Babies are God’s generous gifts of change to broken mankind. With the hope that the preceding generation will be better than the last, He repeatedly blesses us with second chances through the birth of each baby boy or girl. God specifically appoints each with a purpose, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you … ” (Jeremiah 1:5). Though they will undoubtedly cause some sleepless nights, the abundance of happiness they bring far outweighs being sleep deprived.
According to an article in Rochester’s newspaper, In Good Health, “The U.S. birth rate has reached an all-time low in 2013 when there were 3.93 million babies born, down 9 percent from 2007, when a record-breaking 4.32 million babies were born.”
This statement shouldn’t surprise us, since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it cost $245,340 to raise a child born in 2013. Regardless, these facts do not make babies any less adorable when they decide to grace this world with their presence
Once babies arrive, God has a way of dismissing doubt and replacing it with reassuring happiness. Everything about them and all they do brings much joy. Shopping for babies and dressing them up, is one of the most exciting parts of having a toddler. These joys-in-a-blanket always look so darling in their little onesies and other colorful outfits. Sometimes, their tiny clothes and shoes cause them to look like miniature men and women, or doll versions of mom and dad.
Then, almost instantly, these dependent, handheld angels graduate from being held in a blanket and mature into creeping cuties. They zoom around on their hands and knees, smashing and dismantling everything in their path. Mealtime is no longer a bottle full of formula, instead it’s a wild display of messy food art. Not only will the display be on their face and clothes, but on the ground and furniture as well.
Babies are like formless putty with the potential to take on any shape we give them. It can be heartwarming when we see them attempt to demonstrate those things they observe us doing like talking, clapping, dancing and walking. Their adorable efforts set smiles loose on our faces and generosity in our hearts. That’s when we start to flood them with rewards such as kisses, hugs, and applause.
But then, we notice they observe the negative things as well. Instead of getting upset, we have to correct them in love and model the appropriate behavior. What children learn in the early stages of their lives will strongly influence their behavior as they grow older. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it,” (Proverbs 22:6).
What do you most enjoy about babies?
Tuesday, we’ll look at young adults vs. social graces.