Oh my, aren’t your hands full!
Have you ever heard crazy things come out of people’s mouths regarding children? I sure have, and each time we hear it, it just sinks in a little deeper and becomes the norm:
We checked over our budget, and we think we could afford another kid in 3-4 years, if we really save.
I don’t want to be a burden on the earth.. so we are stopping at two kids.
You sure have your hands full!
Are all those your children?
(Then comes the look that says we have been naughty and irresponsible.)
Mrs. WBMH and I have “back pocket” responses to some of the comments. Random stranger: “You sure have your hands full, don’t ya sweetie?” Mrs. WBMH: “Yes, full of good things!”
My wife and I joke all the time about the comments we get at the grocery store Trader Joe’s just about every time we make our normal weekly shopping run, which typically fills two carts to the brim:
“You must be having a big party – what fun!”
“Are you stocking up for.. like.. a month?”
Or one of our favorites that we laugh at, from a fellow shopper, “::disgusted grunt:: Can your refrigerator even store all that food?”
If you are married, where are you at with kids and building your family? If you are having your first – congratulations! You are taking a huge leap of faith in God’s provisions for you in the areas of wisdom, your emotional and physical energy, your finances and your sleep! If this is your second, third, or even tenth as one of my friends is readying for, then you already know many of the ways God provides and are on a path of faith and endurance with Him.
Yes, children are a reward. If you are having more children than your peers and coworkers (likely 1 or 2), then you may be fighting some weird feelings of guilt or even embarrassment. Well, good news for Christians. Having more than 1 or 2 kids is OK, dare I say, even wonderful?! Keep up the good work!
Comparing what God says, what people say and what the righteous man says about family
For your consideration, here are some of the crazy things I have heard from people who don’t know God (and some that do), contrasted to what God says and what the righteous man says.
|What people say||What God says||What the righteous man says|
|“I feel guilty for having more children. Can you imagine the carbon footprint of bringing four new footprints into this world? After all, we are overpopulating the earth, and the earth is clearly getting :sick: of us.” ~ People who follow eco trends* and have taken to heart WALL-E, Interstellar, etc.||“Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28, ESV
Notice how God has never rescinded this ‘commission’ to be fruitful and multiply throughout the Bible?
|“It is good and right for me to want to grow my family!”
“I hope my kids get more of my wife’s genes, because she is lovely and fair, smart and wise.
|“Children are too much hard work. And they all just rebel in their teenage years anyway. If only they became functioning adults quicker. I will save myself the pain, and just enjoy life and what it has to offer!”||“Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.” Proverbs 29:17, ESV
“Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” Proverbs 13:24, ESV
|“Children can be a huge blessing! But I will have to be diligent to raise them in God’s ways, lest they stay foolish. (For foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child).”
“If I raise my children well, they will be a delight to me! And, I will want to have more!”
|Ever seen the advertisement that shows a kid throwing a huge fit in a grocery store? The punchline? Buy birth control!
Woot, all my problems are solved now!
“Birth control will enable me to have wild and crazy fun, save up and life the life I want to live, all without worrying about the consequences of fun (aka children).”
|There is some truth to unchecked fits from children: “A foolish son is a grief to his father and bitterness to her who bore him.” Proverbs 17:25
“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!” Psalms 127:4, ESV
|Children can be a delight! So, seek out truth in the Word and pursue that. A righteous man does not settle for a disorderly family with kids who are barking at mommy. Take charge! You are the family leader!
“I will lead my children to love the LORD with all their heart, soul and minds. To be respectful to adults (especially my wife and I). And I will do this through wise application of discipline, enjoying my children and being present and engaged with my family’s development.”
|“There are no victims of birth control. Birth control is always a sensible thing to do!”||“Did he not make them (husband and wife) one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring.” Malachi 2:15, ESV
“You shall not murder.” Exodus 20:13, ESV
|God loves people. He cares about babies and birth control is not ‘no issue’.
I will solemnly and prayerfully consider taking birth control. If my wife and I decide to use a form of birth control, it will be because we have come to a place of freedom in the Lord and faith in our walk with Him. We will have researched birth control options that will not kill, but will prevent the egg from ever being fertilized.
|“I can only afford to raise up one, maybe two kids. Do you know how much college will cost in the year2034?!@! Yeah? Well, let’s have just one then!”||“But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” 1 Timothy 6:8, ESV
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
“I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread.” Psalm 37:25, ESV
TODO link to ‘God provides’ on God’s Ninja?
|“God will provide!”
“I do not have to fully fund my kid’s education. However, I will be responsible for partnering with God in building their character, which will pay off their entire life.”
In fact – Mr. and Mrs. WBMH have seen salary bumps and major blessing for each new child we have! It is now exciting to guess how God will provide in new ways for us as we have need!
|“Kids are a drag! Did you see that one at the restaurant the other day? We are not going to let ourselves be embarrassed like that…”||“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3 & 5, ESV
|“Children are a monumental portion of my heritage, my blessing on this earth. Also, I can impact future generations for the LORD by spawning! I’m not going to be around in the year 2100 (should Christ tarry), but my grandchildren will!”|
Christian family building – a heritage from the Lord
What is the end of this? “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
And what does God say about children? They are a blessing, a reward for the God-fearing family. God’s children’s children (these are your children!) are God’s way of spreading His love around the world. Of creating more ambassadors, “as though God were making His appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Children are a heritage of righteousness and joy!
Here is a free audio resource (MP3 file, session 2) that grew my heart’s understanding in several ways about God’s plan for family, from visionaryfam.com. If you’re interested in more, Job’s mind-blowing first response to adversity has more audio resources from this group.
Party on, my friends!
* God desires for us to be good stewards of our resources, and he has called us to subdue and fill the earth! We can do both well! Don’t be fooled into thinking you can only do one well. That’s the world talkin’.