If we think we don't have time to be a parent, it's important to consider why. Is our busy-ness based in selfishness? We definitely like to do what we like to do, but interruptions are the things of life and not necessarily to be condemned or avoided. It is just those life-altering, world-shaking things that make us better people in the end, and in the process. The dictionary definition of “success” is “the outcome of an undertaking” and in all honesty there is no greater undertaking than raising a child. In our culture we equate busy-ness with success. This, however, is not always the case. Sometimes much more is gained when we slow down, pause, and remember that life is more than just a busy schedule and to-do list, it's about breathing, resting, serving, living, and speaking into the future through the ears, eyes, and hearts of our children. Let us not discount the success that can be gained in having a family.
We are a deeply selfish culture preoccupied with chasing the things we want; and a helpful way to cure ourselves of this self-centeredness is to have children. As a friend once said to me, “God gives us children so that we will grow up.” True. We learn so much about and improve ourselves when life throws us what we think are interruptions. When we enter the world of parenting, we suddenly and swiftly realize that the world doesn't revolve around us, nor should it. If we strive to be better people, having children and embracing its challenges is a great way to work toward that goal. Sally Clarkson, a mentor of mine, says, “When you find interruptions to the expectations of your life, look at them from God's point of view and understand that they just might be a divine appointment.” There is no doubt in the universe that children fearfully and wonderfully made by God are indeed a divine interruption to our lives for our own, and their, good. We make time for the things that are important to us. Perhaps we need to refresh our perspective of parenting and children as the blessings that these things are.
Having children does indeed change your life. But the great thing about kids is that they can be pretty mobile. Many years ago when I was working on various projects, I stressed out about what to do with my children when I had to work. Some of the best advice a fellow mom shared with me then was “keep them with you,” and so I have. What fun my boys and I have had together, and what unique experiences they have been exposed to as a result! I, for one, like to make my mark on the world, and now I get to make my mark through and with my kids. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” (William Ross Wallace)
“What a wonderful power [parents] have in their hands!
We may say that we don't have time to be parents, but the truth is that we don't have enough time to be parents. Nor do we have enough time not to be a parent. One of the most rewarding experiences in life is in raising children. Our childbearing and child-raising years are short. And when one thinks about the span of one's life relative to the history of mankind, then we must acknowledge that our time is indeed short. The window that we are given on this earth is, as the Bible says, “like a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14) We ought to be actively pursuing parenthood especially if we indeed find that we have something to offer to the world. To take the wisdom and truth we have been entrusted with and to impart it to the next generation ought to be perpetuated.