As I wade in the muck and the mire of this thing called parenthood, and more specifically, this thing called fatherhood, I find myself baffled. Baffled because you really don’t know what you’re getting yourself into until the child actually arrives. While the snuggling, the cuddling, the sleeping are incredibly endearing and cute, the sleepless nights, the screaming, the constant need for attention and for correction can be rather wearing. Now that we have both a toddler and an infant the joys and travails of parenting are quite ironical. When Lilly is asleep, Emma is awake. When Lilly is awake, Emma is asleep. Getting time alone with my wife Becca or with myself seems to be some far off luxury that I can barely grasp only for it to slip away in a second’s time. Just when we think we’ll have a quiet night we get pulled back into the fray. I mentioned to my wife a few days ago how I yearned to watch a good movie or a good documentary quietly and without interruption. Yes, a man can dream. Though, to be fair, my wife has had it far worse given the fact that she’s breastfeeding and she’s with the girls 24/7. Her body is no longer her own, or even mine in the biblical sense, it is Emma’s and it is Lilly’s. They say a human being needs three feet of space all around them to feel truly comfortable when interacting with other human beings. My wife hasn’t had that in two and a half years. Ahh, the things we took for granted.
But here we Geminns are, in the midst of this craziness, already flirting with the idea of having another. We are talking, not trying. Now, I want to reiterate that for the sake of our family members: we are talking, not trying. Though, to be honest, we weren’t trying when Emma was conceived nor were we trying when Lilly was conceived so the third may just come upon us like they did. I swear there’s something to that whole stork thing. But that’s what’s amazing to me, that we are already considering another despite the blur and fog that surrounds us. This evening I’ll go home with the desire to chill out, get a Trump update, maybe even read only for it to be interrupted by the words, “Daddy, paya me.” translation, “Daddy, play with me.” And that’s pretty cool and adorable. To the puzzles we go, to the basement we go, to the chasing we go.
In light of all of this a thought occurred to me recently that I am sure is not all that original but bare with me. Here it is:
Love creates, or to be more specific, it brings forth life.
That’s really the only way that I can describe our reason for having children and considering more. Emma and Lilly are simply the product of our love for one another which is founded upon the agape love of Jesus. The Apostle John wrote that God is love and being love He created the entire cosmos. He created human beings to be in relationship with them and for them to help Him in taking care of His very creation.
Now, what if, for a moment, we suspended our notion of God and substituted it with the concept of agape love. This love, this force, if you will, brings life, that’s simply what it does, whether through procreation or forgiveness. We can think about this in terms of Psalm 139:13, “For you formed my inward parts, you knitted me together in my mother’s womb…” God or Love creates. The act of love expressed in the act of sexual intercourse results in conception, in life, in the formation of inward parts, the knitting together in the womb.
It’s interesting to note that John says that “we know love, that he laid down his life for us” and “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only son into the world, so that we might live through him.” Through Jesus’ love for us he gives up his life so we could have life, so that we could begin anew as a new creation. The love of Christ borne out in his very death and Resurrection brings about a new creation, a new beginning, a foretaste of the restoration and resurrection that is to come. All of this is bound up in the One who is Love. Simply put: love creates life, it brings life, it saves life. This makes me think of couples who are unable to conceive and end up adopting. By doing so they create newness and possibility for a child that may not have had that otherwise, their love brings salvation. What we see in such situations is that despite the disjointedness of creation that is the result of sin entering the world, love is still able to bring life in a myriad of ways. What we see is that God/Love is at work continually. Even in the most sin darkened situation, love can prevail. We learn that on Good Friday, but we can also learn that by simply looking around.
This evening Becca and I may talk about having another child or maybe we won’t. No matter what, we will be with our two daughters who we created through love or rather Love created through us. Or should I say, God created through us? Creation begins with love and continues on through love. “For in him we live and move and have our being.”