I'm going to try and dive into a post that has been on my mind for a long time and I'm not sure I have the time to really tackle it this morning, but here it goes. I have the need to get this out whether its entirely coherent or not. A few weeks ago my friend Christin sent me a link to an article in Newsweeek - Does Having Kids Make You Happy? http://www.newsweek.com/id/143792?GT1=43002. This article piggybacks onto recent thoughts I'd been having anyway so it really opened up a line of thinking for me that I've been mulling over. The gist of the article is that martial happiness decreases markedly after the birth of the first child and doesn't increase again until the kids leave home . . . and that parents are happier sleeping or grocery shopping then they are when spending time with their kids.
My first thought is not one of surprise. As with most issues we face in today's culture I think the answer lies much below the surface. Its not a band-aid fix and, unfortunately, I don't think issues like this will ever get better because of the direction our world is headed. Where is that? As far away from God as possible. To find the root to this problem you can't try to find what is wrong with today's culture or what possible cultural influences are causing this or do kids just plain suck. You have to go back to how incredibly far our world has come from God, from His plan in creation, for His reason for giving us life and breathe and allowing us to be on this earth . . . for the sole purpose of glorifying Him and enjoying Him forever (which seems like a pretty sweet deal to me).
So, instead we are living these lives focused entirely on ourselves, desprately trying to find something that will give us meaning and happiness. And when we don't find it in ourselves rather than looking to God and realizing HE is where we should find meaning, we start adding. We add a college degree, a job, a spouse and then children. And these things are all good but we are trying to make them fill a hole they aren't meant or made to fill. And by far children are where we are going to see and feel this the most. Like a big blinking neon sign saying NOT RIGHT because children will suck the very will to live out of you at one point or another and if the whole reason you had them was to complete yourself you are going to feel screwed.
But those who believe in Christ don't have to fall into this trap. Because we can search scripture and know we DO have a higher calling and purpose for having children. I truly believe I am called to train up the next generation to serve and love God and to continue to spread His name on this earth. I do a horrible job of it but when I'm losing my mind at least I know that there is a reason WHY I had kids and it was NOT for me. Bottom line is that I am called to by God and I'm obeying Him and fulfilling His plan for my life in this way. But blessedly I think my kids are the bees knees (and I think this is how God designed it) so even on my most frustrating, pull my hair out day I wouldn't trade them for all the tea in china.
Thanks for indulging me.