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    “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    « On “Word of Faith” or “Believing Prayer” Movements | "50 Shades of Magic Mike..." »

    On Parenting

    “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13)


    The only thing guaranteed in life is death. If you wish to become a parent, there is one thing you should know: it is risky, and as such it is not for the faint of heart. Parenting has no guaranteed outcomes. You might pour your heart and soul into a child, and they still grow up rebellious or drug-addicted or drunk. You can shelter them until they’re adults, and still watch them turn to ways you tried desperately to keep them from.


    Of course, this is assuming the child makes it to adulthood. Even in our modern age, people die as teens, young adults, children, and even infants. It takes courage to be a parent. Standing up to a strong-willed child (especially if you are not strong-willed) can be a daunting task.


    It takes grand acts of selflessness to care for another person’s needs. In this case, a child is a person who cannot lend a hand in helping to provide for their needs (the same could be said for a disabled spouse, or ailing parent). And not many people are up for the challenge.


    Many people want children for themselves. This isn’t inherently wrong. I believe it is a God-given instinct, but it can become a selfish desire. When the wants of the parents overtake the needs of a child, it is selfish. When parents will stop at nothing to conceive or bear a perfect child, it is selfish.


    Rather than deal with their situations, rather than find alternate outlets for their pain, they channel all their energies into one, narrow-minded focus. They WILL have a child, no matter the cost. They WILL have a “healthy” child, spare no expense. And they sacrifice--but not just themselves. They sacrifice other children, they waste God’s finances, and they despair like spoiled children if they cannot have the one thing they want (note: a child is not a need, but a want).


    “Parents” are sometimes more willing to sacrifice their own children, than face pain themselves. I read a post from one woman who wrote concerning partial-birth abortion, she is ready and willing for a sick baby to go through the agony (they do not give pain medication to aborted infants) of being killed with a sharp instrument, than she was of facing the pain of a natural stillbirth (before the reader condemns my opinions, know that I have much personal experience in this matter). Outrageous!


    Parenting has no guarantees. You are not promised a physically or mentally healthy baby. You are not promised either sex over another. I knew of a young man in college whose mother had had five abortions before he was born, simply because they were all girls. You are not guaranteed any particular number of children, be it 0-10 or more.


    It is fine to have goals, but you can’t always get what you want. Parenting is risky, and children are not “rough drafts” to be wadded, and thrown away when the outcome is less than our ideal. You may end up with a child allergic to everything. You might end up with no children.


    You might have 3 boys and no girls or vice-versa. What are you willing to sacrifice to get what you want? What boundaries are you willing to cross? The world’s ethics change daily, so as a Christian our first and final authority is the Word of God, the Bible.


    The Bible says that children are precious to God (see: http://ministry-to-children.com/bible-verses-about-children/ for a list of verses). They are so precious in fact, He has destroyed whole nations who sacrificed their children to fertility and agricultural gods (Leviticus 18:21; Jeremiah 19:3-6). They are so precious, that only He decides when, where, and why a child is born.


    God bestows life, and we are not authorized to usurp His authority. Let the world chase its own tail, but as Christians our boundaries are subject to God’s authority (His word, the Bible). Do not misunderstand me. The Bible says nothing regarding birth-control (leading me to believe that is a personal decision between husbands, wives, and God).


    The Bible says zip regarding hormone therapy (and though I know very little about it, it seems a risky thing to play with). But there is a line in the sand.


    My personal feeling is that surrogates, egg and sperm donations by anonymous parties, embryonic stem cell research, abortion of any kind (except in triage situations), fertility drugs (because of the increased likelihood that several babies will be conceived, and the growing acceptance to abort all but one of them), and the like, are extreme and costly measures that begin (if not outright) to take the place of God.


    You may very well make a baby (or three or eight), but that by no means guarantees it was in God’s will (however, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28). (For an ancient version of these extreme methods, read about Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar in Genesis 16)


    This issue is really just one of many ways people are tempted to play God when things are not going their way. People desperate for healing may find it from New Age or occult sources (many times masked in Christian words or out-of-context Bible verses). People longing for power, prestige, and money might discover it through backstabbing coworkers, signing on with a less-than-angelic organization, or addicting kids to drugs.


    Those with an intense desire for fame might achieve it by selling their bodies to the media. Those who are lonely and aching for love may pass themselves from person to person or try to fill the void through children. Know God’s boundaries before you are faced with these decisions, and know that these worldly and highly temporal things; healing, power, fame, money, relationships, and even children will not satisfy you.


    A dozen babies will not fill the hole in your heart, because what you are actually missing is a relationship, a friendship, and a servant’s life with and to Jesus.  

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