I’ve got five kids. Five. For those of you that have three kids, that’s all your kids plus two more. Children change you at a fundamental level. They change you in ways that you can’t imagine changing because you haven’t had the opportunity to imagine those kinds of things before. Yeah, there are the diapers, lots of them, it’s not really as bad as people make it out to be, but more there is the constant dependence of tiny people that see in you safety and hope.
It’s a strange way of organizing the universe; God I mean. That He, when He was planning what His children were going to be like, what would be best for them and how they would tick, decided that our offspring would come from our own bodies, would live inside them and be born of our own water and blood. And then, they would rest upon us in utter dependence for safety and hope, the same way we rest in Him. If what you’re looking for is a pathway to sanctification and to communicate analogies of divine relationship this is an intensely effective way of doing that.
Anybody can be a parent; God knows adoption is one of the coolest things ever, but for the sheer visceral terror it’s hard to beat child birth, and I mean that as a guy. The screaming alone is quite a shift from our usual day to day existence and then you throw in blood, hospitals, and strange people in the room telling you what to do and it can be a transformative experience. (Remember when guys waited in the waiting room smoking cigars and watching T.V.? Me neither but it must have been a golden age.)
Anyway, as usual covered in babies sometimes screaming, sometimes sleeping and just washed over by the glory of God as manifest in His genius in creating an order that demands our immediate attention. And that we will never have the opportunity to say He didn’t teach us what it is like to be a father. And that He has the deep wisdom to bring these exotic and complicated lessons from the most ordinary and organic resources.