Learning that a new baby will be born into our home has brought a strange combination of emotions: excitement, apprehension and more. But it mostly brings wonder. When my wife was carrying our first child, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and my primary feelings were those born of naiveté: curiosity, uncertainty and anticipation. When our daughter arrived, she brought an unspeakable joy as well as a steep learning curve for us parents. She also brought a new love—a love like none I’d ever felt before.
I didn’t feel it right away, what with all the newness and upheaval that a newborn brings. But like water soaking a dry sponge, this new love slowly permeated me to the core, and over the following months I swelled with a deep, primeval devotion for this child. I’d hold my daughter and trace her face with my fingertip, examining her petite features while trying to coax a fluttering smile from her tiny lips. I’d gently rub my nose across the softness of her unblemished cheek, absorbing her new baby essence. And I came to know what it felt like to be truly willing to lay down my life for another person.
Before long, we found out that our second child was on the way. But this time I doubted. I doubted that I could feel the same way toward another child as I felt toward the first. My wife and I both come from large families, and each of us has had experience with younger siblings and the joy they bring to the family. Intellectually, I knew that parents love all their children and that, of course, I would love the new baby somehow. But I questioned whether I would truly feel the same degree of attachment that I felt for my first child. So I doubted.
But it was a needless doubt. If anything, the love for the first child only made the love for the second grow faster. The soil had already been tilled. The new seedling immediately took root, quickly blossomed and took its place as an equal next to the first.
In the years since, five more children have been given into our family. We have experienced how love grows exponentially as each member forms their own bond with the baby. The network of relationships balloons as each person relishes the newborn’s innocent affection. New birth brings new wonder, and it rekindles our appreciation for God’s miracle of creation and how He strengthens familial love.
But I have also seen how not everyone thinks this way. I used to work with a man who had one child, and I once heard him talking about how he would never want another. He was a fun-loving and caring man, but when discussing family size, he went so far as to say, “If you ever hear about me having another kid, I want you to take me out into the parking lot and shoot me in the head.” I was taken aback, and couldn’t think of a way to respond. But my initial shock was soon replaced with pity for his blindness. He couldn’t see the beauty and strength that spring from a growing web of familial relationships.
Many believers have big families; however, some Christian families are comparatively small. But even the believers who have not been blessed with children, or who have few, can appreciate the benefits and blessings they bring. For me, my coworker’s comment highlights how rare and precious the love in a believing home is. Our children serve as reminders of how Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven is a kingdom of children.
Life is often far from perfect, even in a Christian home. But because of God’s grace and the love He inspires, and despite our innate corruption, our family has been able to know a security and joy that are beyond comprehension. And if God blesses us with additional young ones, I pray that He will continue to send the same love and care that He has provided thus far.
Opistovuosi-koulutuksen valtakunnallisten opetussuunnitelman perusteiden mukaan oppivelvollisille tarkoitetun kansanopistokoulutuksen tavoitteena on edistää opiskelijan omaehtoista oppimista, auttaa häntä löytämään oma opiskelutyylinsä ja antaa valmiudet opintojen jatkamiseen perusopetuksen jälkeisessä koulutuksessa.
Mihin syntien anteeksiantamus perustuu Raamatun mukaan? Kirjoittaja käy läpi Uuden testamentin anteeksiantamusta käsittelevät kohdat, joiden kautta avautuu monipuolinen ja selkeä kuva aiheesta.