Friday, June 21, 2013

2 Kids or 20? and judging others

First off, I want to say that while I know this can be a sensitive subject, please try to keep an open mind about it, as well as others' views on it. I also want to say that I LOVE large families. I agree  with my grandmother who always said, "People with enough money to support their kids and who are good people ought to have as many children as they want!" The Bible says that children are a blessing and having lots can be even MORE of a blessing. (see Psalm 127:3-5) My husband is from a family of 12, so we know some of what it's like. 

So let's pick on the "2 kid" families first.  Here are some reasons why being "done" after 2 or 3, or even 5 may not be a good idea....
  • You're worried about overpopulation & what your kids will do to the planet.
  • Your kids take up too much of your time, or, as the mother, they're hampering your career. You don't have enough patience for any more could also go here. While it's important to know our limits, if our "limits" are sinful, God wants us to push through those and keep growing, leaning upon Him for all that He can be through us and do in us through Christ. He is your strength. The fruit of the Spirit IS patience! ONE of the reasons God may bring children into our lives is to help US along our sanctification path and make us rely on Him every day. Don't be frightened or run from that. I have been tempted to run from that feeling of, "I can't handle this. I need more 'me' time.  If they don't stop coming, when will life go back to normal again?" ("normal" meaning "good for ME".) How sad that you MAY miss out on future blessings because of selfishness?
  • Because you're afraid that___________. Whatever fills the blank MAY BE a good reason to stop, but the fear should have no part of your decision making process. He HAS NOT given us a spirit of fear! Take your fears to Him. He knows what's best for you, your family, and your children. Trust Him and let Him guide you. (Furthermore, if you already ARE pregnant and are fearful, because of what Scripture says about life, you can REST ASSURED that life is from God. He planned it, and He will take care of you and that little one!)
Okay, now we can pick on the others. ;) Many of you probably have not heard of the movement called "Quiverfull", but my understanding is that it teaches never using birth control and accepting as many kids as naturally come to you. There may be variations, but that is the basic idea. Here are the problems I have with that.
  • It is not in the Bible. Saying children are a blessing does not, logically, signify that you can never prevent yourself from having one. The Old Testament also states that wealth is a blessing and in other places it says not to seek to be wealthy. It says, "It's not good for man to be alone," and yet Paul wished that all men were single as he was. The Bible calling them a blessings means to enjoy the ones you have! Nowhere in the Bible is birth control forbidden or the command given to have as many children as you can.
  • The motto seems to be, "we trust God with our family size." Honestly, that's a little offensive to me, because they are implying that if you aren't Quiverfull, you DON'T trust God with your family size. You see, there is a disconnect in thinking that if we do anything to influence a certain area, we are not trusting God in that area. God works through our decision making and our own desires also. I can trust God to bring me the right job, but it's up to me to decide which one I want and go about taking the necessary steps to attain one. In areas where His specific will is unclear or not noted in Scripture (see above) He has asked us to use wisdom to make our decisions.
  • They sometimes look down on those who have good reason to be "done" OR to have more spacing between births. If these people are part of their own group, they can come out VERY confused.  These reasons might include but are not limited to: poor health of the mother, a special needs child, lack of funds or needing to go on government assistance long term, a rocky marriage, another stressful life situation.  When these needs are ignored because of legalism, it can wreak havoc on families.  As one mother I know put it, "It's not respectful or loving to my blessings who are already HERE to wreck my body having more and not be able to take good care of them." There is a need for less judgement in this area. You don't know what another family might be going through.
  • Mothers who make their children their idols can hide among this idea quite nicely. (I am NOT saying that even the majority of Quiverfull mothers are this way! Most are NOT, but it does occur.) These are the mothers who can not ever see themselves without a baby in their arms and are constantly anxious to get pregnant again and again, their desire going beyond a natural love for babies. They are often left emotionally wrecked (in an extreme way, not just a mourning) when their bodies are no longer able to have babies.
  • This idea is also actually not logically feasible if you take it to its conclusion. Can you never chart? Can you never take extra measures to TRY to conceive? Can you follow the doctor's orders to abstain after child birth for healing? Those are taking actions and not just letting things flow naturally, so following the logic, would not be allowed. Even the frequency of "bedroom time" is a decision that would affect this. Since that's not in the Bible either, what is the directive on that? You can see how legalism quickly begets more legalism. 
Having said all that, here are some things large families wish the rest of us knew about them. :) 
  • Not ALL of them just love kids and have WAY more patience than you do. Many do it because they feel it's their calling and because it changes them along the way. They do not feel they are special or like "super mom".
  • Not ALL of them are Catholic or Mormon, so don't assume. haha ;) 
  • They most likely DO know "what causes this" & don't need a lesson. ;) 
  •  The answer to any problem they have is not to "stop having kids, then!" Unless it is one of the serious things I mentioned above and you are a close friend, you probably should not ever tell them that. NEVER tell them, "You shouldn't have so many kids!" That's like saying one of their children shouldn't exist. Most of them love every child as if it were their only child. They need your support, just like everyone else.

I wanted to add this I saw yesterday:
Click Here and then go to 5:50 on the video. Such a great perspective on Kingdom children!!

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