I remember the moment like it was yesterday. My first baby, my first son was born. I heard the sound of his first cry, and I felt his little heart beat as they laid him on my chest. Tears filled my eyes – how could God entrust me with such a beautiful miracle?
Today we went for a walk. That little baby boy is now a big ʻbaby boyʼ who turned three last July. I cannot believe how quickly time has passed. He was running down the sidewalk with his tiny blue rubber boots as fast as his legs would take him. I laughed and thought again to myself – how could God entrust me with such a beautiful miracle?
As I was reflecting on that question, I remembered what a friend of mine brought to my attention during a church parenting class. Dr. Gary Peysar explained a truth that I will never forget. Our Creator, who made us in His own image, has personally invited us into the creation of new souls.
Our Partnership in Childbearing
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God was creating something new, something different from everything else that He had created. God created souls bearing the image and likeness of the Trinity. He breathed life into us, and made no mistakes in His creation of man. He even went further and called it “good” in verse 31.
In Genesis 1:28, God invites parents into what Dr. Peysar calls a “deep, mystical creative endeavor.” God says, “be fruitful and multiply,” and immediately we see that we are teammates with God in one of the most beautiful and miraculous gifts – the gift of life. Have you ever stopped to think about what an amazing partnership that is?
Our Fallen Creation
I would love to end this article here. Unfortunately, however, there is more to the garden story. If you read a little further into chapter 3 of Genesis, you will see that our babies were born into a fallen world.
If you are an emotional mother like me, you see your child grow, and it pains you to the core as you reflect on how quickly time passes. I have woken up in the middle of the night and cried thinking about all of the moments that I will never have with my son again.
Why is that? Why do we grieve over lost time? This anxiety comes with a longing to restore our children to the way things were supposed to be. Before the fall there was no sin, no death, no tears, and no sorrow.
Our Partnership in the Gospel
But we cannot live in anxiety. As Christians, we know there is hope as we see the prophecies of the Old Testament come to life in the New Testament. Our hope is in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We see that we are not only partners in the process of childbirth, but also in the eternal life-giving process of disciple making and evangelism.
You do not need to be a parent to participate in this incredible gift. Parent or not, you are invited by God to be an agent in restoring the broken relationship between man and God. We do this by mentoring, discipling, and God willing, leading children as well as brothers and sisters into everlasting life.
I believe that as parents we should grieve lost time with our children because we should feel a sense of urgency to share and live out the gospel for the sake of our childrenʼs souls. I dream and long for the day when my (not so) little boy looks me in the eyes and professes with great joy that he has put his trust in Jesus Christ. What a beautiful reminder that our labour is not in vain. These long days and short years are opportunities to collaborate with the Creator of the universe in both creating and discipling our children in the Lord.
Father, help us to lead our children in paths of righteousness for your glory and for our good.