“Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” – Psalm 127:4-5 (NIV)
The Bible tells us that children are a gift from God, but sometimes it is tough to parent that gift! None of us would want to give up those precious little ones, but raising them is not always easy!
My husband and I worked on the Navajo reservation in the late 50’s and early 60’s. He was responsible for the children in one dormitory and I was to care for the children in the other. There was no electricity on the reservation at that time. Our government campus was diesel powered. Hogans were scattered at far distances apart. The only way the children could be educated was to go to a government school. We each had instructional aides we supervised to help us. Needless to say, it was very difficult for parents to bring their children to live in a dormitory and be cared for by strangers.
I remember, on my occasion, a man and woman brought their six-year old daughter to me. She was crying and they each had terrified looks on their faces. They could not speak English. I knew little of the Navajo language, but it was clear as to what was happening. They knew their child needed to be educated, but it was, oh so hard, to do what was needed to make that happen. They looked at me with pleading showing in their eyes as if to say, “We are trusting you. Please take care of her!” I didn’t take my task lightly!
As they handed their little girl to me, I took her in my arms as she kicked and screamed to get back to her parents. In her thrashing around, she kicked me and knocked off my glasses. I tried to give the parents a look of reassurance as I took her and headed toward the door to the dormitory. As they slowly walked away, I didn’t need to know their language to see how they were hurting, but we both knew that it had to be. What was the alternative? It would be to live a life of sleeping on a lice-infested sheepskin on a dirt floor in a one room hogan. She would grow up always dependent on someone else to take care of her. Even though they were allowed to visit her, we know it was still very tough to do what they knew they had to do!
I wonder how much we parents are actually willing to do for the benefit of our children! God, our Father, sacrificed His son for us. We are His children, yet many reject His teachings. How willing are we to sacrifice for our children? He has many children who constantly reject His teachings. Instead of truly appreciating the gifts He gave us, do we often complain about how hard it is to be a good parent, or do we truly appreciate those gifts?