Home large families We Don’t Love Children, We Love Drywall

We Don’t Love Children, We Love Drywall

by Kelly Crawford

We Don't Love Children, We Love DrywallMy brother and his wife just announced that they were expecting their third baby.  (Welcome to the world of “the large family”, bro!)

Someone asked about our parents’ reaction to the news.

“Oh, they’re very excited!”

To which the (Christian) someone responded,

They have 50 grandchildren and they’re still excited?!” (That was sarcasm, by the way; they have 14.)

We know the reality behind the joke–“more is only better if you really value the thing multiplying in your life.”  Money, accolades, vacations–we can’t get enough.  Cavities?  No more, thank you.

We say we love children, but we don’t put our money where our mouth is. “How do  you afford all those children?” This from those whose God has promised to provide for all their needs. All the while, we’re borrowing money for bigger houses and get high fives for that.  As Kevin Swanson says:  “We LOVE drywall!”

“The very analogy of Christian marriage is to demonstrate fruitfulness just as we expect the church to multiply and fill the earth.  How can we wish for our churches to grow and our families to shrink?”

I’m not talking here of splitting hairs over the issue of birth control. It’s a bigger picture principle.

I’m asking,“Do we share the heart of God about children or don’t we?” Do we echo what Scripture says about a growing family?  We’ve got to ‘fess up to the idea that generally speaking, Christians do not act like they believe in the blessing of children, nor do they act like they believe that God is the author of life.  Because once we do, it changes what we say and how we live.

If we value life over material things (to which any Christian would attest), why don’t we live like it?  Or talk like it?  After all, we don’t call ourselves “pro-some-lives Christians.”

Isn’t it reasonable to assume that we welcome more of what we value?

Conversely, it’s reasonable to assume that we try to avoid things that we don’t value, or that cause us pain. That’s why we take medication to get rid of headaches and have surgeries to alleviate unwanted ailments.

We want bigger tvs, more square footage, more cars, more vacations, more money, bigger houses–ALL things that will burn and rot.  We will do anything for it. Work longer, harder, borrow money that isn’t ours, sacrifice relationships, even when it directly opposes the wisdom of Scripture.

But what of accumulating more of the only thing that is eternal?

Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have.” Hebrews 13:5

We tend to ignore a lot of what the Bible says.

“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.”

If Christians believed this, what would their response to a large family really be?

Comment after comment reveals our abhorrence of multiplying children, despite what the Bible teaches to the contrary.  We love one or two; after that, they decrease in value. And not just for our own families.  We abhor it in other families. I know.  I’ve seen their faces too many times.  I’ve heard people take the Lord’s name in vain upon hearing how many children I had. I’ve seen them look at my other children with sympathy–my children who ask almost daily, “When are we going to have another baby?” I’ve heard them question how we’ll feed them, as if they’ve never read Matthew 6.  These are Christians!  They all want to know if I know how to stop *it*….that “horrid multiplying of those things we don’t want more of.”

(No, it’s not just a personal choice or an issue of neutrality; what we believe about children and the womb has profound implications for a society, and those who don’t conform to the “new standard” feel that lack of neutrality like no one else.  It may be easy to believe that people think of birth control as a personal choice if you’re on the controlling end.  But those of us who aren’t know better.)

Since the Bible compares the fruitfulness of the womb to vegetation, why don’t we apply our logic there: “Honey! We’ve got to do something!  Our watermelons are growing prolifically–I mean there’s like 15 or 20 of them!  What will the neighbors say? ” (Hey, don’t you know what causes that?)

And to think, we talk thus of eternal, immortal souls–not watermelons–that God has graciously given from His hand to populate His Kingdom for His glory.

We don’t turn visitors away from our churches. Is it because we are really concerned with more souls in the Kingdom?  Because if that IS our main concern, there should be nothing more glorious to a saint’s ears than to hear that a Christian family has received another child to bring up for His glory–a treasure stored up for Heaven!

Is not a family the basic building block of a church?  The very analogy of Christian marriage is to demonstrate fruitfulness just as we expect the church to multiply and fill the earth.  How can we wish for our churches to grow and our families to shrink?  It’s illogical.

Yet we find every reason under the sun to avoid growing disciples in our homes–and to help others avoid it as well.  Shame tactics, scare tactics, insults, “advice” about being responsible ensure that the average Christian family will cut off the godly heritage before it’s “out of control”….hmmm…sounds like the work of an enemy to me.

As I’ve suggested many times before, the burden of proof shouldn’t lie upon those who receive their children.

Excited about another child or grandchild?

“Like arrows in the  hands of a warrior…”

A Kingdom-minded Christian is!

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Julie-Anne August 1, 2010 - 10:55 pm

Wow Kelly! Your writing has edified me, re-affirmed me in my biblical living and fanned into flames the fire in my heart again and again. I agree wholeheartedly and thank you for your courage and passion in expressing God’s truth especially when it is “a contre-courant” or against the social grain. Never before in history have we as Christian women faced so many reproductive “choices” plagued by a myriad of ethical dilemmas and un-biblical reasoning. Thanks again for addressing these issues head on! Always encouraging to read your blog!

Mrs. S August 2, 2010 - 12:31 am

Great post! My husband and I just found out we are expecting our 3rd child from the Lord so this is very timely for us. It is sad that the church is so worldly in this area. Even in our church where pregnancy announcements are joyfully recieved it also seems to be popular to get a vasectomy in your 30s.

The point that struck me the most was “how can we wish our churches to grow and our families to shrink?”

Rachel August 2, 2010 - 12:52 am

great post. i only wish someone had smacked me upside the head with ideas like these 3 years ago… but no one did. no one in the church. no one in our families. we had 3 three children – the ‘acceptable, large family’… we were being responsible… and now we weep. and pray. and try to figure out where we could possibly come up with 5 grand that we don’t have… although, that fact, in itself, would probably be seen as further evidence that we’re off our rockers for even considering it…

thank you for this. keep getting the word out!

Gayle August 2, 2010 - 8:16 am

Rachel, we are right there in your boat. People were appalled when we found out that we were expecting our 4th baby. The comments were so rude and they all came from Christians. My husband had a vasectomy a mere month after my son’s birth because, as you mentioned, “it was the responsible thing to do”.

I hurt every single day over this decision, and even though God is opening my precious husband’s eyes in the way that He has opened mine, we cannot afford a reversal. It scares me because I am 35 and I worry about waiting too long. Right now, I just wait and hope that God will mercifully provide those funds. It’s in His hands.

It’s funny, God has allowed about 3 young mothers to speak to me recently about this very thing, and I was able to encourage them not to listen to the masses (and never-ever to make sterilization a part of their marriages), because even as Christians, we can blunder in the way that we believe when it’s all we’ve ever been taught. 🙁

The Pauper @ apauper.com August 2, 2010 - 8:42 am


I don’t know where you live but one of the best (and most affordable) reversal docs is in eastern Oklahoma. His name is Dr. David Wilson and average price for a reversal is $1500.00. You can check his webpage at: http://www.microvasreversal.com/ . I have an immediate family member who used Dr. Wilson this year and was very pleased (they are expecting a new baby! Praise the Lord!).

You might also consider looking into Blessed Arrows a ministry focused on funding reversal procedures. You can find them at: http://www.blessedarrows.org/ .

Blessings to you,
The Pauper

Gayle August 2, 2010 - 10:13 am

Thank you, Pauper. We are in Alabama, and that is the Dr. we are looking into, when the time comes. I’m so glad to hear about the success your family member had with their reversal!

Michelle August 2, 2010 - 10:20 am

Great post.In 2001, after 4 children,at the age of 28,I also had a tubal ligation.But,after several years we were also convicted of our decision and had a tubal reversal done in 2007(35 yrs of age).We didn’t have the funds immediately but,were able to get on a payment plan and access our Flexible Spending Account that my husband has through his job,(2 years worth).Now I’m 38 and have 6 children and one on the way!For those of you contemplating a reversal,the doctor who performed our surgery is Dr.Richard Levin in Kentucky.He has several different payment options.http://www.babies-by-levin.com/index.html
I think that the hardest thing for most of us,as Christians,is giving up control,in all areas of our life and letting God have control.With children it makes it more difficult for us to “bear” because they are more “visible” to outsiders.Praise God for the perseverance that he has given all of us to withstand the “looks” and questions from believers or non-believers.May we continue to joyfully receive His gifts and raise them up to love and fear Him.

Linda August 4, 2010 - 9:05 am

All my babies came after age 35 as we married at 34 so take heart, sister!

Sarah Storts September 14, 2010 - 3:51 pm

My husband and I have four childern and love it.I wish some of our friends had been more supportive in our decision to allow God to bless us with each of them.I feel children are a gift from God and would like more.My friend has 8 and loves every moment.

The Pauper @ apauper.com August 2, 2010 - 8:32 am


I thought I would pass along a ministry I ran across when looking for a way to help a family member of ours who was in a similar situation. The ministry is Blessed Arrows and you can find them on the web at: http://www.blessedarrows.org/ . Their ministry is dedicated to helping families repent and restore their bodies so that if the Lord wills he might send more arrows. I just thought you might want to prayerfully check them out. I pray the Lord restores the years the locusts have eaten for your family.

The Pauper

JenniferK August 2, 2010 - 8:49 am


Have you herd about this ministry?

Kerry August 2, 2010 - 9:49 am

Instead of continuing to grieve and desperately seeking a vasectomy reversal why not open your heart to an orphan? God forgives for decisions we make, including vasectomies, but he certainly calls for us to care for and to defend the fatherless. You have a wonderful oppportunity to add to your family when you adopt! Just an encouragment!

Rachel August 2, 2010 - 10:07 am

in response to your query about adoption… no, i am not opposed to it. yes, it is something that has wandered through my mind. i, myself, happen to be adopted. i guess, because of some ‘limited’ research i have done, i don’t feel very encouraged in this. what i have gathered is that the expense is well beyond anything we could afford, and as far as ‘passing’ all of the preliminary requirements, i’m hesitant to say that we would, mainly because of financial reasons. i’ve looked a little into ‘special needs’ adoptions – which are considerably lower on the $$ scale, especially sibling groups, which for some reason have a hard time finding families… but the restrictions generally state that the total number of children in a family cannot exceed 4. well, we already have 3. if someone has experience with this that is contrary to what i have learned, i’m interested in hearing that. i don’t know if God is moving us that direction or not, but i’m not ruling it out.

Sarah Storts September 14, 2010 - 3:58 pm

I have many friends who did foster to adopt and there is no real cost.You also get to save sibling groups if you want.For the foster part of the relationship the foster agency pays you to take care of your soon to be child/children.I encourage anyone who conciders adopting to check out thier states foster to adopt oppertunities.

Gayle August 2, 2010 - 10:10 am

I agree with what you’re saying, Kerry, but even domestic adoption averages around $20,000.

Mrs. S August 2, 2010 - 12:30 pm

About adoption expenses–

I think it is expensive to adopt a newborn baby through a private adoption (or a child through international adoption) but adopting foster children domestically is quite inexpensive. We have started the process (in CA) and it runs about $2,000 and you can often get your expenses back from the state. That rate is not per child but per adoption (so if you adopt a sibling group it is NOT multiplies by the number of children.)

In California you also get paid about $500-600 per month per child plus medical from the state until your adoption is finalized. If they have an ongoing special need the state will help with that even after they are legally your child. They really want people to adopt here and you don;t have to be wealthy! So I encourage you to contact a Christian adoption agency in your area.

For us it is actually cheaper to adopt a foster child than to have our own babies (our midwife feee is $3,500) but we will continue to do both as the Lord sees fit 🙂

Heather August 2, 2010 - 8:44 pm

If it’s through a Christian agency, does the state still pay the monthly stipend for foster children before they’re adopted? Or is that only if it’s all done through the state?

Anita August 2, 2010 - 5:19 pm

I’d love to speak up for foster/adoption, as well. For those who believe domestic adoptions are too expensive, please consider foster care adoptions through your state! Our cost was literally nothing (attorney fees had to be paid up front, then were reimbursed).
We’ve adopted 5 children that we couldn’t imagine our family without. Initially, we were hesitant to go the way of “the state”, but we’ve not only found many wonderful caseworkers there ~ some fellow believers ~ but we’ve had the added opportunity to share Jesus’ love with others, from workers to birth families.
It’s been an emotional journey, to be sure, but all of life is, when we allow God to use us where his heart is.

Val August 2, 2010 - 10:30 pm

We have three biological children ages 11-16. We will be adopting a sibling group through the foster care system- hopefully very soon. There are so many children that need families. It’s an option worth praying about.

Kim M August 2, 2010 - 6:50 am

Congratulations on getting a new nephew or niece! That is so exciting!

I agree with you about 3 being considered a large family. I get comments in Walmart like… “You have your hands full”.

I just smile because I know that people usually say that because boys are high energy, but I am thankful for my boys.

JenniferK August 2, 2010 - 7:08 am

Thank you!

LAF/Beautiful Womanhood » We Don’t Love Children, We Love Drywall August 2, 2010 - 7:41 am

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Elizabeth August 2, 2010 - 7:42 am

This was a beautiful, passionate post! I pray that your posts will cause some to rethink these issues before it is too late.

We started off just like the average American couple, wanting two kids and a dog . . . . After our second child was born, my husband followed conventional wisdom and scheduled a vasectomy. About that time, someone loaned me a copy of The Way Home by Mary Pride, which greatly challenged my views on many fronts. I never mentioned my changing beliefs to my husband, but just began to pray . . . God arranged circumstances so that the appointment was cancelled! And then worked in both of our hearts to Trust Him for our family size!

It was a journey of faith, and many times our faith was very weak, but God strengthened us along the way. He has blessed us with ten arrows in our quiver! Amazing! I would never have dreamed I would be the mother of ten children!

And yes, many people think we are CRAZY! 🙂 But that’s OK! Scripture is clear that God’s ways are not man’s ways!!

Keep getting the word out! Keep encouraging families to trust God for His blessings!

Margaret August 2, 2010 - 7:45 am


I find it bizarre that 3 is considered “a large family”. I get so many comments about my “handful” and “how do you possibly manage?????” and when I was pregnant with my third and all through his babyhood I was getting the huffs and puffs and sneers and comments about surely he must be my last and don’t I know what causes that and on and on ad nauseum.

Three??? Seriously? That’s “large” bordering on unmanageable. *sigh*

And worse, these comments all came from self-proclaimed Christians. 🙁

Heather August 2, 2010 - 7:50 am

AMEN!!!!!! Thnak you!

Quinn August 2, 2010 - 8:00 am

I love that quote!!

And I know this may sound a bit cynical, and I certainly don’t mean it as a generalization to all churches or even all large churches, but could it be that we care more about drywall & shrinking our families because the church cares more about drywall too? I live near a small town with a population of less than 15,000 and they have a large church with an annual budget of 1.8 million dollars! They have to get the people in there to fund that and more likely than not, have to compromise the gospel in order to remain attractive.

Matthew 6:19 comes to mind: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

We’ve been listening to messages from the Baby Conference for a couple of weeks now and WOW is all I can say! Just when I thought I couldn’t be more edified by VF or NCFIC’s messages, I’m blown away all over again.

Thanks for the great post!

Michelle August 2, 2010 - 8:38 am

This is so awesome! As sad as it is, I still laughed at certain parts like the watermelons.

We currently have three living children and are prayerfully considering adopting a sibling group, in the light of me dealing with certain health issues. (God just won’t leave us alone on this one!)

I love celebrating the birth of children no matter how many there are in one family! The only way I would love “more drywall” is if it meant that we were getting more children to fill those new rooms!

Mark and Sara Cowperthwaite August 2, 2010 - 8:42 am

We have 4 blessings/children, and await when we get to meet our 2 that have gone to be with the Lord before us. We are blessed to have friends and family in Christ that have 5,6,7, and 8 children. The shame that goes along with “large families” was never an issue in Bible times. Quite the contrary, we see so often in God’s Word that children are a blessing, with a few families of 10, 12, or more. It is not about trophies, competition, or having more than so and so, but rather the responsibility of stewardship of the children the Lord has charged us with.
Thank you for saying what you have said, we whole heartedly agree. I have posted a link on my facebook page, and will be spreading this around. Too often people feel that they cannot cross the “norm” in modern day churches, but we stand firm on God’s Word as the authority, not the traditions of man. I have been studying Jude this morning again, and thought your post lined up with it. We have given our lives to a false and perverted interpretation of Scripture, using grace as a means for lasciviousness, and excusing our anti-biblical views under the guise of Christian liberty. Christian- like Christ, in the image of Christ- are we really living that out? Thank you for sticking to God’s Word rather than man’s “wisdom”

Sarah August 2, 2010 - 8:52 am

This was just a great post, Kelly! May this message spread to many Christians who are on the fence or following along unthinkingly with the world’s ideas on children.

Dawn August 2, 2010 - 9:15 am

I’ve been reading your blog for several months now and always love it!! I so relate to this post. My husband and I have 10 bio children, with 2 in Heaven. Our oldest is 22, and the baby is 3. Oh, the comments we’ve heard over the years. We have raised these children in 1640 sq ft, with 2 bathrooms. Has it been tight? Yes. Has it been worth it? A million times YES!!
My oldest 2 are engaged now, and the oldest lives in a city about an hour away. He and his fiancee were here for supper last night, along with my other son’s fiancee, and both sets of grandparents. It was loud, sometimes chaotic, but my gosh, how many people can have that much fun without throwing a party?
We don’t have a lot of what the world would call necessities, like a huge fancy house, new cars, boats, flat screen tv’s, etc ad nauseum. But we have LOVE…we are truly blessed.

Tabitha August 2, 2010 - 9:36 am

Amazing article!!!! I was just at a home school conference this weekend where I was asked the ever-original question, “Have you figured out what causes that?” My heart breaks when fellow Christians make such an ignorant comment. Thank you for your insight and encouragement on this subject. I pray more families will open up thier minds and hearts to the blessings of having a large family.

Kyle Suzanne August 2, 2010 - 9:46 am

Hey Ladies,
We suffer from infertility as does everyone in my family. Our 3 kids is actually a supersized family. Remembering James 1:27 we now have 5 kiddos 2 (infant twins) of which we are hoping to adopt. Adoption through a Christian Agency that works through CPS TX $750-1,500. I just wanted to throw adoption into the mix as an option. Afterall are’nt we all God’s adopted children. Also folks who have had permenant things done if you can reverse it that’s great. But in the meantime there is NO CONDEMNATION in Christ. Please don’t beat yourself up you are loved with an everlasting love.

I’m putting this on my facebook page. Thanks for the encouragement as we enter the realm of “don’t you know how to fix it?”

Heather August 2, 2010 - 10:01 am

I so appreciated this comment, as it echoes much of what I was going to say.

We often do make mistakes based on worldly influence. And not everyone can afford to (or is physically capable of) reverse certain past decisions. We do know a couple of families who have engaged in adoption after making the decision that they were “done” having children in a biological sense.

The fact that they have enough love to share with and call their own an orphaned/unwanted child is a beautiful testimony to the reality of our own adoption into Christ’s family. 🙂

Carmon Friedrich August 2, 2010 - 10:06 am

As a mother of 10 children (7 still at home), you can imagine that I’ve heard it all, from Christians and non-Christians alike. It is very easy to become offended and withdraw from those who make rude or insensitive remarks. BUT, let me encourage you to do the opposite. Find your affirmation from our gracious God, the One you need to please, and in humility and graciousness love those folks who do not “get it.” Instruct them with your life of love and be patient as your children grow and become the testimony of the blessing of a trusting God with your family size. Pour yourself out in your church life, as you are able, and serve with your children in whatever ministry you can in your church (cleaning, cooking, helping pregnant mothers, visiting the elderly, music, etc.) Show maturity in your response and in your family, and you will bless many who will come, over time, to see that you have chosen a good path. Instructing patiently in this way is a powerful testimony to God’s goodness to your family. It is also good for you and your children as you endure this minor persecution with hope. Many blessings to you ladies who are trusting in our Lord in this way!

Gayle August 2, 2010 - 11:12 am

I LOVE this comment. I must say this; the only way that I even began to have my eyes opened to this was when a few women just like you, with humility and love and not accusation or condemnation, taught by their example. After all, it is the love of Christ that draws us to His truths, ultimately. What a beautiful example of perseverance and Godly wisdom.

jen in AL August 2, 2010 - 10:08 am

beautifully said WW!!!! Thank you so much for speaking truth consistently! you are such a blessing as is your whole family! ((hugs))jen in al

Corinne August 2, 2010 - 10:50 am

We had three birth children. Then we became foster parents to give hope and love to countless children. One child that we fostered from the day he left the hospital at 2 months old weighing in at 5lbs. Born 10 weeks early at 2lbs 5oz. God had prepared this baby boy for us. At 2 he was put up for adoption and since he had always been with us we were approached to adopt him. We of course accepted this blessing. Our cost was $245.00 for lawyer fees. Because he was a preemie and had to have some physically therepy at first for being so early we received adoption assistance until he finished college. Also received medicaid for all medical needs for the entire time. He is now a wonderful 20 year old young man. When it’s God nothing is impossible.

Jennifer August 2, 2010 - 11:08 am

This definitely SHOULD be a personal issue, but the world’s decided otherwise on both sides. The sniffing, sneers and obnoxious questions are the most unbeilevable to me.

Leisl August 2, 2010 - 11:13 am

Carmon, thank you for your wisdom. I am so deeply touched and reminded that what you said about responding in humility could and does apply to every area of our lives,not only having more than the “acceptable” number of children. That is Christ. That IS our testimony when it is walked out in the ways you described.

Marcia August 2, 2010 - 11:24 am

I actually smiled at the title, but it’s because we know several large families that are in the drywall business, in fact my husband used to be. I thought at first it was a reference to that 🙂 This is such a well written post about this sadly divisive subject. I gave birth to twins 11 days before my 40th birthday, they were children numbers 5 and 6. It was the Christians we knew that said things about our family size. God didn’t bless us with anymore, but we do get many comments about our large family size, although we know many larger families. The twins are turning 10 tomorrow. They are loved by everyone in our family and we wouldn’t have missed them for the world! Btw, we’ve raised them in a 1600 sf house, and it’s worked out fine 🙂

Sara Lester August 2, 2010 - 11:25 am

Before we had any children, my husband and I agreed to have 6. It seemed like a lot at the time. Now, we have 5 and 6 seems like such a small number. It makes me sad to think that I would only hold one more newborn in my arms. Luckily, my husband has come to the same conclusion. Now, when asked how many kids we plan to have, the answer from both of us is “All of them.” All of them that God gives us, all of them that He allows us the privilege of raising for him. I am blessed in that, in our church, a large family is not only accepted, but celebrated.

The Pauper @ apauper.com August 2, 2010 - 1:29 pm

I love that answer!

Jamie August 2, 2010 - 1:47 pm

Wow! I love that answer too. “all of them”. It brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing.

LucyT August 2, 2010 - 6:34 pm

I am crying and praying I haven’t had all of them yet.

Jamie Kimbel July 27, 2015 - 11:11 pm

I love the response, “all of them.” I have five precious babies and am asked constantly how many I’m going to have. I never really know how to respond. I like this response. Thank you!

Karen August 2, 2010 - 12:03 pm

Beautiful post, Kelly. It just breaks my heart when I hear parents of large families suffering criticism. When we married, my husband and I hoped for at least six children. Six months into our marriage, my husband was diagnosed with a chronic, progressively debilitating illness. The doctors told us that he might not ever walk again without assistance and we would probably be unable to have children of our own (I will never forget that doctor; his hands were shaking as he told me). Twenty years later my husband still walks on his own (in pain, but on his own!) and God blessed us with three wonderful children ages 16, 12, and 9. I have to keep from feeling envious when I see parents surrounded by a brood of ten, and would gladly welcome any other little blessings.

My prayers go out to all of the wonderful families here who try to live faithful to our Lord. You are an amazing group of women!

Diana August 2, 2010 - 12:12 pm

With our 5th nearly here, we are also accustomed to awful comments from the world as well as the church. Everyone thinks they are the first to ask us “Don’t you know what causes that?” My husband constantly gets asked if they are all his. We get starred at everywhere we go as if we are some sort of an anomaly.

Other things make us even more peculiar and not “fit in” even in our church, like homeschooling our children and not teaching them and letting them be exposed to certain things. We have just excepted the fact that we will not “fit in” anywhere, even in church or with our families and we will just be different (and I guess “weird”). But our consciences are clean that we are fulfilling the calling of God on our lives.

Michele August 2, 2010 - 12:37 pm

Where does free will fit in all this? I stopped after 2 children and a bout w/post partem depression. Thankful that God gave us free will and the wisdom to know when we were finished.

Word Warrior August 2, 2010 - 12:49 pm


As mentioned in the post, this isn’t a “splitting hairs” debate about “is it ever OK”…it is the addressing of an obviously serious problem where the people of God do not share the heart of God on the issue of having children. No one stands in judgement of why a particular person felt they should stop having children.

But the general consensus is not “free will”, believe me. The general consensus is “you’re a fruit cake if you don’t use birth control”. It is expected, not just accepted, and I say without apology, that I do believe that is contrary to what the Bible teaches and what Christians should be representing, in both their lives and their comments to others.

Regarding free will…I would challenge you to consider how free will fits into the Christian’s life where God has spoken. (Example: the Bible lays out wisdom regarding debt. We could use our “free will” to make decisions contrary to that wisdom, but there are consequences.)

Also, Jesus clearly left us an example…”Not MY will, but Thine be done”. Given that, we must find out what the will of God concerning life issues are. We must SEARCH for wisdom, as Scripture says, and not assume that we are just given wisdom.

I have a whole different post written already on the “God gives us wisdom” issue…it’s a lot deeper than what you might think. Stay tuned 😉

Christine August 2, 2010 - 1:32 pm


I was wondering the same thing; what happened to “free will?” The decision to have kids and how many kids to have is and should be a personal choice. I don’t believe one should be pressured by church, family, or friends to have more children, when the church, family and friends aren’t going to be the ones taking care of these children.

My husband and I have one child – a ten-month old daughter – and we planned that pregnancy. We may want to have one more later, and that’ll be our decision. Our decision to have a small family does not stem from a desire to have more money, bigger TV’s, more lavish vacations, more clothes, more material thing, as this article suggests. It stems from the fact that affording the necessities for one child is hard enough, especially on one income. When we decided to get pregnant, we were both making more money and thought our jobs were stable. I lost my job about a week before I found out I was pregnant. His job was union, and the work just stopped. Would we do it again, knowing what was about to happen with our finances? Yes, we would. I wouldn’t trade having my daughter for anything. But with things being as tight as they are now, I don’t want to bring another child into the equation right now.

This article seems to condemn judging those with big families. At the same time, it judges those with small families. How very hypocritical. I don’t judge those with big families. Both my parents come from families with five children. My husband is one of six kids. His family wants us to have many more kids, and his mom (Catholic) can’t understand why we’re using birth control. We say, “because we don’t want to get pregnant again yet.” It’s really that simple. I’ll never understand what is so wrong with wanting to choose the size of your family. It’s about free will. Or should the expression be, “free will, as long as everyone else approves?”

Jennifer August 2, 2010 - 2:11 pm

“The decision to have kids and how many kids to have is and should be a personal choice”

The key word here is “should”. I’ve seen both sides and the arrogance of humans to dictate others is astounding.

Word Warrior August 2, 2010 - 2:40 pm


Your comment,

“The decision to have kids and how many kids to have is and should be a personal choice.” probably best sums up the most common thoughts about the subject of children.

The question is, for a Christian, is that true, or does the Bible give us more direction than that?

I could write a book but I won’t. My challenge to you is simply to turn the issue inside out and be confident of your stance. Follow it biblically, logically, scientifically, naturally, and every other way.

Answer the hard questions:

-Is God the author of life?
-If so, does that change how much I am allowed to “control” the creation of it?
-Does Scripture contain wisdom for all of life’s choices?
-How does a Christian obtain this wisdom? To whom does he go?
-Does God approve of my “breaking” or misusing a design that He said was, “Very good”?
-If He created husband and wife because He “desires godly offspring” (Malachi 2), what am I saying if I refuse godly offspring?

You also said:

“At the same time, it judges those with small families.”

Perhaps you should read again or consider why you feel judged. The post doesn’t judge. The post contrasts the general attitude toward children with God’s stated attitude toward them.

As I said to Ana, if our attitude contradicts that from God’s Word, it is only natural that we “feel condemned”. But I’m not doing the condemning.

Margaret August 2, 2010 - 7:06 pm

I agree. I consider myself to have a small family (even though some seem to think 3 is *insane*). I did not pick up any judgement of small families whatsoever.

Judgement of attitudes that reject children and consider them burdens, sure. But that’s not about numbers. It’s about the heart.

Yesh Medicinebird November 28, 2010 - 3:58 am

The part I have a problem with is a reading of the bible that makes Christianity a fertility cult.
The argument was made that God is the author of life, who are we to stand in the way.
So, should everyone marry as soon as they reach child bearing age? Should a person without physical attraction to the other sex marry, have children, and glorify God. Or is there another way for them to be fruitful?
What are the fruits of the spirit? Why is not being open to being fruitful physically as bad? There are six billion people in this world. Man has been fruitful and multiplied. God needs something more from man now.

If there is no greater glory than God, there is nothing we can do to change that glory. We can’t affect God. We CAN affect people – teaching, building up, tearing down, judging, influencing etc… for better or worse. As this is our capacity, this is our responsibility.

Jennifer November 28, 2010 - 2:34 pm

You’ve hit a nail on the head, my friend. Many do turn the Bible into a fertility bank, the Christian life into a list, their own convictions into a measuring stick for everyone. And yes, some exhort exactly what you say; Nancy Campbell even said couples should start birthing right away even if they’re not ready. The flipside is, we do need to see children as blessings and not burdens. Balance, balance, balance..

wordwarrior November 28, 2010 - 5:37 pm


Again, careful with your thinking! You said: “Nancy Campbell even said couples should start birthing right away even if they’re not ready.”

First, quote Nancy Campbell so that you aren’t casting a slant at her simply from your own biased opinion. Nancy most likely said something more like, “it is natural and normal for couples to have babies as soon as they marry”, which is a true statement, not her opinion.

Let me offer you a parallel analagy to demonstrate how easily we can get our thinking turned upside down, causing us to “cast shadows” over people like Mrs. Campbell.

What if I said to you, around the age of 12, “Why are you going to start your menstrual cycles??? You aren’t ready!

Would that seem strange to you? You can now take a drug that will suppress your menstrual cycle for years. This seems wonderful to those who view that cycle as a “burden” or unnecessary, etc.

But it’s not NORMAL. I can bet that it will be, given enough time, and then those who choose not to take the drug will be thought strange.

It’s the question of whether or not girls should TAKE that drug that is the concerning one, NOT whether or not girls are “ready” to begin their cycles.

Same with having children. If you are ready to get married, then by a natural design (that God ordained) you are ready to have children. If an author emphasizes that point, why should she be vaillainzed? To suggest that it’s normal and natural for married couples to have children right away is NOT adding to Christianity or to anything the Bible has said. This is where we’ve done so much harm; because we don’t like this aspect, we throw around harsh words to bring those who are simply stating FACTS into question–which is slander to our fellow brothers and sisters.

Imagine someone “chiding” Eve for having children so quickly. The issue can be raised of “is it right or wrong to prevent children”. Let that be a viable discussion. But it’s dangerous ground to take jabs at someone who has simply stated a natural fact of life–that it is normal–and good–for married couples to bear children. Such borders on the questioning of God’s Creation design.

Jennifer November 28, 2010 - 7:05 pm

I respect your purpose here Kelly, but my opinion of birth control is that there is a need for it in this world. We’ve gotten many advances in science that we’ve never had before. Eve isn’t really a good example since she was not only the FIRST mother and obviously had to multiply hugely, but also because she lived in a time of relatively zero disease. Nancy Campbell said that both rich and poor are to have many children, that couples should start even if they are not financially secure; this IS adding to the Bible and it’s unwise, as well as potentially dangerous. That’s not villainizing her, but I do have zero patience for her words. I have indeed seen Christian thinking turned upside down by guilting people into putting fertility above more important things, and it all-including unhealthy women becoming pregnant-stems from thinking like this. Bleeding is something that MUST happen in a biological cycle; children are not. I’ve been increasingly watchful in which words to criticize, which writers/speakers to call up, but my opinion of Campbell’s doctrine remains the same. I’ve heard from someone who knows her that she’s incredibly sweet. She told me I’d love the woman, but hate her doctrine.

Word Warrior November 28, 2010 - 10:45 pm

Let me point out that your opinion is not grounded in Scripture, which should be our main focal point as we discuss these important areas. Just by one example, you said:

“Nancy Campbell said that both rich and poor are to have many children, that couples should start even if they are not financially secure;”

Your opinion states that it is unwise for a couple who isn’t “financially secure” to have babies. The Christian must ask, though, “Is this a Scriptural position, or a cultural one?”

The Bible gives specific examples of God *commanding* the Israelites to reproduce precisely in the midst of the most oppressive–financially, physically and emotionally–time in their lives. The Son of God, in fact, was born into an extremely poor family, demonstrating that “financial position” wasn’t of real concern to the Lord where it involves immortal souls.

Your opinion expressly contradicts that of God’s. Thus, your reasoning is problematic for the Christian who simply wants to do what she was created to do.

I understand your attempt at appealing to reason, and I don’t advocate throwing that completely to the wind. But we just have to be SO careful how we apply it and be honest about what God says, both through our bodies and through His Word, when it comes to preventing eternal souls from entering the world.

Jennifer November 29, 2010 - 1:26 am

Kelly, God told His people to do things that we would never do without direction STRAIGHT from Him all the time. You really think it’s generally a good idea for people with less than stable financial means to just start having babies? Many actually do, and their solution is clear: welfare. Except for the homeless in foreign countries, who bring little souls into their short-lived worlds. It’s certainly acceptable NOT to have kids in shaky circumstances, which Campbell doesn’t get. Nor does the world of legalism. How do we need to be careful about common sense? How are we telling others to be careful because they’d actually consider birth control when home conditions aren’t good? These eternal souls do not EXIST yet, but they’re treated by many as though they DO. They do not, and they do not deserve anything close to the consideration that the already existing parents and children do.

“Your opinion states that it is unwise for a couple who isn’t “financially secure” to have babies. The Christian must ask, though, “Is this a Scriptural position, or a cultural one?””

It’s a sensible one. What of the woman whose body is not up to making babies? Or at least not YET? Just tonight my mother and I saw a film set back in America’s pioneer days, in which a woman told her husband after her sixth child that she couldn’t birth anymore without dying, so they couldn’t be intimate anymore. I remarked right then what a blessing birth control is; imagine a couple having to abstain because the wife’s poor insides took such a beating that she couldn’t risk having another babe. This is an individual and private matter for the couple to decide on; what’s problematic is making what the body can do a rule as to what it must do. What’s problematic is creating a faith measuring stick against whether a woman wants babies right away or in unlimited number, making flesh and not spirit primary. All women are not created to have babies, and certainly not to have them right away no matter what state they’re living in.

wordwarrior November 28, 2010 - 5:24 pm


The careless use of the word “cult” doesn’t serve much except to make you suspicious. No one has written anything here regarding children that resembles “cult teaching” so you would do well to debate with a *real* argument rather than use emotional words.

Having said that, you didn’t make much sense in the rest of your comment. Nothing you said negates the fact that God is the one who creates life and ordains that married people generally reproduce. We are the ones who have gone in and completely altered His order–THAT should be the practice in question here.

Yesh Medicinebird December 5, 2010 - 6:47 am

No, it was not a careless use of the word “cult”. It was a carefully chosen word, used precisely how I meant it.

I didn’t realize that many who were to read my comment, looking to dismiss what I said, would take it to mean that I thought that their beliefs were false, unorthodox, or extremist. I apologize for giving an excuse to excuse the rest of what I said.

Cult. A great veneration of an ideal.

My use of the word cult -meant- to draw attention to the placing of reproduction as a higher ideal than other ideals that I was talking about – teaching, building up, etc… I in no way meant to connote extremism or apostasy, it didn’t even occur that what I wrote could be read that way.

gradchica August 14, 2011 - 12:43 pm

The choice isn’t “use birth control/get sterilized or have a ton of children”–which seems to be the false dichotomy I see within Christian circles, with option #1 seen as the “responsible” option.

God has given us the scientific knowledge to understand our fertility and use it in a way that respects fertility as a gift/naturally healthy state AND respect his wonderful gift of marital love: natural family planning. My husband–a dr.–and I have used natural fertility awareness methods to conceive our children and to postpone pregnancy when we were both still in school and without an income. The beauty of natural methods is that they allow for us to cooperate with God’s will in ways that artificially sever the unitive, loving aspect of the marital act from its naturally life-giving potential. We are always open to life, even if we aren’t proactively trying to get pregnant–we never close off the possibility that our love will result in a child.

Using NFP–and being surrounded by beautiful families of 4+ children–has changed our attitude toward children and increased our openness to having a larger family because we have to talk about making the decision to conceive each and every month. Both of us are involved and as circumstances change, we can adapt in ways that artificial birth control does not allow. Just a plug for a “third way”.

Margaret August 2, 2010 - 7:03 pm

Er…you have free will and continue to have free will. 😉 You have the ability to make any choice you want. God may or may not override those choices. However, the *ability* to make choices does not mean that every choice we make is necessarily the right one. But that is probably a subject for another day. :p

However, Kelly was addressing *attitudes*, firstly, so her post wasn’t intended to wound you or deal with the ethics of birth control. Please understand that most of us who are commenting resonated with this post very deeply because we have been just about commented to death about the “stupidity” of *our* choice to have more than the socially acceptable number of children.

Michael August 3, 2010 - 12:38 pm

Michele, you ask what happened to free will? Here is what happened:

The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

Jennifer August 3, 2010 - 1:01 pm

Nothing “happened” to free will, Michael. It’s still here, as hit and miss as ever.

Michael August 3, 2010 - 7:06 pm

Jennifer, you’re correct, it is still here. As to what “happened” to it, it got corrupted at the fall. Man can no longer choose to do good (Psalm 14) unless regenerated by the Holy Spirit (Gen 6:5, Jer. 17:9, Matt. 15:19, Eph. 4:17-19). And even after being regenerated we often let sin effect our “choices.”

Melissa Jeffers August 2, 2010 - 1:16 pm

(my .2 cents) = I personally don’t as a Christian believe in the English term “free-will”. I think that it is God’s will that should direct our paths. Also, as a current foster parent I will agree with the few posts on fostering a child. Not instead of having your own but in addition to having your own if the Lord wills. Foster care has blessed our life and in some cases leads to adoption. We have not had this experience yet but know several families where this has been the case. I would encourage anyone who is even remotely looking to care for another child that does not have the capability to have anymore biological children right now to look into foster care. http://www.alabamachild.org/ This is our agency and we have been so blessed by them.

Ana August 2, 2010 - 2:13 pm

I agree. Seems that a family with 3 kids isn’t ‘large’ enough around here.
What is wrong with having 3 kids? What if, after having 3… something happens?
Like uterine cancer. 5 years of praying. A hysterectomy.
Not every family is in the same place.
Don’t go around judging families for having only X numbers of kids….

Word Warrior August 2, 2010 - 2:30 pm


I find it interesting that you feel so “judged” when I went out of my way to say this wasn’t a debate about specific incidents (like you mentioned). The post addresses a GENERAL, misguided understanding about children in relation to what God says about them. If there is condemnation felt about that, I would heavily consider the source of it.

In short, the post contrasts what most Christians believe about children versus what the Bible says about children. There should be judgement in that if how you feel is contrary to what Scripture says.

Margaret August 2, 2010 - 7:08 pm

Ana, I have three too. Lost two more to miscarriage. I am not at all understanding why you feel this way about what Kelly wrote. Not at all.

The subject of accepting children has *nothing* to do with what number is “too little” and what is “enough”. God’s plan for all of us will be different, and that’s OK. It is the *heart* attitude of disdaining children that is disturbing.

Jennifer August 2, 2010 - 2:16 pm

I don’t think you understand the concept of free will, Melissa. It’s simply the presence of the ability to choose. It’s something that is, not something you either decide to have or you don’t.

“I thought the Christian concept of free will was in regards to humans being given free will, by God, to either accept or reject his gift of salvation though Jesus”

It’s far more than that: it’s which career to choose, whether to fight or flight, whether to choose Christianity or secularism. In short: choice. It was around long before Christ’s time.

Michael August 3, 2010 - 12:46 pm

Free will: the ability to choose sin A or sin B or sin C or sin D, etc., etc.

“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.” Prov. 21:21

Christine August 2, 2010 - 1:42 pm

Well, I have to say that I’m glad to read about so many other “freaky” families out there like mine. Six boys thus far, homeschooling, husband is in the Army, and we live in an RV BY CHOICE. I’m am so grateful that God demonstrates his amazing presence every day in my life because it’s out of mainstream. I’m grateful that we’ve stepped out of the world’s comfort zone so that with each blessing, I am not unaware of it. That makes it so much easier to minister and disciple my young men.

LucyT August 2, 2010 - 6:41 pm

I want to live in an RV but worry someone would turn me in for child neglect.Where do you park your RV?PUBLIC camp grounds or do you own land?

Rachel August 2, 2010 - 2:07 pm

In regards to the comments about ‘free will’… Perhaps I have it wrong, but I thought the Christian concept of free will was in regards to humans being given free will, by God, to either accept or reject his gift of salvation though Jesus.

Lydia M. August 2, 2010 - 2:40 pm

Thank you for posting this! I am married to my second (first in my eyes) husband. We have an interesting situation. My husband had a vasectomy after he and his first wife conceived #3. When they divorced and he met me, I was divorced and pregnant with my second child. He has been in our daughter’s life since before she was born. He’s an excellent, Godly husband who takes care of our family, adores us, and provides for us. My heart hurts because a “good” decision he made so long ago, no longer applies. We cannot afford a reversal, but I pray all the time that God’s will be done. Christ raised people from the dead. If it’s in His will for us to have another baby, then I firmly believe that He can overcome a surgery for a baby to be born! (That is my wish, but God may have other plans for our family!) To the other women replying… Keep the faith! Keep believing that God’s plan is good and right for you and that He wants only good things for you! God Bless you richly in your lives!

Chelle August 2, 2010 - 10:42 pm

Lydia, you might not have seen posts higher up in the response section, so I thought I’d let you know…
Check out http://www.blessedarrows.org . It’s a reversal funding ministry. That might be your answer to prayer for the cost of your husband’s VR.

Shari August 2, 2010 - 2:42 pm

It’s not always a lack of love or even longing that leads loving men and women to chose a small family. I think the terrible judgemental comments women with large families receive are appalling. I think God loves your fruitfulness. But I recently started praying about having more children and I feel very strongly that God wants me to be focussing a lot of love on other people and other people’s children. And having another baby would make it more difficult for me to give myself to others. I hurt over this revelation and yet I trust Jesus to know what is best for me and for His kingdom.

If we all loved each other the way Jesus intended neither a couple’s desire for unfettered procreation nor a quick vasectomy after baby #1 would affect the way we treat each other.

Word Warrior August 2, 2010 - 2:49 pm


“having another baby would make it more difficult for me to give myself to others.”

I don’t know how to say this because I want to be loving and gentle, but I think this is a really misguided idea, especially given the fact that God nowhere, ever, suggested preventing children for any reason. There again, I know some people do for extreme reasons, and that is something to which they alone must answer, but I guess comments like these are what makes MY heart hurt because as Christians I think we’ve been told the lie that we are in control of things we haven’t been given control of.

When God wished for women to stop having children in the Bible, He closed their wombs. Do we not serve a sovereign Lord? Is He so out of control that we have to do odd things to our natural design to overstep what He has naturally put in order? Is He telling you something that contradicts His Word?

A child doesn’t prevent one from “loving on and focusing on others”. I am praying you would reconsider.

Ginger August 2, 2010 - 8:59 pm

More children absolutely prevent one from “loving on and focusing on” *oneself*. Each child I have makes me more and more selfless. To God’s glory.

Michele August 3, 2010 - 11:12 am

WW, now are you judging Shari and saying that what she feels she heard from God is really not what she heard? Hmm, didn’t know God spoke to YOU about HER. (See Aug.2, 2:49pm)

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 11:50 am

Nope. What I’m saying is that RARELY does God say something to an individual that contradicts what He has already said in His Word. It’s our favorite “scape goat” (“God told me”), when we have to be so careful about what God does tell us versus what He has already said.

To make the point more obvious, I had a friend tell me that God told her she was to marry a certain man. Problem is, the man was married. If it made her feel better to think God had spoken, so be it. Doesn’t mean that He did.

Our problem is that we don’t believe God has anything to say about children and life and therefore we are free to “hear from Him” individually. I do think He speaks, on rare occasions, about things that seem contradictory to His Word. On VERY rare occasions, and usually to display an important lesson to those around.

Jennifer August 3, 2010 - 5:44 pm

Strange as Shari’s words may sound, I don’t think they contradict His word. We know people individually are meant to have different numbers of kids, some ceasing completely after a little while; many are called to be single to give themselves more to others. So if the latter and former are true, after some consideration, there’s no reason to assume Shari’s isn’t true.

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 5:52 pm

Depends on whether you think God is the one who opens and closes the womb. If He is, and he “wants” Shari to not have more children, why doesn’t He close her womb as He has so often for others? To suggest that He isn’t capable of regulating His design for the Kingdom and to make an assumption that seems to contradict what our bodies and the Bible already say about children seems very much like saying He isn’t in control and needs our help.

Jennifer August 3, 2010 - 6:36 pm

I don’t think it depends on that. Maybe He let her know so that if her womb does close, she won’t be alarmed or fight against it.

Jennifer August 3, 2010 - 7:23 pm

*sigh* All I know is that this is why a Christian author and one of my mentors said, “Don’t share what God says to you if it’s likely to cause confusion or dissension”.

What your friend told you really troubles me, Kelly. It’s possible God intended her to marry the man if he divorced, but telling her this AHEAD of time while the marriage is still on? Nope.

Mrs. Lady Sofia August 2, 2010 - 3:37 pm


As a woman who is still currently childless (not by choice), your words cut me deep like a knife because they are truth. I am just recently learning the issues and truth regarding the Domininon Mandate, and that God does indeed see children as a blessing (The Baby Conference cds do wonders for learning these truths :)). I wish that I had known these truths long before now.

I pray that no young married would delay or “wait until the right time,” to have children. If they wait too long, they may regret their choice. Ladies, don’t let anyone decieve you – being childless (on purpose, e.g., child-free) is not a blessing, nor is it “normal.”

~Mrs. Lady Sofia~

Word Warrior August 2, 2010 - 3:50 pm

Lady Sofia,

Big hugs to you. Thank you for sharing your heart.

It is your comment and many other heart-wrenching ones in this thread that makes me talk about these things.

When women comment that “I’m judging”, it almost takes me by surprise. My heart is so far from that! I talk about this subject because too few Christians do and because so many suffer from being told that the wisdom of God is “a personal choice”.

In the same way Dave Ramsey says hard things concerning wisdom and finance because he cares about people, that is why I talk about this. I have no desire to judge! I have no desire to defend my own personal position. I desire only that God’s people would reap the blessing of heeding the wisdom of Scripture.

Perhaps it’s because I see the far-reaching implications of how Christians treat the gift of children. I firmly believe that we are not seeing the Kingdom advance because we are under judgement for rejecting the first line of disciples God wants to give us. We reject “the heritage of the Lord” and then ask crazy questions like, “Why aren’t we seeing revival? Why is the world so crazy?”

It’s not the world. It’s us.

To me, that’s very serious and can’t go unspoken.

Kelly August 2, 2010 - 4:08 pm


I’m still stuck on the “God will forgive your vasectomy” part.

I am more than blessed to wake up every morning to a God that loves me, fills me with His grace and the freedom I have in Christ. On that note comments on this blog post are what make people run from the church.

There is freedom in Christ. Don’t let a numbers game fill your hearts with such anger.

-Off to take care of my twins.

Word Warrior August 2, 2010 - 5:28 pm


As I commented, you are completely dodging the real issue. No one suggests “a numbers game”. But concerning your comment:

“comments on this blog post are what make people run from the church.”

I would remind you that Jesus made people “run from the church”, so maybe it’s not the comments, but the rejection of truth.

“This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?…After this many of his disciples drew back and no longer went about with him.”

Michele August 3, 2010 - 11:19 am

Amen, Kelly. I saw it happen just yesterday.
To preface this blog with “…I’m not judging….” is not an open book to tell those of us who know in our heart of hearts, and have talked to God about it, that we don’t want a million children, that somehow we are not furthering His kingdom, but you all are is just painful and hurtful and downright judgemental. It’s this information, in this tone that pushes those far from Christ just a little farther b/c now they feel the judgement. If you want lots of kids, great for you. I don’t. But I’m no less of a Christ follower, and I’m not misinterpreting the Bible, and I’m not missing the TRUTH… which sets me free, by the way!
Please consider the far-from-God when blogging as misinterpretations go a LONG way, unfortunately

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 11:56 am

Some of your comments don’t make sense and I would guess it’s coming from the blind anger you’re feeling.

You seem to be missing every point.

It isn’t judging to speak about something that is openly displayed. This post is addressing the OPEN display of hatred toward growing families. Judging can only occur if I am guessing at the concealed intents of the hearts. You need to do some dictionary work. No one has mentioned anything about individuals limiting their family size; only the anti-life attitude that runs rampant in the church and reveals itself at every corner. You’re either one of them or you’re not. By the anger, I’m guessing you don’t like to be faced with the truth of Scripture, because that’s all we’ve done here.

Also, how is it helpful to the conversation to be so off topic? Nothing about the post is about “having a million children”. I would write the same one if I were barren. The outrageous tactics you are using does nothing but weaken your credibility and argument.

Discuss the issue at hand( Christians who don’t share the heart of God toward children and the Creator of life), or don’t waste your time.

Katie Grace August 2, 2010 - 4:17 pm

Thanks so much for continuing to tackle this issue. I see it as an attitude problem. If someone with 2 children (perfectly spaced), makes a comment like “you do know what causes that don’t you?”, I see that as showing me their heart (aka attitude) toward children. In other words, I must be stupid to consider having 3 under 3! Most comments are from Christians. It always amazes me that other blessings are praised yet people blessed with children are mocked!

My husband has a great answer to a few questions. “Do you know what causes that?” Answer: “Yep. God does.” People usually stare with their mouth open because it points out that God is the author of life.
“How do you afford to keep having them, especially so close together?” Answer: “We just don’t worry about it. If God gives us the blessing of a child, then he will give us the blessing of providing for the child.” This also seems to shock people for some reason!

Thanks for “saying the hard things” and making me think about why I believe what I believe.


Mrs. S August 2, 2010 - 4:28 pm

I am having a hard time seeing how Kelly is being judgemental and that it is a “numbers game.” It is the heart attitude of people in the church toward children that is being addressed here. People’s hearts are revealed when they speak about children. It is not a whoever dies with the most children wins competition!

It seems like when a Christian exposes an area where the Church may not be following scripture the knee jerk reaction is to call them judgemental (or legalistic).

Kelly August 2, 2010 - 5:03 pm

Lets start working on taking care of the widows and the orphans of this world before we let how many children we have and the comments of others be big enough of a discussion to have a blog post.

Word Warrior August 2, 2010 - 5:22 pm


You are sorely dodging the subject. To begin with, it’s not so flippant as “how many children one has”. That’s not at all what the post is about. It’s about how Christians feel toward the gift of life, the eternal souls that God desires to give His people. It borderlines heresy to toss it off so nonchalantly.

Furthermore, I suggest that our failure to care for widows and orphans directly followed our attitude of the devaluing of children. If it’s a burden to care for our own children, what on earth would make someone take on the “burden” of another?

It has been my experience, as I look around, that the churches and families who take to heart the practical caring of orphans and widows are those families who are open to life, believe that God always provides, and never considers caring for others a burden.

I would encourage you to take some time and contemplate how far-reaching the effects of our attitude of life and its Creator have on all of society and then tell me it’s “no big deal”. Its a huge deal.

Heidi July 28, 2015 - 12:23 pm

I Agree! I agree!
I cannot tell you how many of the most selfless families I know are large ones. Not all of them, mind you, but most of them. It will never cease to amaze me that it is those who are “busiest” that seem to be the most compassionate and helpful.

My husband always says, “If I need help I’ll have to ask the busiest person I know to get it.”

That’s how I am convinced that it’s an attitude issue. Those who have the most children(typically, not always) are the most selfless in my experience. Are they selfless because they have so many children, or do they have so many children because they are selfless? I have to say that I think it is neither and it is both. A heart for God is what will change our heart for children and for others. And I know that my own children have given me more of a heart for God.

Could it be, that this was part of His purpose in being fruitful?

Tara August 2, 2010 - 5:24 pm

I only have two children and ofter feel “envious” (for lack of a better word) of women with large families. In my mind, I planned for a larger family. My reality was that I didn’t have an easy time getting pregnant with either of my children and had difficult deliveries followed by post partum issues. Please don’t misunderstand, I’m incredibly thankful for the children I do have. Just know, sometimes when people give a second glance(or even a third) it’s not always with a judgemental heart that they are looking. Sometimes, it is with admiration of your family or their own moment of wishful thinking.

Word Warrior August 2, 2010 - 5:32 pm


A friend and I were talking about this (she was unable to conceive after 6 children and has had a tremendously hard time with it). But as you already know, and just so people understand where I stand, and because it’s not “a numbers game”, accepting the sovereignty of God can be hard both ways. My friend said she had to realize it was just as wrong for her to cling too much to wanting more children because that was still not trusting His sovereignty. I’m not saying you’re not, but just that I’m sure it must be difficult and yet there is peace in relinquishing control to the Giver of life. I hope you can find comfort in that.

Randi August 4, 2010 - 9:06 am

Word Warrior –
My husband and I were discussing this just last night. We were encouraging each other (as new Catholics) about how both ends of the spectrum of control-minded behavior are sinful and unhealthy and how it is far better to accept the babies as they come, with no ‘number game’ in mind. We should neither reject our fertility, nor should we have a grasping mentality, aiming for a specific number of children. Both attitudes reduce our children to accessories and strips them (in our minds, at least) of their humanity. I see you presenting a vision of sanity in marital intimacy and child-bearing. It is very challenging, when our world is so schizophrenic with regards to human sexuality and procreation. But you are presenting the Scriptures in a gentle manner, and I applaud your efforts. We need to have a return to sanity within Christianity, otherwise we will continue to look no different than the rest of the world. Are we not supposed to be a light in the darkness?

Word Warrior August 2, 2010 - 5:24 pm

I wanted to briefly address the “you’re judging” comment because I think it’s important for us to think rightly and discuss clearly.

To judge is to guess at the intentions of another’s heart.

This post wasn’t aimed at individual families or their intentions. It was a clear statement about the REVEALED state of the heart through the mouths of thousands of professing Christians. To discuss a reality, something “out on the table” cannot, by definition, be “judging”.

Raye Ann August 3, 2010 - 3:44 pm

I agree with the post. I did however find the tone somewhat judgmental. Because my sister also found it such and was hurt by it I took a closer look. I think the issue is that some of the wording is a little to all inclusive. A lot of that was clarified in your replies to the comments.

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 3:57 pm

Is there something specific I could change that would make it seem less so without changing the message?

cdmi August 2, 2010 - 6:57 pm

I have to say that I am saddened by some of the posts Kelly has received on here.

I am not sure where my thoughts lie on this issue. Unfortunately for me, it will be difficult for me to have children because of the medical issues I have (PCOS and others). In all honesty, my husband would be more comfortable with us adopting rather than me trying to conceive.

The reason why I am sadden by the people “offended” by Kelly’s post is that you are still making children a numbers game. You are upset because she has posted (on an open forum mind you), what is on her heart about this subject matter. And instead of reading the heart of the issue, you react personally when this was not a personal post to YOU but a post for everyone.

To me, Kelly’s post centers around two things….
1. That we do not look to God before we make decisions about procreation.

2. That we as a society are judgemental about how many children a family has whether it be to many children or two small.

Regardless of how you feel about this matter, what Kelly says is true, we must look to God for the answers to these personal decisions and include him in the conversation. If we dont, we are shutting out a person who loves us to the very depth of our being but most importantly has control over ALL of us.

Just my two cents

Margaret August 2, 2010 - 7:18 pm

Wanted to say about the “judging” thing…

I think it is a sad thing to “borrow” anger when you don’t have to. And in doing so, you are wrongly judging others, ironically enough. There are many things worthy of being angry about. But extrapolating someone’s words when they are said in love and gentleness and clearly and deliberately avoiding personal judgement, judgement of “numbers”, or law-making…seems to me rather like *looking* for a reason to be angry. Although I am well-aware of faults in fundamentalism and conservative Christianity, discussions like these make me wonder exactly how accurate all the bitter accusations are, since perspective and bias seem to play such a huge part in disagreements like this.

Kelly has said again and again it’s not about numbers. Numerous commenters who agree with her seem capable of understanding that, even though our families are much smaller than hers. How can I, mother of a “mere” three, agree with Kelly and not be injured by her post? Because her tender heart is *obvious* and she is *right* and she is *not* judging me for being “lacking” in some way.

dana August 2, 2010 - 8:05 pm

We have 11 children,, and I have found over the years that the people most shocked and disapproving of our family size were in the church. The anti-child attitude is prevelent in many churches across the US (we travel in an RV fulltime – we’ve been to MANY churches, all over!)

I used to get angry when we were blatantly ‘counted’, given disgusting looks, or had to listen to the ‘don’t you know what causes that?’. It doesn’t make me angry anymore. I feel sorry for and pray for that person(s) because they don’t have any idea what they are missing! We have had so many people come up to us in restaurants and tell us that they wished they would have had more children! Not once has anyone ever told us, in hindsight, that they had too many.

I learned years ago that I don’t need to know every detail, I don’t need to be in ‘control’; I do not know the future, so I cannot plan unerringly. Thankfully, my Father can direct my life perfectly. I don’t know what God’s ‘number’ for our family may be, but I do know that I need to have the right attitude towards accepting His blessings no matter the ‘number’.

Lena August 2, 2010 - 9:56 pm

Thank you Kelly for being brave and honest. When our heart is set on pleasing God, and tries to find the truth in his word, then we as mothers do not feel judged. In Jesus there is pure love, pure bliss, no matter how big your family is. As long as we trust HIM to guide us, and not our will by His may be, as long as we believe the truth and not a lie… then there is nothing to be ashamed of. May God bless you and your family, may He give you strength and wisdom to guide your precious children that one day they may follow in your footsteps. 🙂

Hayley Ferguson August 2, 2010 - 11:03 pm

I loved this, thank you Kelly. We just found out that we’re expecting our ninth blessing early next year (not quite sure of exact date.) Our first son (9yo) is “expecting twins.” He was telling an old friend when I last took the children shopping. He prayed for it when we all started to suspect that “mummy might be having another baby” (I thought it was so sweet.) On a side note, it looks like the Lord may be about to bless our family with a 12 seater mini-bus (we currently take 2 cars everywhere…we don’t get out a lot…I don’t mind I like being at home.) Anyway, what you said resonates with me as well. So many times we felt like we needed help in how to raise our large family. When asking the church leadership we were always told “there’s something you can do about that you know” and “you can always send the children to school.” I know they are only trying to be helpful but if the birth-control issue is sorted in every Christians mind (which more-and-more should be the mind of Christ) then the help would be more well, helpful. Keep going “girlfriend”, I like your style. We need more old time Biblical preaching.

Lynn August 2, 2010 - 11:11 pm

Good post. We Christians need to examine ourselves and ask the question, “Are we really proLIFE, or just anti-abortion?”

Tammy August 3, 2010 - 12:16 am

I was 30 when i had my 3rd child..the little girl after two boys we wanted. Then because of lack of the understanding about the blessing of children and my husbands age and the tainted mindset growing up where kids were a burden, I chose to have my tubes tied. Soon after I longed for more children and for yrs my heart broke knowing I made the wrong choice. I cherish my children (and my three older step children and 5 step grandchildren) and God has filled that space with “foster” children who have been in and out of our lives. I am now 40 with 6 kids (btw my husband reunited with his 3 kids 2 yrs ago! PTL! we are a part of their lives now) The reason i share this is so if some couple is leaning toward getting their tubes tied please pray first and let God lead you. We let culture lead us and it wasnt the correct way to go.

The illogical argument for playing God « South of the Fork August 3, 2010 - 8:09 am

[…] August 3, 2010 // 0 Yesterday I shared a post on facebook from Generation Cedar titled, “We don’t love children, we love drywall.” I truly did expect to start some thought-provoking conversation among my friends. But it […]

Sara August 3, 2010 - 8:59 am

Thank you! We nearly had a vasectomy after our third child, but God sent a prayer warrior into our lives. I happened to mention to a friend’s mother that we were considering vasectomy (ask me why? I would NEVER just happen to mention that to someone I don’t know well, but God knew I needed that moment of confession!) She gently shared her own trials after vasectomy and asked me to make this a prayerful and researched decision. She asked me to look through the bibles references to children to see God’s heart on the matter and told me how to approach my husband with my findings. The fact that she showed me how to disagree with him and do so respectfully, means so much. She helped me to allow him to lead our family, even in our disagreement. She also prayed with me during that phone conversation and after. We have gone on to have two more children (for a healthy total of 5 so far!)

Comments in public? Oh yes, we get those. Some are negative, but a lot more are positive. As people see me, week after week, buying groceries with my crew, frequenting the Y and other places, they see how our family works. They see the love, care, respect, etc. that our children have. They also see my children misbehave and how I handle it (sometimes this is good, sometimes not so much!) Lately, the comments have been almost universally positive, not sure why exactly. However, I also have been able to witness to women and men who want to ask me questions about how I manage my blessings, why do I have so many and such. What a blessing that is, to be a positive image of a large Christian homeschooling family. I can honestly tell these people that the good behavior my children show, is all God. I know I could not make my children that wonderful!

I think God will not judge us on the number of children we have, but rather on our hearts’ attitude towards children in general, those that we grow in our womb and those that the Lord places in our lives in other ways. As far as other people judging, don’t worry yourselves with whether or not someone is being judgemental or legalistic. If you know you are living your life as God calls you to then the judgement and legalism of others is simply their problem and something God will adress with them when the time comes. I find it fairly easy to smile and ignore the comments, knowing I am where God would have me be.

Jenn August 3, 2010 - 10:02 am

Thank you, Kelly, for your encouraging words. Over the past year, our family has gone through quite a transformation of heart! After nearly losing my husband and the following time of healing and regrouping, God drove home in us this very issue. He alone is the author of life and He alone knows our days and hours. In June of this year, we had DH’s vasectomy reversed, simply saying to God, ‘ we place ourselves wholly in your hand, every aspect of our life’ Please pray with us that God will open my womb, it had been 10 years since his initial V, but God is not in the numbers and % game! Our 3 children, 14, 12, & 10 are very excited about a future with littles and not at all hesitant to share their space! ( we have a pretty small house & 1 bathroom!)
May God bless you for speaking in truth and love.

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Sarah August 3, 2010 - 11:07 am

We have a 2 yr. old, and in Nov. 2009 lost a baby in a miscarriage and another in March 2010 in an ectopic pregnancy. We found out we were pregnant again in June, only to have the doctor tell us we were miscarrying again based on bloodwork results. When our neighbors, who are Christians and knew of our previous losses found out about it the father actually said, “When are you going to stop trying?”. My wonderful husband said we were going to trust God in His sovereignty to determine that for us, and that we were grateful to have so many children in heaven. We have since found out that the diagnosis of miscarriage was a misdiagnosis, and are currently pregnant with a seemingly healthy baby that has had a good heartrate via ultrasound ever since, and we praise God that we didn’t “stop trying”, but have allowed Him to both bless us with a pregnancy and for Him to glorified in this child’s existence against all odds! Thank you for your article, and I pray that more Christians would embrace the blessing of parenthood instead of treating it like a disease to be prevented, treated, or controlled. Love in Christ!

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 11:33 am


Praise God! You mentioned two things…one, that you were grateful to have so many in heaven. This was one of the profound thoughts Doug Phillips shared at the Baby Conference…that a mother is blessed to be chosen to usher another life into Heaven, though it hurts on this side.

Also, the man’s comment: “Why don’t you ‘stop trying’?” It so revealing of the very incorrect understanding that we have about children. It is natural to conceive when one is married. It is the prevention that is unnatural. The idea that we can *make children* is a false one. We can’t “try” to have babies; we can only try NOT to.

Amy August 5, 2010 - 9:10 pm

Do you and your husband have intimate relations every night? I only ask, because by your belief and assertions, it would be a SIN for the two of you not to — unless of course it is becuase you have agreed to “deprive on another” for a season of prayer. Again, by NOT having relations EVERY NIGHT, you are (by your account) sinning because you are “preventing” the conception of a child. And….God is the only one who should do that…right?

(I realize asking you about your intimacy with your husband that I am breeching a private issue, but really, that is all that is going on in the rest of this line, too. Conceiving a child is an act of intimacy between a man and his wife, and to discuss this in open forum….well, 100 years ago this would be considered “shameful.”)

Connie August 3, 2010 - 1:33 pm

I think the subject of personal giftedness was completely ignored in this conversation. The Lord has graciously given each of us a ‘gift” to use to honor Him and grow His kingdom. The gifts are as diverse and far reaching as He is. In time, our walk with Him will reflect a portion of each of His gifts. That being said, at childbearing years not everyone is gifted with enough patience, perserverence, mercy, hospitality, teaching, or discernment to adaquately love, guide, direct, participate with on a daily basis multiple children so that, at the end of the day, each child has received the love, guidence and nurturing necessary to grow into what God has created him/her to be.
The “free will” that seemed to draw so much controversy is actually a statement that I have recognized my “gift”.

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 1:46 pm


With all due respect, you are not comparing apples to apples. Fertility IS a gift, because not all women can bear children. And as such, we are to use the gift He has given; I see no place in Scripture where rejecting the gift of life is an option.

Your reasoning is sorely presumptuous; Moses said he was in no way cut out for the task God gave him either, but God could have really cared less about whether He had all the right qualities. He chose a weak man on purpose, so that His glory may be revealed. God repeatedly chooses the weak to confound the wise, so I don’t see grounds for interfering with God’s design because “He didn’t know I couldn’t handle it”. (I wrote about this once: Motherhood, Moses, and the Beauty of Broken Vessels

To tamper with the sacredness of life based on our own assessment of qualification is an insult, at best, to our Creator who is the One who gives it. It is expressly through children that so many women attest to having been molded more into His image and having their undesirable traits chiseled away by the selflessness motherhood calls one to.

Don’t confuse the gifts of the Spirit with the sovereignty of God and the creation of life! We are simply not qualified to take over His job.

I am hearing in these kinds of comments the underlying similarity: we don’t really believe that the creation of life belongs to God.

That’s the point I would like to challenge you to really dig in to.

By the way, if patience was a qualification for motherhood, I would be childless.

Amanda August 3, 2010 - 1:48 pm

So how do you prayerfully approach this issue with a husband who does not want an open womb? We’ve been married for nearly a year now and despite my growing interest in giving God control over our family, my husband remains firm that we cannot afford any children right now, next year or probably in the next five years. I’ve brought forth many of the points made here by Kelly in my discussions, but to no avail. It should be noted that we’re new Christians, so this wasn’t an issue when we first got married, but as I walk with the Lord this issue is pressing more and more on me. Any thoughts?

Krysten August 4, 2010 - 6:56 am

That sounds so familiar! I remember thinking those same things.

I had one child. Then I used birth control until I had another one. Then we lost a baby pretty far into a pregnancy, and were told by the doctors, “You need to not get pregnant for two months.” So I scoured the Bible, trying to find the form of birth control that God wanted me to use. That was how I realized that my attitude about children was wrong. (Maybe you could ask him to search out the scriptures, so that you are both doing what God wants you to do…?)

Telling my husband that I didn’t think we were supposed to use birth control was hard. He looked at me like I was nuts. For a while, I just put the whole thing in his hands… telling him that I wouldn’t object if he wanted to wear a condom. But after time and prayer… he now says what I say: We will have whatever children God wants us to have.

I would encourage you to pray, pray, pray. Maybe pray this verse: “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turns it wherever he will.” (Proverbs 21:1) Sometimes I write on my hand, just a letter or two, and when I see it, it reminds me to pray again, pushing me into an attitude of prayer all day long. If you get to read this, please know that I have prayed for you, too. ((hugs))

Tabitha August 3, 2010 - 2:29 pm

I love large families. I completely understand why you wish to not be insulted for having been blessed with many children. I understand the desire to have a large family.

However as a mother of a small family I see no need for you to be insulting to those of us to who have been greatly blessed by our children but not with the same number as you. I love my children and all children greatly. I DON’T prefer money and fancy things and don’t need anyone implying that I should feel guilty for having two delightful blessings in my life.

I hold nothing against anyone with a large family. Why an entire article condemning those with small families as sinful child haters.

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 2:36 pm

If you make the accusation, provide the proof. Quote me where I “condemned those with small families as sinful child haters”. I said nothing of the sort. You either didn’t read the post or are so blinded by anger you are lashing out. I specifically addressed ONLY the attitude that exists among Christians who don’t love children. That doesn’t mean all of them, since I would necessarily condemn myself if it did ??

I didn’t say anything that should make you feel guilty unless you don’t agree with what the Bible says about life.

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 2:54 pm


To offer you a clearer angle of the posts’ intent, and how I think you’ve misrepresented it, imagine I had addressed “the prevailing belief among Christians that premarital sex is OK”, and went on to defend that position biblically.

By calling out a wrong attitude shared by many Christians, doesn’t, by default, condemn every Christian. Only those guilty of the offense should feel offended by it.

Conversely, any Christian who holds to an understanding of biblical truth in that area should be in agreement and sharing the responsibility of speaking the truth on the issue.

Tabitha August 3, 2010 - 4:44 pm

Not the same at all the scripture makes clear commandments that we MUST save ourselves only to our spouse it does not say I MUST HAVE lots of children, It says be fruitful and multiply I have to do so further would risk taking my children’s mother from them but even if that were not the case. I don’t agree with your primes. The scriptures you list are scriptures espousing the blessings the Lord brings down. Those who voluntarily choose to limit the number of children they have may be denying themselves many great blessings but they are not violating the commandments of GOD.

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 5:00 pm

I continue to offer my apology to you as I would like to discuss this free from raw emotion and with the understanding that I’m not making a personal attack on you. I think debate is good; I used to hold the exact same view as you did, and as you might imagine 😉 was pretty adamant about my position. But through careful seeking and lots of discussions like these, I came to see life from a different viewpoint. Also, these discussions are visible to others which makes them beneficial.

Answer this questions: based on Scripture, who creates life? and Do we have authority to TAKE life? There are some really good reasons for doing so.

Tabitha August 3, 2010 - 5:20 pm

There is no need to continue to apologies to me the above post was written before reading your post below.

I do disagree with certain premises and don’t mind discussing them but as I have said I DO understand the judgmental attitude you are trying to respond to in the blog. My response is not in anyway a defence of such thinking or behavior and YES it is unemotional response.

Tabitha August 3, 2010 - 5:29 pm

I am sorry I let emotion do my talking.

Tabitha August 3, 2010 - 5:38 pm

“Do we have authority to TAKE life”

Excuse me!! trying not to overreact here.

But we are not taking life. I would agree in the case of abortion but not avoiding conception.

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 5:43 pm

(We may have to move this thread down.) You don’t have to overreact 😉 I’m not insinuating by that question that taking and preventing life are the same thing; but it is a question in a line of reasoning that must be answered.

My next question is, why don’t we have the authority to take life? Besides “thou shalt not kill”.

Tabitha August 3, 2010 - 6:10 pm

I’m following you I think. But you are right the reply to reply is going to drive someone nuts.

Tabitha August 3, 2010 - 4:25 pm

Oh fine laugh at me. I am HURT you say you speak only of an attitude of those who question your beielif and make hurtful comments.

You say very clearly those of us without a large number of children are like that because we ignore God’s direction and do not value children or share the heart of GOD.

“I’m not talking here of splitting hairs over when and if it’s ever OK to prevent children; we’re way beyond that. I’m asking, “do we share the heart of God about children or don’t we”? ”

Implication of this is. Those of use who have or do use any method of control do NOT share the heart of God. That we don’t value children or families or that we value things more.

I know that you don’t wish to discuss individual cases weather it’s ever ok but that in itself says that you think I am wrong and YOU are right just as those who judge you make harsh and hurtful comments.

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 4:36 pm

I’m sorry you’re hurt. I don’t mean to hurt you. Truly. I still see where you are taking a statement intended toward a large number of Christians who unapologetically tell me, “You have too many children” and applying it to your personal choice. That wasn’t the intent of the post.

Pastors have counseled numerous couples to “use their brains”, comment after comment like, “You’re crazy!” and the other ones I’ve mentioned–these are VERY popular attitudes and from where I stand, run rampant among Christians.

This post is about calling out that wrong attitude. Not telling families with 2 children that they don’t love children.

The only question the posts asks is “What does God say about children and do those of us who claim to follow Him mirror His thoughts?”

Generally, we don’t. That’s a fact. I know…I see it, hear it everywhere I go. Especially in church crowds. I think it needs to be addressed…in a big way. Perhaps if you could see the blatant anti-child attitude, which I believe could only be possible with the wide-spread acceptance of birth control, I think you would understand much better where I’m coming from.

I’m not talking from a personal defense about “my beliefs”. I’m defending the sacredness of life that many Christians trample on. That’s why I get a little straightforward.

My apologies, again to you for your hurt.

Tabitha August 3, 2010 - 5:02 pm

“Perhaps if you could see the blatant anti-child attitude, which I believe could only be possible with the wide-spread acceptance of birth control, I think you would understand much better where I’m coming from.”

I do and as I said I completely understand why you object to judgmental the way your families are treated. Maybe you are not seeing the post from my perspective.

Word Warrior August 3, 2010 - 5:25 pm


Actually, I’ve just been reminded why this issue is so complicated and worthy of serious consideration.

I addressed an anti-pro-creation attitude in the church which I believe expressly contradicts Scripture. (If we agree on nothing else, surely we agree that where the Bible says, “Blessed is the man whose quiver is FULL of them!” Christians should be saying the same thing, not, “Don’t you know how to stop that?”)

So in addressing this very real issue, you and many others, no doubt, were personally offended.

I have always said that this issue is so important because you can’t hold both positions easily in the same hands. That is, one position seems to necessarily oppose the other. This very fact is what caused me to really ponder my former position.

If the wide-spread acceptance of BC is OK for believers, why are they so opposed (in general) to those who don’t use it? And why are they so offended when we defend the biblical position of the fruitful womb?

It’s as if the two positions cannot abide one another.

That gives me serious reason for pause. Two diametrically opposed positions on LIFE cannot both be right, can they?

This has bothered me the most of the whole controversy.

jen in AL August 4, 2010 - 8:12 am

Exactly! I think it becomes very hard to truly believe in what God says about children and at the same time be pro birth control. Interesting… thanks again for posting this and for your clear responses to the comments! ((hugs))jen in al

Amy August 5, 2010 - 9:21 pm

It seems to me that this post is mostly about:
Kelly and other moms of large families letting everyone in the Christian community know that they are sick and tired of being challenged, ridiculed, disdained, questioned and persecuted for their belief that God is the author of Life and will embrace the children He gives them as blessings.

And to that I say:
Deal with it and move on. If you truly beleive that this is TRUTH and are going to LIVE out your life according to this TRUTH…..then get thick skin and move on. WHY oh WHY so MANY posts after posts after posts after posts vindicating and defending and proclaiming your position? It’s exhausting! And frakly, it’s the reason people assume you are judgemental. You just won’t get off the platform! We get it! You believe what you beleive. Move on. Trust me…..anyone who shows up here who is not already on THE SAME page that you are on is NOT going to be persuaded in a different direction. This is NOT an encouragement blog. It’s an “I believe what I believe and I am going to tell you all about it and if you don’t like it I will just beat it like a dead horse until you quit coming back” blog.

(Of course it is your blog and if you want to blog exhaustively about the pain you endure from the ridicule of your large family that is yoru perogitive. Folks like me should just move on:-))

Word Warrior August 5, 2010 - 9:43 pm


(Why didn’t you post at the bottom?)

I’m glad you acknowledged what I was thinking about the “move on” part.

It’s unthinkable that my posts could aggravate you to the point of yelling at me because you hate the topics and “are exhausted” from reading them. I mean that’s almost hilarious.

But, you’re also wrong on two accounts.

While true, it’s frustrating that large families get ridiculed from “brothers and sisters” in Christ, the issue is not “my hurt”; it’s that I feel, unmistakably, the same as you feel the sky is blue, that Christians don’t, in general, share a Scriptural view of children and that one error has HUGE implications for the body of Christ. That is why I blog about and that alone. Over and over.

Secondly, you suggest that “I’m never going to change anyone’s mind”. You would feel embarrassed to have said that if you could see my inbox. For three years I’ve received emails from wives and husbands who said articles I’ve written pricked their hearts to search or caused them to begin on a journey of seeking truth in this matter and had their heart completely changed. Email after email urges me to “keep writing about this”.

So my best advice to you is to drink a glass of wine and scoot on over to another blog.

I will never stop speaking the Word of God and urging fellow Christians to seek truth about the life from His hand. It is our job–my job and your job if you are a Christian. In as much as we believe what the Bible says and don’t speak that word, we will give an account.

Amy August 5, 2010 - 10:07 pm

I don’t know why I didn’t post at the bottom…these thoughts ocurred to me after reading this thread….? Anyway,

I really wasn’t yelling….at all. I actually typed with a smile…kind of toungue and cheak-like….but I know you feel more validated to beleive that you have been yelled at. That’s okay.

Sorry about the assumption that you won’t change minds. I suppose that there are some out there whose minds were changed. Perhaps a sober reaading of Romans 14-16 and 1 Corinthians 6-10 would help with this issue.

And lastly, I WOULD LOVE a good glass of wine, but I just have not found a red that I really like yet. Any suggestions?

I am pretty sure I did not say I hated the topics….? Nope. Didn’t say that.

And finally…..the “if you are a Christian” comment does make me mad. Becuase after reading on and off here for a while…this is your default: If you don’t beleive and teach and preach like me — you may not be a Christian.


Jennifer August 5, 2010 - 10:17 pm

Amy, I think Kelly meant that if you’re a Christian you’ll never stop speaking the Bible.

Word Warrior August 6, 2010 - 7:30 am


There is nothing that should “make you sad or mad” about my statement, “if you are a Christian”. (Sorry that it offended–I don’t offend on purpose. Seems that often readers here will extract offense no matter what I say.) I have thousands of readers, many of whom are not Christians. What reason do I have to assume you are or you’re not with no evidence in your comment? Particularly when the comments are so biting. That was in no way meant as an insult or sideways jab. It would be silly to tell a non-Christian that her job was to “speak God’s Word”, so the qualifier seemed perfectly needed.

Mrs. Parunak August 3, 2010 - 6:10 pm

Wow! This one got a response! I just wanted to add a hearty AMEN. What a brilliant post. Thank you!

crystal August 4, 2010 - 3:51 am

in reponse to birth control not the same as ‘taking’ life.
most people are unaware that the majority of birth control meathods
being practiced have abortafacient consequences.
soooo, actually in many cases, ‘preventing’ and ‘taking’ are one in the same. 🙂

jen in AL August 4, 2010 - 8:14 am

Very true. a careful read of the material about most birth control methods confirms that. blessings, jen in al

Krysten August 4, 2010 - 6:41 am

The funny thing is, even when you try to NOT make it an issue, people will turn it into one. When I walk through the hallway of my church with my 9 children, people who are taking birth control feel judged, even when I haven’t said a word. It’s as though the very presence of my kids is saying something about my life. (Shouldn’t our lives say something about Him when we aren’t saying anything?) Then I have to deal with people who want to tell me when I’m wrong, when they have never even asked me what my position is! I want to scream things like, “Who said sex is only for procreation? Not me!” Or when I get to the checkout at the grocery store, and the cashier sees the kids and asks for my EBT card, when I have CASH! I want to yell, “No, I don’t have food stamps!”

So here’s the thing: I don’t judge people for having small families. We don’t always know why. What if they really want a third child, but have not been able to conceive? What if God has filled their quiver at two, like Issac?

People who don’t understand our hearts think we are out there busting down walls, trying desperately to keep having babies. (Can I say that I have tremendous respect for women who do pursue life, as Deuteronomy 30:11 says? It’s just not what we have been doing, even though I do feel like we are still choosing life.) There’s a peace that came into our relationship when we ditched the birth control. When we said, “Okay God. Your will, not ours.” If we have more kids, we will praise Him. If we don’t, we will praise Him. And regardless, I can say with confidence that if I lost my uterus tomorrow, I have still not said “no” to God, and that I have had the children that He wanted me to have. But I cannot tell you the number of older women who have held my babies, cuddled them closely, and whispered to me, “We could’ve had one more. I wish we’d have had one more.”
I didn’t have 9 kids… I had one. Then I had one. Then I adopted a foster child. Then I had one. Then I had one. Then I had one… all up to the twins two years ago. All along, I’ve had to listen to, “Doesn’t God want us to use our brains?” Or, “Don’t you think we have free will?”
I have learned that free will is not the freedom to do whatever I want, as long as it is not directly prohibited in the Bible. Rather, free will to a Christian is this: the freedom to be as much like Jesus as possible!
Even now, people I don’t even know ask me if I know what causes that. 😛 In my church, the constant question is, “Are you done?”
My answer is pretty simple: God only knows! 😉 Like Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them…” The more kids He gives us, the more we can try to raise them for His glory!

jen in AL August 4, 2010 - 8:20 am

AMen! I really do think the “our presence is offensive” point is accurate. this applies in so many areas. We are to stand out, be different, be that city on a hill. we definitely say a lot without saying a word. that is, all of us do. begs the question: What do people see when they see me, my family, my life? blessings to you and your family, jen in al

Gayle August 4, 2010 - 12:00 pm

I continually get the same response when anyone finds out that we homeschool. It’s almost like they immediately go on the defensive, as if our choice of schooling is instantly condemning to them. Sad, really… (talk about judgement!)

Erica August 4, 2010 - 9:09 am

Amen!! I don’t particular have anything else to add. There are a wide range of responses already. Thank you for sharing your passion 🙂

Patrice August 4, 2010 - 11:54 am

(Sorry in advance for the length, but I really need to express my thoughts.) You’d never know it to look at our family (God has blessed us with 6 biological and 3 adopted children), but for almost the entire 23 years of our marriage, my husband and I have wrestled with this same populist Christian attitudes of not valuing each and every life God chooses to create, and wanting to be in control of our family size. When we first got married we never openly talked about how many children we wanted, but in the back of both of our minds, I suppose we were hoping for that “perfect” number of 3. Enough so we felt blessed, but not so many we felt overwhelmed. 😉

After 15 months of infertility, we were reaching the point of desperation when God suddenly opened my womb and our first child was conceived. We felt so very blessed, but knew we wanted more, so we were ecstatic when we unexpectedly got pregnant again when our baby was only 8 months old. But when more and more babies starting coming nearly on top of each other with almost no effort on our part, we struggled….a LOT. I cried when I found out I was pregnant with # 3…baby # 2 was only 11 months old…but thankfully God shocked me out of my despondence when the nurse who had performed the pregnancy test saw my tears and suggested I had “options”. Ummm, NOT! 🙂 After our first daughter was born our family felt “complete” and we declared to God and anyone else who was interested that we were done. So when I found out I was pregnant with baby # 4 on our 6th anniversary, I cried for months until the Lord opened my heart to His new blessing during a private prayer meeting with concerned friends. And indeed, what a beautiful blessing our new baby girl was to us! We thought, surely NOW God was done…we had the “perfect” family of 2 boys and 2 girls! But then word of baby # 5 on the way came the same month as my father’s terminal cancer diagnosis. Not that this was our baby’s only purpose in life, but I personally believe God knew I needed to nurture the promise of LIFE as I was facing the imminent death of my father. She truly was a blessing that helped keep me out of the pits of despair after my father’s passing, just two months before her birth. When she was 21 months old we finally surrendered and realized that God was truly in control….baby # 6 had been conceived during the most infertile time of my cycle. 😉

Unfortunately, I developed pre-eclampsia during the last month of that pregnancy, and after our son’s birth, my (Christian) doctor put his foot down and said, “NO MORE BABIES!” I was nearly 40 at the time and concerned about what might happen if I became pregnant again, not to mention the fact that now we *really* had the perfect family of 3 boys and 3 girls, so we scheduled a vasectomy a few months later. Funny thing though…we never felt God’s peace about our decision, and we both experienced a lot of guilt for not trusting God in this area.

A few years later while listening to Ken Ham speak at our state homeschool convention, we felt the Lord’s call to continue adding to our family through adoption, and over the next 6 years, we adopted three babies with Down syndrome. Not that this decision came easy…nothing could be further from the truth. Each time the Holy Spirit nudged us and waited for our “yes”, we wrestled with surrendering to God’s plan for our family. Each of those three times we eventually said yes, and the Lord blessed our obedience and trust in His perfect plan for our lives by giving us three beautiful babies to love & cherish.

You’d think that after being blessed with nine beautiful children we would have “got it”, but honestly, we still struggle with these same questions today. When will our obedience be “enough”? Can we trust Him to not give us more than we can handle? If He called us to adopt again would we have the courage to say yes? And on and on and on. I have recently become very convicted about all of these negative thoughts and attitudes I have allowed to take root in my heart, but I haven’t said anything to my husband, because he is very adamant that we are d-o-n-e, DONE. In his mind, we’re in our 50’s now and we’ve done enough. But I still wonder, is *God* done? I honestly don’t know, but I *do* know our attitude isn’t right.

There aren’t any easy answers to my questions, but your inspiring words have given me a lot to think and pray about today.


Word Warrior August 4, 2010 - 12:11 pm


Your story and your transparency blessed me to tears.

Jennifer August 4, 2010 - 5:43 pm

Patrice, I’m so glad you welcomed more children without risking your body’s safety, as some would have you do.

“Not that this was our baby’s only purpose in life, but I personally believe God knew I needed to nurture the promise of LIFE as I was facing the imminent death of my father”

That’s exactly what happened to my mom: last year our dog and her sister (both best friends to everyone in our family) died of cancer. Shortly before my aunt died, my sister had her baby and my mother became a grandmother. This has been one of the strongest things holding her together. And the rest of us, for that matter 🙂

20 Things I’ve Learned This Week « Paths of Wrighteousness August 4, 2010 - 2:07 pm

[…] This lady has been reading my mind, and I wish I could say it as well as she […]

Kelly (not op) August 4, 2010 - 3:18 pm

Goodness I was away busy and look what responses!

Being raised Christian since birth in a very conservative church I understand where this post is coming from. I respect where this post is coming from

I however don’t respect that if my husband and I were to agree together to not have any more children and take a step to do (vasectomy) that according to these responses would be against God.

We are hoping to go into full time ministry in a different county, in the jungle between Costa Rica and Panama. We would BOTH like to do this. If we were to have more children it would be my husband in ministry and me at home. We BOTH want to do ministry not me at home with little ones. Yes, children are raised in far off countries, they are born in shacks. That is not what I am talking about. I am referring to my ability to be able to give, when having a young child at home will be next to nothing.

God will look at our hearts. Our intentions. He *alone*. If our intentions were to have a small family so we could have more stuff and go on fancy vacations. Then yes, we would be wrong. It is not so please do not say God will forgive us if we do have a vasectomy.

Your post and the majority of your readers are no more right by saying having a small family (or no children at all) is wrong than someone saying having a large family is wrong. If we were ALL truly living by faith there would be no poverty. We would freely give what is not ours to begin with but I don’t see that happening.

wordwarrior August 4, 2010 - 3:33 pm


This is a line of reasoning I have heard many times before (pastors, my parents who ran a foster home, all types of people who work in ministry).

While I respect your comment, this sentence reveals the very attitude I desire to overturn among Christians.

You said:

“I am referring to my ability to be able to give, when having a young child at home will be next to nothing.”

In essence, to stop having children in order to “better serve” somewhere else reveals that we put a higher value on the “somewhere/something else” than we do on “the mission field of children”.

You even said, without realizing it, that “giving to a child–a disciple, mind you–is “next to nothing”.

I can’t believe God would expect us to minister in a way that requires us to overstep what He has created and refuse the heritage of His hand. Again, in his sovereignty, if His purpose is to have you focus without children, He will close your womb.

If we keep digging to the heart of the issue, we find that God ordains life, He creates life, He has spoken about what we are to do with our fertility. The simple command “be fruitful and multiply” is easy to dismiss. But if someone said, “Go to the end of the road and turn right”, you would know without explanation NOT to turn left.

I hope you think deeply about that for a while.

I couldn’t find the article, but I’ve written before on the powerful “mission field” God has already given Christians and how to abdicate that role for ANYTHING else is not in our jurisdiction. We can still minister, even in the mission field. But we cut our nose off to spite our face when we refuse the first mission field He has given us.

Rollins August 4, 2010 - 4:05 pm

Good post. However, is it really God’s will for every single Christian couple to have many biological children? I just think of all the millions of children in the world who are orphaned and living in extreme poverty. I think adoption is a beautiful choice as well as children from the womb. God has a big heart for children everywhere.

Word Warrior August 4, 2010 - 4:50 pm


Well, that’s a very important question. Let me ask you this: if it’s not his will for a Christian couple to have a baby, why would He create that life out of the fruit of their marriage? A much more important question is, “Is it really God’s will for couples to alter the normal function of the body in order to avoid what God has called “a heritage from the Lord”, even though there’s not a shred of evidence in Scripture that we should do so, and even though Scripture is clear that God is the One who opens and closes the womb?”

Most of the adoptive families I know have lots of biological children too. You seem to indicate that in order to adopt a couple needs to cut off their own children. That’s another misconception, in my opinion.

Shannon August 4, 2010 - 4:12 pm

I just want to thank you Kelly from the bottom of my heart!! My husband and I have just had our 3rd baby boy, and are open to whatever the Lord ahs for us, whether biological or adoptive. It is so encouraging to see so many others giving this area of their lives to the Lord. In our own community we are often scoffed at, especially because of how close our children our to each other (3 1/2, 2 and 4 months). And even in the Church! Our own family thinks we are crazy! But I praise God for your blog, even if I can’t have sisters close that share the same values, at least I know your out there! THANK YOU and blessings to your family!

fostermomofmany August 4, 2010 - 6:46 pm

Congratulations on your multiple blessings, but be careful not to judge those with fewer blessings. We, as believers, must make wise decisions about our families and how we will provide for them. I am and have fostered children from very large families that were unable to care for them. I am not questioning what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you, but also trust the discernment of other parents who are trusting God when He says wait.

Word Warrior August 4, 2010 - 6:58 pm

Thank you. But be careful not to extrapolate what’s not being said as that stirs up unneeded dissension.

“but be careful not to judge those with fewer blessings.”

That’s a carelessly slung statement. You may not have read all the comments, but this issue has already been addressed. “Judging” is when a person guesses at the concealed intentions of another’s heart. This post addresses the OPENLY displayed contents of the hearts of those who don’t share God’s attitude toward children.

When once the mouth has opened, intentions are spilled forth (Luke 6:45)and open for analysis. Those obvious wrong attitude are the only ones being addressed.

Jennifer August 4, 2010 - 8:05 pm

“but be careful not to judge those with fewer blessings.”

It’s not even about addressing people with less children, but people who DELIBERATELY have less children based on selfish or anti-child motives.

Kelly August 5, 2010 - 12:26 am

How is caring for a potential future family (open womb, I had twins our second month of trying so goodness knows we are fertile!) more obedient to God than caring for those that are already here with no family to care for them (orphans?) I’m not putting down or feeling insecure or questioning why others would go this path, it is just not where God is calling my family.

What if my “mission field of children” is not a large biological family of my own but those of orphans, or drug addicts, abused women, etc….??

Kelly August 5, 2010 - 8:58 am


Your question still dodges the heart of the issue and presupposes that we have been given the authority to override God in the creation of life.

I submit that anything He calls us to will fit alongside what He has already primarily given us or will give us through the union of marriage.

To ask “what if” I should stop having children to do “something better”–to break my body, to use medical technology as a perversion of it’s purpose (that is the cause a normally functioning body to malfunction) seems like a ludicrous thing when we really think about it.

Where is there Scriptural evidence that God would have us interfere with what He put in motion, with what He claims authority over (it is God who opens and closes the womb–clear from Scripture)?

I’m convinced that as Christians, we must have very good evidence for usurping the Author of life.

Kelly August 5, 2010 - 11:03 am

Do you know of any couples that had two maybe three children and then God closed their wombs (not including menopause as a reason)?

Dainelle August 5, 2010 - 1:53 pm

My pastor and his wife left the number of children they had up to the Lord. They had 5 children from the ages of 20-30. They never got pregnant again, God opened the womb and closed it. They are now in their early 50’s. I know that is more than the 2 or 3 you asked about, but there are many people who leave this area open to God and only have a few children.

Word Warrior August 5, 2010 - 2:55 pm

Yes, I’ve heard that more often than you would think from women. Even still, I don’t think it’s a reason to take matters into our own hands; that still reveals a theology that we don’t believe God knows what he’s doing.

Speaking of mission fields and children, I’ve also known several very large families who have effectively served on the mission field together and at the same time, testified with their lives the fruitfulness of God’s Kingdom through their families.

Margaret August 6, 2010 - 8:35 am

I know one couple who waited 14 years for God to open their womb and give them 1 child.

I met another lady who with her husband never used birth control in all the decades of their marriage and were never given children. She encouraged me to remain open. 😀

I know quite a number of families in various anabaptist churches who have never used birth control and had 3-5 children.

As for myself, there is still time to have more, physically speaking. I have three, miscarried two last year, and have chosen to be content with the blessings God has given me, rather than pining away because it’s not as large a family as I had dreamed of.

Margaret August 6, 2010 - 8:41 am

“Speaking of mission fields and children, I’ve also known several very large families who have effectively served on the mission field together and at the same time, testified with their lives the fruitfulness of God’s Kingdom through their families.”

Kelly, that’s an important point.

Truthfully, if one wants to be wholly “undistracted” for the sake of ministry, the Biblical route to that state is remaining single and celibate.

If one is called to family ministry, and believes that as a family they can serve God, then the state of being a family, and having children is part and parcel with the ministry, not a hinderance. There may be seasons in family life where ministry is easier to accomplish, but I don’t believe that has much to do with family size, but rather the ages of children. As they get older and less physically needy, they become part of the local community through friendships with local children, and become helpers and young ministers in their own way. I *love* to get our mission update letters. Many of the families have numerous children, and many have adopted more children. Is mother at home a lot? Yes. And their home is wide open to the community they serve and itself a place of ministry. 😀

alexandra August 6, 2010 - 1:13 pm

I know how people with small family feel about this subject and why they feel under attack, because even calling myself a christian I had the same way of thinking but I PRAISE MY LORD AND SAVIOR for renewing my mind in this matter. I met the Lord 4 years ago and a had two kids a that time and of course me and my husband were planning a third one “but please no more.” I used to think, but THE LORD PLANS WERE HIGHER THAT MY PLANS and I got pregnant of my 4 child and I was scared and my husband was too (He is not a believer YET), so he got a vasectomy but MY GOD WHICH IS LOVING, MERCEFULL AND SOVEREING give us a fifth child and not only He gave us a beutiful baby but Help me to trust in Him and showed me in HIS WORD THAT HE IS GOD ALMIGTY and that HE IS TO DECIDED HOW MANY CHILDREN I NEED TO HAVE, we are so blessed. I prey he forgive me for not trusting Him but He continues to renew my mind everyday so I’m willing wait on HIM and Trust Him and every step of my jorney in earth.

Only The Holy Spirit of God brings conviction to a heart who’s willing to hear the voice of God and do His will. What about if we decided to have only one or two children but HE IN HIS SOVEREIGNTY decides that you are having 5 or 6 in that first pregnancy? I mean is it your decision after all or God’s?. Who opens and and closes our wombs? what about if you want, plan or decided but HE DECIDES THAT YOU WONT HAVE KIDS, Please let be real, it was never our decision but GOD’S. God Bless You.

stephanie August 8, 2010 - 9:41 pm

Word Warrior..WOW just read your entire blog…some questions for you?

Where do you live? I HAVE NEVER judged another woman for how many children she decided to have. I have 2 children but live in a town where 4 is more the norm. If they are maybe you should move to a place that is more accepting and less judgemental.

Here is a quote for you to think about:

Apostle Paul says in I Timothy 5:8, “If a man provide not for those of his own house, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.”

The only alternatives the opponents of birth control give mankind is either abstinence, with its pressures toward fornication, or 20 to 25 children for the average couple. The Bible denies both of these.

Finally – what does a Christian woman like you say when a woman CAN Never have a baby?

Word Warrior August 8, 2010 - 9:59 pm


I’ve actually answered all these questions quite extensively in other posts if you’ll browse and search the archives.

I’m glad you’ve never judged another woman. This post actually isn’t about judging at all. It IS about a very prominent reality that many, many Christians, because of the lack of teaching about what the Bible says about children, do not hold a view that is compatible with Scripture. While it’s true not every Christian holds this view, it is a largely held where we go, not just in “our town”. (We actually have one of the most open communities to children as there is a large concentration here of large families.) The bottom line is that embracing a birth control mentality for as long as we have gives us the mistaken idea that we are in control of life and because children are so dispensable, they become viewed as not something we “can” prevent, but something we should after we’ve had the “normal” number. Problem is, *we* created that “normal” and generally expect everyone else to embrace it. But is it what Scripture teaches? That’s the only question being raised.

The average number of children per family that has an open womb is NOT 20-25 children. That’s a gross misunderstanding. Even in Scripture we hardly ever see a family that large. There are a few, but that is not the norm.

I don’t know what your question, “what does a Christian woman like you say when a woman CAN Never have a baby?” As I’ve said, I talk about this often. What I would say is, just like I say in every other circumstance, just like the entire point of all my posts about children–GOD IS ALWAYS SOVEREIGN.

Having an attitude of loving children, which is what the message of the post is, doesn’t speak negatively about those whose wombs have been closed by the Lord. It’s all about recognizing who the author of life is…who gives and who takes away, who opens and who closes and our being OK with that.

Deanna August 9, 2010 - 3:14 pm

All I can add to that article is AMEN,sister!

Well written!

I love this statement, “The Bible calls children a blessing and debt a curse, but in our culture we apply for curses and reject blessings.”


Karen August 10, 2010 - 6:31 pm

Great rant! I am struggling intensely with this issue. I have 7. My baby was born in May. Unfortunately, and regrettably, she wasn’t welcome in my heart. I was devastated when I found out I was pregnant with her. God grounded me for 2 months and put me on bedrest to “think” about my sin. My heart did change toward the pregnancy after that time of rest but there was still more to change. My labor and delivery with her (and my #6) were just awful. I kept telling my dh during this whole time that I don’t want another baby. I would gladly adopt but I just don’t want to go through the process anymore. But I keep questioning myself. My dh is looking at permanent measures right now. Things keep getting put off though. we will pay out of pocket for it. But now I am having health problems so we have to take care of this before he can do anything. and it makes me wonder if perhaps the Lord is stepping in. And so I have begun to pray that if we’re making the wrong choice, He’ll change our hearts. I have raised this question so often with my dh that I am afraid it’s going to be taken an manipulation to bring it back up. I want to be submissive to his decisions BUT I just have no peace with any of this. I know children are a blessing but right now I feel so overwhelmed by everything going on that I simply feel confused. I have 7 already. Is it wrong to desire to be “done” so that I give all to the children that I have already been given. I suppose that God can change my heart as well as dh’s. And that is what I praying. (BTW, God is slowly healing my heart in regards to my littlest one. we’ve had ups and down since she’s been born. But He given her a desperate need for momma. She MUST have me and no one else most of the time. How can I reject that kind of love? And I am slowly learning to give her that kind of love? So God is working in my heart and healing the distance I feel from her. He’s done this with one other baby and we have the best relationship. I guess I just wish I had peace about all this.)

SavedbyGrace August 10, 2010 - 7:48 pm

Karen, I feel for you. Your’s is an awfully difficult situation. My only advice is not to rush into any decision. One way or the other. You need time to heal- I’d say both you and your husband need that time. No husband desires to see his beloved tormented and will seek to fix the situation if he can.

If you’ve got some real physical struggles right now, do you have family – church or otherwise nearby to help you? Someone to come alongside and help bear your burdens? If you do, now is the time, honey, to speak up and make those needs known in a clear fashion. Most people simply won’t wade into a situation until they are invited. 🙂

I know that any woman in a like situation who reads your comment will be praying for you, as will I.

Blessings to you and all of your blessings.

Meghan August 11, 2010 - 3:59 pm

I’ve had 3 c-sections and in March will have my 4th c-section when our 4th is born. Our 3rd and 4th were conceived after a vasectomy reversal! I’m struggling so hard right now with morning sickness (which is very bad the first 5 months of pregnancy) and the pain of another c-section in March. I know of no other woman who has had this many c-scetions or continued to have many more c-sections. What do I do and how many times do I risk my life with surgery? I love my children and desire to have many more but it is so hard.

Jennifer August 11, 2010 - 5:04 pm

Have you considered adoption, Meghan?

Word Warrior August 11, 2010 - 5:09 pm


I’ve had several friends (personal friends) who have had 7 c-sections with no talk from the doctors about danger. We don’t want to undermine danger, but sometimes I think it can be overrated too. (Most doctors will ALWAYS err on the side of extreme caution.) So maybe that will encourage you to walk prayerfully???

Katie Grace August 11, 2010 - 9:53 pm

The American Board of OB/GYNs came out just a few weeks ago and reversed it’s recommedations about c-sections. It may interest you to read about their research and what they now recommend.

I also have difficult sickness with my pregnancies. With my first 2, it was easier to list the things I could eat so many things made me sick. Now, with my third, I have severe anemia and I’m not absorbing iron. I have to focus on the end and remember this too shall pass.

Katie Grace

Meghan August 12, 2010 - 7:14 am

Thank you, Katie Grace, I will have to check out the report from the American Board of OB/GYNS. It is sad that in our area (very rural) that there are no hospitals that will allow any woman to try for a VBAC. They say the risks are just to great. Do you have any other tips to help with the morning sickness? You would think with this being my 4th pregnancy that I would have something figured out by now! Cooking is so hard. I am almost always sick when I have to put a meal together.

WW, I will prayerfully consider this. I have no peace right now about doing anything permenant. I have been there after my husband had his vasectomy. It is not a place I want to be in ever again. It is not something that can be taken back easily. We are so thankful that the Lord blessed his reversal and that we are able to have more children at all!

Kelly L August 12, 2010 - 9:26 am

Ginger is great for morning sickness. There is a danger of overdoing it, but you’d have to eat so much, I couldn’t see how you’d get to that point. You can seep ginger in hot water, eat a chunk fresh, or eat the candied ginger. It is great for all kinds of nausea. I wish I had known this when I was preggers, as I was sick for 8 of the 9 months. (PS it is great for those car/air sick kids (and hubbys) too, a chunk swallowed before the drive, and they don’t get sick)

Misty Smith August 14, 2010 - 1:08 pm

My hubby wanted me to post and share about Dr. Micheal Stanton in Arkansas- http://www.blessedarrows.org/doctors.htm – who charges a low fee. Our church paid for my husbands procedure. We have add two children to our quiver since then.

If you are convicted in this area, it is beneficial to find a fellowship that will support you. Many family-integrated congregations do invite children and many put their money where their mouth is by providing financial aide for reversals and adoptions. To look for a family-integrated church in your area try- http://www.ncfic.org/

Chad August 18, 2010 - 9:43 pm

As the father of 8 daughters I am daily asked if I have figured out what causes it. I always answer with a straight face that I think its because my wife washes our laundry together. This normally throws them off course.I often wonder how many fathers of 2 are asked “Have you figured out what your doing wrong” I doubt any, let alone daily. I think the biggest problem is that people are scared they will be thought of as abnormal. That’s why people with small family’s find this post offensive, it makes them feel abnormal.

Judy August 19, 2010 - 8:06 pm

My husband and I are asked these questions nauseously often by “good people”. Most find it a challenge to their counting abilities to count our 8 offspring and then 2 parents. My husband often helps folk and puts up 8 fingers. If we are out without some of the older ones, he always finds ways to inform the counters that this is only some – we have left the older children at home or they are at work. I was an only child and my husband has only an older sister, so for us, we delight in the opportunity to show that God has blessed. We had many negative medical predictions to discourage the possibility that is now the reality of our healthy family. I cant be ashamed of the Lord’s handiwork.

We love it when people come to us and “confess” that they were concerned by the number of children, but when they see that they are self controlled they are comforted that we are obviously not so freaky. The older people often say that we remind them of “days gone by”.

It is amazing to us that we are supposed to be very thoughtful to the unwed teenage girls who CHOOSE to have babies but we get the unclean looks because we have so many who obviously are ours from a long Christian marriage? It is our CHOICE to let God! He has fed, sheltered and clothed us and we are blessed by Him. We are not a burden on society and our older children have shown the value of being raised with the understanding that Jesus must be Lord of ALL or He isn’t lord at all. … Yet one day every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is TRULY LORD.

I am blessed & refreshed to have read the article and the comments.
I often say, “What is NORMAL?” … I let Jesus work that out.

Amy September 14, 2010 - 7:54 pm

“Be fruitful and multiply.” Well, when the “very good” that God created in my and my husband’s body did not work as intended, how exactly can we be fruitful? ADOPTION! Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it’s time-consuming. Yes, it’s frustrating and sometimes heart-breaking. But so is getting pregnant, delivering,and raising a biological child. God calls ALL Christians to adoption in His Word. One of the ONLY specific types of people that God tells us to care for are…ORPHANS. Dennis Rainey (Family Life) is a HUGE advocate of adoption. He challenges Christian couples (whether they have bio kids or not) to earnestly seek the Lord to see if He has a word for them about adoption. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE consider adoption!!! There are SO MANY children looking for forever families. And who better to adopt them than Christians?!?!? Oh, and by the way, adopted children are our “own,” too. I really HATE when people call bio children their “own” and adopted children just that…”my adopted son/daughter.” My fmaily was united in adoption in 2004 when my husband and I traveled to China and met OUR daughter. I cannot express in words the miracle of that adoption. Again, please consider adoption!!!!

Lori September 14, 2010 - 8:04 pm

Amy, I love your passion and completely agree!

Leila November 27, 2010 - 12:22 pm

As a mom of eight, I couldn’t agree more! And you put it better than I could!! I did write something about the subject here:


Stirred up a lot of talk. 🙂

Keep up the good work for the Kingdom!!

Lisa December 9, 2010 - 9:01 pm

You know, 2 of the most hurtful comments I received when I announced my 6th was on the way, came from two wives of my pastors (1 previous pastor and 1 current)…One asked me if it was planned (My husband’s and my heart were changed after attending the Baby Conference. We had been preventing until that point, so we were over the moon thrilled that God would bless us with another, and so quickly after our hearts were changed.). The other wife counseled me to exercise “stewardship” according to what spiritual giants (like John Piper) preached.
Anyway, I’ve been really encouraged by reading articles like this one that encourage “fruitfulness”.

PollySweet February 7, 2011 - 2:37 pm

I believe I have come back to this post and it’s comments about 5 times since I first read them last year. I continue to derive great encouragement from your stance, Kelly. So many of your responses to the arguments in the comments are spot on. We have 3 small children at this point and despite discouragement all around, even in our church, we have decided to again trust God to send a child if it is His will and also trust His provision of everything we need, including patience and wisdom in parenting another.
Again, thanks for your encouragement. It is hard to find any in this day on this subject.

Word Warrior February 7, 2011 - 3:32 pm

Thank you, Polly!

priest's wife March 9, 2011 - 7:59 pm

A beautiful post!

Angie March 12, 2011 - 11:35 am

Do you nurse your children and if so, for how long?

Mama D's Dozen August 13, 2011 - 9:22 pm

A friend just linked to this on FB.

Amen! Amen! Amen!

I often tell people, “Children are the only blessing that people regularly tell the Lord they don’t want any more of.”

“Yes, Lord. Yes, Lord, Bring us your blessing. We want ALL that you have for us.” (said by the same Believers that are doing everything humanly possible to avoid the chance of having another child)

You should have heard the comments when we announced this spring that we were expecting #13 (at the young age of 49). Oh my! Even our older children were not supportive at first. So sad. Sadly, I lost the baby … but we were THRILLED to be adding to our family after a 9 year absence of babies. Nearly 50 now, I’m afraid that my time for babies is over. But I am so very thankful that the Lord allowed us to have a dozen (ages 9 – 27).


LB November 3, 2011 - 3:42 pm

How soon after childbirth should a married couple resume intimacy? This is assuming they are not using birth control of any kind and are willing to let the Author of Life open or close the womb.

Jessica March 14, 2012 - 11:14 am

I must say I have been very grateful, given their recent behavior and temperaments, as well as my youngest being ill for his first two years, to have two children currently. My husband and I feel that God gave us what HE knew we could handle and that’s why we’ve only had two. I love this post though, and when I got to the part about the watermelons I laughed out loud. It has never occurred to me, despite being from a largish family (the second of five children, and my husband one of eight)what people might say whether we had two or ten children. I am certainly still young enough to have more children when/if HE sees fit. I do love my children very much, and I do still daydream about babies from time to time…

Ca Dan March 12, 2014 - 9:46 pm

First off if you don’t even have 1,500$ then you probably shouldn’t have a bunch of kids in case you hadn’t noticed kids cost money. What if you had to be hospitalized? In the tens of thousands. Secondly your basing your entire life on something that was told to a group of people wandering the desert, people who didn’t even know the world was round, what a solar eclipse was or the fact that the earth revolves around the sun, and yet your going to listen to them on some of the most important decisions in life? 3rd it’s always amazing to me that people will say things like god should be trusted to raise/ care for my family or that we aren’t trusting him by using birth control or other medical devices/ procedures and yet I can guarantee that almost ever one of you would have an operation to remove a tumor or a wart or whatever – assuming you could afford it- and think that’s acceptable because its for a good cause. But if you were to follow your own logic you’d realize that by having any procedure done your he changing gods plan

Kelly Crawford March 12, 2014 - 10:13 pm

Well, Ca Dan, that’s where you’re a little late to the game. I’ve addressed, multiple times, the logic behind why we use medical intervention. (By the way, I’ve also stated that it’s not always wrong to space children).

Medical intervention for sickness and brokenness is sensible–Jesus was in the business of healing, because sickness was never part of His original plan.

Having babies is not a broken state; so the two are not comparable.

As for the rest, you don’t believe in God or Scripture, so we’re coming from different places.

I find it ironic that “you people” tout the importance of naturalness in the state of most of creation, but act as if reproduction doesn’t belong in that category.

Jenny P July 27, 2015 - 11:24 am

Kelly, loved, loved this article! I don’t see where in the world people are thinking you are judgmental of people when you are addressing and exploring a widespread but broad attitude the church and society has towards children. I’ve often struggled with the concept of birth control and finally my husband and I decided no hormonal birth control because even that has the chance of killing our unborn babies. We absolutely want no part in taking a life that God gives us. After all, there are natural consequences that happen with each of our choices. At the same time, we are doing NFP (natural family planning) and learning more about how both our bodies work and how God designed for them to work. There is no doubt that God commands us to have children. He wants us to have children so we can raise them to be godly people, bringing forth generations of Christ followers for His glory! Whether that is through adoption or natural means. When making any decision regarding a topic so extremely sensitive, we must always look to God for guidance and understanding. Right now, I have a dear friend who is holding off on pregnancy. She has a genetic condition in which the vertebra in her back never hardened and childbirth could possibly kill her. She and her husband have both been praying for God’s guidance on what He wants them to do, both understanding that God is sovereign and children are a blessing. I can’t say that her choice is wrong or sinful. I see her husband who is unwilling to knowingly place his wife in danger by getting her pregnant, yet they are leaning on God to guide them with this knowledge. I have a cousin that God closed her womb and her husband and her are now looking at adoption. They understand that God wants to them to produce Godly offspring and have followed His call to adoption. Topics like these are hard, because it’s not exactly “black or white”. It’s like video games. They aren’t necessarily evil, but the content of some and there addictive nature can quickly cause one to misuse their time and God given talents. The Bible obviously doesn’t talk about video games, but it does talk about guarding our hearts and minds. I sincerely believe that children are an absolute blessing and God will always provide for His people. I also think there is room for wisdom and discernment when planning for a family. There’s no sin in wanting to be financially ready to care for children. I also believe there is no sin in having children when you are struggling financially. It’s not for me to judge but to try to give Christians a biblical understanding of the family and how valuable children are in God’s sight. I’ll close in saying this. For those of us who are concerned about health problems in child bearing. God is sovereign. God has also granted us with medical knowledge in how to care for child bearing women. It’s up to each family to seek out God’s will in their family. Some women I know have stopped having their own children for health reasons and have opened their homes to foster care or children’s ministry in their church or communities. Some women have continued having children as God has called them to. These decisions were met with much prayer and reading of God’s word in understanding that God is in control, that God is the life giver and God wants us to produce godly offspring (biological or through adoption). We have to be careful to not judge these families because we honestly can’t see their relationship with God or their hearts. Kelly, I don’t see where you have judged anyone. If anything, I think you placed more important emphasis on biologically having children than adoption. Both are honorable in God’s eyes, but ultimately it’s up to Him on how He leads each family. We can only help and encourage people making wise decisions based on God’s word.

Kelly Crawford July 27, 2015 - 11:44 am

Thank you, Jenny. Yes, the “judging” argument is a straw man. Apply it to another situation and it becomes silly. If I say, “Studies show that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables decreases heart disease and improves overall health” someone might say, “Well, I feel judged. I can’t afford many fruits and vegetables. Plus, I like my junk food and you’re comment suggests that I’m not going to be healthy.” To speak something that is true (i.e. “The Bible speaks of children as a blessing”) is not to say anything else. Just that.

Jenny P July 27, 2015 - 1:20 pm

Yes. Usually, I find when I become defensive about something (especially something pertaining to God’s Word!), most often times it’s something going on in my heart that I have not addressed or it touches upon some unrepentant sin in my life. It might not be to true for all people, but in my experience I’ve found it to be true most of the time!

Jenny P July 27, 2015 - 11:27 am

And by judge I will use Kelly’s wonderful definition. “Assuming the heart motivations.”

Heather Newcomb July 27, 2015 - 12:57 pm

This is fantastic, top notch stuff. You nailed it.

Kelly Crawford July 27, 2015 - 2:08 pm

Thank you, Heather!

Christine July 28, 2015 - 12:17 pm

By the date of the comments this must be an older post, but I really needed it today, thanks for “airing” it again. I’m in my 8th week with baby #10 and am 40 years old. This is the first time I’ve felt a twinge of embarrassment at being pregnant. My mother-in-law thinks I’m *way* too old to still be having babies, and don’t we have quite enough already? My children are always eager for another, but my 10 year old asked yesterday how she should deal with the anger she feels when people look at us strangely or obviously (with a nod of the head at each child) count how many there are and then look like we’re nuts. Her older siblings say they just think it’s funny and they’re happy to be unlike the rest of the world, but she’s really hurt. Did you have one of those? I don’t think she’s seeking the approval of man, it just bothers her when people look at us like we’re freaks. Anyway, thanks for being out there speaking truth.

Kelly Crawford July 28, 2015 - 2:39 pm


We haven’t had much of that, mostly just confusion from the younger ones, though I sense with my older ones sometimes that it embarasses them when people say weird stuff. The best I can tell you is to take her to Scripture, to the multiple places where Jesus reminds us the world won’t understand or that there are things we will be reviled for but that is reason to rejoice. There is always a powerful lesson to be taught in the midst of trial.

Tina Moody July 28, 2015 - 1:03 pm

I agree with much of the article, hoywever I do see some things differently. We had 5 babies in 7 years, I consider that to “be fruitful” and we definitely had our shares of tacky comments and such. I don’t regret having one of our children, however, we were at our end of the budget. Raising 5kids on a enlisted military budget was brutal. After the 5th, we elected for my husband to have the vasectomy and have never regretted it. I thank God for that provision. We don’t live on a farm like many large families did in the past. If you are into genealogy, many of those “blessed” large families often had a second, even a third wife, after the first mother/second mother had died in childbirth or shortly after.
As medicine became better, mothers starting living longer. And if truth be told, many of you wouldn’t have so many children if you didn’t have such great medical care. So, if modern medicine has helped you, why give so much grief towards those who use it to not have any more children (i.e., vasectomies)? Do you seriously think that a family who chooses to not have more is somehow less “spiritual” than a family that keeps having children? (Even though many can’t afford them and are in debt to the sky. ..been there, done that)? So…Yes, we would, even now (all kids grown), be in much better financial shape had we had had less kids. Do I regret having them? Definitely not! I’m I glad we quit? You bet! Please equating having a large family as some kind of special privileges from heaven. All families are a blessing, including those who long for, but can’t have children.

Kelly Crawford July 28, 2015 - 2:49 pm

I take issue with several of your comments, and I think it’s important to say so, because accuracy in conversation and understanding is extremely important.

First this: “why give so much grief towards those who use it to not have any more children (i.e., vasectomies)? Do you seriously think that a family who chooses to not have more is somehow less “spiritual” than a family that keeps having children?”

I think that’s a decoy, a straw man. If you are referring to the post, which I assume you are, you did not get this insinuation from it. I am addressing a serious problem in the church: treating children like they are a burden and not agreeing with Scripture. It is unfair and damaging to jump from that and insinuate I’m saying one kind of family is more spiritual than another. I said no such thing, that is a leap only you have made.

Although it’s peripheral, I still feel the need to address the assumption that children create a financial burden. There is a small truth to that, but the majority of Americans are in debt, not because of the number of children they have, but because of their lifestyle choices.

And then, you throw in something about families who want to have children but can’t being a blessing as if I insinuated they aren’t. That’s the biggest leap by far, and downright slanderous, really. I have enormous sympathy for families who can’t have children or can’t have more (including many of my own friends and family). Speaking the truth of Scripture about children in no way villainizes those struggling with infertility.

Please be more careful with your reading and assessment of things. That’s how rumors get started and stereotypes get thrown around and I have NO appreciation for those who distort and infer things that aren’t there, especially as I am careful with my words.

Lisa Whitehead July 28, 2015 - 1:19 pm

God will always provide.
I have only 2 children because my unsaved husband worried so much about my ill health during pregnancy that he had a vasectomy soon after my second son was born.
Such is life, the doctors never knew what was wrong and it was pretty rough – I had a bit of a time convincing him to have the 2nd boy!
But for those of you who want more kids and can have more kids, God will ALWAYS provide if you are faithful in the small things.
When I was single I lived on a very low income, each week my money left amounted to a few dollars after bills.
But, because I tithed from the firstfruits of my income every single week I had more money than I should have – and I budgeted so I still could not see where it had been left over from!
For years God provided all I needed and more besides.
‘Overflowing’ is what He says.
In the past few years I have trusted in Him financially when we moved countries and had little money.
For the first time ever, when I prayed for something we needed (and said I wanted it before lunch the next day) I took every thought captive and stopped myself thinking what would we do if He didn’t come through – and He did – before lunch, with more money than I had asked for to boot.

Gigi July 28, 2015 - 2:39 pm

This saddens me. I have only two natural children, but yearn for more. The likelihood of me being able to have more is extremely slim. I hate that in our world today, so many people don’t value children. I grew up in a large family and would love to have at least one more child. I pray that if it is in God’s will for my family, that it will happen. Unfortunately, my health is very poor due to disease and having children means risking my life to do so 🙁

Kelly Crawford July 28, 2015 - 2:40 pm


I am so sorry for your pain. I pray, in God’s providence, that he would grant you the desires of your heart, or give you a peace that passes all understanding.

Natalie July 29, 2015 - 8:11 am

Thank you for reposting this. About 2 years ago, I began appealing to my husband, along with much prayer, that we might stop using pregnancy prevention (barrier method). It seemed so worldly to me, and I was desiring to submit to the Lordship of Christ in this area and trust him completely. My husband did not see it the same way. However, our 5th child just had his 1st birthday!
I thought the Lord had changed his heart concerning children. However, I came to realize that he somewhat resented the fact that I was pregnant (although not by trickery :)). It was the first pregnancy that I felt ashamed of my body, because my husband was not affirming me at all.
All of us adore this little boy that was given to us, and cannot imagine life w/o him! However, because of my negative experience I have decided to not say another word. The Lord is able to change my husband’s heart, if he does not, then I am not “taking the reigns” again. Although, I appealed with respect and refused to nag (even though I felt passionately about the issue)…it was not helpful to our marriage relationship.
We live simply, do not have more “drywall” than we need. My husband just feels like we can’t handle anymore noise, bickering, discipline, responsibility,…I wonder the same. We are both firstborn, quiet, introspective, orderly people. We often feel overwhelmed with the children we already have. They are a blessing, but also a heavy responsibility- these eternal souls that have been entrusted to us.

6 arrows July 29, 2015 - 10:24 am


Your post resonated with me. Although our circumstances are somewhat different, there was a time where my husband was not open to more children when I was, so I can relate to your experience of same.

Long story, but basically, my husband and I were almost always on the same page (starting with both of us wanting to delay children, then have children, space the children, etc.). However, the Lord turned both of our hearts around the same time — 14 years into our marriage — toward receiving children in His timing, which was a lovely, blessed time of our marriage.

However, seven years later, after the birth of our sixth and last child, my husband changed his mind and thought we should prevent children. (Our fifth child, then 3 1/2, had extreme developmental challenges and other extraordinary difficulties that significantly worsened shortly after the birth of his younger sibling.)

I understood where my husband was coming from in wanting to prevent more children after that — we were all overwhelmed, and it was his sense of protectiveness that led him to that decision — but my heart had a hard time letting go and allowing him to lead in this area. Barrier methods of birth control felt so wrong to me after we’d turned over control to God, and natural family planning didn’t feel “natural” at all.

But, like you, Natalie, I prayed that God would change my husband’s heart again, or that He would bring me to a place of acceptance and take away my desire to have more children.

The Lord did both, working on me first. After a few years, I could truly say that I was completely at peace with the six children we had, and though I knew my fertility was still high at age 48 (three years after our last child was born), my longing for another child was gone, and my relationship with my husband was good.

About two years later, by God’s grace, He turned my husband’s heart back toward receiving more children! However, I was around 50 at that time, and I never did conceive again, and most likely will not in the future, given my age (almost 53) and that in a few weeks it will be one year since my cycles ended.

Sorry if that’s TMI. 🙂 My point is that God was faithful to walk me through a difficult time, and I can look back now with no regrets. There may have been another child after my sixth if we had not tried to prevent them for those five years after the birth of the last one, but I don’t live with an “if only” mindset. (Knowing my natural self, it is likely I wouldn’t be at peace with the feeling of missing a child if God hadn’t intervened with His all-surpassing peace in the midst of and after the trials my husband and I faced.)

Keep praying, Natalie. God is working in both you and your husband, and the way things are right now may not be the way they are in the future.

May I give you a small word of advice, in addition to the above? (Feel free, of course, to take it or leave it!) 🙂

Regarding this you said: However, because of my negative experience I have decided to not say another word. The Lord is able to change my husband’s heart, if he does not, then I am not “taking the reigns” again.

You are so right that the Lord is able to change your husband’s heart, and I understand perfectly the challenge that “not taking the reigns” poses, and I applaud you for your commitment to that! The little bit of advice I’d like to offer is about the part in the first sentence I quoted, where you said you’ve decided not to say another word.

Could I challenge you, Natalie, not to decide you won’t ever discuss it again, but remain open to the possibility that the Holy Spirit may lead you to further discussion with your husband on the matter? I don’t know you well enough to say you’re like me, but sometimes (for me) deciding not to do something leads to tension because I’m holding something in at a time it might be more appropriate to say something.

I would encourage you to keep the lines of communication open between your husband and yourself in the way and timing the Lord leads you to. As we know from Ecclesiastes 3:7, there is a time to keep silent and a time to speak. The Lord will give you the wisdom you ask for to discern when those times are.

Much love and God’s blessings to you.

Kelly Crawford July 29, 2015 - 11:31 am

6 arrows,

This was a beautiful and encouraging word to Natalie.

Natalie July 29, 2015 - 9:58 pm

Thank you once again for your sweet words of encouragement. You and Kelly are 2 of the “older” women in my life that I look forward to greeting, in person, one day in heaven.

6 arrows July 30, 2015 - 12:00 am

My sentiments exactly, Natalie, except I’ll substitute the word “younger.” 🙂 What a blessing that will be.

Donna July 29, 2015 - 11:01 pm

Fantastic post!! I have this discussion with people all the time. I worked with a lady that fell pregnant when she had begun renovating her home. She had to choose. I was mortified with her choice. I didn’t really believe that people did that! Not judging, just saying. I have 6 and feel pretty selfish that I long for more – but I do. I so love all of your posts. You are such an encouragement in my lonely walk of motherhood.
Many blessings to you all!

Natalie July 30, 2015 - 7:50 am

Interesting note…it just started happening recently. When I take my 4 young boys to the store, we have started to get “the look”. What has really surprised me is that every question so far has come from those who are in their 70’s or older. One older gentleman saw us 2 weeks in a row and both times he stared, glared and asked repeatedly if they were all mine :). A friend of mine ,who looks about 20, has 5 young children. She is asked this question so often that her imaginary response is “No, these are all the neighbor kids, it’s fun to pick them up and bring them to the store with me!” I am surprised that big families are a surprise to the older generation…any insight??

6 arrows July 30, 2015 - 10:12 am

A couple possibilities come to my mind, Natalie. One is that kids are often in daycare these days, and the average daycare provider has more children in her care than the average parent has offspring. If some providers regularly go out in public during the day with their charges (I know some who do), to an observer, that would look like a lot of kids, likely more than the average family. So a larger family may be assumed to be a gathering of various kids (like a daycare), rather than a sibling group. Especially if some siblings look a lot different from each other because some look more like mom, and some more like dad, if the parents have very differing physical characteristics. If only one parent is with them at the time when out in public, then an observer wouldn’t know what both parents look like.

I think, too, that a lot of the older generation are more likely to have grandchildren who are in daycare than at home full-time with the parents, and if the grandparents’ own offspring have fewer children than they themselves had, they may be assuming, from cultural trends these days, that a large group of children must not be related to each other.

Just a guess. 😉

The other thing that is happening more often these days than in their generation is the breakup of marriages, oftentimes leading to remarriage. If the former marriages produced children, then the new marriages become blended families, with the “mine, yours and (maybe) ours” concept of children. I don’t have statistics, but some larger families became that way, not by the wife having had many children herself, but by a family being grown by acquiring step-children, half-siblings and the like. The question, “Are they all yours” might really be asking, “Are they all your biological children?” if they’re thinking that a stepchild isn’t “yours.”

Overall, I think the older generation sees this generation as quite different from them, in terms of how many children they have and how they are cared for. (And, largely, they are correct.) However, it’s good for them to know that there are families these days that are resisting cultural trends and are staying married, are having families that are more similar in size to their generation, and are staying home and raising their own children, just as many in earlier generations did.

I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but “Are they all yours” is a nosy question, in my opinion, and one would think the older generation would know better than to ask such none-of-their-business questions! Makes you scratch your head in wonder, doesn’t it? 🙂

6 arrows July 30, 2015 - 10:32 am

Oh, and sorry I keep jumping in with my (l-o-n-g) answers, Natalie! I don’t mean to squelch other people’s dialogue — I would love to read other responses to your excellent question, because I certainly do NOT have all the answers, lol. 🙂

What I'm Reading, Thinking, Doing - 7/31/15 - Jess Connell July 31, 2015 - 9:34 am

[…] We Don’t Love Children; We Love Drywall — a sad but true assessment of our materialistic culture (even in the church!) […]

6 arrows July 31, 2015 - 10:40 am

Dear Natalie,

Don’t know whether you’ll see this, but I will try anyway…

There’s a part of your post at #98 (July 29 at 8:11 a.m.) that, though I didn’t say anything about that specific part in my reply to you, the thought of what you said is tugging at my heart strings more and more.

It is this:

It was the first pregnancy that I felt ashamed of my body, because my husband was not affirming me at all.

I am so sorry for your pain in not being affirmed by your husband at such a blessed time in a woman’s life, when carrying a child within you. To experience the miracle of pregnancy, to feel and witness the changes occurring in your body and your baby’s, and not receive loving words of affirmation from the one person on earth who should love you more than he does any other human — I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been, Natalie.

I am very sorry you had to experience that, and I understand better now how you would not want to say anything anymore about desiring more children after what you went through.

I’m sorry, too, that I didn’t take the time to let it sink in, before I replied to you, how much pain that must have caused you. I offered you a prescription, when it would have been better to simply give quiet acknowledgement and affirmation of your very real feelings.

You have the gift of the Holy Spirit — it is evident in your writing — and He doesn’t need my help!

May the Lord comfort you, Natalie, and bring healing and peace in your marriage.

Natalie July 31, 2015 - 2:23 pm

O, sweet friend, Thank you for your sensitive heart. I was not upset at all by your reply. I am married to a wonderful man, but verbal affirmation is not in his list of strengths. I have had to learn to accept that the approval of the Lord is all that I need. Not to say that it does not hurt, but it always drives me back to the true source of my worth. Growing up, my worth and identity was based on my appearance, so our loving heavenly Father has used my husband’s personality to humble and to teach me.

6 arrows July 31, 2015 - 2:57 pm

You said just what I had meant to add, but forgot: that our identity and worth are found in Christ. And the rest of what you said, too, just now — wow, I could have written that! All of it.

Thankful to God for these kind reassurances from a kindred spirit. Blessings to you, Natalie.

Nancy January 21, 2016 - 7:08 am

On the opposite side of the protection side, women are taking class 1 carcinagins to prevent pregnancies. I had our presiding district leader for ministers SUGGEST and DEMAND that I take birth control which is a class 1 CARCINAGIN! There are many ways to prevent pregnancy if one feels convicted in her heart to not have any more babies. It is kind of like Paul says in a little but in talking about the Sabbath. If you feel convinced in your heart to do something, do it. He also says not to judge others if they decide differently. It is kind of like working out one’s own salvation.


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