The Blessing of Children

When Jesus came to earth, He did not descend as a fully formed man. Rather, He took on flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary. He became a lowly embryo, a constantly multiplying package of cells that grew for months in Mary’s womb until He was born at the right time.

When Mary — pregnant with God incarnate — visited her cousin, Elizabeth, she heard Elizabeth say: “Blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (Luke 1:42). Elizabeth felt John leap in her womb, his confession of Jesus’ divinity. And, indeed, no greater child has ever been born.

Jesus is the Gift of gifts, the reason we celebrate Christmas by giving gifts to our own children and one another. God sent us this Gift to redeem children of every age, that we might become like little children, dependent upon and receiving from Him.

In His birth, He also makes all births into blessings. Every child born of woman is now a blessed fruit, a gracious gift of God. No asterisks or footnotes. Every child is a blessing, even if that blessing is an opportunity for parents to learn self-sacrifice — and even if that blessing is, in the eyes of the world, one too many.

So our issue this month takes up the twin topics of Christmas and the blessing of children, for the two are inextricably tied together. Christ makes all children gifts, and He gives those gifts to us as unplanned surprises — see Jeffrey Hemmer’s article — and blessed fruit of every womb — see Josh Pauling’s article.

Not only are we blessed by our children, but we also have opportunities to bless them. Christopher Nuttelman provides the biblical foundation of such blessings along with examples of how parents can bless those children in their daily lives. Sarah Reinsel digs deep into Jesus’ admonition to become like little children, exploring what it means for God’s people to depend on Him.

Let me briefly address a potential concern: This issue is not about the morality of birth control or related technologies. It is possible to hold up every child as a great and wonderful blessing of the Lord without commenting on those things.

In other words, this issue is not an indictment of folks who have one or two children any more than it is an endorsement of those who have 12. Rather, we want to hold up all children as good and gracious blessings and gifts of God, as indeed they are.

Blessed by God,

Roy S. Askins

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