People are genuinely interested in large families, but every once in a while we get the snarky attitude. Here’s how we respond to such attitudes.
We receive two kinds of questions:
- How do YOU deal with negative comments about YOU?
- How do you deal with a culture that looks down on big families?
First answer: we ignore them. There are TV gossip sites that enjoy judging everyone and anyone that appear on television. I guess we’re of the crowd that gets judged. We pray seriously about every media opportunity that comes our way, and we’re confident that God has used those opportunities to touch people’s hearts. We live transparent lives. Sure, this gives some an opportunity to judge us, but it gives us the opportunity to live free. Why fear the words of judgmental men and women?
Second answer relates to any family who has more than, say, two kids. “How do you deal with a culture that looks down on big families?” Answer: We don’t believe in this presumption. This isn’t just an opinion; we really don’t think we live in such a culture. Who says the culture looks down on big families? Hollywood, maybe, but not regular people we run into. When we venture into Wal-Mart with a dozen-plus kids in tow, without exception we get asked if they are all ours. Daring ones ask us more valuable questions like how we manage them all, how we feed them, etc. Again, this gives us an opportunity to be transparent and share honest answers. This FAQ section is an example of our transparency, and it is one of the most popular areas of our Web site.
People do not “look down” on big families. People are curious. Since we live transparent lives free from others’ snappy judgments, we’re more than happy to share our experiences. We’re “live and let live” folks. If God is calling you to have two kids, by all means, have two kids. You’ll be like most couples in the world, and that’s fine, and our family of 15 children will continue to marvel you. God’s calling for you–how He convicts you personally–is what is important.
“Conviction” is a beautiful concept for followers of Christ, and our obedience to allow God to bless us with children stems from a personal conviction. Here’s the kicker: this question is asked by parents who are experiencing the same conviction. This FAQ is for them. How will YOU deal with the negative comments? Here’s our suggestion: ignore them.
You see, there really is no criticism that can penetrate genuine godly conviction. God is love (1 John 4:16), and he loves you and me and convicts us to follow his calling. What is so bothersome about that? The only bother is when we listen to the presumption–the so-called “culture”–and how we should look and act and live like everyone else. If we all listened to the culture, we would have no leaders, no innovation, no heroes, no martyrs. Do you want to have faith like that of a martyr? Walk in God’s path, even if it means walking into condemnation from the culture.
We hesitate to equate ourselves with martyrdom, or claim that we are persecuted. We can hardly call the joyful life of 15 children “persecution.” Our life is filled with unfettered joy–and it’s nonstop around here. This joy is the direct consequence of having so many blessings running around the house, which is, frankly, a direct result of following our personal convictions. If God is calling you and your spouse to have another child, go for it. Be honest with yourself: you’re on this Web site for a reason, and if you need validation to break from the norm and have another child, you just found it.
The snippy comment from a gossiper rolls off our backs, and they should roll off of yours, too.