Brothers Photo Attempt – July 4, 2010
Last night, my husband and I were watching TV when a Mirena birth control commercial came on. I watched it in awe. Awe of the content, and then of the side effects (like permanent infertility) that were serenely read in the background. The commercial depicted a frazzled mom of one child who, upon discovering her unsupervised son painting on his arms and wrapping himself in toilet paper, etc., made a mental note that she definitely didn’t want any more children. At least not for a while.
While I am NOT saying that birth control should never be used, this commercial brought up a couple concerns.
First of all, does it seem to you that boys are more often than girls portrayed in a negative light? They’re so loud, messy, etc. While I don’t dispute the fact that this is true, I believe that God created little boys to be little boys. He didn’t make a mistake when He designed them to want to defend and protect. And with defending and protecting comes a lot of noise, and sometimes things get broken.
Secondly, the mother in this commercial is basing her decision to have more children on the inconvenience of the one she has. Does God want us to look for the easiest path? Does God want us to base our happiness on our personal comfort?
(And thirdly, I’m sure that this commercial is acutely painful to people struggling with infertility, but that’s a point for another post.)
Here’s how my morning went… I had planned to take the boys to the park and then grocery shopping, followed by homeschooling in the afternoon. Before breakfast, the boys were already fighting. During breakfast, I went to the bathroom and returned to a barrage of tattling about a child who had threatened to hurt his brother because of a certain toy that he wanted to have. Instead of getting dressed for the park, we sat down with the Bible and talked through the issues at hand. We discussed the fact that they boys were believing the lie that control would make them happy. They were also believing that seeking revenge would make them happy. We opened God’s word together and looked at what He says about revenge and control. What a precious time together, but this took time, and we were already behind schedule.
I sat the boys down with some schoolwork so that I could finish the grocery list and we could get out the door. I ignored the fire ant death zone on the kitchen counter (we put out bait last night) and made a mental note to clean it up during nap time – my next available opportunity! While I was jotting things down on the grocery list, my newly potty trained two year old was saying “Lick it! Lick it!”. I checked to see who was doing what licking, and discovered that the dog was licking poop off Owen’s legs and the floor. Lovely. I then spent the next 20 minutes giving Owen a bath and sanitizing the kitchen floor.
We did finally make it to the park and the store, but I gotta say, if I were basing my happiness on the ease of my life, I would be a very unhappy person!
We know from Psalm 127 that God views children as a blessing. But we also know that children bring trials. What does God say about trials?
James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produce endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
Romans 5:3-5 “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Yesterday, we were in a restaurant, and got a cliche comment – “Wow, you have three boys!” When I told her that we have another boy on the way, she said, “Wow, you must be really patient!” I told her that I was not super patient.
Next time I get that comment, I want to go a step further and say, “No, actually my boys show me daily how impatient I am. But God is transforming me into a patient mom by His grace.”
What is my point with all this? That God values life. He values children. He has a larger purpose in the temporary inconvenience of children. He values transforming me and my children into the image of His Son. In my house, we are years away from any relief from the mounds of laundry and the sticky fingers and the noise. But honestly, getting rid of those inconveniences would not in and of themselves make me a happier person. This perspective makes the upcoming arrival of my fourth son, with all the trials and challenges that a larger family will bring, a source of joy!
Misty Sep 16, 2011
Great post!!! :)
Anna Sep 16, 2011
I enjoyed reading it as well. Hang in there, God has a great reward in store for you!
Carrie Sep 16, 2011
What an encouragement this post is! It can be so easy to only see the daily inconveniences that come with being a mom. Recently, God has been showing me what a precious blessing each of my children is. It might be work...but it is so worth it!!
Pearl Sep 17, 2011
As a mom of 3 boys...I really needed this!! Thanks!
Kristalyn Sep 17, 2011
i completely agree with your comment, "are boys portrayed in a more negative light than girls" i have 3 boys who are precious and i love them completely and i love their high energy and their rambunctious nature. i have such a hard time when continuously i am stopped in the store by strangers to negatively comment about me having 3 boys. i never know how to respond so i just smile and walk away. what's more fun than playing yourself with your children. i get to do that every day and the louder and messier we are the better!
Crystal @ Intentional Homemaker Sep 17, 2011
Thanks so much for this post! I loved it. We are a family of four with three boys and one girl. Our boys are ages 5, 4, and 3, so I can well identify with both the challenges and the blessings boys bring! It's so important to truly appreciate children the way God intended and not base our perspective on our own happiness or convenience. Blessings to you and your three boys and on your new little one on the way!
Sarah Sep 18, 2011
Thanks everyone for the kind words! I appreciate your comments. Let's keep encouraging each other to enjoy our boys!
Lydia Parks Sep 18, 2011
This is VERY encouraging. I have 4 boys...ages 13, 11, 10 and 8. They have been such a blessing, and, yes, I did want at least one girl! However, God does know best, and I trust His best for me. I have been a single mom, something I NEVER envisioned or wanted, for 7 years now, and God has been faithful to help me each and every day with this loud, fun and noisy brood! :)
Meggen Sep 19, 2011
Thank you so much for this post today. It was so important for me to read. I am currently pregnant with my 3rd child (we already have a 4-yr old boy and an 18-mo girl) and have been very apprehensive about the "convenience" and "ease" of raising and homeschooling 3 young children. Your post has reminded me it is all about Him and that my life isn't necessarily intended to be easy or relaxing. Thank you for your encouragement!
Stephanie Sep 19, 2011
What a wonderful post! So encouraging. I am making sure to bookmark this post so I can refer back to it often!
Leah Blomberg Sep 19, 2011
Thanks SO much for your posting, it was so inspirational and encouraging. I have two boys and one girl, but totally know where your coming from, LOVE IT! Everyone latly has commented on how patient I am, and I always say, " I have learned and prayed (still praying) to be patient. it didnt just happen".
Andie Sep 20, 2011
This is such a wonderful post. My husband and I have 4 boys, under 4! It is definitely an adventure, and all too often I buy into the lie that there is something wrong with all the boy-ness going on around me.
Karen Sep 22, 2011
Wow. What a thoughtful and inspiring post. And just when I needed it most. I have one 4 year old girl that feels like 3 children sometimes. When she is "challenging" me and the baby is crying at the same time, sometimes I get discouraged and angry that I don't have an infinite pot of patience. Thanks for the reminder that I don't have to have one and that God helps me add to my reserve each day. What a great post for all mothers, of both boys and girls.
Jessica Sep 29, 2011
Good post. I was so happy to learn we had a second boy on the way this past May. It was weird to hear people (even grandparents!) Disappointed we weren't having a girl. We're not disappointed. Someone needs to raise the wonderful boyfriends and husbands of all those little girls.
kali Aug 23, 2012
thank you!!! As a mother of three (so far), two boys one girl (who, by the way, is more crazy than the two boys put together!), I totally relate and love this post. I hate that birth control commercial as well.
Janel Jun 13, 2013
As a discouraged first time mom, missing my job, time to myself and with just my husband, I just want to say thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement. I love having a boy but I do think quite often I do not want anymore children due to how much life has changed and just is not as easy as it use to be. Thank you again.
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