Babies are more life-changing than one might think. Before Wallace was born, Cassidy and I had no idea how much he would radically transform our lives.

Once upon a time, there were only the two of us to get ready for church on Sunday mornings. Now, we consider the possibility of a blowout right before we leave. Or spit up on our dress clothes.

Routine things like going to the store or post office just take longer. There are no longer just two adults who feed themselves; there’s a bright-eyed little man that needs nourishment too.

Should I also mention the 2am wake-up calls?

These changes are challenging, fun, hard, and exciting all at once.

Parents we know tell us that having one child is as easy as it’ll ever be. They’re right. If God chooses to bless us with more children, we’d certainly have a lot more on our hands.

Notwithstanding, for us, having our first is a big adjustment. And it’s not at all like having another sibling.

Today, I’ll share with you three ways God has transformed our lives in the brief time we’ve been parents.

1. The Blessing of Change in Pace

After Wallace came, we discovered that we couldn’t do as many things or go as many places as we could before. We had a choice–either accept or fight the change in pace.

Though we still face tension, the following two truths help us accept our limitations, slow down, and adjust to fully embrace God’s blessings in our season of life.

  1. Next to our marriage, Wallace is the most important responsibility God’s given us together.
  2. While God is omnipotent and omnipresent, we can’t do everything and be everywhere at the same time.

Psalm 127:3 assures, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward.”

God hasn’t called us to do everything. That’s completely fine, and we shouldn’t stress about it.

2. The Blessing of Ministry

In a sense, God calls every Christian to be in full-time ministry. As I Corinthians 10:31 commands, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

If done for God, every area of life, whether church, work or family is ministry.

We still share the gospel, disciple and serve others. But we realize that spending time with Wallace and teaching him to love God is our most important corporate ministry.

Our ministry includes God’s command to parents to “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6).

Truly, the Great Commission begins with the family, and then extends out to others.

Some of my favorite things to do with Wallace include the following activities:

  • Singing to him
  • Quoting Psalms
  • Talking to him (Wallace recently spoke his first word)
  • Tussling with him

By God’s grace, I pray the time I spend today will build a strong relationship with Wallace and open his heart towards God in the future.

Yes, even changing diapers can be ministry.

3. The Blessing of Clarity

Wallace helps us declutter our lives, cut the fluff and focus on the most important things. How can a little guy give his parents clarity?

To begin, having a baby means that we have fewer blocks of time to ask God, “What else should we do?” We know that everything else he asks of us will be in addition to Wallace.

A baby also helps us remember why parenting is so important in any decision. We now ask questions like the following:

  • How will this decision affect our stewardship of our baby?
  • How our family be negatively or positively affected by this decision?
  • What’s best for our baby spiritually, physically, and emotionally?

Blessing and Work

As JR Miller aptly observed, “We train our children, but first they train us.”

In the end, nothing about parenting is easy. It’s the hard work that makes it so rewarding. Though we’ve learned a lot through our first baby, the learning is just beginning.

QUESTION: God uses children and life changes to teach us. What things has God used in your life to teach you the blessings of change in pace, ministry, and clarity?

Categories: Family


Marion · January 29, 2019 at 12:53 pm

Joshua this is a beautiful post. Thank You
God Bless You,Cassidy and Wallace

Ann · January 29, 2019 at 2:07 pm

What a sweet post.

Four children coming into my and my husband’s lives almost overnight ensured a rapid and comprehensive readjustment in our lives and priorities, some of the lessons have been challenging but I have learnt a lot about my self, my marriage and my faith – all are stronger as a consequence. Having people depending on me so completely brought what was really important into focus.

    Joshua Bontrager · February 1, 2019 at 3:59 pm


    Thanks for sharing those lessons! Little people are great teachers!

Nathan · January 29, 2019 at 2:23 pm

Hello Joshua!

Growing up as the oldest of 11 kids I can relate to this very much!

I can remember many times wishing I could hang out with my friends instead of watching out for the sibling I was taking care of at the time. Or being late (again) for an event because a sibling (or two) was late getting ready.

Even though these things seemed so big at the time, God was giving me a chance to serve Him in the season I was in RIGHT THEN, and when I would recognize that (which didn’t happen as often as I would like to say it did) there was a peace and joy that came!

Different Seasons = Different Speeds

    Joshua Bontrager · February 1, 2019 at 3:24 pm


    Great lessons! Siblings are such great preparation for life.

Aunt Joan Webb · January 30, 2019 at 7:13 pm

I delight in your doings and writings!
Question: How much space to you have on your bookshelves?
I would send you some older books that I have loved. Like…TO THE GOLDEN SHORE, THE LIFE OF ADONIRAM Judson by Courtney Anderson

There is a movie, CANDLE IN THE DARK, that was wonderful, but it is a video.

LETTERS OF FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER. I loved this kind, wise side of him…

Maybe Wallace would like you to these aloud to him!

    Joshua Bontrager · February 1, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    Aunt Joan,

    We always have room on our bookshelves, and if we didn’t we’d find more bookshelves!

    Thx for your kind offer! Wallace and I would definitely appreciate that!

Curtis James · February 1, 2019 at 12:32 pm

Great post! So true. I noticed in the picture above that your son, Wallace seems to really like his grandfather. That is a wise little man! 🙂

    Joshua Bontrager · February 1, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    I think so!

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