A Letter to the Church: Children are a Blessing
Stop. Just stop. I beg you. I implore you. Stop addressing pregnant women in a way which demeans them … in a way which makes them feel less than. Stop looking down on those who have made different decisions than you – or not. I write this because there is an epidemic in our culture of people not being happy for those who are expecting – not celebrating the life that was given them from our Father above. I write this because it is long past time this has been said.
I sit here typing this as a woman who has faced a form of negativity from the most random places: the church pew, a family friendly gathering, the choir loft, the family dinner. I sit here typing this as a woman who has heard the heartache of others as they share with me what their mom said, their grandmother, their father, their sister, their friend at the news that their family was growing. I know the growing trend of not sharing the news with some or many – sometimes until after the child is born – or until the pregnancy begins to be obvious. The reason? So many hurtful comments from those who should truly know better.
I have heard the jokes and the questions. I have felt the weight of not knowing how to share the news of a new child. I know the pain. So I beg you to stop. I wish to speak to your deepest compassion as I plead with you to stop. Stop joking about where babies come from. Stop asking if it was planned. Stop weighing the mom down with your own fears – your own uncertainties about your own life. Stop. None of us knows what she is going through. None of us know the stress she is under. Nobody knows the internal pain she, herself might be feeling. None of us know the unspeakable joy she might be feeling. Nobody knows the internal struggles or the prayer that came before the news of this child.
There is something greater than the fear, sadness, joy, excitement that this mother to be is feeling, however. There is a reason to rejoice despite our personal feelings. We rejoice because our Heavenly Father delights in these children. Our Lord loves the little children. Our God has given us these little children as true blessings. Do you realize that much of our culture has gotten this idea mixed up? Many think of blessings as a wealth & money, a huge house, a nice trip – but according to God, children are actually a blessing – a gift directly from the Lord. Yes, children are a blessing. I truly hope you can learn to view children as this. Somewhere along the line the church has been corrupted by the world’s view of children and we’ve been derailed ever since. When you show negativity toward a young mom, a new mom, an old mom, a mom of many, a mom with kids closely spaced, or a mom with a high needs child you give others a glimpse of your own heart. This is probably the saddest part of all – because we should be a reflection of Christ and by treating children as a burden you are anything but.
I beg you to think about this negativity – whether it comes out in jokes about birth control pills, arguments about family planning and timing, questioning the mother’s sanity, muffled comments under your breath, or small sarcastic jabs. Think about this verse from Matthew, “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” Matthew 15:18
Let me tell you a secret. We moms, we long to hear kind words. We long to hear love. Many of us hope for a little compassion. The first trimester can be a strange mixture of happy – scared. Our emotions are all over the map and we just long for understanding, maybe a hug, an “it will be ok”, “I’m here for you,” some sentiment of excitement – maybe even a dash of enthusiasm. No matter the circumstance, if we just shared our secret with you, we will cling to your words and your understanding. We want to so badly for our child to be welcomed…for us to be understood…perhaps to be encouraged. We long for you to be in agreement with God that these children are a blessing.
It is shocking the things people think is ok to say to an expecting mom. It doesn’t only make me think less of humanity – it makes me wonder how so many claim to be the Bride of Christ and yet speak at times worse than the world. Please, do the next pregnant woman you meet a favor and greet them with love and kindness. Let it be your mission to overflow with encouragement, and to maybe even show the love of Christ.
A Sister in Christ
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