by Gina Gardner, Steppes of Faith
“The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them.” Deuteronomy 10: 15 NKJ
I have three boys in my family. Four if you count my stepson who doesn’t live with us. It seems both sides of our family can only make boys. So, naturally, we often get asked if we’re going to “go for a girl.” The short answer is no, we’re done, thank you. Some parents don’t mind having lots of kids. My husband and I, though, are very happy with the three God gave us. But I must admit that I have sometimes wondered why God didn’t give us a girl somewhere in the mix.
So, it begs the question, why did God give us these particular kids? Why do some parents only give birth to boys while other parents only have girls, and yet some have a mix of both? The answer lies hidden way back in the Old Testament in the book of Deuteronomy, and it has everything to do with fathers.
God’s Explanation For Our Kids
Let’s set the scene.
Moses has led the Israelites out of Pharaoh’s hand and they are wandering around deep in the deserts of northeast Egypt near the modern-day Sinai Peninsula. Moses has just received the Ten Commandments and God is explaining what the commandments mean and what is expected from His people. In Deuteronomy 10:12–13, God says this:
“And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?”
God then goes on to explain to Moses why He chose the Israelites to do all this in verse fifteen:
“The Lord delighted only in your fathers, to love them; and He chose their descendants after them.”
With God’s sovereignty and perfect plan, He chose who He wanted to be His people. He didn’t just mean the Israelite people. It also means you, me, and the people in our families including who is going to be born into which family at any given time in history.
He chose our descendants. Those little people who live with us and hog the television, drink gallons upon gallons of milk, refuse to eat anything but pizza and mac & cheese, fiercely fight us when we make them help clean the house, and use up all the hot water in the shower.
You know, our kids.
You’re Perfect for the Job
Let’s not pretend here. As any parent knows, kids can be challenging. There’s the fussy newborn, the terrible two’s (or three’s or four’s), and then hormones take over and they develop their odd attitudes and angst for what seems like forever. Maybe you even have kids going through it right now. They can be difficult, can’t they?
Barring any medical conditions, most kids are somehow manageable even if we end up pulling all our hair out just to stay even keel. And yet there are kids with challenging medical conditions that can make getting through the days even harder. I’ve had a taste of it myself since my youngest has ADHD. Some days are tougher than others.
Regardless of the nature of your kids, they are yours. God chose them for you. Maybe someone has told you that God knew you would be the right parent for those children because no matter what difficulties or issues the kids might have you were the right one to handle it.
And you know what? They’re right. You’re perfect for the job.
Burdens vs. Temptations
Many believers falsely believe that God will not give you a burden you can’t handle, but the verse they are thinking of is talking about temptation, not burdens. It’s found in 1 Corinthians 10:13,
“No temptation has overtaken you such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
What does temptation have to do with burdens, you might be asking? Think of a time when your kids were simply driving you completely and utterly crazy. Did you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and maybe super angry? Did you stay calm and handle it or did you lose your cool and explode (which I’ve been guilty of many times)? Maybe you got in your car and went for a drive to get away. Were you tempted to stay away for a long time, like maybe hours…or even days?
Satan has a way of tempting us to lose our self-control, to either explode in anger or, for some parents, to get in the car and never go back. Satan convinces us that we can’t handle the burden of a crying baby or an attitude-riddled teenager. He tries to tell us that the situation will never get better, that the family is better off if you left, or that the only way to get your kids to obey is by losing your temper every time they act up.
But God says that you can indeed handle it, and He’s promised to give you a way to escape the temptation to throw your hands up. When we stay rooted in Him, we experience His overwhelming peace, joy, and strength in a very real way during these times. Like a warm blanket on a chilly fall evening, God covers us with his love and grace, enough that we can extend it to our kids. Remember,
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NKJ
We need only to allow the Holy Spirit to enter our situation and replace the temptation to lose control of ourselves with His amazing, beyond human imagination kind of strength and grace. Believe it or not, God knows you can handle your kids when they are being difficult. He knew you could do it long before you ever thought you would be a parent one day. You just need to trust Him.
He chose your kids purposely for you. They were custom-made for you.
It’s a good and beautiful thing God did.
Kids are Customized Gifts
Now think of a time when you were with your kids and you thought it was the best day ever. What were you doing? Do you remember how it felt? Were you a tiny bit sad when it ended? Yeah, that’s how good it can be to be a parent, isn’t it?
“Children are a heritage from the Lord…they will give delight to your soul.” Psalm 127:3, Proverbs 29:17
Every day is a new opportunity to make memories and show much we love our kids. And, it’s a chance for them to show us too, a new chance to shine their amazing, unique personalities and hearts.
This Father’s Day, as we celebrate the dads in our lives, let’s also take a moment and recognize that they wouldn’t be dads at all without having incredible kids. They are God’s special, customized gifts to us.
Because let’s face it, life would be very different without them. Wouldn’t it?
A Special Prayer: Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful fathers we know and love! May God bless you with wisdom and strength as you walk the path of life with your families. In Jesus’ name, amen.
What thoughts come to mind when you think of why you have the kids you do? What challenges have you had? What triumphs? How does it influence you as a parent, especially if you’re a father? Let’s talk about and celebrate our families together. Click here.