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.”
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.
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?
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:
- The blessing of my mom’s cancer
- Why we homeschool
- Can God be Trusted: Our Personal journey to Many Children
For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.