There is this idea that once married, children are the next thing on the list. Why would a couple do such a thing? The inexperienced answer would be, because God said to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28 AMP). Yes, He did; yet, with over 6 billion people on the planet, should the answer still be the same and is that the correct answer to the question?
Just because people would like to get married, not all people should be parents. Many times it is forced upon them whether they are ready to or not. Once the baby is here though, there is no store to take him/her back to because he/she was the wrong size, color, shape, or just isn't working for you right now. The crying, late feedings, changing diapers, teething, potty training, new clothes, doctor visits, shots, weaning is going to happen and that is just in the first 12 months. The changing of the wife's body, attitude, and tolerance of her husband's once cute antics will change as well. There are no more late nights with your friends. No more impulse spending. No more buying the latest gadgets and fad items. Those days are gone. Oh, you are going to think you can still do that and will probably try. But when baby needs a new pair of shoes, and the light bill is due, you are going to rethink buying the newest phone or computer doo-flicky thing. It is no joke, without a plan raising a child is HARD work!
Yesterday, my eldest son graduated from medical school. I was so pleased with him I didn't know what to say. When people said, you did good, I didn't know how to react to that. I hadn't really thought about it until then and I said the first thing that came to mind, "yay, all of the screaming, beatings and dodging CPS worked!" I was joking, of course yet in watching him walk across the stage and receive his diploma, I didn't cry as I did when he graduated junior high school, high school and when he received his undergraduate degree. I smiled vaguely thinking what he had to go through to get here. This morning, the same thought was on my mind. I remembered when carrying him and his twin brother. There wasn't a whole lot of people supporting me and their father. We struggled and fought along the way. There were many spectators, nay-sayers, those with their opinions, the ones believing they had constructive criticism.....and those are the ones that are in the family! I had people trying to raise my child thinking they could do a better job, changing the rules in MY house, and teaching my children lessons that adults don't know. The obstacles placed in my way just to do the simplest of things before and after the divorce were incredible. I battled to finish college just for them to have a better life and to see that it could be done. I made enormous mistakes in raising them and in spite of me and all of those that stood in the way....he still made it! To those that had their foot on his throat whether he knew it or not, to those that knew he needed a helping hand but watched hoping he would fail, to the bullies, the scoffers, the name callers, the back biters, the holier then thou pretenders..., HEY! How do you like him now? HE MADE IT!!!
Parents never plan for the worse things to happen and when it does - it is always a surprise but rarely a lesson. College monies are sometimes thought about but life insurance is a sensitive matter like drawing up a will. The ideal is that the child will outlive the parent. Funny, when drawing up a business plan to get a loan, all of the workings of that business are thought of. From unforeseen problems to researching other businesses to see what they did to make it. Why take planing for a child so lightly? It doesn't just happen and when broken, no amount of bubble gum or super glue will fix them (Proverbs 3:6 AMP).
What will you do when their feelings get hurt from the bullies and name callers? What will you do when you find out that the bully is the teacher and the one calling names is the god parent? How do you remove your child from a situation that will change his healthy way of thinking? What if the situation is his home life with you? The world says that rebellion is just a stage of a teen's life, is that also true for one who is believing that Jesus is Lord and the Prince of Peace? Do all children come into this world as sinners and because one house serves the Lord and the other doesn't, that the outcome would be the same? What will be different with your child? How will you avoid outside influences? How will you keep your child from hurt, harm, or danger? What is the plan and how will you carry it out (Proverbs 22:6 AMP)?
This morning, I sat at the edge of my bed thinking about the lives of my children. Thinking about yesterday and when all of the parents of all of the other graduates sat there and tried to be dignified. The suits of doctors, lawyers, judges and such. Their child walked across the stage and a mere smattering of applause had sufficed. The graduate smiled for the picture and it was done. I watched my son go towards the podium to have his name announced. I could have also sat there and lightly touched my hands together as if it meant nothing. As if it was just another milestone that was crossed with many others he would face. I suppose I could have acted like my son had the money in his hip pocket and there weren't any financial hardships along the way....but that would have been a lie. Growing up, I missed out on some of his school functions to take mid-term exams. He split his two front teeth slipping on the icy streets of Detroit. There are crazy people in the family! He could have got killed driving my car back from his job at 3:00 o'clock in the morning. There are crazy people on his job! He rode public transportation in Detroit! There are crazy people all over the place! When the announcer, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, said my first born son's name, I yelled. I cheered. I watched him walk across that stage receiving that document. That squared piece of paper representing those sleepless nights, blood shot eyes, chewed up pencils, and wondering what could possibly come next (Psalm 25:5, John 16:13 AMP). Yeah, finally, I took a deep breath, sat at the edge of my bed this morning and cried. Thank You Jesus, in spite of me, I thank You!