“Having children is very sanctifying,” said a friend to me, a mother of seven children. She said it to me often in those days when I was single, getting older, and longing for a family of my own. I understood what she was saying to me, but I never experienced it until I, too, became a mother.
But boy did I find out. I realized later how true her statement really was. How my children help me view all the sins that I could hide so masterfully (at least in my mind) before then. And some days, my children seem to be experts in bringing out all my sins: anger, wrath, impatience, selfishness, laziness, discontentment, pride . . . the list goes on and on. I am appalled at my own sin. I am horrified at how easily it bubbles to the surface when my children push my buttons. And it seems that the more children I have, the easier it is for those buttons to be pushed.
I’ve always heard the charming analogy that a tea cup will spill over its contents when it’s tipped. And I would pray glibly that the Lord would fill me so that I would spill over His love and grace and virtue when I was “tipped.” I prayed it glibly then . . . I pray it desperately now. I pray it with my whole being and cling to the cross and to the Lord, pleading with Him to fill me with Himself. With all His fullness and richness and the perfect character that He lived out each and every day as He was pushed to the limits in His humanity.
And I learn to be grateful once again for the bubbly, bouncy blessings that continue to help me see myself in the severest light. They help me see my sin and my need for my Savior. And they help me run to the cross of Jesus, where the sanctifying process continues. So, yes, I’m here to reaffirm this truth: children are sanctifying. And it can be a very hard thing at times. But it’s a good thing, a very good thing. And I praise the Lord that I’ve been chosen to experience His sanctification in this way.