Chinese folk beliefs think that we should call a baby “ugly” so that the spirits won’t steal the baby. It happened with both Chase and River, that when each was just a few days old, my wife’s in-laws, being ultra-traditional Chinese people, came to the hospital and kept telling the baby that he’s “ugly.” However, I know that when we bear children, we’re participating in God’s work of creation, producing babies in the image of God. Knowing that, I really cannot imagine calling an image of God “ugly.”
Last time I visited Hong Kong, I noticed a lot more people with dogs on the street. Later I learned that, increasingly, people are having dogs instead of having children. Not just for Hong Kong, but also everywhere. I love dogs, but there’s a huge difference between dogs and men: dogs do not have the breath of God. Dogs won’t know right from wrong, they won’t understand the heights of love vs. the depths of hatred, and they won’t have anxious aspirations about the future nor deep regrets of the past.
Children, simply being humans made in the image of God, already have intrinsic values. Unfortunately, people want to set their own standards of value on children. One time I had a dinner with a family relative, who kept telling her two young daughters that they need to do this or that or eat this or that so they’ll become “beautiful.” After that dinner, I realize the measuring stick that she’s using on her children was their attractiveness. Indeed, China made the same obvious statement in Olympics, choosing to put a more “attractive” girl to lip-sync the song that’s sung by a girl with crooked teeth (but otherwise a cute-looking girl).
A friend of mine teaches Mandarin classes to children. She said that she learned that some of her young students take as many as 6 classes on Saturday! These children’s schedules were so crammed with art, language, sports, and academic classes, and for what reason? So that their value is raised because they achieve all the skills in the world? I even heard that a case where a parent wanted to sign her child up to a Mandarin class, and when that class is not yet available, she signed her child up to a French class “temporarily” so she does not slack off.
My children are intrinsically valuable and intrinsically blessed, no matter if they are happy or cute or smart children or not. It’s all because they’re simply valuable in God’s eyes.
| Blessings Of Children (1): Blessings, Not Burdens
Blessings Of Children (2): Saint-makers
Blessings Of Children (3): Intrinsically Valuable
Blessings Of Children (4): What’s The Message?