Across the street from my office building is a church. Each day there’s a childcare service at the church that lets their kids play on the playground outside. I see them every morning as I come into work.
Yesterday as I left work, I pictured that my child was over there and that I could see them playing. I had to stop. It gave me so much joy, and my heart was filled with love for that child. A child I don’t even have yet.
Being an unmarried dude, one of the common questions when it comes to my future is “How many kids do you want to have?” I’ve always been of the mindset of no more than three. I was one of three and I think my parents had plenty to handle when it came to us, so I never became that guy who wanted to haul around 4-6 kids in a minivan. I’ll deal with three though.
But something I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older is that having kids scares the poop out of me. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to have them. I’ve heard there’s unspeakable joy that comes from having kids of your own, like it’s the first thing you’ve every truly loved without reservation or hesitation. But it scares me!
How will I be prepared? How will I handle all the responsibility? What if they don’t believe in Jesus? What if they hate me? What if they won’t leave? What if they leave before I want them to? What if they don’t obey me?
It scares me. And I don’t write this trying to get you who read this to console me with things like this:
- “You’re going to be a great dad.”
- “You’ll change your mind.”
- “You’ll be more comfortable when you’re there.”
Not that these things haven’t helped me in the past, because they do speak to me.
I worry about whether or not I’m going to be a great dad. I’m naturally doubtful of my own abilities in a number of things, so it makes sense that I’ll worry that I won’t be a good enough dad. My mind right now tells me that I’m scared to death that I won’t change my mind and that I’ll continue to be freaked out. And I guess I’ll be comfortable, but I won’t know until I’m there.
Here’s the point I’m trying to make: Having kids excites me and scares me. And that’s OK! If you’re like me and currently single and kid-less, and you’re freaked out, that’s entirely natural. It’s entirely OK.
At the end of the day, it’s a faith issue. Just like getting married, taking a job, changing careers, trusting Jesus, having kids, I’ve learned, is a step of faith where I’m stepping out and saying to God, “I’m trusting You with this in my future. I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m trusting You.”
It’s just another thing I’ve got to learn to trust God with. And as someone with anxiety, it’s not easy, but it’s a must. That’s not to say that I have to always be comfortable with it. But if you, the reader, take anything away from this, it’s this: trust. Especially when it’s hard or difficult. Or uncomfortable.
As I thought about finishing this post, I was lost until I remembered something about our God.
See, God has kids. Many. Millions. If we’re buying the stat that two billion people in the world are Christians, that’s a lot of kids. Romans 8:14 says, “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” He’s adopted each and every one of them into His family. We weren’t born into His family, but He chooses us and brings us into the fold. That’s such a powerful image!
He didn’t wait for us to be perfect. He didn’t ask for us to have everything together before adopting us. He simply picked us up. And He loves us and cares for us in ways we can’t even understand. And He promises to support those of His kids down on Earth who are raising kids of our own.
So if God decides to bless me with kids (it’s not a guarantee), I trust Him not only to get me through it, but to model for me how to raise my kids with how He’s raising me, a rebellious, selfish, disobedient punk.
Believe it or not, I still want kids.