My wife Sarah and I are in the process of welcoming our fourth child into this world. This time around brings us our very first daughter. To finally have a girl has us abundantly excited. We have been blessed to welcome three healthy and rapidly growing boys thus far, the youngest of whom is already 10 years old. That gap between our children, as well as bringing a little girl into the family, has made this pregnancy full of excitement.
One of the most amazing aspects of pregnancy this time around has been the ability to let our older boys be a part of the whole process. Our oldest boy was 3 headed for 4 when our youngest boy was born and so too young to really appreciate the process. Now that they’re all old enough we have found an abundance of wonderful teaching and family growing opportunities.
It has been our custom during pregnancy to keep the chosen names for our babies a secret until they are born. Sometimes this was out of necessity as it took us until the last minute to finally decide upon a name. With our expected daughter the name choosing didn’t come easy as we figured this might be our one and only chance to do this. We also wanted to have our boys help with choosing a name for their sister which meant we had five different opinions on the naming process. By the 6th month of pregnancy we were able to settle upon a name that we all fell in love with. Once more, a blessing to have our older boys involved.
Bringing the boys in on helping to choose the name had a further purpose in that we wanted them to begin to call their sister by name already in the womb. We felt this was not only a very human thing to do, but also a Godly thing to help our older boys understand that this wasn’t just something growing inside their mother but it was their sister already. They could see the evidence of this when she would wiggle and kick at their hands as they would talk to her through their mother’s tummy.
This reflects what Psalm 139 tells us of God’s work in these matters: “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Pregnancy became an amazing teaching opportunity for us as parents with near teenage children to help them to see the value of life and the gifts of God already begun in the womb.
To God be the glory.
Mark Witte is the pastor at Grace Lutheran Church. Contact him at email@example.com