“How dare you have so many kids!” That’s not a phrase uttered to the Duggards or someone with over twelve children, but to someone that had three children in the country of the Ukraine.
This past Sunday, Virtuous Blonde and I were privileged to host a missionary to that land in Eurasia and he was telling us that not only is the birthrate abysmal (they are below the replacement rate), but that people are actively hostile to those that have multiple children. I was amazed, because I know that people here in the states are judgmental, but not hostile.
The era of easy birth control has given us over to the concept that children are controllable, and thus anyone that has more than a few should have their head examined. They have grown to see children as something that keeps them from doing what they want to be doing– as hindrances and weights that they don’t need in the prime of their lives.
What they are missing is that children are blessings. They are your greatest contribution to society. I believe that it was Vox Day that said something about the statistics say that very few of us will actually do something “great” in our lifetime, but we have the chance to influence someone doing something great through our children. As an example, just think of the Wesley’s mom– though her children she helped touch off a revival. Something that which might not have happened had she decided that having children would hold her back.
And then, think about the Duggards. What really staggers my imagination is the math. If each of her 17 children had 10 children, the next generation would have 170 kids. If they turned around and had 10 kids each, they would be 1,700. Keep following the math and you see quickly that the impact she and her husband could have on their area or the world could be astounding.
But that brings me to the second point, with great power comes great responsibility (to borrow a phrase). Children are a gift from God, but all gifts from God come with responsibility. We aren’t given the ability to speak in front of people or to have musical gifts for us to just sit on them. We are to develop them, to use them for His purpose (whether that means singing in the shower or before church!). Same thing with our kids– we should be training them in the Lord so that they will be serving Him to their fullest.
This is quite the task– especially while they are young.
The other part of this responsibility, I think, is knowing what’s manageable for your family. I know that God will provide strength and will pay for anything that He orders. I also know that He wants us to be good stewards of what He gives. And herein lies my own personal dilemma.
I understand why evangelicals are throwing out birth control. And I admire them for that. But if they are not using medical or other birth control but are still using the rhythm or other methods, are they not trying to do the same thing. (I’m not talking here about the pill or Depo shot– both of which can actually kill a conceived being, but those methods which totally prevent any implantation.)
I know that God will not give us anything more than what we can bear, and that we also have more understanding as so far as how, physically, the miracle of birth comes about. I just don’t know if I have the faith yet to say “whatever, whenever…” and what about our mental and physical health.
What are your thoughts? Is it weak in faith to not want to have kids every 9 months?