9.21.2012

How many kids will we have?

We get this question a lot. Just how many kids do you plan on having? 
I just finished Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's book, A Love That Multiplies. I know some people think we're going to be The Duggars 2.0. After reading their book I was greatly encouraged and challenged, and in my heart, confirmed: no, we will not be falling in the Duggars footsteps.

Here is a summary of my beliefs about child-planning:

1. Listen to God. It's NOT your call. It's up to God to decide how many children you will have. This is not a decision between you and your husband, God needs to enter into the equation. Prayerfully seek Him on childbearing, childrearing, and even spacing of your kids. God should be at the center of your life, especially when it involves such an important issue as bringing new life into the world.

This central point is why I choose not to judge the Duggars for their life choice. They feel called by God to have 19 children, and maybe more one day. That's a tough call, but they are obediant. I feel it's evident through their lives and character that God's hand is upon this family and is blessing them, so who am I to judge why God asks certain people to do certain things?

2. Birth Control is NOT wrong. I personally caution women to research and pray lots about birth control, especially the pill, but I do not feel that birth control is wrong. Lots of people misunderstand my views on this. Daniel and I are all for birth control, and use our own method that works for us. We prayerfully consider whether we feel God calling us to "take a rest" from having kids, and are also very open to having kids should our birth control fail.

3. Children are a blessing. Kids are a beautiful blessing, and when you view them as such you will probably have a couple of kids! We love children, and we long to have a noisy, child-filled home. My goal in life is to spend my life pouring into my kids. I see already that having one child causes me to grow in so many ways, as I seek God to grow me and mature me to be a better mother.

4. Use Wisdom and Discretion. You need to use wisdom and discretion when child-planning. I believe that children are a blessing, but right now having another child isn't the wisest choice. I believe the Lord wants us to wait for a bit so that I can continue to heal physically, and grow spiritually, as well as allow our family to complete this season of our life (with Dan's internship and our limited income). Of course, if we do become pregnant we will be so happy, and we will trust in the Lord to provide.

5. Every family is called to something different. Not every family is called to having 4 children. Not many families are called to 19! Not everyone is called to adopting, fostering, or spacing their children with many years or only a few months. We need to be respectful of other families choices.

Another crucial point is to understand that not all families are able to choose the spacing of their kids or even the number. Some people long to have more but simply can't. I once made the mistake of saying to a lady, "oh there's a big age gap between your kids." She gently told me that this wasn't her choice, it's just how it happened. I felt so bad for over-stepping and commenting on what must have been a painful and difficult time in her life.

So, to answer your question, we don't know how many kids we'll have. We certainly feel called to have more, but right now we're enjoying our beautiful firstborn and growing as parents to one precious little girl!



5 comments:

  1. I love the point about listening to God about this. Obviously we've been learning alot about this lately.
    (and hey-- if God doesn't want the method of birth control you are using to work- well that's just how it is-- but his plan is always the best and will always prevail:)

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  2. You have some very good insights on family planning. I have 5 children myself and some spaced closer than others. I will also say upfront that, I do not believe in birth control. My husband and I practice NFP (Natural Family Planning). If you are interested, check out this website: http://www.janetesmith.com/category/blog/
    It really explains well why birth control is wrong, even if you are looking at it with the best intentions.

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    1. Hi Allison, I have the book on NFP and we have used that method in the past. Right now we use a barrier method for family planning, as I personally feel convicted towards the birth control pill or other hormone type methods. I choose not to put my own beliefs on others as I feel it can have an alienating effect on friends who have different beliefs. I do however share my beliefs openly with my friends and encourage them to research the pill before using it!

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  3. Well said! We didn't plan on having our first two so close together, and so while we are thrilled it altered our plan. We now, instead of spacing 4 kids 2-2.5 years apart, are thinking that with Rog & Juliet being around 18.5 months apart we'll wait at least 2, but probably 3-3.5 years before "trying" for another.

    My biggest concern is also my body. I became pregnant only 9 months after MAJOR surgery that I was supposed to take 2 full years to allow my body to recover from; since then I've been pregnant for 80 of the last 121 weeks, or 21 of the last 30 months. My body is having a really hard time this pregnancy (as you know!) and we both feel I need a minimum of two years to focus on healing, getting more weight off of my body, and also really enjoying the sweet babes we have as we pray about the future.

    Ideally I'd love to have 2 more fairly close together starting in 3-4 years and then look at adopting a sibling duo another 2 years after that. But we want to rest in Jesus' will and timing and will keep asking him. We also want to be responsible and try to keep our standard of living as static as possible for 3-5 years so that any income increases can go toward our massive amounts of student debt.

    Point being, there is so much wisdom in seeking Jesus and resting in him. Sometimes he alters the best laid plans totally unexpectedly. Sometimes he gives you pretty much what you had hoped and planned for. Neither is more or less his will--it's all about how we respond. Hopefully in worship and then repentance when we don't!

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  4. I meant 4 kids EACH 2-2.5 years apart, btw! Never hoped for 4 kids in 2.5 years :)

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