Thursday, February 16, 2012


Back in high school, some of the guys in the preppy ski-bum crowd had this phrase, "B.O.C." -- ballin' outta control.  Well, our son Ephraim seems to have picked up on it, except now he's bawlin' outta control.  This kid cries all. the. time.

If I sleep in more than one-hour stretches, it's a good night.  On Sunday night I got a whopping two-and-a-half hours total.  In order to alleviate Ephraim's madness, our pediatrician has put Olivia on a strict no-dairy diet.  (You'd be amazed how seemingly everything contains some kind of milk protein!)

Not coincidentally, I read 1 Corinthians 13 last week.  I definitely have a context for learning that "Love is patient and kind. ... Love is not irritable or resentful. ... Love bears all things, ... endures all things."

So just to spare you an angry look, in case you're another one to ask us, "Are you loving every minute of it [being a parent]?"  The answer is No.  We love our son, but we don't love parenting.  But that doesn't really matter, because it wasn't our choice anyway.

You see, we believe God's aim for when a husband and wife "become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24) is that they "be fruitful and multiply" (1:28).  In addition, Malachi 2:15 teaches that God's aim in a strong marital bond is godly children.  Now we know that there are sometimes extenuating circumstances where wisdom would dictate otherwise--and not all are so physically blessed, either--but quite simply married couples should have children and shouldn't hinder this.  And God created this life at his will, on his terms, and in his own timing.

One of the real blessings of children--and what a hidden blessing it is!--is that we easily recognize that are not our own, but rather the rights to our lives were bought at the price of the blood of God's Son (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  And that means we don't have authority or control over our bodies and our time anymore.  (Of course it's not like we ever really did, but it was nice to entertain such an illusion for a while.)

Having children--or whatever tiring, faith-stretching, scary experience you might be going through--teaches us our real place in the cosmos: created, dependent servants of our Maker, living under his blessing and at his every beck and call.  Period.  The whole of evil is a desire for life apart from this role.

This is a really freeing thing to realize.  Why?  For starters, we can know that because it wasn't our convenience or handiwork that created our son, but God's, we can trust God will equip us with everything we need to raise him well.  But just as much, we're released slowly from our fears and anxieties.  Isn't fear, after all, a sort of misplaced autonomous pride, the horror that we don't actually engineer our own security and happiness?  "When our stability comes from our own ability to control, we submit ourselves to a terrible master," writes Sharon Hodde Miller.  "In a world of uncertainty, control demands an unending commitment to a fragile and complex balancing act.  When we step in as a god of our own lives, we cannot rest for a moment.  And when we do lose control, we are devastated."

As I drove home from work today, I thought, "These days and nights of crying and comforting and falling behind at home aren't going to stop."  But that's okay.  Because it's right where God wants us right now, and there's no better place where life can be found.

1 comment:

Halfmom said...

Well said, beloved son!