A friend genuinely asked the question recently on social media, "Why did you have children?" While many answered right away with altruistic answers such as "to make the world a better place" or "I always wanted to be a mother", I reflected for a long time. Babies cause us to lose sleep, children throw tantrums, teens make expensive mistakes...why go through it all?
After much thought and reflection, an answer rang true: I had children simply for relationship sake. I want to know my kids and I want them to know me.
In August, I joyfully discovered I was pregnant. From the moment I found out, I wondered who this precious little one would be. Would this baby be a she or a he? Would his favorite color be green or would her's be orange? Would he love to sing, dance, draw, read, run or swim? Would she be bold and talkative or quiet and contemplative? I wanted to know what would make this child laugh and cry and wanted to help this child through each and every one of life's events. I wanted a relationship with this new tiny person.
This pregnancy, however, proved to be difficult and expensive. It came with physical, emotional and monetary costs:
I did not want to endure nausea during the first trimester, but I threw up four or five times a day because I loved the baby growing inside.
I did not want to pee my pants when I sneezed or coughed, but I endured humiliating encounters because I cherished the child and knew it was part of the cost of growing a baby.
I did not want to get weekly progesterone shots to avoid preterm labor, but I did it because I wanted to hold a healthy baby in my arms.
I did not want to be pumped full of magnesium, steroids, fluids and shots when I went into preterm labor at 28 weeks, but I would do anything to give my baby more time to develop.
I did not want to go on bed rest for 5 weeks, but I wanted to do everything possible to ensure my baby had every chance to grow.
I did not want to prick my finger four times a day and eat an ultra restricted diet due to gestational diabetes, but I wanted to spare my baby a lifetime of health complications.
I did not want to have an emergency C-section at 32 weeks gestation, but I wanted my baby to be delivered safely. I would endure the painful, long recovery for the safety of my child.
I did not want to spend a month in the NICU, getting little sleep, but I wanted to be where my baby was so we could bond and give him the very best start possible.
Why did I endure all of this? Why did I have children? I went through it for the same reason Jesus endured the cross-- if I didn't go through the discomfort, pain and humiliation, I wouldn't have a relationship with the tiny almost 4 pound miracle whom I adore.
"When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world." John 16:21
In the New Testament book of Timothy, the story of the original sin is recounted.
"For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing." (1 Timothy 2:12–15)
These verses about child birthing saving women always confused me until I thought about what is spilled and sacrificed during childbirth.
During childbirth a woman endures intense pain, blood is spilled and her water breaks.
Christ, on the cross, endured ultimate pain. His blood was spilled and Jesus--the Living Water--His body was broken.
Christ didn't want to be falsely accused.
Christ didn't want to be beaten.
Christ didn't want to be mocked.
Christ didn't want to be flogged.
Christ didn't want to be crucified.
Christ didn't want to die.
He prayed and begged his Heavenly Father to let the cup of pain and sacrifice to pass from him, but amazingly he chose God's will and not His own. He chose pain and suffering because he knew it would lead to forgiveness of sins and reconciliation between God and every person who calls on his name.
So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many... Hebrews 9:28(a)
Why did Jesus do it? Same reason a woman endures a hard pregnancy-- He did it for LOVE.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Long, long before Jesus came into the world it was proclaimed “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” which means, God with us." Matthew 1:23
Jesus came into the world through labor pains because he wanted to be with us.
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." Galatians 4:4-5
Jesus came via contractions, water spilling and pushing because he wanted to engraft us into the family God. He wanted to make a place for us in his Father's heavenly mansion. He wanted to call you brother or sister. Just like I look forward to bringing my tiny premie home from the hospital, Jesus longs to bring you home one day too.
A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, "Wonderful Counselor," "Mighty God," "Eternal Father," "Prince of Peace". Isaiah 9:6 Good News Translation
Jesus came into this world as a tiny baby because he wants a relationship with us. He wants to give us direction when we don't know what to do. He wants to advise and provide wisdom. He wants to be our source of strength when life is hard. He wants us to call him Father, Abba...Daddy. He wants to be our protector and provider. He wants to be our source of peace. No, he did not want to endure the pain of Good Friday, but he wanted the joy of Easter Sunday and the joy of a thriving relationship with you.
Photos by Arrowcreek Photography.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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