Our first grand baby arrived fourteen months ago. He has changed our family dynamics quite a bit. He keeps each of us hopping as he explores his big world and tries to learn his place in it.
As I watch all of the interactions, some overt and some subtle, I remember my mother-in-love saying, “Babies are good for a family. They bring new life to it.” I didn’t understand fully what she meant at the time, but for the last fourteen months, I have witnessed this to be true.
As a pastor’s wife, it has been interesting to notice that spiritual babies are good for a church family for these same reasons:
- Babies bring fresh wonder. It’s not unusual for seasoned family members to become callous to the miraculous world around us. Babies compel us to look closer and remember. There are no average new experiences for them. Babies are amazed at every new sight, sound, smell, taste and texture. They cause us to see life through new eyes.
- Babies bring energy. They keep us on our toes because they are always on the move. There is a comfortable season in a household when the youngest are grown, but haven’t left the nest. Everyone settles into a predictable routine. Enter baby. There is no time for “resting on our laurels” now.
- Babies draw out our emotions. Families, both natural and church, are full of people, and people are full of issues. Shutting ourselves down from feeling is a self-preservation mechanism to keep from getting hurt. Babies remind us to feel again.
- Babies cause us to interact with one another. They get our minds off of ourselves, and pull us out of our self-imposed isolation. Isn’t it amazing what noises and faces a baby can get an otherwise serious adult to make? No man is an island. Family interaction matters because relationships are the ties that bind one generation to the next.
- Babies keep everyone involved. They make messes that they aren’t able to clean up, and every unlocked danger area in the house is exposed. It takes a body ministry to assure a baby’s comfort and protection.
- Babies keep us learning. They want to touch. We say, “Hot!” They say, “Mine!” We say, “Share.” They ask, “Why?” We don’t want to be the one who can’t give them an answer. We are compelled to “study to show ourselves approved.” After all, babies are repositories of knowledge for future generations.
- Babies remind us that God has a Master Plan for our lives. Who hasn’t been enthralled by counting ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes? What parent or grandparent hasn’t known for sure that their sweet angel is the most brilliant and gifted child who has ever lived? How often have we cradled a sleeping baby in our arms and been reassured that God loves us just like that?
Yes, whether it is in the home or church, babies are definitely good for a family.