Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Psalm 127:3 New American Standard
Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him.
Psalm 127:3 New International Version
As I begin my blog today I am looking back through the window of time to the day our daughter was born. Jill will be opening some birthday gifts of her own in a couple of days, but for now I want to cherish the gift the Lord gave me on her birth day. I recently found the following quote by Regina Brett, “Life isn’t tied up with a bow but it‘s still a gift.” God allowed me to give Jill the gift of life on October 18, and the life she now lives is a gift in return to me. The day she was born, I fully embraced the scripture of Psalm 127:3 in my heart when I first embraced her in my arms. I will not say how many years ago I received the gift of her life, but I will say that she has been and continues to be a blessing each year we have been united as mother and daughter. My first inclination is to prefer the word “gift” used for this scripture in the New American Standard translation because of the viewpoint for these comments, but I also sense a deeper meaning in the New International Version when the word “heritage” is used. To me, “heritage” indicates a more inclusive meaning that is passed on to include the grandchildren we now enjoy who are our daughter’s gifts as well as ours.
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 New King James Version
Train a child in the way appropriate for him, and when he becomes older, he will not
turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6 International Standard Version
I can testify that the Lord has been faithful to fulfill this scripture for us in the life of our daughter. Through God’s help, Jill’s dad and I were able to raise our little girl to become a beautiful Christian lady inside and out. According to the New King James Version translation of Proverbs 22:6, the phrase I want to focus upon is “the way he should go.” As parents, we are not necessarily to raise our children according to the specific way we might desire, but we are to direct them in the way the Lord wants them to go. This entails that we as parents seek the Lord in how to direct each of our children in the special way that will best use and develop the gifts, talents and abilities found within each of our children. This requires the parents to seek the Lord independently and individually for each child He gives to a family as a gift. I feel our daughter is especially good at this. She and her husband have four children. She sees each of her offspring as unique with their own giftings and interests. One child may need more structured activities while another may benefit from more one on one time with mom. Academics may be a forte of one child while another interacts with friends more easily. Jill recognizes and encourages each of their daughters and son in the way that is personally best. However, there is one common trait within all their children, and that is their love for each other and for the Lord. The International Standard Version interprets this Proverb phrase as saying “the way appropriate for him.” This is a good directive for parents to follow. God did not create everyone with the same cookie cutter and neither should parents try to shape all of their children to look alike.
Children are a gift from the Lord.
He gives us them to return to Him.
Lord, guide us in helping them grow in You
so they can be Your children too.
Thank you for children, thank you, Lord.
Thank you for giving us children.
The words above are the words to a short chorus of praise that the Lord inspired to write many years ago on our daughter’s birthday. It was a birthing day gift to me. As I look back upon the words of this chorus, I have the distinct impression that God was, and is, reminding me of the two scriptures I have elaborated upon today. Our children are a gift from God that becomes our heritage. Our responsibility is to help our children become the children of God He desires them to be. I may have grandchildren as part of my heritage, but God has no grandchildren – He just has children. I thank God for the privilege He has given me to appropriately nurture creations of His own to become adults who have not departed from His way. Yes, I sincerely and lovingly thank God for the gift of our daughter, Jill, and for the gifts she is now instilling in her own children.
Happy Birthday, Jill!
Challenge for the week: My Reader, personalize this story to fit the life of your family.