10 Reasons to Have (More) Children

There are plenty of reasons, inscribed in articles everywhere, not to have children. Things like “poop, sleeplessness, hectic trips to Disney World and giving up a thousand freedoms.” And of course, “to have more time and energy left for the dogs.”

Those things are true. In fact, there’s a never-ending list of things children cost a parent.

But all costs aren’t equal. I’ve noticed most of the reasons to not have children hover in the “now” and are relatively shortsighted. There are expenses and there are investments. The temporary expense of children pales in comparison to the value of their investment.

So I offer you 10 reasons to have more children:

1. Companionship. They’re a barrel of fun when they’re young, and as they get older, they become your best friends (if you’re investing in them). Has anyone ever wished they had fewer best friends?

2.  They share the load of life. Whether it’s emptying the dishwasher, or sharing the grief of a lost loved one, more is better, every time.

3. Each one changes you. Every child in a family has a remarkably unique personality. I could never have guessed how different 10 children from the same family could be. But the difference in each personality meets yours at a different place and refines you, grows you, expands you.

4. Children give you vision. Whether it’s thinking about tomorrow or ten years from now, children force you to look ahead and make better decisions about your today with their tomorrow in mind.

5.  They take you outside of yourself. Every time a sweet-smelling newborn has been placed in my arms for the first time, it’s like the first time. The realization that a new, incredible, helpless human has been placed in our care is overwhelming and important. There is no love like parent love and the more we must live outside of our own cares, the better, I think.

6. They show us the world. Life loses its real meaning without the fresh awe and wonder of children. Children teach us to see the good in people, to forgive easily, to let a sunset thrill our senses. They make us kinder and teach us to appreciate simplicity. Each new child that comes along refreshes our perspectives all over again.

7. They keep you from watching TV. TV is fine sometimes, and I like watching it. But it also takes up a lot of time we could be talking or reading or helping someone or making something. And it bombards us with ads for things we don’t need and desensitizes our faculties. A full house keeps us too busy and too entertained by little ones to watch it and I’m grateful.

8. You get lots of gifts on holidays. And that’s fun.

9.  As they get older, the investment returns. Whether its monetary, emotional, physical or spiritual, a family works like a body. When one part needs something, the others help compensate. We’re connected, and we all thrive or not depending on how we contribute and take care of each other. It starts in small ways–older ones pitch in for gas, insurance, food. But it may end up with adult children pouring into the lives of their older parents, just as those parents poured into their children.

10.  You get to partner with the Creator of the universe, becoming a vessel through which the love between husband and wife becomes flesh, and a one-of-a-kind, fresh, new idea of God, full of possibilities is placed in your arms, positively soft and beautiful and captivating and unbelievable. A thing you could never do too many times.

Too important to include in a list, the all-encompassing reason to have children, for Christians at least, is to make disciples and expand the Kingdom through the first, natural means given to us. More than just propagating a civilization, we propagate an army for Him.

66 Responses to “10 Reasons to Have (More) Children”

  1. Chrysti says:

    Love this. Thank you for posting.

  2. Ginger says:

    I really appreciated this. We have nine children and our youngest is almost two. We have both strongly considered being “done” since our youngest was born. This is making me rethink that.

  3. Michelle says:

    Love this! Children are indeed a blessing. :-)

  4. Adrienne says:

    So good. I’m currently pregnant with our seventh and our oldest is ten. It’s good to be reminded, when the days are long and hard, that there’s a bigger purpose to this. For His own glory…

  5. shannon says:

    Same as the commenter above, thank you. While I know this, I need the reminder. I am feeling this pregnancy so much more than my other pregnancies. I’m tired, hurt all the time and irritable. I have been cutting my to-do list to keep my sanity and keep up my testimony at home. My son asked me the other day if after we have this baby, will we have another baby? I smiled because another reason to have children is other children just love babies too.

    The only one I disagree with is lots of gifts on holidays. Ugh…I really try to get others to get the kids less but to no avail. We have too much stuff!

    They do show us the world!

    • Shannon,

      I meant *you* get lots of gifts ;-)

      • shannon says:

        And that IS what you wrote. Sigh… I said in the above paragraph I am irritable. Can you tell? :( So sorry. The best gifts are those from the children…Drawings, getting the gift from little ones who give the gift they’d want to get. So innocent.

        Since I was already off topic, could you address this other issue I accidentally brought up though? I struggle with the children getting too many gifts every year and have cut way back on what we get our nieces and nephews. BUT, most of our family is much more into stuff and they love to get and give (which is very sweet, please don’t get me wrong). Here’s the irony on my behalf- I am not grateful for all the toys the kids get, I would be more grateful with less. Is this something I must learn to be grateful for, getting so much or can it be addressed? Does that make sense? I see that getting more just makes us greedier. Is this an issue than can be properly addressed that you know of with extended family (say grandparents and aunts and uncles) or just be grateful for what my children get? I realize if I wait a few more years and, God willing, a few more children, they will probably just naturally get less because of the cost. LOL.

        • liz says:

          I am not Kelly, but WE have addressed this at child number 3. We have 4 children under 8years and are almost ready to turn in our stuff to adopt #5!

          We are not a fan of clutter. The kids do so much better with LESS.

          My mom only buys her them from the the list I send via Amazon. I only give her exactly what they would use. So easy for me…easy for her to click “buy”.

          Yesterday she came with a bit more for our daughter’s birthday and I reminded her that the list is for a reason. There was a dress she bought that was WAY too small. I sent it back with her. I don’t have time to return things to places we don’t shop.

          My in laws now buy them one larger thing. It is a struggle for them as with my other nephews they have a lot of video games and commercial toys and media we don’t have in our home. They at times think it is so difficult to shop for our kids. They don’t direct it at us, but with say things like “you know how hard it is to find a Lego set without a movie character”. which its not. But I digress.BUT that being said they have mainly stayed within our guidelines.

          If things don’t fit from extended family and I can’t be bothered I may have a friend with a child the right size. I have a whole”re- gift shelf” with brand new items for us to give away.

          I won’t bore you with the math , but I figured out for holidays and birthdays and new births that if each of my 4 children received say”only” 3 gifts per “holiday” from the people who usually get them gifts it would be more than 400 new items a year! it adds up. Especially when there are multiple pieces. We have also asked that besides Legos no multiple piece gifts.

          Mind you this is only after these people have asked for gift ideas every year several times a year. After several years they catch on. Or not.lol. Yes, there is always someone who totally doesn’t get it. If that is the case we either donate or return it if say Target.

          I am one who probably gets way too worked up over it. The thing is for Christmas especially we give them stockings and 3 gifts a piece. That is 12 new items PLUS the stocking stuff. More than enough.

          I don’t think it fair for me to badger the kids to give away stuff before birthdays and holidays only to get more. I mean a toy should last more than a year.

          Hope that helps. In birthday invites I always either set up a list on Amazon or Target or I say “Livy would really love girl legos, new drawing book, dress up clothes” I try to be very specific. Mind you I preface it with “For those of you who have asked for gift ideas”

          That is the best we can do I guess. I hate clutter. One child has special need and does awful with clutter. It’s sad as those who sometimes give the most I know don’t have much to give. Read are in debt.It’s an insecurity at times. When we receive those gifts it takes away the warm and fuzzy feeling as I know they are trying to keep up appearances.

          We also give very small gifts. We try to be an example that you don’t need to give a lot of “stuff”. Ot you could ask say grandparents for “experience” gifts. say a trip out to lunch, a play, the park and a picnic if that is not the norm.

          You have every right I think to ask not to be burdened with a bunch of stuff.

          Sorry Kelly. Way off topic..lol

          • shannon says:

            My fault you are off topic ;) Anyway, also some great ideas and I do think a couple of family members would be game, especially even one set of aunts and uncles because I always ask what their children want which leads them to ask us too!

            • Shannon, we got 4 kids between 10 and 3 y.o. We also live 5000 miles away from family, so when they come to visit they want to bring toys/ stuff for the kids. I always tell them not to bring anything, we have everything. (Most everything my kids have were gifts, or second hand stuff from the Thrifty Store). I tell them just come and play and spend time with the kids, that’s what they really want. My Mom helps out by giving the relatives suggestions of useful things like bath towels with their names embroidered on them; pool toys to play with the kids when they come to visit; or money so I can buy books for the kids; etc. So far people have been good to not bring plastic stuff… and if we do have way too many plastic toys we box them and send them to kids around the world with Operation Christmas Child. We did so this year. Each one of my kids prepared their own box. They painted it and then filled the box with like new, barely used small toys, trinkets, stuffed animals from around the house. I added an outfit for each child, plus school and hygiene products. Oh, candy, of course! Got rid of all the hard candy we got during Halloween. :) hope that helps. Happy Thanksgiving!

          • Finnegan05 says:

            In my day, I was raised that no matter what someone gives you, you smile and thank them. You do not hand the gift back because it isn’t what you wanted

            • Chrissy says:

              It was her MOM, though, and it wasn’t that the gift was unwanted, it was too small. She gave it back so her mom could get her money back. That is more ethical than keeping it and returning it to put the money in her own pocket.

              • liz says:

                Yes exactly Chrissy. Thanks for clarifying. Of course I said “thanks” but it was in this case a “no thanks” as she asked what my daughter needed/wanted. She herself requested it via Amazon. I did exactly what she asked. She chose to show up with a few extras and didn’t ask for a size from a store we don’t shop at.

                My Mom and I are super close and text several times a week and she comes over often. This was from a store we never go to. Also there was a book we already had for me sone(not his bday) that was from a store she frequents and I also gave her that back and said she could get another perhaps for Christmas.

                • Finnegan05 says:

                  I understand it was Liz’s mother. Of course, the original wording of the email still comes off terribly ungrateful.

                  People have removed graciousness and heart from gift giving with their insistence on gift cards and wish lists and the un-Christ like materialism that comes with any of these occasions. These posts bother me because they speak of an attitude of worldly priorities, not Christ-like humility. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ and spending so much time haggling over children’s gifts rather than accepting with a servant’s heart what is offered the way our Savior did is troubling.

                  • Erin says:

                    Thank you for the reminder to be humble and gracious. My frustration is that we are at the other end of the spectrum regarding gifts. The past several years have been very difficult and my “holiday stress” is that I would love to be able to buy even one gift for each of my children but we are at the point where obtaining enough food is a challenge. As we used to be the ones taking names off the angel tree to donate gifts this new way of living is painfully humbling. One set of grandparents has close to 40 grandchildren so there are no gifts there. The other set generously gives each of our children one or two modest gifts. That is it for Christmas. It is plenty and I am amazed at how grateful my children are and, though the teens would love to have i-pods or some other gadget they are content with everything they receive.

                    My mother’s heart wants so badly to surprise them with gifts that would make their faces light up when they opened them, so it is not so much materialism on my part aswanting to show them how much they are loved.

                    • liz says:

                      I am not a writer and i don’t doubt my wording was probably clumsy. If you want to come to my house and tell my kids they need to get rid of toys they LOVE that they have only had a year or less be my guest. There simply is not room. It is unfair to have my child buy into the gluttony on the side of receiving. Just to clarify we only put a list as people were showing up with gifts my children could not even use physically. I think I mentioned that my children have special needs. Again, you want to come and tell my DS he can’t have something as he is opening it in front of all his family because you know that once it is open he will start raging because of many factors that the gift entails.

                      WE are SO grateful. for clothes dropped on our doorstep. For the Pogo stick we really didn’t need but was also dropped off. We are very much into Craigs List and recycling/upcycling etc.

                      In the spirit of being gracious I aced my DH to buy a new storage cubicle for the playroom. He was shocked a she said we keep storage in there small to keep down the clutter. i agreed, but I am at the point I can’t ask them to part with truck A or Truck B that really are their favorites. Our children play with open ended toys. read train sets, books, Legos, pretend dress up play, doll houses. There isn’t a whole lot to give away as most of the toys we buy our children are quality. So yes when someone shows up with generic play dough puff clay like stuff that I know is awful i have no problem putting it in the “give away bin” to the VVA.

                      I like the other poster do feel a bit bad as we do include lists. Our children do not even know about the lists in the evite. They are suggestions for those who ASKED for them.

                      To give you an idea of out lifestyle….my husband is a DR…read we had more $$ than most and could go BIG for any gift giving holiday…I asked my 8 year old son if someone were to buy him a gift for Christmas did he have any needs or wants. His answer “tracing paper”.

                      I want to enjoy the holidays. It should not be fraught with a mad dash cleaning out spree of their toys. It should be a fun relaxed time. That is why I am adding storage and going form there….

                      i won’t comment anymore as I feel I am not communicating well via blog:)

          • Sue says:

            As a mother of eight grown children within a 13 year span, I used something Kathy Lee Gifford said years ago. When asked if her children would receive copious amounts of gifts from Mom and Dad she said,”Oh no, my children only get three presents. The Christ child only got three. Do you think they are greater than Him?” This too has been my answer for years.

            • liz says:

              This is what we do..a stocking and 3 gifts. i DO find it sad that some of the grandparents say have $100 for each kids to spend and won’t stop until they reach that $100. WE NEVER buy $100 of gifts for a child. they don’t own cell phones or iPods or leap pads or anything that would warrant a huge gift. My mother in law has graciously not bought the “little boys” tons of toys and bought gaps in clothing instead that we needed that I could not obtain from mom to mom sales. My mother will buy more as it fills her insecurities. I think there is being “gracious” and being real. I can’t enable someone else’s issues at my homes expense and child mental well being with being overwhelmed with stuff.

        • Shannon,

          It has worked really well for us in the past, and the grandparents truly appreciate it, if we can come up with a big item for the whole family, or at least one bigger item for each, instead of lots of little things. A family pass to the zoo, a nice telescope, etc. One year we asked for an overnight stay at a hotel with a pool, and for the grandparents to join us there for a mini-vacation during the winter. They loved it so much.

          • shannon says:

            Great idea. I know some in the family wouldn’t go for it but those who might may be getting something like this as a suggestion this year. Thank you!

  6. Charity says:

    Sometimes deciding to have a small family can be about the future as well as the now… I think saying no to more children is a way to say yes to the two i’ve already been blessed with, and a way to say yes to helping other children who are needy. Thank you for the beautiful post, it is very encouraging to all mommies :)

    • Charity,

      “I think saying no to more children is a way to say yes to the two i’ve already been blessed with”

      I have a hard time reconciling this. Certainly if that is what the Lord has given you–I’m not talking about that. But to choose to say no doesn’t help your children. If that were true, if having fewer children was actually BETTER for your others, God would only give us a couple. He always wants what’s best for us (His children) in the long run.

      • Jayson says:

        So I am confused, Charity made a decision to have less children to do her best with the two she has and it seems like you are saying she is wrong. I have an issue with a cookie cutter mind set, that every family has to be large if they are physically able to have more children. We just adopted a son after our daughter turned 11 because we felt called by the Lord to do so, for me to say (I pastor a church so my words hold weight in people lives like yours do) “every family who can’t have children biologically should adopt would be wrong” and when I read Charity’s post I praised God that someone had a different idea than yours and seemingly everyone else who has posted. I was saddened by your reply only because I felt Charity’s heart (as much as I could in reading her words) in her post and I do not feel that you or anyone else needs to “reconcile” a persons conscience, from which her decision came, for them to be correct. I mean, to be fair, the 10 things you posted (which I think are great and filled with wisdom) are not the bible, they are your opinions…I don’t know, sorry for the rant and I am not trying to be offensive at all but I was definitely bothered by your comment.

        • That’s a legitimate concern. Maybe I can clarify. My comment comes from, not a cookie-cutter belief, but a belief that God is the sovereign Creator of life. As such, given both what He has written into our bodies and what He tells us about children in Scripture (not according to this post, as you are right), it’s hard to reconcile that one can be “called” not to have children. One might choose to prevent them, but there is no biblical basis for the belief that God calls a couple to act in opposition to what He has created.

          One has to make a conscious choice to adopt a child. That’s not the case having a baby. You can’t choose to have a baby. They are given. By the way, I do think we are all called to “visit the orphans” in one form or another and that a family receiving their biological children can be called to adoption as much as any other family. (In fact, we know quite a few larger families who have also adopted several children.)

          So by “reconciled” I mean, I can’t reconcile that we have the authority to override God’s creation with the assertion that “it’s better for my other two children.” He knows what’s best for us. Always.

          • Jayson says:

            Forgive me for the “cookie-cutter” comment that was unnecessary. I agree with you, God is the author of life, Sovereign and I also know that He does give us a choice in all matters of life. I think you missed my point, Charity never said, “she felt called not to have more children” she said she made a decision with forethought, I said, I felt called to adopt. Again, I could go on with you on the topic of the different types of birth control and how the bible is silent about contraception but my point was that you’re saying to someone “you” can’t reconcile “their” decision, which they made in good conscience, and I do not see their decision being an anti-biblical one. Is wrong for us to count the cost of the decisions we make it life? I do not think every family has to be a large one in order to be obedient to the Lord. I do appreciate your clarification.

            • Thanks for clarifying. Perhaps “reconcile” wasn’t the best word to use either. I was trying to express my stance on the issue of deciding that “more children isn’t good for….” Can we make decisions in life? Absolutely. We have to. But “to have a child” isn’t a decision. They come, normally, from the marriage union. We have to make the decision NOT to have them. And that is different. Also, to make decisions regarding the prevention of life is very different than making the decision to change jobs. It’s life. It’s supernatural. It happens without our will. It’s altogether a different realm.

              • Jayson says:

                Kelly, thank you for your gracious responses…You and I will probably have to agree to disagree on the deeper issues you’re bringing up and that’s okay with me. I instruct very clearly, what the bible teaches on procreation in premarital counseling and when the topic comes up in my sermons.

                In our culture, people have become more tolerant of pets than children, as one author I quoted saying “the bible calls children a blessing and debt a curse, in our culture we apply for the curse and reject the blessing” so I am with you more than it may seem. I just don’t think it is wrong to prayerfully and thoughtfully consider how many children you want to have. I would never, as you did, qualify changing jobs as an equal decision “not” having more children. None the less, while I think it is a much greater decision it is still a decision that God entrust me to make.

                My wife and I would probably have more than two children “if” she was physically able, but in the birth of our daughter she almost died and ended up having a partial hysterectomy. In saying that, we may have decided not to have anymore children and I know of many women who had really difficult pregnancies or other issues that led them and their spouses to decide not to have anymore children and I wouldn’t condemn them for making that decision. So, to clarify, I am not saying you are condemning since I do not know you well enough to say that, but it sounds to me like you feel we have no choice in the matter and anyone who chooses not to have more children is somehow rebelling against God.

  7. Angie says:

    May I add one? Lots of children are great for imparting child training skills to future generations. The olders help out with the youngers. By the time the youngers are older, they are helping with nieces and nephews. Each child has hands on child training experience, even before they have their own children.

  8. Lisha says:

    What a great list! My husband and I don’t agree on how many children we should have (we used to – before we had kids! After we had two back-to-back, he changed his mind!) It’s been a source of potential heartache, idolatry, and bitterness for me in the past {to become consumed with wanting more children when the Lord has clearly said ‘not now’}, but the Lord has walked me through to a place where I’m content – and I’ve at last embraced the 3 that I have wholeheartedly! I trust that either a) the Lord will change my husband’s heart, or b) I will see that He was wise to “only” give us three. Thank you for this encouraging list! Children are such a blessing, no matter how many we have!

    ~Lisha

    • Andrea says:

      Lisha,

      Find a large and really enjoyable family to visit. We have nine, and there have been a few times that I can remember that visiting men have changed their minds from thinking that a large family would be unthinkable to the thought that it would be great to have a large family :)

      It seems hard when you have a number of little ones, but we LOVE it.

      Andrea Denner

  9. Andrea says:

    Kelly,

    I have been really struck by #3 lately. I see so many ways in which my mind and heart has been changed in different ways by each child. Such a blessing!!

    Andrea Denner

  10. Charity says:

    I’ve never seen another Charity comment here before, not a coomon name, anyway…

    I’m so thankful for the five little ones Gid has blessed us with so far. I’m beginning to realize that although the days are so long and hard (nights too for that matter) in the season I’m currently in, the years truly are short. This is hard work, good, hard work, and I don’t know what I’d rather be doing with my time. ;)

    I like how Shannon mentioned cutting the to-do list short to … “keep up my testimony at home”. Smart lady, you are.

    • Charity says:

      Sorry for the terrible typos. Nursing and typing with one hand doesn’t always work out too well. ;)

    • 6 arrows says:

      My daughter has a friend named Charity. :-)

      • Charity says:

        I hope I’m not bothering you by asking this, but did you receive my reply email awhile back? I’ve been so concerned that I scared you off with my ginormous reply. :-/

        • 6 arrows says:

          Charity,

          I’m so sorry, but I never received it. I’ve never had anything end up in my spam folder, and no one but me checks email at the address I used to write to you, so it’s not like your reply got deleted by someone who didn’t know who you are. We have been having some trouble off and on with our email for a while, though, and I wonder if our email provider didn’t get this one through.

          My apologies for not checking further into why I didn’t hear from you. I sent you my first email on September 22, and then added onto the same email on September 26. I assumed your silence had to do with how busy you’ve been, and I didn’t want to burden you with repeated emails or make you feel pressure to reply. Or I thought maybe you decided you didn’t want to communicate outside the blog with someone you didn’t really know, which is certainly understandable.

          Charity, I would love to read your reply, if you still have it in your sent files and want to try sending it again. You will never scare me off! I am queen of the long comments around here, lol, and won’t be intimidated by a “ginormous” reply. ;-)

          Please know, though, that I have been praying for you and your family, Charity. Let me know if you try re-sending it, and I’ll watch for it in my inbox. (Sometimes the emails people send me arrive in my inbox more than an hour after being sent, though, so it might take a while.)

          Blessings to you, sister.

        • 6 arrows says:

          P.S. Charity

          I’m really glad you asked me. In no way did you bother me!

        • 6 arrows says:

          Hi Charity,

          I just sent you an email, with “follow-up” typed in the subject line. Do you want to let me know if you’ve received it? Thanks :-)

          • 6 arrows says:

            Charity — I got your email, and sent you a reply. Thanks!

            Kelly — Thank you for allowing all my off-topic comments here so we could get some of these tech issues worked out. ;-)

  11. 6 arrows says:

    Loved this: “Each new child that comes along refreshes our perspectives all over again.” Amen. I always loved the feeling, at the birth of each new child, of being given a fresh start as a parent, to be able to see the life of another unfold before my eyes, and to be given a hand to help shape that child into who the Lord would have him or her be.

    Great list, Kelly! (With just a tiny complaint from this woman with the overly-detailed visual brain: Where is that row of three kids so the graphic can have a nice neat pyramid of children, 4-3-2-1?!) :-)

    • LOL! You and my daughter. We pass this lot in town that has little out buildings for sale, and we can not pass it without her saying, “Why can’t they line them up straight?! It drives me crazy!”

      • 6 arrows says:

        Ah, love it! I’ve been having fun trying to find out which little munchkin is the kindred spirit. ;-) Maybe I shouldn’t say “little munchkin”, though, if we’re talking about Bria! Somehow I don’t think so. :-)

  12. Kelly L says:

    Love the list!

  13. Penny Raine says:

    Hey Kelly, I wrote this years ago in friendly response to a woman who wrote an article about why she would only have 1, you probably saw it back then, but yours reminded me so I am sharing :) http://pennyraine.com/blog/2009/04/100-reasons-to-have-10-or-more-children/

    • What a great list, Penny! With holiday upon us, it has come to our attention, in very practical ways, the downside of choosing to severely limit one’s family. It gets lonely on the other end.

  14. Ally says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this list :) ! I do not have any children of my own, but I am the oldest of eight, and have babysat and am still babysitting for many families. Not to mention, God’s Word is so clear on the matter of children, and how they are like unto arrows in the hand of a mighty man, and hapoy is the man that hath his quiver full of them, so I agree wholeheartedly with your whole list :) !
    My whole family is a blessing to me, but I have been especially blessed by the many wonferful lessons that I have learned from being in a big family. I praise the Lord for all that He has taught me, and is continuing to teach me through siblings

  15. Ally says:

    through *my siblings :-) ! Thank you again :) !!

  16. Kristen says:

    I would say that for the most part I agree with your views on family planning, although I often wonder where that leaves people who are infertile and how adoption plays into all that. If I am unable to conceive, then is that God’s plan for my life and am I then taking matters into my own hands when I choose to adopt? And when I choose how many to adopt? Because yes, adoption is a choice. It is a deliberate decision to become a parent. It’s something you have to go out and do and it’s a lot of work and heartache and it’s really messy and ugly sometimes. My husband and I are infertile and we adopted five children. Each of our adoptions was planned and since we are now in our mid-40′s we “decided” that our family is big enough. We let our foster license expire and that’s it. Is that considered “birth control”? I’m not trying to criticize you, because I really like you and respect your opinions.

  17. liz says:

    Hmmm.In response to the conversation you had with Jayson….I am a bit conflicted. We ourselves have never conceived a child we are aware of. WE have adopted 4 children(and counting) in the last 8 years. We just turned in our “stuff” to get on the road to being in a pool to be matched God willing, with #5.
    I always wonder where we fit in as far as growing a large family. I never wanted any kids. Then I met my DH. Then maybe a couple. Then I found Christ. Then we decided to homeschool…well you get the picture. We finally felt called through tons of prayer to grow a large family. Like you stated we have to make huge efforts for this to happen. At times I envy women who don’t use any BC and “leave it up to God to plan our family”. I am sure this also causes some people some stress, but they have comfort in that God wouldn’t “Bless” them if they were not supposed to be Blessed with more children. He would close the womb right?

    So in my case I am tired and weary some days. I have a ton of auto immune diseases. My DH works shift work so it changes daily/weekly/monthly. That is an added stress. We have special needs children.

    I was just curious on your thoughts about someone in my position. Am I supposed to have an updated home study and be willing to take any baby that may come my way at all times if I am praying about it? I just get so confused.No one in our family has even 4 children. So it is isolating at times to even vent or comment on a challenging day as they often times look at us like “you brought this on yourselves”. We announced we are working on adoption #5 and only my mother has shown excitement:( Not even in laws. Am I making any sense? lol

    Also when you responded to the woman who had 2 children so she could give them say the best of what she had to offer I find myself wondering what you think of if she say had mental illness. This was her limit. Or ETOH abuse and yes was marries, but was now struggling with an addiction of some sorts. What if like the minister you had a awful pregnancy and delivery that almost killed you.

    I think there is a fine line when people start saying (not you) things like “well if God wanted me to have more children he would over ride my birth control” OR ” if God wanted me to have only 2 kids I wouldn’t have 8 surrounding me right now”

    I get confused at where God’s Plan for us starts and our “free Will” and our responsibility for our choices and actions begin.:)

    I would love to hear your thoughts:)

    • Liz & Chrissy,

      I’ve heard many adoptive parents ask this question and I must be honest and say I surely don’t know the answer. I will say that I don’t think you can compare, straight across the board, adoption to natural pregnancy. The reason is obvious, as you have stated: adoption does require a decision and much more than that.

      But I’ve also seen God almost literally drop children into homes of those longing and open to adoption so that they almost didn’t have to make a decision. Does that mean you “have to be open to every adoption” the same way some couples are open to every biological baby? I don’t think so. I also don’t think adoption is the only way to obey the commands of Scripture to “visit the orphans…in their affliction.”

      The baby question is easier, I think, because “they happen.” They don’t have to be chosen. My suggestion for your question is to simply remain in a constant position of prayer and leading. It is an obedient heart the Lord desires, even if we confuse the logistics.

      • liz says:

        Thanks for your reply and your honesty in not knowing it all. Maybe this question has more to do with your previous posting about birth control, but I would still love to hear your voice on my other question. The one regarding if say a women or her husband has mental illness. We have 2 family member( well distant in laws of inlays) who both have bipolar disease. They have chosen that they just don’t have it in them to have children. I know this woman LOVES children. She adores mine. Her DH also has Crohn’s disease that is active a lot of the time.

        My original question asked what you thought in situations like that and using birth control. You had a comment to the lady who said she had 2 , but wasn’t going to have future children so she could give the 2 she had all she could.

        What if I had addiction that was not under control such as ETOH or drugs. Or was on chronic pain meds due to a disease process yet was in a loving relationship with my husband. Would you recommend against BC in those instances or abstaining? I think the Bible is pretty clear about intimacy between married couples and that it’s a good thing:)

        Again, just curious. Not trying to stir the pot.

  18. Kristen says:

    Thanks for your response, Kelly, because you are exactly right. There is a big difference between adoption, which is intentional and giving birth. So, really we can’t be dogmatic about God’s gifts to us regarding children. However God chooses to build our family, He is still the one Who builds it, and His sovereignty goes far beyond our human decisions. I think that your point is not so much birth control per se, rather our heart attitude toward children. Legalism starts when we focus too much on what we do and not on where our heart is in regards to our relationship to God and His Word.

  19. Mickey says:

    My daughter is a year old, and a real blessing to her father and I. She will most likely be our only one for several reasons.

    The biggest reason is finances. Currently, we can provide our daughter with everything she could ever possibly need. We do cloth and thrift stores, so that helps. However, if we added even one more child, we would have a hard time making ends meet. I am blessed I can stay home with my baby girl. With another child, I would have to go to work and leave someone else to raise my children.

    The second reason is her father has four other children from a previous marriage, who are grown. He thought he was done having children at that point. Goodness, his children have children! At his request, we use condoms and spermicide, so we dont accidentally abort any babies.

    Finally, I feel I could not give the same attention to five or ten as I can my one precious baby. She is so smart, she sings the alphabet song in her own baby babble, and is so funny. She cracks me up on a regular basis and can play by herself so I can shower or clean

    • Mickey,

      Will you allow me, having experienced most of what you have listed here, to challenge a couple of things?

      I don’t know if you are a Christian or not, but the Bible offers two, practical truths regarding the finances of a believer:

      The first is our responsibility. We are to be wise stewards of our money, avoiding debt and being diligent, hard workers.

      The second is that God promises, after that, to provide for our needs. David said, “I have been young and now I am old and I have never seen the righteous forsaken.” I can attest to that.

      You might be interested in reading about our financial journey (if you are let me know and I’ll find it), but when I quit my job to come home, I was expecting our 3rd child and my husband made about $24,000/yr. Then he got laid off. It was some of the hardest and VERY BEST years of our lives and God did amazing things through it that are still a blessing to us today (this blog is one of them).

      Will you be promised everything you or your little girl wants? No. But needs? I believe it with all my heart. She doesn’t need a lot except you. We have the privilege of trusting in a God who owns the world. How little our faith if we can’t trust Him to do what He has promised?

      I have been there and you are speculating. Having another baby shouldn’t mean you’d have to go back to work. When our babies our born, there are NO EXPENSES for a year. We get diapers and clothing for gifts and I breast feed. After that, the little bit of food they eat is negligible. I’d be interested to know what you think are the sudden costs of a new baby. (We didn’t have to pay anything for the birth either–Christian Sharing Medical Program, Samaritan’s Ministries.)

      The second reason is a preference, but not a reason to avoid the blessing of children.

      Your third reason is the most fabricated. I know because I was once the mother of one. I couldn’t imagine how I could possibly give my love to another child (and selfishly, I didn’t want to). But mother-love is a miraculous thing. It grows with each child. Probably, you wouldn’t have 5 or 10, but even if you did, you would be able to distribute your love. Not only that, but siblings in a family multiplies the love. A mother isn’t the only kind of love a child needs. Sibling relationships are one of my children’s greatest joys. And I’m sure that will grow as they get older. They feel so sad for only children who don’t have that. They truly can’t fathom it.

      When a mother is devoted to her home and family, she has more time for multiple children than most have for one.

      I say all that only to encourage you, because I’ve been where you are and now I’m here, and you will never, ever, regret allowing the Lord to give you a brand new, incredible life. And not one of them has a value that can be measured in dollar signs. Every one enriches you and your family in a way only God can orchestrate. There is no joy like it.

      • Lindsey says:

        I just want to comment here that you are SO blessed to be given diapers and clothes that will last your child his/her whole first year! I’m due with #4 in 2 weeks and there will be a 7 1/2 year gap between this boy and our first born son. Although I have saved everything (which is too much clutter for my sanity!), they will be born in completely different seasons. I will probably get a couple outfits from my mom and mom-in-law and maybe a small gift from a few other people, but there will be no baby shower or large “showering” of clothes and diapers from anyone. I have actually been shopping consignment sales for gently worn baby clothes, craigslist, and cloth diapers, which definitely isn’t free. I also carry a genetic disorder that excludes me and any future children from participating in something like Samaritan’s (I’ve researched). I just add all this to say that you are very blessed and although I would never advocate choosing to have one child, there are expenses involved for some of us. However, I do agree that God has provided for this child as well as my other three; it just hurts to not be supported by church or family….yet. I still have 2 more weeks so things could change, but I doubt it. Our church is very large and impersonal and our families aren’t jumping for joy at #4.

        • I am so sorry you aren’t experiencing support from your church and family. That is something, I think, people will have to answer for. Still, as you said, you’ve Him be faithful. I pray that you will experience His love more than ever this time around.

  20. Kelly L says:

    It is too hard to put this where it truly goes, but it is meant to be after the too many gifts discussion.

    Without trying to cause division, I’d like to submit this: It is very easy to get pride in being able to receive many gifts and refusing to accept many gifts. Each should do what God tells their family. It is just as easy to have a poverty gospel as a prosperity gospel. I don’t think the Bible is clear on the exclusion of being one or the other. There are examples of both by people who loved The Lord.

    To assume your conviction is the truth for all Christians is religion, in the worst sense of the word, if there is not a Biblical mandate (as there is not in gift giving/receiving.)

    Just my two cents on the conversation above as one who used to love making my personal convictions the rule of law for others… ;)

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