“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
The New Testament is chock full of examples of believers building up and edifying one another in the love and encouragement of Christ. We are also to live in a way that is sensitive to our brothers and sisters in every way so as not to cause them to stumble.
During my engagement to Lauren, I received a lot of godly council regarding the many new challenges I was going to face as a husband. There was also some people who would say things like, “Why would you commit to someone for so long?” “But you’ll never be able to go out with other women” “Are you sure she’s good enough?” These comments mostly came from people who were not part of the family of Christ and they were vastly outnumbered by the encouragement and edifying comments that came from within my Christian family. Comments I still reference in my daily marital life.
It’s been interested to see, however, that this does not tend to be the case in regards to Lauren’s pregnancy. While there have been several individuals who have been extremely encouraging, whom I am so thankful for, the majority of the comments I hear consist of negativities. Comments like, “Oh man, you think you’re tired now, just wait till your baby comes,” “Man, your life is going to suck when your baby is born!” “Enjoy living now cause you’ve only got nine months left.” These comments would not be so hurtful if it were not for the fact that they largely come from my Christian brothers and sisters.
Would my marriage be the same without all the encouragement and advice I received during my engagement? What would my marriage look like if everyone was as discouraging then as they are now?
I hope no one takes this as a personal attack on themselves, nor am I talking about every comment I get. But sadly, the majority have been negative.
I know that having a baby will change my life just like I knew that getting married would change my life. The godly advice I received during my engagement was priceless and I still am encouraged by it to this day, but sadly, though I’m incredibly excited to become a father, I’m also becoming more and more embittered and resentful through some of the discouraging comments. Am I going to hate my child? Should we have not gotten pregnant? Is my life ruined now?
People, this is unacceptable, why do we think there are so many mothers choosing to end their pregnancies? I have a feeling that a lot of them feel the same way I’m starting to feel. This is not a biblical perspective, nor is it right to look at this child with dread. I don’t think this is how God would have the church act, do you? I choose to look forward with anticipation at the beautiful gift that God has given me in my new child, and whatever challenges come with fatherhood I’m excited to grow through them. I choose not to fear and cling to selfish resentment at the freedoms I’m choosing to give up, but to cling to every bit of godly wisdom I take in and utilize that in the raising of this baby.
This is a call to everyone to change this cycle, and start encouraging those of us who are starting out at this parent thing. Stand behind your young fathers and mothers and help them become the godly parents that they are supposed to be. I want to be a good dad and I know that I won’t if I start out my child’s life with negativity.
I choose to rejoice and be glad in this opportunity.
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.” Psalm 127:3, NLT
Just some frustration from a sanctified sinner,