On Monday, Ruth Elaine Caauwe joined our family. She showed just how big a blessing she is by tipping the scales at 10 pounds and 9 ounces. The whole family is delighted. If you’re keeping track, yes, Ruth makes seven.
Obviously, Ruth has also tipped the scales in our family further towards the girls. Most of the kids were hoping for a boy. But I don’t think any of them are disappointed now, and love their sister dearly. We named her Ruth. In the Bible, Elimelech and Naomi had two sons. After her husband and two sons died, Naomi said her life was “bitter” and “empty.” It was about her daughter-in-law Ruth that the women said, “who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons.”
What makes our children—every single one of them—so valuable, is not how they contribute to a well-planned or balanced family structure. It’s not about how well-behaved or smart or even how independent or successful they may someday become. But they find themselves within our family, in this environment where we give and receive love. We care for each other. We forgive each other. And every one—boy or girl—that is received into this family strengthens the network and fabric of that love.
Naturally, every new baby makes me think about my vocation as father. As my daughters grow in size and number, I think especially about the unique relationship that I have with my girls. This past year I read a fantastic book on the subject. It’s called Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters by Dr. Meg Meeker. It speaks of the unique dangers and challenges that confront girls today, and the unique role that their fathers play in their live. Dads with daughters: I highly recommend this book.
There’s another book which I actually just purchased today that, even though I haven’t read it yet, I am confident to recommend. It’s called Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood by Dr. Gene Edward Veith. Dr. Veith is also the author of the excellent book on Christian Vocation—God at Work. This is a must-read, and I am looking forward to reading this newest piece.