of time and energy pursuing worldy pleasures from playing video games to watching movies that weren’t making me more like Christ. I had a friend whom I hung out with who called himself a christian, but both he and I would do and say things that weren’t christian. I was a follower and began to say the same things and listen to the same music. I couldn’t see the fruit of my actions just yet. While we never drank or did anything illegal per se; that would’ve been too obvious. No, that’s generally not how Satan pulls you away. He gradually gets a foothold in your life. He finds the weak spot and wiggles his way in. Before you know, your character begins to show itself in your actions and words.
One of the things that God used to get my attention was the fact that if I wanted to get married someday and have children, I was going to have to learn how to live sacrificially and give up my life and start really living for Christ. I began to realize that my choices weren’t just going to affect me, they were going to impact my family. If I chose to neglect my family by wasting time sitting in front of a tv with a controller or remote in hand, I was going to reap what I was sowing. If I continued to listen to ungodly songs and lyrics glorifying sin, it was not only going to affect my emotions, but also my family as well. I was going to have to learn to live responsibly. Over much prayer and agonizing, I eventually ended up tossing away probably close to a hundred cd’s of secular music. It started with my 80’s and 90’s rock music and eventually my country music. I’d give anything to be able to get back all the money I spent on those. What led me to throw them away was Philippians 4:8-9. I was filling my mind with ungodly things and I wondered why my attitudes weren’t pleasing to God.
Being a parent is challenging, difficult and tiring at times. It requires an amount of selflessness that I don’t possess on my own. It requires a strength not my own. There is certainly a lot of joy of being free from the cares of this world that I’m able to get down on the floor and play with my son. To not be so busy watching some show on t.v. or playing some mindless video game that I miss my son’s growing up.
I’m so glad that I decided long ago that I was not going to trust myself to have the strength and perseverance to raise my kids to love and fear God. I have to rely on His strength alone day by day to finish the race of raising my children. I know I’ve just only begun in the race, but it’s good to remind myself early on where my strength lies. I hope one day, maybe when I begin to tire out in this race, that I will be able to look back and reread this post and remind myself. I know that there will come a day when that will happen because I am human and fail at times.
I know that I’m not the only one in this race, so I will reach out to those who love me for strength when I’m weak and ready to give up.
So, while Jadon and our second one on the way are a blessing to us right now, I know that my true blessing will come when I’ve finished the race of parenting and can look back and see the fruit of my labor. I will be able to see the reward of my faithfulness. I know there will be no greater joy than to see my children walk faithfully with the Lord. I will also be able to see the investment that other brothers and sisters in Christ made in their lives.