“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children,” Ephesians 5:1
When people ask how many children I have, I love to answer in the following way. I always say I have the perfect combination and they make up an Oreo. My oldest son is special because he’s the first born, my youngest son is special because he’s the baby, and our only daughter is nicely sandwiched in the middle. They all have their own special place in our family and they’re special in their own way.
When my husband and I got married, we had decided two kids would be a nice even number. I originally thought four would be great, but two worked out nicely. Thankfully, God had other plans and He blessed our family not once, but twice with an unexpected blessing. One of our little ones is waiting for us in Heaven, but our last child completes our Oreo quite nicely.
I had heard horror stories about the middle child syndrome. I had friends growing up who were in a sibship of three and they didn’t like it, maybe more so because they were the dreaded
“middle child.” However, they’ve turned into some pretty terrific adults, so I don’t think they were scarred for life. If anything, being the middle child gave them wonderful qualities that have helped them be successful in adulthood.
Now that we’re raising three kids, I have to agree. There really doesn’t have to be a middle child syndrome at all. No matter what combination of boys/girls your family is blessed with, they each are special and unique and individual and above all, a blessing. Our kids don’t have to impress us with their talents, wow us with spectacular grades, awe us with superb athleticism on the field, or dazzle us with amazing musical talent. No, we love them because they’re ours. They belong to our family, they’re unique, and our lives wouldn’t be the same without them here.
That’s the way it is for us in God’s family. We don’t have to waste our time comparing ourselves to our friends who might be more gifted in leadership, or serving, or musical abilities. God doesn’t compare our gift of working in the Children’s Ministry to the woman who coordinates the Prayer Team. He also couldn’t care less if we can make a three-point basket or play a single note on the piano. He loves us the way we are because, if you think about it, He’s the one that created us and gave us the gifts and abilities that we have. When you start to feel down about what you can offer, remember that God designed you exactly the way you are and gave you the potential to shine for Him with the talents He blessed you with, if you choose to use them.
Next time you look at your kids and the birth order they were born in, remember that as much as you love each and every one of them for who they are, not what they do, God loves you more! When you were born, God was more than pleased with the final product.
And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be motivated to come up with a clever way to describe your kids. Maybe my Oreos can come play with your seven-layer cookies!
Copyright: 2013 Cheri Swalwell