Oct
13
2005

Woman Gives Birth to 16th Child

Fox News has posted a great article on the Duggar Family from Arkansas who has delivered their 16th child (“Arkansas Woman Gives Birth to 16th Child”). The article is surprisingly well balanced and positive. The common thread between most large families is their steadfast love for God and His blessings:

“We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them,” [father Bob Duggar] said.

Funny, I got grilled this morning from a friend who “pulled me aside” and let me know that Wendy’s body just ain’t built to have a 12th child. In good faith, he let me know that perhaps I should stop after our baby comes in November. After all, conventional wisdom says that a woman’s body isn’t made to have children.

“Okay, okay,” I told him, “You’ve had your peace!” He was a friend (don’t worry, he’s still a friend) who was sharing a concern, and I am glad he loved me enough to verbalize it.

But I totally disagree. A woman’s body (especially people like my wife and Mrs. Duggar) is obviously made to have babies! It may be conventional wisdom, but it is wrong. Notice Mrs. Duggar’s dependency: it is on the wisdom of God, not on man. “Conventional wisdom” consists of a modern OBGYN medical field that typically scare women out of having babies, treating delivery like emergencies and babies like cancers that need to be removed.

Humph, don’t get me started. The living proof is incredible. I know many, many large families, and I can’t think of one mother of more than, say, six kids who is suffering from ill health due to having babies. To prove my point, here is a picture of another mother of 16, Miriam Heppner of Minnesota, and her brood:

The Heppner Family

Can you tell which one is the mom? Her oldest daughter (far right) looks older than her mom! The “conventional” wisdom says that birthing children drains the health of the mother, and nothing is further than the truth. And this is not just an anecdotal argument (meaning that I am simply privileged in knowing healthy mothers of many children). Let me turn the argument on the believers of “conventional” wisdom: I have yet to see a scientific study that shows child delivery to exhaust a woman’s body. As a matter of fact, I have yet to meet someone who has an anecdotal argument of knowing an unhealthy mother-of-many.

Sure, delivery is painful and it is difficult, but God has created the female body to bounce back incredibly well. When asked if she will have any more children, Mrs. Duggar says she will if the Lord will it. Great answer, one with the right perspective. Remember the perspective: children are a blessing from God. While my friend knows this in his heart, he has fallen for the “conventional” idea that God’s creation has somehow fallen short in allowing these blessings to come.

I don’t agree, and I have yet to be served an argument that proves otherwise. Meanwhile, I retreat to my large family of blessings–11 children and another on the way–a life of joy, challenge and reward.

View the Duggar family on the Discovery Channel.

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.