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.
- Next to our marriage, Wallace is the most important responsibility God’s given us together.
- 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?