I’M WONDERING WHY the Bible doesn’t have more upbeat stuff to say about the joys of kids and grandkids.
For me, my life’s highest highs spin around my family—especially my kids…and now I’m adding my grandkids. As far as earthbound joys and heartwarmers are concerned, kids rule.
Didn’t dads and granddads in Bible times feel the same way?
Were they too busy herding sheep, planting barley, and picking figs? I’m busy, too, writing books, blogs, and paraphrasing the Casual English Bible, with accompanying leader’s guides and atlases. And I mow the yard.
Could it be that families and kids got shortchanged because of Bible bachelors?
Take the New Testament, for example. It’s the go-to book for Christians because it’s the story of Jesus and the birth of the church.
There are about 180,000 words in the New Testament.
Paul, a bachelor, wrote about a third of those words, roughly 50,000. Most notably, he told kids to obey their parents and he told wives to cork it in church. Clearly, not a touchy feely family guy.
Another third of those words in the New Testament are about a bachelor, Jesus. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John contain roughly 65,000 words.
Jesus did throw some happiness on a group of kids when his disciples tried to shoo them off.
“Let those children come over here to me. Don’t try to stop them. God’s Kingdom belongs to them. I’ll tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t welcome God’s Kingdom like a child, well, that’s a person who most definitely will never see the inside of it.” (Luke 18:16-17 Casual English Bible)
In the Old Testament, there are a few proverbs and psalms that say nice things about kids.
“Children are a blessing
and a gift from the Lord.” (Psalm 127:3)
“Grandchildren are the pride and joy of old age.” (Proverbs 17:6)
Still, that seems kind of underwhelming given some of the counterbalancing words about kids.
“Whoever curses their father or mother must be killed.” (Exodus 21:17)
Personally, I’d put them in timeout, ground them, or enroll them in Catholic school.
A day with a granddaughter
I’m thinking about this because I just spent the day with my granddaughter. I’m writing this immediately after she left, waving me goodbye.
I did zero research and writing while she was here.
The most productive thing I did for myself was to dance with her through my Oldies playlist and then to take pictures of her while she played in the backyard.
It was an exhausting day for me. But there is such a thing as good exhaustion. It’s a bone weariness that leaves you feeling good about yourself and about those you hold dearer than your own life.
I can’t understand why Bible writers didn’t talk about that.
Well, I understand why Paul didn’t. We write about what we know.
Which is why Paul wrote stuff like, “I’m a bachelor, and I wish every man could live that way. But we all have our own gifts from God” (1 Corinthians 7:7, Casual English Bible). By the way, I hope to add 1, 2 Corinthians to the Casual English Bible website within the next couple of weeks.
Maybe God knew that we didn’t need to read about how wonderful our families are. Maybe he knew that we’d discover that for ourselves.
I know there are tough family situations for many people. Heck, just about every family has drama, idiot relatives, and in-laws we’d like to turn out to pasture in the back forty.
But for most of us, the kids and grandkids aren’t among them. To which we say, Thanks be to God.
Blog subscribers who win books this week
- Jaime Hernandez
- Heidi Meinke
I give away free books every week to randomly selected Stateside subscribers to my free blog or my quarterly newsletter.
Winners now get to choose from a stack of titles, including my most recent: A Visual Walk Through Genesis .
Note to the two winners: send me an email and I’ll give you the full list of books from which you can choose.
The deal’s good for a month, or for as long as I have giveaway books available.