Though the world did not change in the birth of my first child, my world did. The way I understand and interpret things now is completely different than it was a few days ago.
In the moments leading up to the birth of our child, I saw the effects of the fall–promised by God in Genesis 3–in which the process of childbearing is painful. Immediately after that, in the very moment of the birth of our first daughter, Esther, I understood certain biblical truths in an entirely new light.
Sacrifice of a Child
As God sacrificed His only Son on the cross, so many people know that this is a sacrifice. Yet, as I have now experienced, only a parent can truly understand the weight of this action. Why? Because to understand what was sacrificed, you must have what was sacrificed. God the Father sacrificed His Son, a parent has a son or daughter.
A parent hurts as their child hurts. A parent wants the best for their child. I watched the hospital staff give her shots, prick her foot to draw blood, and more. As my little girl was screaming, it was a scream of desperation and pain. To say that my heart hurt along with hers would be an understatement.
Further, I could not imagine the action and faith that it took Abraham as God tested him by asking him to sacrifice his only promised son, Isaac. Not only was this an act of faith, it was an act of righteousness. It is merely a reflection of the great love that God has for his creatures. Now, when I read John 3:16, it carries a weight and meaning that it did not before, “For God so loved the world, that the gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
David writes in the Psalms, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Too many people have misunderstood the purpose of Scripture as they post a selfie and place Scripture in the caption. However, Scripture is not to be relegated to a selfie status, but a status of totality in all areas of life. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made, creatures in the image of God, miracles of God Himself.
As I held and hold my daughter, I understand the fact that she carries worth and value more than any that I have understood before. We not only reflect God in the imago dei, but show the very work of God as we are intricately woven, a miracle that any man cannot do. Man not only carries the image of God, but the breath of life.
Scripture as the Foundation
Parents are admonished by God for many things, but mainly to raise a child in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). As Proverbs 22:6 states, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Though a proverb is not a promise, it gives us a general rule to follow. The way a child should go is toward God. The only way they can know this is by Scripture itself as “the sacred writings . . . are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). Moses writes in Deuteronomy 6 of the weight of Scripture in raising a child and leading a family. Not only is Scripture important in raising kingdom sons and daughters, it is absolutely essential. My prayer for Esther is that she come to know the grace of God in salvation through faith. The truth of the matter is, she cannot do this apart from Scripture (2 Timothy 3:15).
In these past few days, the lesson I have learned is this:
The bond between a parent and child is only fully understood when one has been both parent and child.