“I agree with you on a lot of it. But when I read the part about 'so many little ones to train, teach, etc'--my thoughts were that you chose not to use birth control and abuse your body that way--live with it! I am sorry! I do not believe you can be effective for the Lord if you are run down, nursing and pregnant every year. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. “
This is a comment I received after writing this post. This isn’t the first comment I have received along these same lines and while most of the comments left are encouraging and kind, a few are not.
Normally, I just chose to not publish them; but tonight I wanted to take a few minutes to comment on this one.
We have always wanted this blog to bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. I write this today not to defend myself nor to cause any argument or discussion here. In fact, if you do make it to the end of this probably long post :) , I ask you only to comment if you would like to encourage others as well. I also ask that you do not comment negatively to the anonymous commenter either. The The person who left this comment I believe (by the way they write) is the same person who has left similar comments before. I have no way of knowing for sure as they are always left anonymously. Maybe what I post tonight the Lord can use to help that individual see differently. The Lord has been so patient with me! But that is not my purpose in writing.
I write this because I wonder if there are other families who read here and may have heard things like this said to them. Or maybe they have wondered it themselves. When Daniel and I were pregnant with our 6th, I remember that we really began to seek the Lord in the matter of having children. We had always “said” we would have as many as He gave us, but we never actually thought about them coming every year. And so we really began to talk, pray, and study God’s Word. I still remember the day that the Lord gave me complete and wonderful peace…an assurance and joy about having children and giving Him full control. It took us about 3 years from the time we first really began to ask and seek the Lord in this area to when He confirmed the answer in our hearts.
During that time of seeking, questions and comments like these would really sadden me and cause me all sorts of doubts. And I thought if maybe I share what the Lord has done in our lives in this area, it may be an encouragement to another.
I understand that many may not believe as we do about having children/use of birth control. And many are still not sure. We have many dear friends on all sides of the issue. We just encourage each couple to pray and see what God’s Word says.
Do I get tired…very tired sometimes…with all the responsibilities of caring for my family? Yes! There are evenings when I can’t wait to get to bed only to be awoken several times with a little one. But this happened also when I had 3 children.
Is there a lot to be done every day? Yes! Hard work abounds…but I’ve truly never been happier…especially working with my family.
If I could go back in time and change anything…anything at all…spacing of my children, amount, coming to the mission field ect… would I? NO! I wouldn’t change a thing because the Lord led us here and gave us each one of our little ones in His timing.
When Daniel and I married, we both wanted many children and we both gave that area to the Lord the night of our honeymoon as we knelt together asking the Lord’s blessing on our marriage. After 6 months, we found out we were pregnant with Timothy. Most ladies told me that nursing would keep me from getting pregnant for several months. My siblings and I are all 2 years apart and I just assumed that’s how it worked.
The following year, Elijah was born. Timothy I had nursed strictly on a schedule, so with Elijah I was much more “on demand” thinking that maybe that would possibly slow things down a bit :). Thirteen months later, our first sweet daughter Rebekah was born.
I held and fed her non-stop; she was just so sweet with a head full of dark hair. And then 13 months later, bald little Benjamin joined his siblings. Another precious daughter, Abigail came right after Ben’s first birthday. That was the year I began home schooling Timothy and the year we found out sweet little Isaiah was on the way.
I was busy, often tired, seemed to never have “time for myself”, and was just always home taking care of babies. It was at that time I began to wonder if we should “do something” to space the children a little more.
Like I said, Daniel and I talked about it, prayed, and we just didn’t know…but within short order (from God :) ), our Josiah was on the way. At this time, we were on deputation sharing with churches our burden to share the gospel in Mexico and how much fun we had traveling and serving together as a family. Everyone loved the children (and the children loved meeting everybody), and the following year our first little “Mexican” boy, Noah, was born. And how many open doors we had in this new country simply because of our children!
So now I was living in a 3rd world country without the modern conveniences of America with 8 children 7 and under. I had some very difficult days to say the least :) And here we were missionaries now. And while Daniel always encouraged me that my job was to be his wife and mommy to our children and care for our home, and I knew that was right, I still had so many thoughts/doubts. I would think, “But if I didn’t have so many to care for, I would be able to do so much more to help Daniel in the ministry and help the people here.” I would see other missionary ladies (oh how the devil wants us to do the compare game getting our eyes off Jesus and on to others) and see all the “ministries” and “opportunities” they had….classes they taught, activities they did, all the out reaches…and here I was struggling to just find the time to learn the language. It was a very serious time of struggle in my heart.
I also want to add here that during our time here on the field, the Lord has brought us through MANY trials unlike we’d ever gone through before. And with each one, He drew me nearer and nearer to Himself. Though small, my faith was growing so much and I loved the Lord like I never had before. My heart was changing.
I soon became pregnant with our little Susannah and as I got the baby girl clothes all unpacked, washed and hung in the closet, I could not imagine “choosing” myself to just pack them up for good. I cried even thinking about it. The day after my due date, I woke up bleeding and due to placenta abruptio and the hospital not diagnosing it correctly, I lost a lot of blood and had to have an emergency c-section.
The Lord had/has always given me peace about my pregnancies/deliveries no matter how “high risk” they are. But when Daniel thought how he almost lost his wife, he really began to pray and seek the Lord about if we should do something so space the children out a bit. It was then the Lord truly changed our hearts and gave us such peace and joy.
For one, I truly saw what I was doing in our home, whether giggling with a baby while I changed his diaper, or washing lettuce with a little one, or hanging clothes with the girls, or listening to Timothy recite his memory verses, as exactly what the Lord wanted me to do. I saw it as important as teaching 10 Bible studies. I had so many little lives to teach of the Savior!
I began to see so many opportunities to reach out to others right from our home…baking bread and walking over with the children to take it to a neighbor to spend some time visiting with them, writing letters to those back at home who are so faithful to pray for us and support us here, sharing Bible stories with the children who come over to play with us in our back yard ect… And even when I am morning sick and just do my best to keep the home clean, meals cooked, clothes washed, and teach the children from my bed, I know that the Lord sees and is honored as I do just what he has called me to do…be a keeper at home!
Someday my children will go places that I have never gone; I pray that they will reach many more for the Savior than we ever do; they will be bringing up children of their own in the way of the Lord. And I want to have their hearts and continually point them to the Savior as we walk together each day in His grace.
When Daniel walks in from another hot, humid day walking the dusty streets teaching and preaching, I want him to rest assured that his children have been cared for, taught, and the home is in order. I want him to come home each day to a place where he can relax, hug on our babies, have a warm (or cool :) ) supper together as a family, and always be there to listen to him, pray for him, and love him.
I want to be an example of Titus 2:3-5 to the ladies here in our town. I want them to see another side that is completely opposite to what they are being taught by the government. I want them to know that children are a joy and blessing, that they don’t have to just go to work to make more money, leave their children to the schools and streets, and most of all to know the one who changes hearts and lives…Jesus Christ!
I also saw “time for myself” as I was viewing it as something so fleeting and unfulfilling. My time alone is spent early each morning (hopefully) before the little ones awake at the feet of the Savior giving him my every burden, praising and thanking Him for all He is and does, and listening to Him as I read His Word. He is where all my strength comes!
And I find so much joy, fun, and fulfillment in the little, wonderful things that the Lord has given me each day…having Noah pull up a chair and help me peel potatoes while we see who can get the “big strips”; holding Eliseo up in the air with my arms while I rest my tummy in bed and watching him giggle out loud…it’s just soooo cute; turning on our Scripture memory songs while we dance around with brooms and mops cleaning the floor together singing all the while; watching Nehemiah put band-aids on his stuffed frog’s owies as he kisses them and rubs froggy’s back.
I don’t have to be at home all the time caring for children; I get to be at home with my children every day! How wonderfully blessed I am!
Do we choose not to use birth control? We choose to love each other, thank the Lord for each and every child He chooses to give us, and know that His grace and strength will enable us to do all He calls us to do! And I can honestly say that each time we see the 2 lines on that test, that we have nothing but thankfulness, excitement, and joy!
Is it abusing (mistreating or misusing) my body to not use birth control? From what I have studied, there seems to be far more health problems and often emotional hurts too from those who have chosen to use birth control (especially certain types). God made a woman’s body to have babies. No where in Scripture do I find where it is wrong to have children…I always see the opposite. I have even read about the times called for abstinence and none of those times are during a time a woman can conceive. Why I’m not like many who have a bit more spacing due to nursing, I do not know. But I know God made me just how I am and why should the clay say to the Potter why have you made me this way?
People will put their bodies at risk all the time…some for the good of others and others for selfish reasons. A police man, a soldier, even missionaries in many countries put their lives at risk every day. Why? To protect, for the benefit and salvation of another. This last week during our morning church service, there was an extreme sport dirt bike race going on right next to the highway in front of our church building. As we led the Sunday school class outside to do a craft, a biker got hit by a car and was badly hurt. While the emergency vehicles came to assist, the other racers zoomed by as fast as ever. Why? Because they had a race to win…there was fame and money to be gained.
While I don’t like morning sickness, I love being pregnant and nursing. I would rather be tired with my arms full than rested with them empty. Are there hurts and pains that go with it? Of course. With most anything worth having or doing doesn’t come without a price. But the reward is so much more than worth it!
Can I be effective for the Lord if I am run down, nursing, and pregnant all the time? The wonderful thing is the Lord has called me to be a help meet for my wonderful husband. He has called me to be the mommy to 11, soon to be 12, precious children. And when I am just where He has called me, faithful through the hard times, resting in His abounding grace and strength, I am the most effective I can be for Him. He is ever faithful even when I am not; ever ready to forgive, and sooo good. I love the Lord with all my heart and want to be a faithful servant wherever He has us.
And, just for the record, I’m not always run down. I am so blessed with such loving joyful helpers and lots of energy. And I’m not pregnant all the time…only about 9 months of the year :)