Children are not convenient.

Rachel and I were talking yesterday about how frustrating it is for people to tell us (since we are expecting a baby in less than 6 weeks) how horrible our lives are going to be.  Things like “you better sleep now, because you won’t once the baby is born!” and “hope you like not being able to go and doing things with other people.”  Some have even suggested that our lives are coming to an end – for about 18 years.

Then I finished Scott Moore’s  The Limits of Liberal Deomcracy. The thesis of the book is that liberal democracy (the philosophical sense of “liberal” rather than the political one) does not provide the resources for citizens to become better people.  Moore presents a fine study reminding Christians that when Jesus said to “render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God” he meant that for God’s people, God comes before Caesar. This is true even when Caesar is a democratically elected government such as ours (the US).

What has this to do with children? Moore does an interesting job of juxtaposing the “culture of convenience” that our consumer-democracy has become with the “culture of life” that worshipers of the God of Abraham are called to develop.

Because I don’t want to violate IVP’s rights, I invite you to find a copy of this book and read it.  My reference for the present post in page 133.

Children aren’t convenient. You and I weren’t convenient to our parents.  Even more to the point, children ought not be convenient.  It is precisely in their (our) inconvenience that parents, and communities, and society, become able to grow and experience challenge and depth and joy otherwise unknowable.

Are you willing to be inconvenienced today?  How might you become a better person through it?

2 thoughts on “Children are not convenient.

  1. Great post/challenge for us, Steve. I can echo your frustration with folks’ comments regarding coming children. We are about to have child #2 and I have gotten tired of everyone (jokingly…but gee it seems like they do believe it at some level) saying stuff like, “You really sure you want another kid?” In fact, I have, both as a legit question and as a backhanded-challenge to their bad attitude, begun asking these folks stuff like, “So, is there anything good about having multiple children? Because it sure seems like you almost wish for a re-do…” I’m just sick of everyone almost deviously ‘glad’ that we are joining their chaos… My prayer is that we will be proactive in seeking some semblance of peace/sabbath/rest/etc. as our family grows…

    Don’t get me wrong; Missy and I are somewhat-scared that our lives are destined to become chaotic once Addi joins us, since nearly all the multi-children families we know are just ‘GOGOGO!’, homes look like a tornado blew through, frazzled parents, etc.

    Blessings to you and Rachel! As you and I know, whatever happens, our lives are about to change again…and I believe, ultimately for the better…maybe it’s our job to show that truth to those around us that seem to wish they could have fewer kids?????

  2. You know my opinion on multiple children (since my practice reflects my opinion). Having children isn’t easy (if someone wants “easy,” I’d suggest goldfish – or, if they want something more human, a nice doll), but they’re worth it.

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