R. Scott Rodin writes (from the forthcoming Stewardship Resource Bible):
Children are a gift from God (even in their twos and those teenage years). They are never "ours" in the sense that we have an absolute right of ownership over them. Our children can never be considered in abstracto from their relationship to us as God's gift to be stewarded and cherished. How tragic is our human history of abusing, manipulating, devaluing, and ultimately destroying the lives of the children entrusted to us by God. What impact would it have on our world if parents saw their children as precious gifts from God that require our loving and committed stewardship?
What a convicting lesson. It is far too easy for me to forget this, especially when I'm surrounded by culture that outsources every task of parenting to others, from saying good morning to the goodnight kiss. They need this assistance, they say, to "get a break" from these little beasts who have put a damper on the fun of life. And having children does change life.
I'll admit, Fish and Mud Pie's constant bickering drives me to distraction, especially when I'm so ill. And St. Nick's endless energy (except now that he's sick too) can exhaust me. This past week (or two, or more) has been challenging, not just in the "getting better" department. It's been hard not to resent the runny noses and constant demands. The little beings who don't stop or even slow down when I'm barely able to attend to them. If anything, my illness or fear or distraction makes them all the more desperate for affection, which heightens the tension. Only, it doesn't have to.
It's my prayer that Dr. D and I will always remember that these lives are entrusted to us, and our responsibility in raising them is a sacred act of devotion. Both to them and to God.