Can the president of The United States of America keep you from having babies?
Only if you let him.
We put too much emphasis on the president. That’s always been the case but it’s worse under President Trump. Some on the right view him as their personal lord and savior who lives in their heart to protect them from the liberals. Some on the left allow him to live in their heads and every tweet he submits gives them an aneurysm. As an example of the latter, some couples have decided not to have babies because of President Trump.
One woman told Vice, “I have a few Muslim friends where I live and the things that happened to them in the last year I cannot believe. One woman had her head scarf yanked off. Another was told by a bus driver to 'get off' because 'you're a terrorist. We're super scared of all this crazy, white fragility takeover. The election just felt like a confirmation of everything I had in the back of my mind.”
To make matters even more confusing, the women interviewed in the article are Canadian.
BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump is the president of The United States of America, not Canada. But what do I know?
I’m a fan of babies. I like the idea of people having them. I really like the idea of them growing up in intact homes with a loving mother and father. But if a couple decides to throw in the towel just because of who currently occupies the White House, they likely don’t have what it takes to parent.
Parenting is hard. There are nights when babies refuse to sleep. Having a more liberal president won’t help you with that. And talk about scary. There will be times when you will be awakened by a three-year-old’s finger pushing on your forehead at 2 in the morning. Nothing is more frightening than that. Unless of course you wake up that way and no kids live in your home in which case you should probably have someone stop by and pray over the house. I digress.
My wife and I just spent two weeks alternating nights in the hospital where my son was recovering from a pretty intense surgery. We felt helpless as we watched doctors and nurses put tubes down his nose and needles in his arm. It’s one of the hardest things I ever had to endure. Believe me, during that time, Donald Trump was the last person on my mind.
We are raising our kids to live in submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ. That comes with its own set of concerns. Will they be skipped over for a promotion because of their beliefs? Will their refusal to keep their faith private cause them physical harm at some point in the future? I don’t know the answers to these questions. But we knew what we were facing going in and we did it anyway.
Whether his last name is Bush, Obama, or Trump, no president should be allowed to have so much control over you that you put off your plans to have kids until someone more in line with your politics gets into office. And as things currently sit, the one person who can give the president that kind of power is you. Wouldn’t you be better off simply raising a family that somehow learns to thrive regardless of who’s in command?
Of course it would but that would require something that is absent in the mothers interviewed for the Vice article.
You see, there are no guarantees in parenting. We can do all of the right things and still land in a completely different spot than we intended. Our kids can get sick. They can trash their scholarship and walk out on college life to move to Colorado to find themselves. They can rebel against everything we’ve taught them.
But every day, people sign up for this anyway. That’s because, some of us at least, have faith that God is in control and it’s all going to work out for his glory and our good in the end. So rather than allowing fear of the future to dictate our family plans, we delight in the small moments.
The smile of a baby when he looks at you.
That look of accomplishment on your daughter’s face when she tackles a fear and does what she previously thought was impossible.
Your nine-year-old’s belly laugh at the dinner table.
Watching your son hold the door open for an older lady when he doesn’t even know that you’re looking.
Witnessing the slow transformation from girls and boys to women and men and knowing that you got to play a part in that.
These are all things that no president can touch. Unless we allow him to. I grieve for the families refusing to have kids just because of who the president is. They are giving him a power that he doesn’t really have and in an effort to defy a ruler they do not like, they are enslaving themselves to an even worse power.
Parenting is frightening, regardless of who the president is. But it is also beautiful. And that beauty far outweighs the fear.
The parents in the Vice article have decided to wait and see what happens before having kids. They say that their biggest hope is that Trump will be impeached. I don’t know if that will happen. All I know is that people who wait for the world to become a perfect place before having kids will never know the joy of parenthood. The world is deeply flawed no matter who is in power. But it’s not our job as parents to bring kids into a perfect world. Rather, it’s our job to teach them how to navigate their way through a very imperfect one.
And believe it or not, there is great joy in that.