OPINION: Children are the greatest blessing and are pure fun

My 5 year old son loves to argue with me. For everything, really. One time he threw a tantrum on the way home from the store because I wouldn’t let him drive. It doesn’t matter that he is 3 years old or that his feet can’t reach the gas or the brake. He now claims to be 37, because the fewer people older than him, the happier he seems to be. He often claims that he was never a baby or toddler, which I’ve never heard anyone do before. Even Jesus was a baby, I remind him.

My wife says he told a woman at the store recently that he was in high school when she asked his age. My wife says it’s because he’s an Enneagram type 8 and all the stories and tricks don’t end there.

My 5 year old son randomly came up to me the other day and asked if he was getting all my money when I died. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that there wasn’t enough to worry about at this point in his life. Then he asked my wife, “Why did God create mosquitoes?” The correct answer has to do with the fall of mankind, but my wife said that’s a great question to ask God himself. He then said, “Since you will die first, will you claim it for me?”

My wife and I are having a third son sometime in October, and it’s a little nerve-wracking because it’s a lot of responsibility and work. I don’t always do the best job as a parent, but I never lack love for my children. My parents did such a great job providing for me and being generous with me. How can I do less for my children? I can’t imagine life without any of them and I always pray for parents who have lost a child. I don’t understand, but honestly my heart aches for them.

The John Locke Foundation says it envisions a nation of strong families. It is likely the most important word under the “View of Locke” section on the website. After all, strong families are a requirement for a healthy society.

“The family is the source of all mental and moral influence,” declared the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass.

It is futile to argue for a free society without strong families. It’s akin to preaching motorcycle safety while riding without a helmet on.

If the family is in disorder, this automatically means more centralized power for the state. Weak families create greater dependence on government. This is why statists and Marxists want to tear the family apart. It breaks down the biggest buffer between the individual and the state. When the moral character of the family declines, so does the state of our political affairs.

“The family is the human race’s natural defense against utopianism,” declared American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Novak (1933-2017).

I am thankful for my children every day. I do not understand a society that can throw away the lives of the innocent in our midst. Children are the greatest blessing you can receive and only a nuisance when you focus on yourself above everything else.

The family is where children receive the greatest moral instruction and it is where parents are also sanctified. I am a better person today because of my children. I am constantly learning more about how to model grace and forgiveness. I see the parable of the Prodigal Son in new ways. The bonus is that I am constantly entertained and laugh at all the everyday absurdities. At the same time, I am constantly reminded that raising my sons is the most important profession and service in my life.

As a society, we cannot advance beyond the family as the most basic social structure for healthy communities and nations. Relying on markets or even the Constitution alone is never enough to ensure our freedom and rights.

Renewal for a truly healthy society begins and ends with the family. We must never forget this simple truth as we see the family under attack every day by forces that wish to destroy it.

Ray Nothstine is the opinion editor of the Carolina Journal and a Second Amendment scholar at the John Locke Foundation.

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