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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)

TITLE: First Years
By Edmond Ng


As the pregnant woman approaches the time to give birth, She writhes and cries out in her labor pains, Thus were we before You, O LORD. (Isaiah 26:17 NAS)
Infancy, from the perspective of medical science, begins from the point when a newborn baby passes from the watery dark environment of the womb to an existence outside the mother's body, cut off from the former dependency on the blood supply of the mother. According to Michael Meyerhoof, Ed.D, executive director of The Education for Parenthood Information Center in Illinois who wrote an article on 'Understanding Cognitive and Social Development in a Newborn' at health.HowStuffWorks.com, the first days of the infant are spent on recovering from the mother's labor by first stabilizing the breathing, digestion, circulation, elimination, body temperature regulation and hormonal secretion before the babyís new independent life can begin. While these adjustments are taking place, the infant is at the mercy of its own reflexes. As days and weeks progresses, the baby will gradually begin to differentiate shapes, see colors, and distinguish taste and smell. The next stages in the babyís development is dependent on the childís environment, which as parents, we must play our part in controlling and composing the aspects of nature or nurture to build trust and bond by spending time with the newborn. The child during this period will acquire knowledge which will include everything from the baby recognizing the mother to learning to sing the alphabet song.

Many of us, as parents, have experienced the joy of welcoming our newborn into this world. Before this overwhelming joy can come to realization, however, every mother must first go through the pain and labor. The Bible, in describing the events preceding childbirth, said of the pregnant woman that when the time to give birth approaches, the mother writhes and cries out in labor pains (Isaiah 26:17). What goes on in the motherís womb for the months before the delivery of the child and what goes on after the child is born into the world, however, are not all about the mother and childís relationship alone, but also about the mercies of God and His sustenance. As the baby adjusts to the new environment to develop an independent life, it is during this period that the infant will be at the mercy of its own reflexes. This is the time when what is not mentioned in science is mentioned in the Bible about how the babyís life is sustained from birth by God who took the infant from the motherís womb (Psalm 71:6).

As Christian parents, we must therefore always be thankful to God in praising Him for His sustenance on our childrenís lives, for without God, we as parents can only play our roles in fulfilling the natural. It is God who does the supernatural to take care of our childrenís breathing, digestion, circulation, adaptation, body temperature regulation and hormonal secretion in stabilizing the infancy of a fresh new life. The days, weeks and months after that in the development of our childrenís first years are in our hands to create the environment necessary to lead our children in the right path to balance nature and nurture in cultivating our childrenís independence, yet depending on God for sustenance. Our responsibilities as parents will certainly not be easy, because every child born is conceived in iniquity and sin from birth (Psalm 51:5). As parents, therefore, we must do our part and play our roles in living godly lives for our children to exemplify us as we build greater trust and bonding by spending time with them so that they may acquire the right knowledge and direction toward knowing God.

Help us therefore dear God, as parents, to know when to allow nature takes its own course and when to nurture. Thank you, God, for giving us our children and for sustaining them in the early years of their infancy. Grant us wisdom LORD to lead our children in the right path. Lead us and teach us O God to live exemplary lives that our children may grow in Your loving grace to desire more of You each day.

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This article has been read 778 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 08/30/09
Interesting approach to the topic.

You might want to start our your entries with a bit more of a "hook" - something that grabs our attention and makes us curious for what will be said next.

I like the earthly and heavenly parallels. Nicely done!
Kristin Slavik09/01/09
This could be an interesting devotional for new or expecting parents. I think I would try to break some of it up into shorter paragraphs to make it easier to digest. Good Job. Keep Writing!
Catrina Bradley 09/01/09
Nothing to add to the previous comments - except to say I enjoyed this devotional.
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/02/09
While I agree with the other comments, I thought your prayer at the end was especially good.
Jan Ackerson 09/02/09
Well-organized and well thought out.

I did find it just a tad dry, though...perhaps opening with something more personal would be a better hook.

An important read!