Written by George Zhou
Becoming a new dad has caused me to reflect on what this new role means and the ripple effect it has on my world and the future. In doing so, the Lord has brought me to this verse from Job 1:21: “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Usually, this passage is quoted when there has been a loss (most likely of a loved one). It speaks to the authority of God to take what great gift He had once given us, and how we ought to bless God for His tender lovingkindness, wise sovereignty, and gracious comfort. However, as I have been reflecting on the birth of my daughter, Rosemary, I found myself being drawn to the first part of this verse, about God giving.
God gave us a daughter
Regardless of health, delivery time, mental ability, personality, or even who she will become in the future, God gave us a daughter! She is a precious image-bearer of God, a soul who has been fashioned out of nothing by the Creator, and a person who has inherent value by virtue of existing. God involves husband and wife in this mysterious act of creation and gives them the child to raise and nurture in His way. What a privilege for us. But the generous Lord gave us more than a daughter.
God gave us a family
Even before Eunice and I got married, we’ve always coveted a vibrant family of our own because we’re passionate about discipleship. By giving us a growing family, God grants us a natural and special opportunity to make disciples and teach them to obey all of Christ’s commands. In the home, sin mixes with the eternal chore list to generate results that are similar to scenes from Jumanji. However, it is in all of this that the power of the redeemed life can be clearly seen when members forgive, forbear, unite, and love unconditionally.
God gave us a legacy
And with a family, God gave us a lineage and channel to pass down gospel truth to the generations to come. Our prayer is that, by the Spirit, we as a family can get over ourselves and give ourselves to kingdom purposes. Because if our desire is not the glory of God or the supremacy of His Son, then all this talk about family will be idolatry. The legacy we leave to our children is the testimony of the Apostles, that Jesus was crucified, buried, raised, ascended, and will return, coupled by the fruit that was borne in us by faith.
These reflections are just the beginning of what God is graciously doing in our lives as we paddle farther down the river of parenthood. We’re thankful for these holy ambitions, the opportunities to carry them out, and the possibilities of bringing up more Christ-followers who will repeat after us, until He comes.