Wanting a Large Family and Knowing You Can Handle It: 4 Moms

This week the 4 Moms of Many are talking about wanting a large family and knowing that you can handle it.

After overhearing this conversation, I’m not sure that I’m qualified to post about this topic….yet.

    Nick (4): “Someday we are going to have a large family.”
    Friend: “Don’t you already have a large family?”
    Nick: (shaking his head and chuckling) “No, but we will someday.”

Caveat:moms of many manage

God is sovereign, God is good and God gives good gifts to His children according to His perfect will. He does not bless all His children equally with identical blessings.

Mark and I have eleven children not because we are holier or better than anyone with fewer children. It is because He rejoiced to bless us in spite of our wicked sinfulness in order to show His grace and glory.

Wanting a Large Family

For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted a large family. Obviously, this is simply God’s grace in my life, but the way He brought it about was primarily through my parents.



My parents taught me two things that contributed to my desire for a large family.

First, Scripture must be the primary authority in our lives and that it applies to EVERY SINGLE decision and aspect of our life. There is nothing that we do that is out from under the authority of God’s Word.

They taught this not only with their words, but by their actions. And as I watched, I learned that following passionately after Christ is not popular.

If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. ~ John 18:19-20

It’s not even popular among today’s Christians. It’s commonly called ‘foolish’, ‘arrogant’ and/or ‘judgmental’.

We recently heard, from wise men who love the Lord, that it is ‘judgmental’ to hold the position that killing an innocent baby is always sinful. Our unwillingness to compromise on this topic has caused our family to be uprooted from the place where God has had us for the past 7 years. (Christ’s blood is able to cover every sin. It is not grace to tell people that they do not have sin, it is grace to point them to the Savior who forgives sin.)

However, I watched my parents live through exactly the scenario that these men are talking about.

When my mom was pregnant with her 5th child, she was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors unanimously said that she must abort the baby if she hoped to live. They unanimously said that there was no possibility of her surviving, let alone the baby surviving unless she killed the baby growing in her womb. I was blessed to watch my parents believe God rather than men and today I have a 30 year old brother whom my parents refused to abort and two sweet nieces and God has blessed my mom with continued life.

Through this I learned that when push came to shove, when the rubber meets the road, when the stakes are high, no matter the outcome, I must stand upon the Word of God.

Second, my parents taught me to rejoice in the blessing of children. This lesson was taught more by circumstances and actions than by words and teaching.

Our family with a family we've been friends with since we began having babies

My mother is the youngest of 10 children, many of them born during The Depression and God has always impressed it upon me that if my grandparents had been ‘wise’ and ‘prudent’, I would never have existed. They worked for an eternal inheritance despite the very real risk of temporary hardship.

My mother loved being pregnant and having children and was always (at least in front of me) grateful for each and every one of us.

When my mother’s cancer took her fertility at age 36, she rejoiced in God’s sovereignty in blessing her with the five children she already had.


Mark and I looked to the Word of God as the standard for family planning.

As we looked at Scripture we saw two things:

  • God is sovereign and He reveals specific sovereignty over the opening and closing of the womb. (Gen 20:18, 29:31, 30:2, 30:22, 49:25, Deut. 28:11, 30:9, 1 Sam. 1:5-6, Ps 17:14, 127:3, 139:13, Is. 66:9, Jer. 1:5, Hosea 9:14)
  • Children are a blessing and bareness is ***associated with judgement. (The Bible’s words, not mine.) Nowhere in Scripture (except in accounts of the tribulation and that’s a whole ‘nother issue) are children, pregnancy, birth described as anything but blessings, rewards or something to be desired. Nowhere in Scripture is bareness (with above exception) described as anything but a judgement, a grief and a curse.

***Edited for clarity.

If we wanted to base this area of our life on God’s Word then we would strive to conform our minds to Christ and rejoice in what He describes as blessings (children) rather than seeking after that which the Bible describes as a judgement and a curse (bareness).

Handling a Large Family

How did I know I would be able to handle a large family?

I didn’t.

And some days I’m pretty sure that I can’t.

But I am persuaded that God will not give me more than I can handle. I believe that children are a blessing and I am confident that He who has begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Christ.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” ~Matthew 6:33-34

You may also be interested in:

Visit the other moms of many to read their thoughts about having and handling a large family:
Smockity Frocks
Life in a Shoe
The Common Room

For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.

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51 Responses to Wanting a Large Family and Knowing You Can Handle It: 4 Moms
  1. Natalie
    June 7, 2012 | 9:35 am

    This was excellent. What a life-giving testimony of God’s power and grace! Thank you for sharing TRUTH boldly and graciously.

    [Reply]

  2. Autumn
    June 7, 2012 | 9:52 am

    I’m curious about your statement concerning barrenness being a judgement and a curse. I have close friends who are not able to have children. They are dedicated Christians who truly seek God. I have a hard time understanding why God would “curse” them or “judge” them in this way. I know you don’t know God’s reason for this, but I just wonder how you would interpret a situation like this in light of scripture.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    This is a great question and although I only have a minute right now, I want to say a couple quick things.

    Bottom line: I’m not sure.

    First, God is the one who, throughout Scripture describes bareness in this way. If I were choosing terms, I might phrase it less harshly. :)

    Second, illness and death are also a result of sin and the curse. Without sin there would be no sickness. Yet, I don’t believe that every time someone gets the sniffles (or even cancer) that it’s because of their specific sin.

    We all live in a fallen world and therefore we all bear the consequences of judgement and the curse everyday. Sometimes it may be a result of our specific sin (losing a job because we failed to arrive on time) and sometimes it is a result of the fallen state of our world.

    Interesting how several of the Patriarch’s wives struggled with infertility. It was obviously not a desirable state (as I’m sure your friend would agree), but there is no indication that it is a particular judgement or curse on them. God did it for His honor and His glory and that’s what we must say about everything He brings int our lives.

    [Reply]

    abba12 Reply:

    I hope you don’t mind me putting my 2c worth in here, this is a topic I really feel strongly about.

    Yes, children are a blessing, but God does not give everyone all of his gifts in the same proportions. I believe he calls women who are childless to the roles that those busy raising families simply cannot fill. There are areas of ministry best suited to a woman’s touch, or where there is a need for a woman to step in, but too big for a woman with little ones to take on. There are jobs, such as midwifery or councilling, that we need women to fill, but a mother of young one’s first responsibility is to her children, making any job, let alone a job in something like midwifery, hard to manage. Adoption and fostering is hard when you have kids, I would love to foster, I see such a need for it, but I strongly believe you shouldn’t foster a child older than your youngest. If God continues to bless me with children it will be a long time before I have the opportunity to foster, and with the current adoption laws in my country adoption is not even an option until I’ve finished my childbearing years (here you cannot adopt if you are pregnant or have a child under 12 months old, and the process is a long one, making it impossible if you’re having chikdren every couple years as God seems to have planned for us right now). I’ve seen barren women make huge differences in their communities through volunteering and being available for God to use in a way he simply cannot use someone like me right now. I cannot dedicate more than a few hours a week, let alone entire days or multiple days a week, to serving people outside my family right now.

    Childlessness is a hard reality to bear, but it dosen’t mean you’re not blessed, and I personally don’t see it as a curse, just a different path, a harder one that God will give those who endure it the grace to handle. Those who are persecuted are often the most blessed of all, and God has called these women to something special all of their own. He may well give them children, not in the physical way, but spiritually, in the people they help and lead to christ.

    It’s like comparing myself to a christian in another country struggling to feed her family. She is no less loved by God, he has not cursed her by not providing the blessings of abundance he has provided to me, but she is walking a different path to me, and endures hardships I do not. (On the other hand, I have my own struggles that she does not that result from my own path).

    Trust that God has a plan for all of us, and children do not need to be part of that plan to be a ‘good blessed christian’. Run from any church that tries to tell you childlessness is a result of your own personal sin, I believe that is rarely the case. Sometimes I envy the childless, there are experiences they can have and things they can do that I would love to do, but cannot because of my responsibility to my children (not to say I don’t love having them! but isn’t the grass always greener?) but ultimately I’m right where God wants me, and your friends are right where God wants them, and only He knows what he has in store for us all.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you for adding your insights. I agree!

    I had hoped that my caveat,

    God is sovereign, God is good and God gives good gifts to His children according to His perfect will. He does not bless all His children equally with identical blessings.

    would convey much of this.

    Your specific point of childless women having a different, yet needed role in the body of Christ is excellent. As well as the fact that God uses EVERYTHING for our good and His glory. Sometimes He uses cancer and sometimes He uses infertility.

    Thanks again!

    [Reply]

  3. Carmen
    June 7, 2012 | 10:22 am

    My mother, too, was diagnosed with cancer when she was pregnant with me. She chose not to abort, but she died 2 years later leaving my dad with 4 children to raise. Now I know that life happens – both good and bad things – to believers and non-believers alike but I don’t know if you should make everyone think that all is going to be perfect if we just walk in His will. My dad married a widow with 3 children one year later and continued to walk in faith so I guess it turned out OK but I surely would have liked to know my mother. I am assured that I will meet her some day and I am looking forward to that.

    Thanks for your wonderful posts. I enjoy your site very much.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Carmen,

    I in no way meant to convey that all is going to be perfect if we walk in His will. I don’t believe that at all.

    When I was 11 and my mom was diagnosed with cancer, we spent several years wondering if she would live or die. Our family watched my premature brother struggle to live, we watched our mom struggle through multiple surgeries, radiation and a recurrence of the cancer. Years later my mother suffered a heart attack and now lives with only 50% heart function as a result of the cancer treatment. This was in no way ‘perfect’, but it was part of God’s perfect plan for our lives.

    We personally know of three large families, all with young children who have lost their mother/wife in the last two years. We personally know parents who have lost children, mothers who struggle with multiple miscarriages and infertility. Suffering is part of living in a sinful and fallen world.

    The particular outcome of my story is that God mercifully preserved both my mom and my brother, but they both could have died and that would not change my point, nor my post.

    Through this I learned that when push came to shove, when the rubber meets the road, when the stakes are high, no matter the outcome, I must stand upon the Word of God.

    [Reply]

  4. Blair @ The Straightened Path
    June 7, 2012 | 10:28 am

    This is beautiful! There is only one part with which I disagree,
    “But I am persuaded that God will not give me more than I can handle.”

    I think God routinely gives us more than we can handle so that we HAVE to rely on Him to make it work. I feel sure that you will agree but I felt it important to point out because many women find themselves thinking “Well, if God doesn’t give you more than you can handle then what is wrong with me, because I can’t handle this!”

    Also, you mentioned that bareness is a curse or judgement. Many people reject this concept or become angry when you mention it. I wanted to add that in my studies I have learned that the judgement or curse may have nothing to do with the Godly individual you know but rather everything to do with her ancestry. Our words have such power and someone long ago could have said something as careless as “God, I hope that woman never reproduces!” As Christian’s we have power to rebuke those things in Jesus’ name if we just understand that we need to!! It is a good idea to routinely pray to break any word curses that have been spoken over your family that you don’t even know about! It is also important not to take those verses and assume barren women have done something wrong to “deserve” it.

    Anyway, I hope you don’t mind my adding my 2 cents. Sorry that it’s so long!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    Blair – I was thinking the same thing about the comment “But I am persuaded that God will not give me more than I can handle.”

    I also like what you said about bareness being a curse on women who may have had words spoken over them. I agree with this too, as well as the fact that families may have generational curses that go way back and it’s now affecting woman today from what their ancestors may have done in the past.

    Well put!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Blair,

    Thank you for your input. I agree and I disagree. It’s true that God gives us more than we can handle so that we have to rely on Him, but it’s also clear that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, so really it’s not more than we can handle in Christ. Does that make sense? He will not send children that He has not given me the strength, patience and love to handle. :)

    I also think that it’s clear (and I thought I stated it in the caveat of my post) that bareness may not be a result of a person’s particular sin, but rather it is a result of living in a fallen imperfect and cursed world.

    [Reply]

  5. Sarah
    June 7, 2012 | 10:41 am

    You say you look to the Word of God for your family planning. Does that mean you practice some form of family planning or do you not practice any form of birth control and completely let God decide how many kids you will have and when?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Our family planning is joyfully giving God free reign to send as many (or as few) children as He sees fit in the timing that He ordains as best.

    [Reply]

  6. Anon
    June 7, 2012 | 11:15 am

    I’ve always wanted a large family. My husband and I discussed it at length before we were married and it’s one of the reasons we married each other. We got pregnant right away and was blessed with a daughter.
    Since then we have struggled with infertility. The doctors can’t help and have answers but nothing is working.
    I guess I must have done something awfully horrible to deserve this but I just wish I knew what because I would fix it in an instant. The pain and hurt infertility causes is unbearable and for someone to say that it is something I’ve done to cause this is hurtful. I waited to have sex until I was married. I’ve served in missions all over the world and I deserve this because of some sin I committed and it’s my judgement?
    What about the person with 5 children from 5 different men? She doesn’t seem to be judged but she’s “blessed” with a large family?
    I’m sitting here sobbing because a Christian, someone that I as a person, a family, struggling with infertility needs love and support from is instead being judged.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Anon,

    I never said, nor do I believe that infertility is a result of specific sin in someone’s life. Just as I would never say that chronic illness or poverty is a sign that the person suffering from such is under God’s curse for specific sins.

    I do believe that the Bible teaches, that bareness, like illness, death and poverty is, throughout the Bible, associated with judgement (I think that this is a better way to state what I meant and I intend to edit my post as I hope that it will be more clear).

    I agree with what Abba12 stated in the comments above that infertility in an individual’s life can be a blessing. God has not called everyone to marriage and He has not called everyone to parent many children. This is something that I hoped the caveat at the beginning of my post would convey, He blesses each of His children differently according to His mercy and plan and for His glory.

    My mother’s cancer was a result of judgement, not specific judgement on her, but a result of living in a sinful, fallen world. However, God used that illness to bless our family. I view infertility in the same way. I would never seek after cancer and I would not seek to make myself infertile, but if that is what God has planned for my life, I pray that I will rejoice in His wisdom and goodness.

    You may also wish to refer to my comment response to Autumn (a few comments above this one) for more of my thoughts on this issue.

    I did not mean for you to take this post as a condemnation and had hoped that my caveat at the beginning would avert such thoughts from those who struggle with infertility. (I obviously didn’t do an adequate job.)

    God blesses each of His children with blessings of His choosing, for some it is good health, for some it is wealth, for some it is children, but all of His blessings are for our good and for His glory.

    May God bless you with His peace and with abundant blessings.

    [Reply]

  7. Carole Lynne
    June 7, 2012 | 11:29 am

    In response to barrenness I have always loved the Lord’s words in Isaiah 54:1 “Sing, O barren,thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife,saith the Lord.” I trust the Lord has a wider and more eternal view of things than we do and many close friends of mine who are yet unmarried through no fault of their own (like my sister) or married as long as I have been yet with no children of their own (like my sister-in-law) have faith that in the Lord’s due time no blessing will be denied the faithful whether in this life or in eternity God’s promises are sure. Thanks for this excellent post Kimberly.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you Carole Lynne.

    There is always so much to say and I can never say it all, but your point is important, the Bible has so much to say about comfort for the childless. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  8. Anon
    June 7, 2012 | 11:44 am

    Carol Lynne as much as I agree with that verse and it’s one that gives me strength to tell me that I did something to deserve this is hurtful. Why would God give children to those that beat them or kill them and not to me that would love them?
    I know you don’t know the answer because I don’t know the answer and I’ve searched it out.

    [Reply]

    Carole Lynne Reply:

    O.K. I felt impressed to leave a response for you as well I do find the whole chapter of Isaiah54 to be inspiring and literally believe in the promises of the Lord. Sometimes I have wished I could raise my children in a time when peace and righteousness will prevail and Christ will reign personally upon the earth. I can not speak for God but I have found comfort in His word even when I have felt great sorrow and despair over the wickedness of this fallen world. Particularly when it relates to the innocent souls of babies and young children I have cried out in the night for answers too.I believe it is because we all agreed to come to a world where we would have free agency and God will not interfere to limit this agency. I know the sacrifice of Jesus Christ atones for all sins and heals all wounds and his grace is sufficient for all of us. Nonetheless I struggle with my faith wondering how it is done and how He will heal these innocent souls. I do feel impressed to share some of the answers my sister and sister-in-law received. My sister found she could offer the greatest service to troubled teens and worked for many years at a school for them and mentors individual girls for hours counseling and supporting many of them. My mother compared her to Anne Sullivan who helped Helen Keller see the world through her eyes. She helps abused girls learn to trust and find love and beauty in the world again. My sister-in-law has adopted a baby from a drug abusing mother with birth defects and is raising him as her own and has taught school for many years. You mentioned mission work and it reminded me of how much I wanted to adopt babies and children from other countries when I was younger but we have so many of our own we aren’t in a position to do that.This doesn’t stop me from yearning to help when I hear of abandoned babies in Africa and young girls who lose their innocence too young in India ect.. I volunteered at homeless shelters for women and children when I was unmarried but now I find I can not even risk getting involved in domestic violence occurring right in front of my eyes (like it did this afternoon when I went shopping. I called 911 but had to keep my distance even when three young children were involved).I vividly remember taking 3 young children into my arms late one night at the shelter where I worked knowing they would be safe and their mother would get the help she needed. I couldn’t do that now for this family in need. Perhaps God trusts that in your particular situation you will feel the great needs around you and respond to the cries of the children in ways that will witness more powerfully than you could otherwise do if you had a large family.I don’t know God’s plans for you but I trust through prayer and the study of his word you may one day come to understand the reasons you were allowed to face the challenges you have. I don’t think you are cursed because of sins you committed but rather tested because God knows of the great capacity for love within your soul and that you will turn this situation into a profound blessing in the lives of all those around you. I don’t think he weighed you in the balance and found you lacking but rather found you to be of strong character as Job was and knew you would not question His wisdom and timing. I think when Kimberly used the term cursed she meant that it should be looked upon as sad and unfavorable to be without children but the sin lies in thinking otherwise and not wanting any and thinking people with many are cursed. I have frequently encountered this attitude. God’s judgments don’t come down upon righteous people whom he has chosen to test but upon those who bring this affliction upon themselves through their unrighteous attitudes and actions.

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  9. MomStarr
    June 7, 2012 | 11:50 am

    We have 9 children. The days (and there are many) that I am convinced I cannot handle this large family are usually times when I am dealing with sin (in me or the children) or I am trying to live or be like some other family instead of living and being what God has called our family to. This large family has brought me to my knees in humility many, many times. I thank God for blessing us with so many children and I continue to beg Him for the grace to handle it.

    [Reply]

  10. patricia
    June 7, 2012 | 11:50 am

    Does your husband wasted to have so many kids as well? I would love to have the kids God gave me, I agree with all the things you have share. But my husband tells me it’s over with 4 kids, I just can pray. Did your husband had any doubts?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    We have had our doubts (read my post about our journey to many children), but Mark and I have always been on the same page.

    This is a tough situation and one that we will be posting about in the future.

    Bottom line is: your role is to respect, love and submit to your husband. Remember that your husband is certainly not able to thwart God’s perfect plan for your family. God will use Him for your good and for God’s glory.

    [Reply]

    Heather Reply:

    My husband was not in agreement with what God layed on my heart originally. (To allow God to choose our family size) After one, he said one and done, after the second child, two and through, after three, he said he was free, after four, he said NO MORE, after 5, he said he was still alive, after 6, he said he was not getting a “fix” and after 7, he said it was real close to heaven! My point is, God changed his heart. Not all of the sudden but over time. I just prayed and watched God work in his heart. I never really said anything unless I was asked about my thoughts but He knew my heart. God slowly worked in his heart one by one and we now have 12 beautiful blessings with 4 in heaven and we would BOTH welcome more. Wait on the Lord and be obedient to God and your husband. He will act on your behalf! He who began a good work in you and your husband WILL be faithful to complete it! As women we see one side of having children but men see the “provision” part and the world is always on that side of it! It takes God to allow them to see the side he wants the men to see…children are worth it and God will always provide!

    Blessings to you and love on your husband and pray for him for God to work in his heart in His timing!

    [Reply]

  11. Ruth Leone
    June 7, 2012 | 12:56 pm

    I have a friend who discovered early in her marriage that she could not have children. She and her husband have adopted ten beautiful children (most with some kind of disabiility) and they have fostered countless others. So in her case the curse of barreness has been turned into the blessing of a unique family.

    Love your blog!

    [Reply]

  12. Rachel
    June 7, 2012 | 1:29 pm

    Hi Kimberly and others. I love this post, and I think it’s beautifully written. I echo what Patricia said above. We have 3 children (ages 7, 4, and 1) and my husband is adament that we are “done.” I feel that we are not “done”, and I don’t even like the connotations of what “done” or “control” or “planning” mean in our culture. I have always wanted many children (I used to say 8 :-) ) but it has only been in the last 3-5 years or so that I have felt such a strong conviction to allow God to plan our family. My husband does not share this conviction and instead calls it (and me) “unreasonable” and “irresponsible.” This has been the biggest division thus far in our 8 year marriage. This weighs heavily on me almost daily. I truly don’t believe that God desires this level of division in a Christian marriage, and particularly in the area of intimacy. I’m also just learning in the last few years what it means to be a Godly wife and submit to my husband, etc. It is so exciting to have my eyes opened to this whole new world of love and joy and blessing! I am truly enjoying learning more and more about what Biblical marriage looks like. However, I have a very hard time submitting to something that I feel is so against what God has in store for our beautiful family. Also, this is really beside the point, but we’re young (I’ll be 30 this year) so we have A LOT of years of fertility left to argue about this. :-( I would love to come to a point of peace and unity in this, and I have been praying for that for years, but I’m just so discouraged.

    I’m sorry-I don’t mean to sit and whine. I love my husband very much and he is a wonderful man and a wonderful husband and father. It’s just so hurtful to have this huge brick wall between us.

    Any Godly insight and/or prayer would be much appreciated.

    Thanks so much for all you do to spread God’s love to younger mothers! It’s really a blessing! :-)

    [Reply]

    Claire Reply:

    Rachel,
    I understand what you are going through. Several years ago I was in your same shoes, with my husband disagreeing with my conviction to let God be in control over my womb. I finally stopped bringing up the issue after many tears and arguments, and gave it all to the Lord in surrender. I began praying for my husband and submitting to him as the leader of our home. It was still hard, but freeing to realize I was honoring God by honoring my husband.
    A few months after this, God changed my husband’s heart. We stopped using birth control and were pregnant with our first blessing the next month! Praise God!

    Continue to pray for your husband, honor him, and wait for the Lord.
    Psalm 27:14

    [Reply]

    6 arrows Reply:

    Hi Rachel,

    I will pray for you. May the Lord shower you with His peace and blessings.

    [Reply]

    Shannon Reply:

    Rachel,
    I agree with Claire, give it over to God and pray. I understood when I married my husband that he didn’t want a large family and I didn’t understand everything I should have about birth control pills, now after 3 kids and being sure he would be done, we are contemplating another blessing, it is in God’s hands ultimately, even if we think we are in charge.

    [Reply]

    Annie Reply:

    Well, I began my story and it was turning into a book!
    The Lord can do anything. I am pure testimony to that!!!
    I’ll give you my timeline and wish I could tell you my entire story!
    1999- married
    2001- daughter born
    2003- son born in nicu for 11 days
    2004- son in picu for RSV for 10 days at 5 weeks old
    -bought a house that we couldn’t really afford
    2005- I went back to work because I did the bills and did not trust that we had enough for me to stay home
    -shortly after that became pregnant, but had a miscarriage at 11 weeks, we decided God had told us “enough”
    -son was diagnosed with developmental delays
    2006-son diagnosed with autism in June, in August my husband had a vasectomy
    A long two years of praying and learning to trust thenLord began in my life. Our son was our biggest “burden” when we had the trouble beginning in 2005, but the Lord completely began changing our hearts. I knew almost immediately the vasectomy was wrong and began praying that the Lord would take it ALL over and lead us.
    2007- August I quit work!; September I began homeschooling daughter.
    2008-my husband woke up one morning in January and told me he actually regretted the vasectomy. Miracle! I gave him a warning to not make small talk because I had been reading many reversal testimonies. We talked and prayed, but sadly I stepped right into leading the situation. The Lord was able to bless it and use it in our lives but it would be 5 long years of birth control struggles. I had long given the Lord control over our family, but my husband was in a “maybe one more” state of mind.
    -january we began looking into reversals, brought son home from special school and we have been homeschoolers ever since!
    -the Lord provided the funds through a miracle for us to have one done by a great Christian doctor in Oklahoma (we are in CA)
    -April, reversal done!
    -had some big marital struggles, because now I see that the Lord was not completely leading Him. I was. Praise God for His mercy in showing me.
    -July, pregnant with first reversal baby
    2009- March daughter born, husband still struggling with leaving it up to the Lord, but I prayed and knew I’d have to submit if he chose otherwise. Big struggle for me! But, the Lord never had him lead that way and we trusted God.
    2010- March, pregnant with 4th child!
    -November, son born. Husband let’s me know he is completely taking over all bills and I have never seen the account since! For us, this was HUGE!! Now the struggle begins again of birth control. I realized, I am experiencing the consequences of leading the situation years ago before the Lord had convicted my husbands heart!
    2011- December, pregnant and early miscarriage. I have a completely different view of miscarriage this time! The Lord is so sweet.
    2012- January, pregnant!
    -husband is beginning to be worried about “managing” 5 kids. A lot of our family completely disagree with us having more kids for various reasons. Small house, all c-sections, too many variables, and whatever else they say! I have full and complete trust that the Lord will bring what He can help me handle!! Husband actually let’s me know in April that he considered another vasectomy!!! I was shocked speechless. But, he had a different ending. He let me know that he actually took it to the Lord and the Lord let him know what HE wanted for our lives and that Mark was being selfish and worldly. I never would have thought I’d hear this. The Lord actually had full control of my husbands heart and was/is leading and guiding him. It has been a long, amazing process. I don’t know what tomorrow holds. I pray that the Lord sees my heart and will help us go where He wants us.
    So, in a large nutshell, I know where you are and my answer is to pray, pray, pray and be content with where the Lord has you. And, when you let the Lord lead, He will see your submissive heart and you will be covered by Him!
    Sorry this went so long!!!!
    Blessings!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Rachel,

    This topic is on the 4 Moms schedule for September 13th and I know I’ll have lots more to say about it then.

    For now, love, respect and submit to your husband. Remember that God is sovereign and is using your husband for your good and His glory.

    Be faithful with all that God has already given you to do and pray for peace, wisdom, faithfulness and contentment for both you and your husband.

    [Reply]

  13. Amy
    June 7, 2012 | 3:52 pm

    Hi Kimberely,
    What a funny question! I didn’t ‘plan’ on a large family, but God has blessed me with 7 children and a wee one in Heaven. Some people might think I am crazy saying I would gladly have more and welcome them! Wow, your response to Claire above was so beautiful. I think my husband feels he is too old to have more children, but I am open to God’s leading. God gives us the graces to care for many children. Many times we need to ‘kneel’ to Him for helping us, but I wouldn’t change my family size for a minute. I have learned so much in this journey. God Bless your beautiful large Family.

    [Reply]

  14. Becky
    June 7, 2012 | 3:54 pm

    Great post Kimberly! For further reading on the topic (for those who still have questions), here is a GREAT article by Voddie Baucham that I believe is filled with Biblical wisdom in regards to birth control and choosing not to have kids for any given reasons: http://www.gracefamilybaptist.net/voddie-baucham-ministries/blog/economic-downturn-good-reason-stop-having-kids-2009-06/

    [Reply]

  15. Cheryl
    June 7, 2012 | 4:03 pm

    I have 4 children currently (ages 9 1/2, 8, 6, and almost 4 mos) My husband and I agreed we would be done before he turned 40 and thought 3 was a good number. About 5 mos after my daughter was born he had a vasectomy. We thought we were done but God had other plans. Through the magazine and ministry Above Rubies God worked on my heart. I would show the articles to my husband but he was adament that our family was complete. Then out of the blue my husband asked me if I wanted to have more kids. So we looked into doctors who performed vasectomy reversals. After first the cost acted as a deterrent but God brought us to find Dr. Wilson in Oklahoma and using our tax refund that year we were able to pay for the reversal, purchase plane tickets, secure a hotel room and car rental. This all happened within a few months. Fast forward 14 months later, last Feb. 17, we had our vasectomy reversal miracle, Josiah Heath! We are leaving our fertility up to God and are not using any form of birth control. (We never used any chemical or barrier methods before either.) My two oldest are special needs and all of my children are stubborn, hardheaded, and strong willed. But I wouldn’t have it any other way! God is teaching me patience and some days are better than others, but He is molding me into the mother and wife he wants me to. I hope we will have many more children but I trust in God’s sovereignty.

    [Reply]

  16. Heather
    June 7, 2012 | 4:34 pm

    Hello! Such a joy to read your post! I am a mother of 12 blessings and 4 I will meet in heaven someday. I wish I had been raised with the standard you were raised with but God is so gracious and merciful and He guided my husband and I to allow Him to choose our family size. It made me laugh when you said most days you are sure you can’t handle it! :) I used to say God would not give me more than I can handle, however, I think sometimes (most time) He DOES give me more than I can handle so I will know without a doubt that I need Him every moment! I too have many little ones right now under my feet and sometimes I wonder if I will really make it through these years! Everyday I get up and see their faces and I am refreshed knowing that God is good and I am blessed!

    I thank you so much for sharing your heart and allowing to give me a peek into your life. It was so beneficial for me and God has used you for His good!

    Blessings in Christ,
    Heather

    [Reply]

  17. Christine L.
    June 7, 2012 | 4:43 pm

    I have often been asked why we have several. I respond that we let God do it and that He doesn’t give me more than I can handle (also agreeing that I NEVER could do it without Him by my side). The infuriating, ridiculous response usually goes like, “Well, God gave you wisdom and intelligence to know when to stop too.” At that time I want to whip out a statistic about how the Muslim community is outgrowing the Christian community (how fun would that be?) and my kids are going to be part of the solution or that our elderly should be grateful that I’m contributing so many to the workforce that will ensure that their medicare and social security is available and well funded. Not so christian, I know, but God also gave me a temperament of a finely-restrained Samson. I’ll keep working on it.

    [Reply]

    rachel q Reply:

    Christine L, I’ve heard that about wisdom and intelligence more times than I care to count…and often by people who I know truly love and care about me. My response is to look at Prov. 3:5. There is just too much in Scripture that leads me to believe that God should be in control of our family size. In this case wisdom and intelligence is best put to use by submitting to His authority. He gave us wisdom to use properly…not to userp His authority.

    [Reply]

  18. Anon
    June 7, 2012 | 6:10 pm

    Of course, I’m completely ignored. While everyone that agrees with you is given a nice answer. The person that needs the love and support gets shafted. Figures.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I apologize for a delay in responding to your comment. Our family left this morning at 10:30 and were out of town attending a funeral until 7pm.

    Since you left your first comment at 11:15am (after we left) and this one at 6:15pm (before we returned), it was impossible for me to respond to your first comment before receiving this one.

    I pray that God, the only source of love and support who will never fail you will grant you all you need as you seek to serve Him.

    [Reply]

  19. Anon
    June 7, 2012 | 6:17 pm

    I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said that. Please forgive me.

    [Reply]

    Annie Reply:

    I’m sorry you are so upset about this. I will not pretend to understand exactly how your struggles are feeling. I will say, I’ll be praying for you! There are so many encouraging stories in the Old Testament about Gods timing in delivering children. I know that might sound like not enough to you, but His timing was always perfect. I learned the other day that even Noah’s sons were over 100 when the flood happened and I’m sure they were wondering why they were childless. The Lord needed to wait for His timing.
    I know it does not make your situation any easier, but I pray the Lord can bring you the comfort and reassurance you need. I have a friend who went through many trials in her infertility and never had her own children. She has a great story of what the Lord was able to do in their lives.
    I see the Lord has given you a daughter, praise Him!
    I know it is hard to see what looks like other people being “blessed” in their sin. I have no explanation for that except that they are not blessed in the same way as following the Lord. I am sure they have much more burdens of walking apart from Christ. My sister-in-law had a child out of wedlock this past year while my other sister-in-law experienced a miscarriage of one of her twins and I had a miscarriage at the end of the year. It doesn’t feel “right”, but the Lord is the Lord and I choose to believe He is sovereign over all. Maybe one day my nephew will know the Lord and change lives for Him!!??
    I just wanted to reach out and try and encourage you.
    I will be praying for you.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Beautiful Annie. I couldn’t say it better.

    Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Absolutely forgiven!!!

    [Reply]

  20. Tracy E
    June 7, 2012 | 7:59 pm

    Anon- My heart is breaking for you as I have been in your shoes. And believe me when I say that this post has stirred me deeply today. My dh and I have 2 children by adoption. I have had 3 miscarriages and a ectopic pregnancy. I think we just really need to look to the Word and seek wise council. We do live in a fallen world and their are many struggling with infertility. And there are many blessed with children that are suffering with other things. Please know I’m praying for you.

    [Reply]

  21. Christine
    June 8, 2012 | 8:19 pm

    Thank you for this post. I am always surprised that Genesis 38:8 (regarding spilling/wasting of a man’s seed) isn’t referenced to nearly at all in regards to a biblical stance against birth control. Do you have any insight on this?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Reply:

    Christine – I know you were asking for Kimberly’s insight, but I hope you don’t mind if I share mine.

    Onan’s sin was not that he violated the general command to have children, but that he violated the specific obligation in the law of levirate marriage. His action was sinful not because he used a form of birth control, but because he disobeyed a legal responsibility to raise up seed in his deceased brother’s name.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Christine,

    Sarah said what I would have said.

    [Reply]

  22. Cinnamon
    June 8, 2012 | 11:23 pm

    What a beautiful testimony of God working in the lives of two people and letting HIS light so shine (Matthew 5:16).

    I remember my fil telling my husband to “not over do it” when we became pregnant with our 3rd child. I guess we went a little overboard because we now have 10! haha!

    Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing!

    ~Cinnamon

    [Reply]

  23. Danielle
    June 9, 2012 | 10:55 pm

    I think that the point of mentioning that barrenness is associated with judgement in the Bible is to contrast that with how we have gotten it so backwards now as a culture. Our culture has accepted the lie that children are a burden that one must control, limit or prevent. Sadly, many Christians have also accepted this kind of thinking. But it is clear from reading the Bible that this is not God’s heart on the matter. God views children as a blessing, and our attitude toward children–whether or not we are able to have them biologically or otherwise–should be in line with God’s attitude about children. Granted, people may and probably will call it foolishness; but doesn’t Scripture say that this will be so? When we choose to follow God with our whole hearts, it WILL look foolish to the world.

    [Reply]

  24. Katie
    June 10, 2012 | 8:07 pm

    I am glad that so many were quick to clarify that the “curse” of barrenness is a result of the fallen world and not individual sin. This post has stuck with me since I read it last week, and I feel that this is the answer God also shared with me this morning. My husband and I did everything “right” – we saved ourselves for marriage, serve in the church and community, show love to those around us, and yet do not have children. This breaks our hearts but we are trusting that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives that is bigger than what we had dreamed for ourselves.

    Perhaps if we had children right away at the same time as all of our friends and family members, we would be contented with the status quo. However, because of how he has led us over the past 2.5 years, we now recognize that we could influence MANY more children and he has opened my husbands heart to the idea of becoming foster parents.

    While that is still likely a few years away for us yet, I rejoice in knowing that God is working in both of our hearts for his ultimate glory. Thank you to abba12 and others for the encouragement that God has put us on a different path because he knows we will still be faithful while walking out this journey. It’s not easy, and it’s not what I would have chosen for myself, but I rejoice in knowing that God holds my heart in his hands and will one day make his plan known to us.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I agree with you completely. May God bless you as you walk the road He has ordained for your good and His glory.

    [Reply]

  25. Serenity Summers
    June 10, 2012 | 10:34 pm

    Thank you for being willing to discuss a very personal topic. My amazing husband and I have been wrestling with this topic for two years and your blog has been an encouragement to me as we step out on faith. Thank you! I know it can’t be easy to receive criticism (even though you do so graciously) but you have truly encouraged me to continually trust in God. Thank you again!

    [Reply]

  26. Heather
    June 19, 2012 | 12:38 pm

    This is my first time reading your blog. What a great post! I loved it. :)

    [Reply]

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