Where do babies come from?
This is part 1 of 3 lessons introducing parenting. Please Study them in order to get the most out of the series.
As much as you may think that you had something to do with the formation of your child or children, know that your contribution was minimal. There is a process that takes place well before you did (or will do) your part to make your children happen. God started this whole thing out well ahead of time and is not surprised about any aspect of the children he sent (or is about to send) to you. This part of the lesson should inform you of just how valuable your children are to God, and how honored we all should be that He entrusts their lives to us.
God said to the prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” (Jeremiah 1:5). In fact, we can understand from God’s statement here that He had a relationship with every one of us before conception.
David acknowledged in Psalms 139:13 that God places the living embryo in the mother’s womb and has control over it.
- For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. (Psalms 139:13)
The word covered in this verse is translated from śâkak (saw-kak’) which means to entwine, or screen or fence in, and can be used to suggest a joining together with something. It seems that both the joining together and the protective concepts are associated with God placing the child in the womb. We know that the embryo becomes attached to the wall of the womb, and it is obvious that the helpless developing child is protected by the mother’s womb until it is time to leave.
It would seem that there is a turning over process going one here. God places the baby in the mother’s womb and remains engaged while He forms the child. As this is going on, for about nine months, mom (and by extension, dad) is feeding the child from the nutrients in her body.
As such, we can see that God, the giver of life, is the one who made the life of the child come to exist in the womb and that His purpose is to begin the parenting relationship with Him directly involved in the child’s development. What happens next is amazing.
God is also the one who pulls back the screen to allow the now developed child to exit the protection of the womb. Paul, referring to the time when the Lord called him to serve Him announces that it was God who opened the gate to the fence and allowed his mother to birth him.
- “But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb,…” and called me by his grace…” (Galatians 1:15).
It is by God’s timing that the child is born into the world. We cannot know what the criteria is for His decision to bring the child out of the protection of the womb, but clearly, this is the moment when the Lord hands the reins (Psalms 139:13) over to mom and dad. We will see in a little bit that this does not mean that He is removed from influence.
As we read on from these words of Paul, we can see that God has a purpose for the children He creates that is established from even before we are released from the womb. Paul goes from the acknowledgment of his birth to also acknowledge that God called him to preach of Jesus Christ to the lost.
- But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen… (Galatians 1:15).
Some commentaries suggest that the imagery of this passage indicates that Paul was acknowledging that God’s plan for him was in place before his birth, or ordained upon his birth.
Now let’s return to Jeremiah:
- “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
God tells Jeremiah that His intended purpose for him was established even before he was born. In Jeremiah’s case, he would, among other things, inform the Jews that the Lord (Jesus) would be making forgiveness of sin available to them in a new covenant. This can be found in Jeremiah 31:31-34.
But just how far back did God know His plan for your children? Does He decide at the moment they are born; was it decided when He formed them in the mother’s womb; could it have been during that time before conception when your child was known by Him? Let us look at a passage that follows shortly after the one we started this section with, which may help us get an idea about this:
- Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalms 139:16)
Since this is way too deep for me, and because the following quote is so poetic and beautiful, let’s see what commentator John Gill has to say about this passage.
In the book of God’s eternal mind, and designs, the plan of the human body was drawn, all the parts of it described, and their form, places, and uses fixed, even when as yet not one of them was in actual being; but in due time they are all exactly formed and fashioned according to the model of them in the mind of God; who has as perfect knowledge of them beforehand as if they were written down in a book before him, Or “in thy book are written all of them, what days they should be fashioned”; not only each of the members of the body were put down in this book, but each of the days in which they should be formed and come into order: “when” as yet there was “none of them”; none of those days, before they took place, even before all time;
God has a purpose for every one of us, and therefore each of your children. He knew from before any were created what His plan is for each one of us.
So here is what we know about our children:
- They were part of God’s plan from the beginning of creation
- They had a relationship with the Lord even before they were conceived
- They have a purpose established by God
- Their formation in the womb was done by God
- Their expulsion from the womb is an act of God
- And the reins are handed over to the parents. (Psalms 139:13)
God has been an intentional Creator from the beginning. There is nothing random about our existence, He has had your life, my life, and your children’s lives planned out all along. He knows the outcomes He desires and expects you to serve His created children with the same level of intention He has already put into them. His desire to be involved in the continued development of every child is clear, as we will see in the next lesson.
But before we move on – dads must be asking: “What is my job while all of this is going on?
- Pray & Worship
- You are to pray in thanksgiving for the
gifts the Lord has given you, and sing songs of joy knowing that He is your
source of security and your supply. Know that the Lord comes first in your life
as a man, and ask for all you need to know to prepare the way for what He has
- You are to pray in thanksgiving for the gifts the Lord has given you, and sing songs of joy knowing that He is your source of security and your supply. Know that the Lord comes first in your life as a man, and ask for all you need to know to prepare the way for what He has given.
- “Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.” (Psalm:4-8)
- Prepare & Build
- For each child, God gives us time to prepare for their birth – about 9 months.
- Mom and dad will use this time to prepare a place for the child to grow, learn, and rest. However, even though many moms work for much of their pregnancy, it is emotionally and physically draining for them to supply from their own body, the nourishment and immune system the child needs to develop.
- Both parents must prepare spiritually for the responsibility of parenting each child. Every time a child is born, the family dynamic changes, and so do to the levels of spiritual, educational, emotional, and physical need, as well as the burden on resources.
- In most cases, today’s American moms and dads are both involved in resource development. As such, mom and dad are both going to be involved in parenting. However, dad, being the head of the house and the spiritual leader, will need to be sure he and mom are both ready for the change.
- We will spend more time learning about the implications of the following verses and the part of the father in family, but we will provide the following verses for dads to ponder for now.
the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church:
and he is the saviour of the body. (Ephesians 5:23)
[cannot be fully understood without Ephesians 5:22-33 – which will be studied thoroughly later in this series]
- …except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. (Psalms 127:1)
Dads – your job is to do all of the things that prepare you and mom to be flourishing parents living in a house built on and for God. More on this later…