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The Gift of Children
By Guest Author on January 13th, 2012

I love children. I have always loved children! Even at just five years old, I remember how much more exciting it was for me to hold a baby rather than to run around and play with kids my own age. For as long as I can remember, I have dearly valued and appreciated the lives of little ones.

I suppose this is a quality of some noteworthiness today in an age where millions of children have been rejected and forgotten worldwide, or where even within the family structure, children are seen as a burden and a disturbance to one’s own comfort or dreams for success. I guess it is a virtuous quality that I, along with many of you, carry–we value and treasure the lives of children. However, I can’t help but notice as I read the Bible, that in the heart of God, children are of much greater value than we typically ascribe to them. Of course, any believer would speak of esteeming children, and we would all say it without an ounce of reservation: “Children are a blessing!” But are we missing the true gift that children really are to us, to a dying world, to their own generations, and most importantly to the heart of Jesus?

As a single 25-year-old woman finishing my last year of Bible School and also desiring to one day be a wife and mother, there is a tension that has come up in my heart, which I have also seen come up for many believers when they first begin to have children. The tension is this: “Once I begin to have children, my life and my ministry plans and dreams will have to be put on hold, to some degree, until my children are old enough to be independent.” It’s the tension of having to choose one option as better than the other—to be in full-time ministry or to be a parent. The questions come flooding in: “Is it wisdom to have children and to be hidden away parenting, while there is a dying and hurting world out there that needs to know Jesus? Can’t I get more done for the Kingdom if I am free from children? If I have children, what will become of my ministry, God?”

May God ease our busy minds and hearts! Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.” For those of us that genuinely have struggled with this tension, this is great news! If with all sincerity of heart, one is concerned with making deep impact on a dying world and with giving Jesus the desire of His heart for many friends, then truly this is wonderful news! If it is true that “children are like arrows in the hand of a warrior,” then suddenly the unfathomable wisdom of parenting children is revealed to our hearts.

This truth has progressively settled within my own heart in the last couple of years, and I have personally become more confident than ever that if I can raise a few children well in the love and knowledge of God their Creator and Father, Jesus their Bridegroom, King, Judge, and best Friend, Holy Spirit their close Companion and Teacher, then the lengths and distances that my ministry will reach through their precious lives is far greater than what I could ever accomplish of my own accord.

Yes, they will surely be those spoken of in Daniel 11:32 who, “Know their God, are strong, and carry out great exploits.” Far greater than this however, they will be gifts to the yearning heart of Jesus for true and faithful friends of His heart. They will be ones that love Him with all of their heart, soul, mind, and strength. They will be fully given to Him in love. If I can be a part of giving this gift of children to this broken and perishing world, but greater yet, to the heart of Jesus, then I will have considered my choice to be a mother the most wise of all decisions, and surely I will know then that “Wisdom was justified by her children” (Mt. 11:19).

When this settles in our hearts, suddenly we become free to not only have our own biological children, but to actually take in the fatherless of the earth to whatever measure the Lord would give us the ability and grace to; to take what the enemy has meant for evil in these children’s lives and to see our Lord the Redeemer turn it all around for His own glory! And lest you think me naïve and idealistic with romanticized thoughts of what it means to parent children, let me assure you of my awareness to the great task that it is, whether it be with biological or adopted children. However, is not any other legitimate ministry just as laborious if done from a true heart of love? With Jesus as the joy set before us, there are no lengths to which we will not go for the sake of love for Him.

As I close, if I am transparently honest with you, I will tell that I am primarily writing about adoption and the gift that these children are and can be if we could just stop for a moment and peer at them from our Father’s perspective. In the words of one of my greatest heroes of the faith, “My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him” (Derek Loux).

Vanessa Cisneros

 

Vanessa consistently serves adoptive families on a weekly basis, and faithfully advocates for justice in prayer and in action. Each Friday at 6am at the International House of Prayer, she leads the nations in prayer for the fatherless. To join Vanessa, and thousands of others who join in prayer via webcast, visit http://www.ihop.org/prayerroom every Friday at 6am (CST).  

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January 13th, 2012
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