Church & God

The Kids We Want

Disclaimer- This is written for believers in God. It’s about kids- both parented and parentless- and the people who want them (and the people who don’t). 

It’s a touchy subject. But it’s a necessary one. But, seriously, if you’re touchy about this subject, you should keep reading and maybe you’ll get a little offended, which is not my normal end-goal for public communications, but you’ll be alright. If you think I’m writing this because of you, you’re wrong. It’s because of something James said.

Most people who want kids are selfish. If we’re honest, most of the time people want kids so that some inane ego-centric need can be fulfilled, like, “I want a kid with curly, red hair,” or, “I want to go to my kid’s football games,” or, “I want to decorate a baby’s room,” or even something which sounds a little more pathetic like, “I don’t want to be alone when I get old.” It’s all about the “I wants” and the “I don’t wants” and at the root of it all is a self-centered perspective: why another person should exist for your benefit. 
Of course, that’s not to say that every person should want children, because, there are people who don’t want children (probably for selfish reasons) and those people are probably not the best suited to raise children in a loving, nurturing environment. Or maybe they will be loving and nurturing the moment they find out they’re having a kid. Whatever. It’s a circular argument, so I’m not going there right now.
So, let’s just focus for a moment on the people who want kids- the self-absorbed mass who, if they reach their goal, will spend their parenting years in some foggy place between disenchanted hell and preternatural bliss. Those people set out to become parents for a very limited number of reasons, which we don’t need to go into any further because we have already declared those reasons to be mostly self-serving, and the unrelenting madness that drives these people to reach their end goal of having a child of their very own is astonishing. 

Alright, so let’s capture this same madness that drives these adults to become parents and let’s relocate it to quite the opposite point of view- the child. Imagine a parentless child who deeply wants parents to call his own. He wants someone to love him. He wants someone to help him. He wants someone to kiss him goodnight. But no one does. Isn’t it sad and quite pathetic? Well, it stinks to be him because, chances are, nobody’s going to want him and- worst of all- there’s nothing he can do to change it because he’s a kid who doesn’t belong to anyone and nobody cares what he wants anyway.
Of course, I’m being facetious. This child is loved by the King, the same King who loves all those adults who pray for children. Sure, this child may have deep-seated troubles, but so do adults who want kids but can’t have them? He may be difficult to handle, but what child- or adult- isn’t at times? What matters is his life is just as valuable as any other child’s life, whether they are past born or future born. 

Speaking of future born, I cannot imagine the pain that must accompany losing a child, including a child who has not yet taken his first breath. It must be awful. Similarly, there are those kids who are destined to lose their parents, even before they take their first breath. Babies who are born addicted to drugs are taken from the hospital and sent straight to foster care. They lost their mother before they were even born because of the choices she made. Imagine the pain that baby must feel- imagine the future pain they will feel as they spend the rest of their life healing from such a heart wrenching loss. 

Loss is always hard. Losing a child is a real possibility. And, if it happens, it hurts so badly because you’ve fallen in love with them, even if you’ve never seen them face to face. You’ve imagined your life in the future and this person is a part of it. In your imagination, one year, five years, twenty years, fifty years down the road, this person is so hugely a part of your life that you can’t separate yourself from them even after they pass away. You mourn for them because their life was precious and their death was undeserved. And, on the same wave of emotions, a child grieves when he’s separated from his parents, the people he foresaw he would spend the rest of his life with, yet, for some heartbreaking reason, he can’t. He’s alone, parentless, despairing just like a parent who loses their child.

So, why do we leave these people alone and heartbroken? Why can’t we say to the childless, “Go, and help a child who has already been born?” And why can’t we say to the parentless, “Go, and be loved by people who want to be parents?” The reason is because we- the adults in charge- are selfish. We have preconceived notions of what our children will be like and children who have been abandoned aren’t the kind of kids that we feel will fulfill our selfish desires. What a pity to leave these children abandoned, just as the priest and Levite left the man who was beat up along the roadside. But what a greater pity to let a non-believer care for these kids, just as the Samaritan cared for that helpless man, because when we let non-believers do the work of God, we let Satan get the glory. 

And, to speak to those who don’t want to be parents, let me say, “Get over yourself. Your own freedom is not so precious that you should be spared the obligation of bringing God’s freedom to the parentless.”

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