Psalm 127:3-5 (The Message)
“Don’t you see that children are God’s best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior’s fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don’t stand a chance against you;
you’ll sweep them right off your doorstep.”
Whenever most people find out that I have four children and that mine is not a blended family, they usually grimace or let out a whistle and sigh, accompanied by a rolling of the eyes.
The truth is, I have always wanted at least four children. Both my husband and I came from blended families with 3 and 5 children respectively. Perhaps it was my upbringing as a Roman Catholic, or maybe it was growing up under the parentage of two people who each came from larger families. My father was one of eight. My mother was the oldest of six. Perhaps the Lord just impressed it upon me directly. I don’t know. But I have always enjoyed the idea of having what I consider to be a “medium-sized” family.
In his word, over and over, God reveals that he values children greatly. Whatever God values, so should we believers. Yet I am often surprised to find out how many people view their children as a burden. When I was expecting my second child, older (presumably) wiser women would ask me if she was the last. My answer was always the same, “I have no idea.” Sometimes they responded with derision and spite to that comment. Sometimes they encouraged me. The truth is, I still don’t know if we’re done. While I personally don’t foresee the Mitchells’ having any more children, I have learned to never underestimate what God wants.
I have searched the scriptures on this topic and have come to the conclusion that a godly family has nothing to do with the number of children you have, whether you are a blended family or not, whether your children are adoptive, biological or spiritual. I believe God allows us to make that decision. What does concern him is our lack of consideration for his plan for our family.
A few years back, good friends of my family paid us a visit. At the time we lived hundreds of miles apart, so the visit was one of those all-day-hang-out affairs. It was great. At some point the subject came around to children. Our friends had two, we had just had our fourth. When I asked if they were done, I was surprised at the husband’s answer. I don’t remember it verbatim, but it went something like, “Oh yeah. Two is all we can afford.” This response stopped me in my tracks. Not because I hadn’t heard it before. But because this man had always been so careful to make sure that he followed God’s lead in every area of his life. Yet it seemed to me that in this one area, he had let his wallet determine how many people he should bring into this world.
I asked him, “How do you know?” He paused, for understanding. I persisted. “How do you know that two children are all and will ever be all you can afford? Do you know where you will be financially in twenty or thirty years?” He considered my questions and admitted that perhaps he and his wife should go back and talk to God. And they did.
That was nearly three years ago. My friends still have two children. He and I have spoken since then on the subject. He appreciated my willingness to challenge him. He and his wife are open to the idea of more children, but they are fine with two for now.
Understand I am not advocating big families over smaller families. As I stated before, neither makes you a more godly person. What I am advocating, however, is to seek the Lord’s perspective in this very important area and submit to whatever he wants. Living a godly life, means allowing his perspective to transform our thinking – not allowing the world’s thinking to box us in. We believers pursue God for every other area of our lives: career, calling, spouse, church home, place of service, dating, money. Why not ask God how many children he wants us to have? I’m sure he’s got an answer for each one of us.
It’s never too soon or too late to begin to ask God about children. If you are willing, ask God if , how, and when he would have you add to your family.
Be blessed, Family.
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