Unless the LORD builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
The message of the Bible, over and over again, is that children are a blessing, a gift from God.
This is incredibly humbling.
The message in our society is that children are things we create, of our own choosing, in our own time.
To realise that God is actually the one who decides (and I’ve heard of enough “oopsie” pregnancies and infertility struggles to know it’s true) just knocks me over!
Sometimes it’s like I’m a petulant child, demanding that I receive my Christmas gifts in August.
“I’m ready for my presents now,” I whine, “They’re mine anyway!”
“It’s not the right time,” says my Father gently.
If children are a gift, what right do any of us have to decide when we receive them?