I’ve never had kids of my own.
I don’t even really know the first thing about parenting, and my experience with infants has been rather limited. Beyond holding them and changing a few diapers, I got nuthin’!
Just last week, July 13th, 2017, my wife and I discovered we were going to be parents! It’s only been a week since we’ve started “expecting,” and already, things have drastically changed. It’s as if we have different perspectives of each other now. We have instantly started seeing one another as not only husband or wife, but as father and mother.
In preparing for our child’s arrival, we have already slightly changed our attitudes. We are generally loud people. We love to laugh and talk loud when joking with one another, but the fact there is another person around has changed our attitudes. We still laugh, we still joke, but things are different. We’re morphing into another stage of life that seems to demand more seriousness.
Take Joy in your Wife’s Pregnancy
Before we found out we were expecting, I thought the news of a child would be nothing but stress. After my wife broke the news to me, however, I was anything but stressed. Sheer joy and excitement coerced through my every thought because as soon as my wife told me, God’s Word was immediately brought to mind.
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate (Ps. 127:4, 5).”
Children are a blessing from God, why would I be stressed? The announcement of a baby is perhaps some of the greatest news a person could hear, second only to our union with Christ! There is insurmountable joy in the midst of pregnancy.
My thoughts, as of late, have not been, “how are we going to make ends meet?” but, “can we get to the birth already?!” Sure, finances are important, and every parent should want to support their children financially, but the Lord provides for those who trust in Him. We couldn’t be at a better age, live in a better place, and I couldn’t have a better job when it comes to raising a child. The Lord has given us everything we need for this new chapter in life!
All we have to worry about is being joyful in the Lord, and also raising our child in a godly fashion. Which brings me to my next point.
Look Forward to Catechizing your New Little Sinner
Scripture tells us that all people fall short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23), and this includes babies as they are represented in Adam—the imperfect federal head of all humanity. One of the responsibilities of the parent, therefore, is to catechize their children. What does catechesis mean?
You may be picturing a parent reading off the Baptist or Westminster Catechism to their kids. While this should be the norm for Christian parents, that’s not all that goes along with catechesis. Think of catechesis as washing someone, in this case our child, in the Word of God so that he or she is brought up understanding sound doctrine—understanding gospel doctrine.
This is a lifestyle deal. Not only will there be times we intentionally sit down and read to our baby, but as parents we will need to remain constantly vigilant in order to contradict the world when necessary, and to instruct our child during key times.
Indoctrination is something that takes time and lots of work. Now, you may ask, “indoctrination?!” Yes, indoctrination. Every child is indoctrinated. The question, therefore, is not whether or not a child is being indoctrinated, but what or who they’re being indoctrinated by, and into what they’re being indoctrinated!
Thus, parents must indoctrinate their children with the truth, and this involves a constant washing of the Word of God over the heart and mind of their babies. Christy and I are going to work hard at providing an environment for our child where they can learn, where they can play—but most of all—where they will be immersed in the truth of the gospel.
Recognize Parenthood as a Very High Calling
Becoming a parent is not much less of an event than becoming a pastor. In a sense, the father of a family is a microcosmic pastor, ordained to lead his family in a direction of godliness—on the road toward that great Celestial City (Eph. 5:25). The wife is the helpmate, and together the husband and wife are to lead their children to Christ. Both the father and the mother are necessary in the lives of children. Without one or the other, the family body is totally malnourished. Without full commitment to godly parenting, a child will not receive a sufficient spiritual diet.
Therefore, when I ponder my child—who is now the size of a blueberry in my wife’s womb—I tremble with fear reflecting upon the lofty calling of parenthood. I hope and pray the Lord will still my mind to think about this parental calling often as we near the time of birth.
It is a heavy calling to act as Christ to your wife and children. The accomplishment of such seems so far away from the imperfect child of God. Yet, in the fullness of time, as we seek to grow our child in godliness by virtue of the Spirit, by His grace, God will conform our little family to the image of His perfect Son.