Our Reward

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and fruit of the womb is his reward….Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. Psalm 127:3&5

How can children be a reward? Whether they are birth or adopted, children come into the world extremely selfish and demanding. And as they grow they seek harder to fulfill those selfish desires. Left to himself a child will be consumed with his selfishness and the desired fulfillment of his demands which make him anything but a reward and blessing. So what really is the blessing of having children?

It goes back to the first argument of why children are not such a blessing. The problem is that in many ways, though with more restraint (hopefully), parents are also selfish and demanding of their own way. We discovered the presence of this the day after our wedding! But it was not until children came that we begin to see the depths of it. For with the child comes a battle of wills. Now spouses will have skirmishes of will but because of their love and devotion to each other and the ability to communicate intelligently (for the most part) with each other, they can usually arrive at a decision that will be satisfactory to both of them. The child comes with no such love or propensity to work things out for the benefit of all parties. He wants, what he wants, when he wants it! We may call this willful. God calls it sin.

Children force us each day to look at the depths of our hearts and actions. As children grow older and take on our characteristics, good and bad, we are faced with a mirror of our self, and our image-bearers may not be pleasing to us. This is one way and a very major way as to why they bless us…we get to see ourselves for who we truly are! So if we do not want our offspring to take the same path we are on, we must change.

Since God’s greatest desire is for us to love and serve Him with total abandon, for our sin to be real to us (not hidden) and confessed, that we live out daily the fruits of the Spirit, that we stand firm in our faith and work out our salvation, that we obey even unto death, and that the truth of the Scriptures be passed on to future generations, we are blessed with children to teach and train in the Lord. And since we always learn best when we have to teach and set an example we are truly blessed when children are given by the Lord as a reward.

Copyright 2006 Robert Sanford, revised 2010

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