I was talking the other day about parenthood with my mother-in-law. We were cleaning a house that they will hopefully rent out soon, and I saw how filthy the house was as if a child had run through the house with sticky nastiness all over his or her hands. I knew I had no place to judge, but the walls were ridiculous!!! I was reminded though how much I need to learn! I still have horrible habits that I would like to fix before I become a parent. The following list, won’t even touch on those reasons why I shouldn’t be a Mom… yet.
1.) I still tend to think and act for myself. Even as a married woman, I don’t put my husband before me like I should. What I want matters most to me. If selfless service is hard with one, how do I think I could ever be ready to have a small completely dependent child that demands my attention and sacrificial service. I think I am better than when we started our married journey, but to be perfectly real, I probably will never achieve “perfection” in this. I am by nature a selfish being, and it is a daily transformation process with Jesus. I am far from finished. The question is, at what point am I “far enough along” in the transformation to have kids?
2.) In my itty bitty bits of chaos, I struggle to put God first. I know that I need God. I want nothing more than all He has for me. I want nothing more than to have the hunger and passion that compels me into worship, prayer, and study. But I lack it! It seems like it is more of a, “I need to” than an “I want to.” It is more of a, “how can I create time?” than a “I can’t wait for my morning/evening/afternoon hour.” There are days that just pass by without me even talking to Him. Currently, the only “interruptions” I have are sleep, a tiny bit of work, and some volunteer work. The only people I am really caring for are myself and my husband (though we are hosting some foreign students for a couple more weeks). It seems there is this great disconnect between what I want and know I need and what I do. The question again is, at what point am I “lacking struggle” enough to have kids? Though I deeply desire the things of God.
3.) Intentionality. To me, this is the biggest reason. As the picture to the right shows, as a parent you have such a limited time with your children. You have such small years to instill in them the love for God, moral character, and godly values. You only have a few years to create lasting memories and relationships. And the fact of the matter is that I need to be intentional about everything I do. Intentionally shower my husband with love in HIS language. Intentionally pray for loved ones. Intentionally serve God. Intentionally be an open and willing vessel for the gospel. Everything I do should be for a specific purpose to glorify God, even in keeping my house clean. I lack this in the little things, am I really ready for God to entrust it to me in a person’s life???
I could add to this list financial security, good jobs, money in savings, etc. My husband and I would probably never have “enough” to get started. There seems to be an aspect in raising children of just trusting God and stepping out in faith. God is faithful in that. Yet the three reasons I listed, are far more than the finances. It shows me that I am not yet adult enough to raise an adult. I still have too much to learn and too much to grow. Not to mention my husband and I have a lot to grow in each other.
So no. We aren’t going to have kids yet, unless God makes it happen. As much as I want to hold little babies and shower them with love, I don’t think I am ready. However, I also know that if/when God makes it happen, I will be ready. I won’t be perfect. I will probably still be able to write a list, even longer, of why by all natural thought God’s timing must be off. But I will also know that by God’s divine wisdom, I will be able to act selflessly, put Him first, and be intentional.
For now, I will work on me and my marriage. That is enough. At least that is what I am telling myself.