Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the comments we get when we go out, and we only have three kids!! Somehow, though, all of them being boys brings out the comments in people (although, I’m sure that people say obnoxious things to all types of families…).
“WOW, 3 boys! You must be really busy!”
“All boys! Are you going to try for a girl?”
“I bet that’s a lot of work – having all boys!”
Yes, my life is a lot of work, but it’s not as horrific as people imagine it to be, and if we have another baby, it will not be because we are “trying for a girl.”
Not everyone says these kinds of things – this week, we were in Target and got a very pleasant comment, “Oh, you have three boys in your family, just like ours! Isn’t it so fun! How old are your boys?” It turned out that our three boys were exactly the same age as this mom’s three boys! Then we compared names, but no matching there.
I’m sure that 90% of the time, these people are simply talking without thinking, but the underlying idea is that little boys are a burden to their mothers, and it gets a little tiring having my sons hear this on a regular basis!
In reality, boys are a blessing.
It’s not because they never get dirty. It’s not because they always remember to use a tissue instead of their shirt and to use an inside voice.
It’s because God has made them a blessing. When God says that “Children are a gift from the Lord (Psalm 127:3),” He didn’t just mean sweet little newborns wrapped up in hospital blankets. Oh yes, newborns are wonderful. But this verse doesn’t stop being true for the 3-year-old who is putting a hole in the drywall with the doorknob because he is mad.
The key to success is learning the correct definition of “blessing.” Blessing does not mean “easy.” It does not mean things always going the way we want.
I think that there are two ways that God has made boys a blessing. I’m sure that I have a lot more to learn on this topic, but here are my thoughts so far:
1. Boys are part of God’s common blessing to all of man. Things like the joy over finding a toad in the yard. Watching a nest of baby birds in the backyard. Learning to ride a bike without training wheels. A freshly bathed toddler in footie jammies. Freshly picked dandelions wilting on my table.
Last night, Aidan was lying on the couch with a fever, and so I let Gresham walk Tucker (the puppy) all by himself. I was pushing Owen in the stroller, and I fully expected to have to rescue Tucker several times, but Gresham did great! He kept saying along the way, “I’m four now. I’m walking Tucker all by myself ‘sinced’ I’m four.” He kept stopping every two houses or so to gently untangle Tucker’s legs from the leash. It was a sweet moment.
And then there are moments that are not so sweet, which brings me to reason #2.
2. Boys are a blessing because God uses them to sanctify us as moms and make us more like Christ.
Last year was a difficult year for our family for many reasons. In the midst of some trials, I began studying patience. I realized that I had been thinking about patience in sort of a superficial way. Patience is not saying, “These boys are so messy and high energy and impulsive, but today I am going to use all the willpower I have to not let them get the best of me!” Patience is much deeper than that. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit enabling us to endure in a difficult situation. It is not acting impulsively. It is not looking for a quick fix. It is resting in God’s strength to respond the way that He wants us to in every situation in our homes.
I can either view my boys as a burden and yell and get worked up when they act like boys, or I can take each challenge as an opportunity to practice responding in a godly way.
Over the past week, my husband had surgery and all three of my children were sick. We definitely had our moments. But we also had some moments when I was able to look past the toys all over the floor and the baby putting his hands in the toilet and focus on loving my boys and my husband and honoring God in our family. That is real blessing. When the circumstances of life can’t touch your peace.
Am I blessed with all boys? I’d say I am absolutely blessed.
How are your boys a blessing to you?