On the blessed inconvenience of children

The quote atop The Thinklingsfront page today is one of my favorites, from Gary Thomas:

Kids’ needs are rarely “convenient.” What they require in order to succeed rarely comes cheaply. To raise them well will require daily sacrifice of many kinds, which has the wonderful spiritual effect of helping mold us into the character of Jesus Christ himself. God invites us to grow beyond ourselves and to stop acting as though our dreams begin and end with us. Once we have children, we cannot act and dream as though we had remained childless.

We’ve been thinking about that here this week, since our older girls’ parent-teacher conferences were last night. It’s interesting talking with their teachers (and listening between the lines a bit) and realizing how many of the parents they have to deal with who really don’t get this, or perhaps refuse to get this. I wonder if perhaps we’re seeing a spillover effect of the abortion regime—after all, if it’s legally acceptable to kill an unborn child because letting that child live would be too inconvenient, that deals a heavy, heavy blow to the idea that we have a responsibility to put the needs of our children ahead of our own. The sad irony is, this means that many adults never learn how much better life can be once we “stop acting as though our dreams begin and end with us”; it’s the children who have the most to lose, but their parents’ lives are impoverished as well.

Posted in Children, Discipleship, Education, Quotes, Religion and theology.


  1. As a non-parent, you have to admit that this might seem like a hard sell regardless of one's position on abortion. "Do this thing that will take tremendous energy, time and sacrifice because I am telling you it will make you more like Jesus." I know of few people who would jump at something described that way…

  2. As a parent, I have to admit this. But then, I see a heck of a lot in the gospels that's a hard sell, if presented honestly; and preaching through James, I noted to the congregation that the same is true of taking a leadership role in the church. It's all of a piece. The key across the board is to present the blessings in such a way that people can really feel that in fact it's worth it.

    Which, in all these cases, it is–unequivocally.

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