I have three children, so it gets noisy over here. A few days ago at the breakfast table, Sweet Pea was sharing the details of the previous night’s long and complex dream. Sugar Plum was offering a somber soliloquy about the lack of cherry yogurt in the fridge. Baby Girl sat waving a spoon while singing the theme song of Dora the Explorer.
As I washed the breakfast dishes, the girlies’ volume rose as they tried to outtalk and out-sing one another. It didn’t take long for the noise to reach a mind-boggling level I could no longer handle. I put down the plate I was washing, faced the girlies and gave directions in staccato. That. is. enough. Everyone. quiet. Silence (albeit a brief one!) followed.
That evening after the girlies had been put to bed and the house was quiet, I turned on the television to watch a documentary about Randall Cunningham, former quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles. The documentary detailed Cunningham’s route to the National Football League, outlined his great career, and explored the highs and lows of his personal life.
At one point in the documentary, Cunningham and his wife Felicity described the death of their son, Christian. Christian was only two years old when he accidentally drowned in the family’s pool. Felicity described the heartbreak she endured after her son’s death and talked about how Christian’s passing had left a sad silence in their home.
The silence I found earlier in the day calmed me and helped me clear my thoughts. The silence Felicity Cunningham experienced hurt her ears and made her heart heavy. Perspective matters.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. (Psalm 128:3)
The Bible has a lot to say about children. Scripture reminds us that children are a gift, a blessing, a reward, a source of joy. Psalm 128:3 compares children to olives, a highly valued crop in Biblical times. Olives were an important part of the people’s diet. Olives were symbols of prosperity and health. Olive oil was a source of income and used to anoint kings.
God wants us to view our children as valueable “crops” that we lovingly tend. He wants us to feast upon the happiness our children provide. He wants us to recognize that children are good for our health. He uses our children as tools to grow and strengthen us.
Yes, children make noise, but I’m realizing that their chatter, singing, buzzing (the list goes on!) doesn’t always need to be silenced. The Lord is teaching me to savor their sounds by finding joy in their happy squeals and offering comfort and counsel during their loud laments.
At times, my precious olive vines are tousled and tangled (and noisy!). I bet yours are too. As I lovingly smooth my vines and gently remove the tangles, I’m going to remember that my children are products of great value and a true blessing from God. I invite you to join me by viewing your children the same way.