Our family is considered large by most Americans’ standards. We get lots of looks and questions when we go out into public.
Our youngest is our first boy. This inevitably causes the question- “Are you done?” I understand the question. In our modern age, many people make specific plans and use a number of measures to ensure their plans are met. Ultimately, this is a different mindset than ours. My answer- “We don’t know. We accept all of the children the Lord gives us!”
We are of the strong conviction that children are a blessing. Not a curse. Children are a gift. Not an inconvenience or a problem. Our society’s desire to become a god for themselves causes them to want to decide when they will receive a blessing. I think many people wouldn’t admit to having that kind of mindset, but live in a way that communicates this mindset.
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.”
Psalm 127:1-5 ESV
This psalm calls children a heritage, a reward, and a blessing. Children are never called an inconvenience, and there is no reason given to refuse this reward. I’m not sure of any other way to read this psalm.
“Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!”
Psalm 128:1-6 ESV
This psalm also describes an aspect of being blessed as having many children. Olive shoots surrounding an olive tree are many!
Our goal is to always allow the scriptures to convict us and cause us to change our lives and our mindsets. This can only be done by the power of the Holy Spirit. We recognize this conviction is quite counter-cultural, but we aim to please the Lord and follow him rather than doing whatever we think is right in our own eyes. Going after the whims of our own sinfulness didn’t work out well for Israel.
It must be recognized that there may be reasons to use wisdom when considering children, such as legitimate life-threatening medical concerns. This is not the case for our family. Any reason I could give to decide not to have children was selfish and self-centered. It would be unbelief- not believing that the Lord is good, wise, and the Provider of all we need. We do not live for ourselves. We live by faith in Christ.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20 ESV
The purpose of this is to explain our family’s conviction and what we see in the scriptures. While this may not change your mind, I hope it at least causes some thought to be given on whether children are a blessing or a curse in our minds and actions. I’m hoping you will see them as an amazing blessing from the Lord.