I’ve been treated to several blogs talking about the difficulty of being a parent (in this case a mom) and the fact that motherhood does not in itself give joy. Indeed, more commonly it is a difficult and hard road that shows the parents’ insufficiency for these things.
Whether it is dealing with the development of a newborn, or the dealing with the many scrapes and difficulties the child has while growing up, or even dealing with the child making a life far far away from the parent, it is a hard road.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I do not have any children, nor am I married. so what I am about to say is largely theoretical, but I believe true.
I think of parenthood in much the same way I view marriage itself, and indeed many of the major milestones in life. They play a role of sanctification in our lives (they work on our failings), helping us to learn individually and corporately what it is to be a person of character.
Parents are unable to raise their children perfectly, and their children will often face pain that the parents can’t protect them from 9or pain they’d like to protect their children from if only their children would listen). There are few things that thus accent our actual role as humans who, as the Bible says are like grass, here one day, and thrown into the fire the next. It shows that we need to trust God over and above ourselves (because we can’t fix everything), and it makes us understand what it is to love someone other than ourselves totally with the full knowledge that that love will outlast
The joy of parenthood is thus an indirect joy, that comes only as parenthood is seen as part of a larger story, and a story that is not about us, but ultimately (like everything else) is about the glory of God, to our everlasting joy.