Dec
08
2010

"God Doesn't Want Us to Have Children!"

Last week we published “Don’t Mix Messages on Infertility”, a defense from some who thought we judged others for being infertile. The post raised some angry hairs. This post is a rebuttal to a somewhat common response to our convictions: “God doesn’t want us to have children!”

Priscilla in the flour

Even when they mess up your lives, they're blessings.

One caveat: We’re not judging anyone. Really. Some think us nuts for having so many children, but we don’t even judge them for thinking so. If a couple feels strongly that God is calling them to avoid children, we will be the last to cast a stone and cry “shame!” Your choices are between you and God. So are ours. End of that argument.

But we’re the minority here, having to explain ourselves against a world that, in our opinion, encourages childlessness, or at least as few as possible. Some feel judged when we explain our convictions. They grow angry. Here’s what we said in our article: “We sometime focus is on those 20-somethings who voluntarily embrace infertility, especially when they try to say they are making a wise, responsible choice. Yep, we challenge that premise head on.” That sent a couple. Quote:

“I’m a young, married Christian 20-something who doesn’t want kids. and I have a problem with you judging those who voluntarily choose to NOT have kids …. Sometimes God DOES call couples to not have kids so that they can focus on ministry. That’s my personal choice, and no one else’s business.”

“Some couples are called by God into a ministry that does not permit time, finances, or energy for many, if any, children. There are people, (even married people, not just singles) doing AMAZING, priceless, intense work on the front lines for God here in the US and overseas that they absolutely could not do if they were welcoming children every year or 2.”

We’ve mulled over these (and other) comments, and we’ve just gotta respond. We hope they bring clarity to what we try to articulate on this site and in our books and resources. Here goes…

Q1: Are you saying that God actually has “called” you to refuse children?

We’ve heard a myriad of reasons from couples why they shouldn’t have children, but we rarely hear someone claim it to be a spiritual conviction. We have a good friend who articulated this conviction in a well-reasoned, calm fashion. What can we say? We find his convictions to be genuine.

But we doubt the angry reaction. Why? Because conviction often ticks people off. Sort of like a smoker irritated by the non-smoker. They should quit, but they lash out at the poor soul who happens to try to articulate the harms of smoking.

Perhaps this could be a rule of thumb on how confident you are about God’s calling: Are you easily irritated by others’ challenge? If you are, you may want to spend some time praying about that irritation. You may be surprised to find that God is trying to lead you to a greater understanding and a better life.

Q2: Do you believe the childless life is more freeing than the life with children?

What is a “blessing”? Something that blesses, right? Invariably, the perspective of these comments are no, children will hinder my life. Some even try to convince us that their lives are full of ministry and good works without children. It’s very difficult to counter this to someone with no children, but we’ll try.

This is a truth every parent knows: Children transform your life. For the better! I suppose there are some demented parents out there who disagree and insist their children ruined their lives, but they’re just that: demented. When couples are convinced and they have their first child, the light comes on. “Ah-ha!” they say through tears, “This is what the Jeubs were talking about!”

But here’s an impossible presumption: The childless couple insisting that children would not bless them. It sounds rather silly when childless couples insist such things. They have no idea. They insist they love children, pointing to how they love their nieces and nephews, love their pets, etc., etc. But parents know better. It’s a world of difference when your own child comes into your life.

Q3: Are you challenged much on your decision to have no children? I mean, besides websites like this (from movies, culture, relatives, friends).

The presumption is this: we’re judging childless couples. This is nearly funny, because we feel the entire world judging us! Commentators have to really seek us out. The world rejects children. If you need to find encouragement to live a childless life, just turn on television and get your daily dose. We ride against that tide.

And it is a tide — a big one. Here’s the marriage world we live in: Double income, travel, career building, and perhaps some charity. Give to Good Will, but the message is boldly, “Don’t love  your own children.” They’ll mess up that income, they’ll whine when traveling, they’ll erase your career opportunities, and you won’t have anything more to give. Bottom line message is blasting from every media outlet: children are curses — don’t have any.

But not at JeubFamily.com. We rejoice with our online friends over the hectic, impoverished, chaotic life of family. Why? Because children are blessings. That’s simple truth for you. We’re used to the idea. We welcome others to embrace their children and, if so led, love another.

This is our response to the folks who grow angry with our “love another child” conviction (try to envision Wendy and Chris with the most loving, caring expression, reaching out to you in the hopes you understand): Perhaps your anger is really an unreasonable defense to a subtle, loving conviction from God to Love Another Child.

Then in a year or so, you can post on this blog about your “Ah-ha” moment.

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.

  • JAC

    A lot of people miss the point that raising a family IS a ministry, not something that keeps you from being able to minister.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      A good point, JAC! In fact, we’ve found the best ministers were also parents.

    • http://www.everydaychristian.com/ Amy Wingfield

      Ok, I want to reply here. I used to get so upset with people would embrace someone if they were called to deepest darkest Africa to be a foreign missionary, but not consider a stay at home home-school mom to be a ” calling” and a mission field as well.
      We are living in a day when children are seen as a nuisance, a bother, an inconvenience. Genetically more and more people are finding themselves infertile or going through secondary infertility. The infertility rates does seem to be increasing in the world. There are all kinds of options to prevent pregnancy and even monthly cycles. This is becoming a world of ” conveniences” I cherish my 4 children, I’d love to have more. I now look forward to being on the mission field of “grandmother-hood” someday, and I just might become a midwife someday. There are those days when I’d love to have more “me” time, but I personally have to say I know God has a plan and a purpose for each of us ( Jeremiah 29:11-14) I know several who have decided not to have children, but I’ve never heard anyone say God called them to be childless so they could minister better. Perhaps, it’s not for me to judge. It seems lonely though. One the worst things I think you could be in this world is alone. Yes you always have God and you have your husband and even after my nest is empty, I will have God and my husband, but for me personally, my children fill my day with purpose and love and emotions, compassion, etc,in a way that I don’t think I can explain it clearly. It’s something I wish all women could experience, motherhood. I know some won’t and some don’t want to, and that saddens me, because I truly feel motherhood is my calling and as a woman I find it very hard to believe God would purposely call any woman to be childless in order to be a missionary, but I could be wrong, and if I am, ok,
      I just don’t understand and maybe I’m not meant to
      What God has called me to do, He may not have called you to do and that’s ok.
      Thank you for allowing me to share
      Amy

  • Laurie

    Very good article, I enjoyed reading it. Its totally a personal choice between you and GOD. I am greatful for my 7 children and feel I followed GODS plan for my life. The judging should always be left to GOD, just like the bible says.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Bingo! Judging others takes our focus off God’s plan for our lives. So glad we finally learned that. Life is so much nicer.

  • Carly

    Wendy and Chris, Jeub Family,

    Blessings to you all! I so appreciate the way you have stated your reasonings- and, not JUST because Dave and I agree with you! When we were first married, we figured: 2 kids, 2 dogs, live in suburbia- well, you get the picture… There is not a day that goes by that I do not praise GOD for opening our hearts to let GOD determine the size of our family, by birth, by death, by adoption. We have come across the same challenges you have faced with people- the same arguments. I wanted to thank you for lovingly challenging those who disagree vehemently and ‘feel judged’- (like I have the right to judge anyone!) and continue to point the way to JESUS to them. I thank you for encouraging folks to examine what they live in light of GOD’s Word. It is so sad we live in a time where children are perceived a burden instead of a blessing. No where in Scripture is that attitude supported. Anyway, thanks again! We pray for your family, and covet your prayers for ours! Carly

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

      Carly, something you said I find interesting: “Opening our hearts.” Our logical arguments sometimes get in the way of our heartfelt desire to love another child. So glad to hear you overcame and let your heart be true. Conviction is in the heart, reasoning in the mind. Hmmm…maybe a future blog post?

  • http://godmadehomegrown.blogspot.com Tiana

    Oh, did I ever make this argument at one point in my life!!

    I was working full-time…okay, more than full-time…at a Christian non-profit philanthropy. My husband and I were newlyweds, but my job left me almost no time to learn how to do the things I needed to do to be a good wife. People I encountered at my job always asked me, “So, when are you going to have a baby?”, and I’d be shocked.

    “Baby?! You think I have time for a baby? I don’t have time to feed my fish!”

    Dear friends of mine, who shares your (and now, our) convictions about the blessings of children, called me on it, and challenged me to think differently. And boy, did I get *angry*. I couched it in very “spiritual” terms, though. I had a “ministry” to do, didn’t I?

    Truth be told, I was miserable in my job. I thought it was just because it was hard work. I didn’t realize until much later that it was because I was outside the will of God. Harsh? Maybe. But true, nonetheless.

    It did take me a while to come around (and my husband, a bit longer), but we’re here now. :) Keep doing what you are doing. There are so few voices out there preaching your message. Here’s a little bit of our story: http://godmadehomegrown.blogspot.com/2010/05/coming-out-of-closet.html

    I’m convinced we wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for the prayers and preaching of faithful people who were diligent to show us what the Scriptures teach.

    Blessings,

    :)Tiana

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Thank you so much for commenting, Tiana. “I don’t have time to feed my fish!” That’s funny! You hit the nail on the head…right on.

  • https://overcomingtheworld.wordpress.com Bethany

    Bravo! Well said!

  • Sarah M. in MI

    I wanted to challenge the same thought in the previous post, but didn’t know how to put it. Thanks for verbalizing what I was thinking.
    There is NO reason you cannot do ministry WITH children. I shudder when I hear of mission boards requiring their missionaries to limit their child-bearing. MORE people telling others about Jesus is a GOOD thing.
    I personally know of a family that was candidating as overseas missionaries when they found themselves pregnant with #5. They were distraught that the timing was awful, friends and family tried to convince them that this was a sign from God that they weren’t to be missionaries, people said it would be wrong to ask supporters to support such a large family.
    They decided that God was still calling them, and went forward with plans. In the course of preparing, they found that in their future homeland it was illegal for an adult to “witness” to children…but not for children to do so. They realized that’s why they had been blessed with a larger family…and have since shown fruit through their children’s ministries to other children.
    Do not discount what God can do with a family of ANY size.
    I will not say that when God told someone not to have children or to stop having children that it was not God. Not my place.
    But it never hurts to re-evaluate what God is telling you.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Very inspiring story, Sarah! Thank you for sharing. We, too, know families in ministry who have been pressured to limit family size. Those that refuse usually end up making a much bigger impact than the higher ups every thought possible.

  • Momto12

    A very good friend of mine use to add this to her signature line with every e-mail. Sadly for us she has gone to be with the Lord!

    “The Bible calls children blessings and debt a curse. Yet in our society we apply for curses and reject blessings. Something is wrong with this picture.”
    Doug Phillips (Vision Forum)

    • Rebecca C.

      Love the quote! I might just have to “steal” it!! Thanks!

  • T. Gates

    We just recently heard of a family with 9 children in the mission field. God will not give you what you can’t handle!

  • Miranda Fann

    I agree that children ARE a ministry, because Jesus said it himself that the harvest is plenty but the workers are few. We are raising up more workers for His kingdom! Number 7 in June!

  • KSJ

    I am one of 8 siblings so I know what it’s like to have a “big” family. I was just very curious as to what you believe about a person choosing to not have any biological children, not because of infertility but by choice, because that person has the heart of adoption. I’m just very curious as to how you see this.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      That would kind of depend. What’s the reason one excludes the other?

      But, without blinking, we say “Go for it!” when it comes to adoption!

  • http://enjoycountryliving.com marybeth

    Did the- want to remain childless couple -who swears God doesn’t want them to have any children stop to think -If the Almighty didn’t want you to have children -he would have made it so- and you wouldn’t have to worry one little bit about having any. You either wouldn’t be able to conceive (until he wanted children in your life) or he would make one of you sterile. End it- that’s all folks.
    Bravo on a well written article.♥
    Enjoy country living

  • Kaitlin

    Good post! I know your children are extremely beneficial to your ministry– editing, filming, sorting, even cooking at camps. I can’t imagine your work without your kids.

    Being a PK (pastor’s kid), I have seen this debate over and over. Many of those who are very involved in ministry do their best to prevent children, or call the ones they do have “accidents.” These children are sent to daycare so the parents can focus on “God’s work.” So many of these kids end up feeling second place to their parents’ ministry, and I have had many peers who rebel for this reason.

    It almost makes me wonder if a ministry can become an idol…

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Right on, Kaitlin! So glad you posted.

  • Rhonda

    re: Beginning of your post: “mulled,” not mauled. I’m an editor by trade and couldn’t resist. It’s the hunter coming out in you. :) Love the way your posts challenge me, and bless you for sharing. We have 4 (got started a little later in life), which is 2 too many in most people’s eyes. Am struggling mightily with the oldest one’s teenage rebellion, so during this, I’m so glad I have my youngest to cuddle so it doesn’t consume me while we’re working on it!

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Thanks for the edit…always welcome!
      Hang in there with that rebellious teen. We cover this a lot in our first book “Love in the House.”

  • Abby

    I personally don’t feel the media and the world is so deadly against children as is being made out here…..but maybe that’s just me. Oh I know there is pressure to go with the norm (whatever that is)….it could just be because I have never really been faced with negativity from my 5. I know the negativity is there….but I also see a world which is encouraging little girls to have baby dolls and toy kitchen equipment together in a playhouse to “play families”.

    I think missionary work can be done with a family, I think God can call children as much as adults-but then I also believe every child that is to be in this world will arrive, God is a lot more powerful then what is basically a hormone tablet. I think God will call people to adopt and foster children that for some reason can’t be with their parents rather than having their own, for the same reason.

    I agree with you that the stronger you are in your convictions,the less uncomfortable you’ll be when challenged. You will however also have an argument to throw back which can equally challenge the other side , which seems to be what we mostly see on your site. I’m enjoying your posts, hence my sudden string of replys.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Good point on “the world ain’t that scary.” We posted on this a month ago: Judgment Hurts, but Is It Really Persecution?.

    • Kerry

      Yes, God is bigger than a hormone pill. There is a factor you are missing in your argument, though, and that is the human element. God does not force himself or His will on us. The maternity of married couples in the US have contracepted, and in doing so have removed God from the

    • Kerry

      Yes, God is bigger than a hormone pill. There is a factor you are missing in your argument, though, and that is the human element. God does not force himself or His will on us. The maternity of married couples in the US have contracepted, and in doing so have removed God from the equation.

  • http://yes-theyre-all-ours.blogspot.com Elizabeth

    This was a gracious and well thought out reply. I agree with everything you have said. May I share with you my response to those who believe that God has called them to have one child or zero children or whatever? I tell them that they should have no problem throwing out all their birth control with confidence, since they KNOW they won’t have any children — since God has clearly called them to this lifestyle of zero/one or however many children. God is the author of life and the one who opens and closes the womb, so He would not contradict His calling! Right??? :)

    On the other hand, how to REALLY know if God has called you to a ministry that doesn’t include children is if you haven’t tried to prevent having children, and He has not blessed you with any. Then, unless He clearly calls you to adoption, you can be pretty confident that He has something else in mind!

    That’s quite simple, isn’t it? :)

  • Sheila, Mom to Six

    I am unaware of ANY Scriptural backing for someone choosing not to have children. I did have someone bring me to a passage about stewardship, to try and prove that they should prevent having more children (i.e. “gotta take care of the ones I have,” or the aforementioned “ministry” excuse). However, any time the Bible talks about stewardship, note that whatever the steward is put in charge of is given by the MASTER. True, we are to be good stewards – of our belongings, our children (more importantly), and, yes, even our bodies. But, the Bible is clear about these two things: It is God alone who can give life, and Children are a blessing. Can we trust Him?
    In response to the adoption question, I ask, why not be open to both? We have some good friends who have 5 bios, 2 adopted, and in the process of adopting 3 sisters (all through the foster care system). They are open to more bios, but so far God has chosen to put that on hold, at least. I think it’s all about having the faith and trust in our Maker concerning His blessing of children. And, not everyone has the same measure of faith. :)
    Thanks for posting this, Jeubs. God has given you a wonderful avenue to share the joys of parenting, whether or not our families are “large.”
    Sincerely,
    Sheila, a happy housewife with six children here on earth…

  • tereza

    I began wanting 10 children. I have 4 now (only God knows how many more will be added unto me) and I have found that parenthood is the hardest job on this earth.

    I was a full time missionary on the field for 2.5 years and have heard of missionaries that decided to be childless so that they could give themselves fully to the ministry. While I know that being single to devote oneself to the ministry is biblical, being childless by one’s choice is not found in the Bible.

    I think, from my own experience, that being a childless missionary you can drop the ministry if the going gets tough. As for being a parent, if you abandon your mission field you become one of those demented parents that have neglected, rejected or left their children. So it is very convenient to be a childless missionary. But like you said, it’s between that person and God.

    On my hard days I will say that I am done! I know many have had hard days in their lives and we have said things but have not walked it out because we believe different. And I do! I believe I am called to have children, just like I believe I was supposed to stop smoking and GOD delivered me from it. :) The key word here is: God did it, not me!

    So, yeah, this too has to be God’s doing. He is the One that convicts us and performs the miracle.

    It’s a journey. I am glad I am on this road. :)

  • Tammie

    Also funny that they posted this today, because just yesterday I was asked if we were going to have more and also what my biggest regret was .. they assumed I was going to say something menial like not going to the beach or having some dopey career .. but my response was simply this: Yes and my on…ly regret ? Is that I did not have MORE children !!! Lets just say, the look was PRICELESS !!!

    I have come to realize, that the things people see as the biggest burdens in life, can also be the biggest blessings !!!

  • Bea

    I honestly believe that just as God has called some to be mothers and fathers, he calls some to leave a life without children. It is the same as how some people are called to find a spouse and some are called to be single (truly single not live-in, friends with benefits, etc). People can definitely still have ministries with children but some, I believe, are called to minister without having children. Now some people don’t want children and will use excuses like “I want to travel”, “I want to climb the career ladder”, etc as I reasons but my response to those people is that you can do those things and still be a great parent if you want to. My husband and I love to travel and we have found ways to travel with our 3 kids to 4 different countries and 35 states. We are nowhere near wealthy but its important to us so we do without other things that aren’t as important to us. Interstingly enough we have been able to climb the career ladder higher because of our willingness to pack up and move for 6-12 months to work on a specific task. Not only do we gain valuable career experience we get to spend our weekends site seeing with our kids! How awesome is that?!?!?!

    Honestly I think that those who are choosing not to have children are still the minority. While my husband and I are a middle class family living in a higher than average education area (recent reports say college graduates are more likely to marry, etc) we have traveled a lot and seen many different cultures and we are seeing a world that teaches that you grow up and have kids because its what society expects from you.

  • http://www.cultivatinghome.com Hannah

    I’ve heard it said, and I believe it to be absolutely true, that God will not call you to do something contrary to His Word. In other words, if you have a conviction to *not* do something and it isn’t backed up by the Bible, then it isn’t the holy spirit doing the convicting.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Interesting perspective, Hannah. Thanks for posting!

  • sandra

    I find your lifestyle and convictions refreshing,as my husb. and I were both treated as if we were nothing more than liabilities,not assests.(and we were good kids!).we were treated as ppl who were just in the way of their life or whatever they wanted to do.
    and when I got pregnant again, just a few months after our first was born (of which the relatives were hollering ‘how are you going to afford it???(even though my husb. had a good job)) you should have seen and heard the comments! ‘you weren’t very careful,were you??!!’ and ‘but i thought you were taking the pill!!’,were just a couple of them.
    even the the nurse at the dr’s office yelled at me ‘don’t you know any better??!!!!'(uh.. God does!! :) )

    anyway,keep up the good work;I love big Christian families! :)

  • Jennifer

    One of the original comments quoted in the post was:

    “Sometimes God DOES call couples to not have kids so that they can focus on ministry.”

    I don’t have any problem with this statement at all. It does seem that God “calls” someone to childlessness…. the evidence for this would be a couple who has let God decide and He hasn’t given them any. It really seems as simple as that. If you believe God does not want to give you any children, and you are correct, then He won’t! How freeing – you can be married and be intimate with your spouse without having to worry about children, as He won’t give you any if that is His will. The only way you could not agree with this and take things into your own hands would be to believe that it is NOT God who gives us children, just some random biological process. And if that is your limited view of God (and unBiblical, I might add), it seems that perhaps Christian Ministry is not the best “career” for you.

    Just my thoughts – I don’t mean that harshly, just matter-of-factly. You can’t talk about God being all-powerful and sovereign and the author of life and at the same time say you are convinced God does not want you to have children, while making that decision yourself. In other words, if you believe God doesn’t want you to have any, let him make that decision. But by YOU making the decision, you are saying that YOU don’t want to have them.

    • Barbi

      AMEN to what Jennifer has said! As Christians, how can we not KNOW that an eternal being does NOT/can NOT come into existence w/out our Lord’s hand leading the way? You know and believe He numbers the hairs on heads…right? Yet somehow you you are deceived into thinking somehow a precious new life, a new creation can come into existence w/out His involvement? If indeed God does not want you to have children, then as Jennifer said, don’t worry, you won’t. Children come from God.

      Yes, many will point to sad situations where a child has been conceived in brokeness, like rape, incest, young teen, whatever, and ask, “Really, God brought this about?” How can you believe otherwise? YES we live in a fallen, broken world, where life is not always brought into ideal circumstances – and ALL suffer in this fallen world – even innocent babies. But that does not make a baby anything less than a gift from God – a gift of LIFE – an eternal being created in the image and likeness of God – a MIRACLE! So to suggest that God would want you to take it upon yourself (or as a couple) preventing the creation of life, which can ONLY HAPPEN by God’s grace, is …a rejection of what our faith is all about.

    • BJ

      Amen.

    • http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/cappuccinosmom Margaret

      Jennifer, sadly I am running into more and more Christians who do indeed believe that children result from a merely biological process, and are not “from God” in the sense we mean it. IOW, we are all the results of random biological process. The soul makes its way in there somewhere but God has nothing to do with conception.

      If one takes that view, then birth control on any basis whatsoever makes perfect sense.

      But if one does believe in an Almighty Creator for whom every individual is part of his creation, then there is an issue with birth control, and that’s why these debates even exist.

  • http://www.tishadeutsch.blogspot.com Tisha

    I’m really trying to understand your stance. I have been fans of your family for a long time but do feel that the message you send can sometimes get quite confusing. Specifically with regard to adoption and infertility treatments.

    As far as adoption is concerned, when you say, “go for it” are you meaning only if a couple is infertile or beyond child bearing age? Because in many situations (depending on the size of a family already and the number of children in the home, in addition to the country or county in which the adoption is taking place) a pregnancy could put an end to the adoption process. And, sometimes the process itself can be quite lengthly – 1 year to up to several years. In that case, if a family feels led by God toward adoption and they choose that route, they may have to restrict child bearing. At least for a certain period of time. This is especially true if they already have several children because in many cases there is a ‘maximum number of children in the home’ policy.

    Secondly, when you say you leave family planning up to God, what do you say to a couple that are infertile but pursue treatment to have children? Do you see that as them opening a door God has closed? From your point of view, is it also intervention, so to speak, just as birth control is intervention?

    BTW, I happen to agree with you and feel strongly convicted to NOT use birth control, and our family is quite large by American standards already. But I have a hard time passing my convictions onto others as if it is necessarily what they should also be doing in their own lives.

    Sincerely,
    Tisha

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Keep trying to understand, Tisha. You’re getting there.

      Adoption: We know many people who have gone through the process. Voluntarily restrict pregnancy in order to adopt? This is a false dilemma. I don’t think adoptive parents struggle with this concept at all.

      Come to think of it, Alicia and Alissa’s adoptions went through when Cynthia was born. Restrict pregnancy? Wasn’t even close to being on our minds.

      Artificial means? Again, “go for it!” Medical help to gain the blessing of children is great. Medical help to AVOID the blessing of children, now that–in our mind–is odd.

      • http://www.tishadeutsch.blogspot.com Tisha

        Thank you for your response! I am so happy to hear back from you!

        Voluntarily restricting pregnancy during the adoption process is certainly NOT a false dilemma for those adopting from coutries that have that “maximum # of children in the home” policy, or for those adopting from foster care, IF the family already has a large family!! Going through the adoption process ourselves, we know several couples who had paid all their initial fees, (which are quite steep) found out they were expecting, and were no longer able to go through with their adoption per either agency or country rules. I believe the max # of children that will be placed in a home through foster care or foster adopt in El Paso county is 8. This can be a very real struggle which takes a great deal of thoughtful consideration four couples who feel strongly called to care for the orpahn if they are fertile and of child bearing age.

        Love your thoughts on medical intervention. I finally get what you are saying there. :) Thank you.

      • http://www.tishadeutsch.blogspot.com Tisha

        “I don’t think adoptive parents struggle with this concept at all.”
        Perhaps, that *may be* the kind of statement that causes certain folks to believe you are judgmental. How do you know what some adoptive parents may or may not struggle with?

      • laura

        Before I even begin, I completely accept that I will very likely be flamed for this. But I also expect to be purified in the Refiner’s Fire before I stand before My Lord, should I be so blessed. I also want to make it clear that I believe that every child, no matter where, why or how they are conceived, is graced by the very Breath of God with a soul, so please do not infer differently.

        “Artificial means? Again, “go for it!” Medical help to gain the blessing of children is great. Medical help to AVOID the blessing of children, now that–in our mind–is odd.”

        Ok, you really had me up until this statement.

        If what you mean by “medical help” is the balanacing of full health through means of hormonal supplements, then I can understand this statement. Things like progesterone, for instance, can bring a woman into hormonal balance and help make conception possible. Perhaps this is what you meant.

        But if the artificial, willful, mechanical closing of the womb in contradiction to the Will of God is sinful….then how can it not be so that the same in reverse is not sinful? Is it not truly possible for God to will a couple to be infertile, according to His Purpose and Will?

        I do not understand how human beings can be so arrogant as to force the creation of life outside of the womb–and then literally force the womb open to accept that life–in order to gain the object of man’s desire in a child. It is so very similar to artificially opening a woman’s womb to end the life of a child, in order to gain the object of man’s desire of presumed freedom from responsibility. Souls are involved here, and I don’t think that can ever, ever be taken lightly.

        You know, science is really a wonderous thing to behold, but it can be used to achieve sinful ends through our arrogance. Just because something becomes possible because science and technology make it so does not mean that it is also in accord with God’s Will in our lives. Using our gift of free will to insist on an outcome like this is no different, I think, than using it in any other selfish way. For hundreds of thousands of lives to be created in the sterile world of a laboratory, to have those multitude frozen until they are deemed “convenient,” to have many thousands of them die while waiting, or because of mechanical failure, or because the implantation of those tiny preborn babies is just not possible, or because a couple has decided that they don’t want triplets, they only want twins, or because a couple has decided that they are now done and have chosen to “dispose” of the rest of those preborn children–how is any of this acceptable? In a society where the killing of preborn children through abortion is treated so very casually, and yet so gravely understood, I’m sure, by those reading here, are so many truly unaware of how closely related the two are? That a human life can be begun and ended so swiftly within a laboratory must surely mean something here.

        I wonder if you can clarify what you mean by “artificial means” and your encouragement of their use. Your thoughts?

    • Amy

      Tisha ~

      We are one of those families that had to work through the issue of becoming pregnant while waiting to adopt our son through Ethiopia. We found out after we signed the paperwork and put down the deposit (it was a new program and their paperwork wasn’t complete yet) that we would have to delay the adoption process if we got pregnant until the new bio baby was a year old. We had to work through all of the Biblical reasons at a time when we were not as confidant as we are now about letting God give us as many children as He has planned. This was at a time when I was getting pregnant 9 months after each new child. However, we realized that the same God who was leading us to adopt, was also the same one who chooses when to give life. It was a test of faith – but God chose to bring our son home from Ethiopia – and then make us pregnant 3 months later! In fact, seeing how God worked all of this, gave us even stronger faith. He was also the one who withheld children for 4 years (!) when we first began to try to have a family, because He knew our first child was going to be formed in someone else’s womb. Our first bio baby arrived about 18 months after our adopted daughter was placed in our arms. That was all under His control as well.

      A point to remember is that the adoption is delayed – not competely cancelled by a pregnancy. This can sometimes mean that some finances are lost – sometimes a good chunk – but again, is God not sovereign? Maybe the child that He has for you to adopt is not going to be born for several years.

      I can compassionately understand couples struggling with this issue. Even after God had shown us so much of His sovereignty with adoptions and pregnancies – we had to once again wrestle through this issue two years ago. The child that God blessed us with after our Ethiopian adoption was born with extreme special needs. She is so precious and dear to us – but we have been through such heartache and struggle – almost losing her several times in her first few months. We kept thinking “Surely God wouldn’t want us to have another one – we need to focus on her!” & “Surely if there ever was a good reason to use birth control – this is it!” But once again, God would not let our spirits rest until we chose to have faith in Him. Our next child was born 20 months later. Our faith was then stretched to the very edge. He was born very healthly but VERY cranky! He screams all of the time. It was so much harder than we ever could have imagined to have a baby with special needs and a screamer!!!! Once again, we wrestled with this issue. But then we realized as hard as it is, we would NEVER choose not to have every single one of our blessings – cranky or not. God does know best. He gives us the strength for each new day and each new child.

      It still all comes down to is God sovereign or not? Is the same God that gives us each breath – that tells us in His Word that He is the one who gives us the ability to work, yet is also the one that blesses that work – the same one that set the universe in motion – sovereign enough to create or withhold life according to His perfect plan? As someone else has stated, if He means for you to be childless, will not His plan triumph. I do not state this lightly – we have struggled so mightly over the years with this issue. But I cannot escape the fact that nothing is out of His control.

      It is an issue that is between a couple and God. However, that does not mean that those who have struggled through it cannot offer some caution and insight. What you do with that insight is also between you and God. As one of those that has struggled repeatedly with this, I would encourage a couple to write down all of their reasons for using birth control – and then write down accurately (using verses in context) Biblical support for those reasons. If your reasons are many of the standard ones, God’s Word will put those to rest. Worried about finances? As I stated before, God tells us that He is the one that not only gives us the ability to work, He is also the one that chooses to bless that work – in other words, He is your provider, He will not fail you. Health issues? God is the one who not only heals, but has also given us knowledge to help keep our bodies healthy. (This is not to say that we will not have serious health issues, but that we can try to seek out the best way to deal with them). No time? Again searching His Word, you will find that He gives us the time and the strength to do what He wills for us to do – if you won’t have time, maybe it isn’t what God wants you to do. If you find that you do have Biblical support for your reasons, then you can rest at peace.

      Finally, if you are at peace with your decision, do not become angry with someone who makes the opposite decision! It is not a personal attack on you. Just as your decision to limit your family is not an attack on a large family – a large family is not an attack on you. If it is in a discussion situation like this, calmly offer your perspective, but rest in the decision you made based on God’s Word. As Chris and Wendy said, if it really bothers you, maybe you should pray about the reasons it does bother you.

      Pray – seek His Word – be open to what He asks – trust.

      Amy
      Mom of 10 kiddos (6 bio & 4 adopted)

      • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

        Wonderfully said, Amy. Thanks for taking the time to post this!

      • http://www.tishadeutsch.blogspot.com Tisha

        Amy,
        Thank you for your response, I did not see it until just now.

        I have not made the opposite decision! I have 7 children ages 9 and under – 2 adopted from Ethiopia at the ages of 4 and 6, in addition 5 biological and am COMPLETELY open, in fact praying (and trying) for more, if the Lord wills!

        I am not angry – I too believe in NOT restricting child bearing – FOR MYSELF.

        And, if there are “too many” children in the home, an adoption can in fact be cancelled – we had friends to which this happend in process to adopt from Haiti before the earthquake.

        I agree with you and believe that this topic is very personal, between the couple and God and having as many children as possible is not God’s will accross the board for every family.

  • http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/cappuccinosmom Margaret

    Thank you.

    Singleness is the Biblical route to uninterrupted, unhindered missionary work. There is no Biblical calling to deliberate marital childlessness

  • Linda Valentino

    I always wanted a big family, however I was never blest to have any since I have been very ill after an incident happened to me when i was a teenager that prevented me to have any children. I have been sick most of my life. I think that if god speaks to you and you can afford to have 30 of them then do it, more power to you, if you ever want to say enough is enough then you can pass some over to us. We are loving parents who could not afford to have any now, unlike you all I am blest to have known you, all, you live in a different world which is what I think that is best for the children of today. A city child will never know what it will be like to milk a cow, get fresh eggs from a hen and then raise their own food. I am blest to have done all that most of my life, and then some. I just say you are very blest to have what god grants you both, thank heavens that you all have the patience of a saint to give birth to all these children. I wonder what christmsa is like in your house?

    blessing for the future is all yours and god grant you more deserving gifts that he has given you. god bless. you have my vote for more children… love you all… Linda

  • Annie

    If God’s plan was for someone to NOT have children, wouldn’t he close their womb? It’s apparent with infertility, that God has a different plan for some of us.

  • Monica

    Be fruitful and multiply – I always thought this was one of the purposes of marriage. If one feels led not to multiply then maybe they are not called to marriage. If a couple claims a calling from God not to have children then why do they use contraception- If the calling is from God won’t He keep the couple from conceiving?
    Thanks Chris and Wendy for this quote –
    Artificial means? Again, “go for it!” Medical help to gain the blessing of children is great. Medical help to AVOID the blessing of children, now that–in our mind–is odd.

    We used artificial means for our 5 darling daughters.

    Monica

  • Norra

    The bible says noting about electricity but yet we have it. Is that wrong for us to use it then? I am tired of that argument. The bible does not say allot of things that we do. That does not make it right or wrong. It is about what God DOES say and conviction.

    I am a missionary and have been for the last decade. I love the Lord as does my spouse. We have prayed about kids and we don’t feel the blessing of children is in our future and we are totally ok with that. Do we use protection? Yes, but that is because I have a problem and it helps keep things in check and steady.

    If, through prayer, we felt God saying it is time, we would stop the pills or God would override them. (as He has done many times with others) We are close with God and know that He would tell us if this blessing was for us. Until then, we work hard for His Glory.

    I know many will disagree but you are not in our position. So, flame on…..

  • http://jent-manyblessings.blogspot.com JenT

    Great post! I also agree with what Hannah said in one of the above comments about God not calling a person to do something that is contrary to His Word. Also, what Annie said about God closing the womb. The Bible is very clear that it is God who opens and closes the womb.
    As for my husband and me, we are trusting God on how many children we have and when. Most people don’t understand that (even our parents) and have cautioned us to “spread them out” as though we are the ones in control. What is funny is that with our 9th (an emergency c-section) everyone even our own midwife adviced us to wait two years to have another one, and it has been two years. Our 9th was born in August 2008 and then our 10th just two weeks ago. What is funny about it, is that we actually didn’t do anything to prevent it.

  • Melissa

    So what do you do when one spouse has the convicition of not wanting anymore children and the wife has the convicition that God should be in control? This is where my husband and I are at and it is heart breaking for both of us. We don’t believe in hormonal birth control (the pill) but we don’t agree to allowing God to control our fertility. I’m sure this is a common problem in marriages.
    Melissa, mom/stepmom to 6.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      Melissa, this is a REALLY good question. You may be surprised to hear that we, at times, had disagreed on this (many years ago). This is a question that we’re going to give good thought to and maybe write another post on.

      Quick answer: There has to be unity on this. If there isn’t, just continue down the road that ensures unity in your marriage.

  • Kevin

    As a wordly young man I said I was never marrying or having children. However after a commitment to following God I am now after 13yrs graced with a wonderful bride and Blessed with 8 amazing children. I did not go to colloge following high school instead venturing into a career. Next month I start college. If you were paying attention to the numbers above you will realize that my aldest child is not older than 13. If anything do in part to having children it has opened my eyes more and provided opportunities that I had never dreamed of. The Bible clearly states that there is a blessing with children. We also are called to “Go fourth and multiply”. Without multiplying our faith will simply die off because of a lack of genealogy. Look around the world and the statistics of countries being over run by groups of other non christian faiths because they ARE having children. Really its the western world that thinks children are a curse.

  • Amber A

    We have missionaries from our church in south america. The family that started it many years ago with 5 kids in tow, 2 more born while there. That family has been used by God for Venseuela and surrounding areas. By them including their children, even when things got very dangerous and they had no doctors for sick babies, their Children continued the calling. Their children are still working their, even though they have retired, and their grandchildren and their great grandchildren are being raised now in the work. Children are not an obstacle in God’s work, they are the future to the work.
    That said my husband and I are at different places in this. He is a bit “behind” me, but in this last month God has been dealing with him in this. His concern is working too much and not being able to be with his kids. He has worked 2 jobs in the past and even done side jobs too and still money has been tight. I think we have tied God’s hands from fulling blessing us because of NOT trusting Him to provide. Well we are stepping out on faith. This next year will be a year of growth in all areas of our lives. And thank you Jeub Family! You give me hope and peace, if God can bless you with kids and still provide then I know He can do it for us too!

  • http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/cappuccinosmom Margaret

    Amber, just to encourage you…

    My husband has worked *many* hours pretty much all the time since we married, and yet our children know him and love him. My husband does not have a cultural or familial background that taught him the idea of the “at home super-involved daddy”. This has been a process of learning for him, as well. But it never would have happened if we’d waited to have children until he felt desirous of not working so much (he will work until he drops, I know the man too well, lol)

    I think that your husband, with that desire from the start, will find even more ways to connect to and be involved with children. It doesn’t have to be baseball games and family picnics. It can be taking the kids along on errands, opening up your bed for cuddles on mornings when he can sleep late, you and the children bringing him lunch at his workplace, etc. You can facilitate that, making sure that the time that your husband is home is open and available for family togetherness.

  • http://simplygettingby.blogspot.com/ Raine

    When I was younger, I assumed I wouldn’t have children, and probably wouldn’t marry. I thought I had bigger & better things to do with my life, and didn’t want a family holding me back.

    Things changed, and I got married young. I was infertile for 8 years though, so for a while I assumed that God didn’t plan for me to have children. By this time, I wanted children, and was upset that the large family my husband and I had pictured seemed not to be in the plan for us. The irony is, not long after I decided it was in God’s hands either way, I found out I was pregnant with my first.

    I think that God may choose not to bless some people with children, at least for a time. If that is true though, God will still have control, and the couple should not need to rely on birth control or family planning to ensure things go as they wish. If they truly think that God is calling them to be childless, then why not trust Him to do as He will?

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris & Wendy

      VERY well said. Thank you for posting, Raine! That’s quite a testimony you have.

  • Wendy Jeub

    I really do think that the best answer to Tisha’s concerns came from Amy. Amy’s answer was very thought out and very well articulated.

    And BTW-We have never said to ‘have as many children as possible.’ If you think that is our message then please continue to read more from us and read our past posts.

    Our hope is to be open to another child. Can you ‘Love another child?’ Is God calling you to be open? That is why we continue to post our messages.

    I think if you are open to adoption and you get pregnant you now get to ‘walk out your faith’ in front of others. Is one better then the other?

    We are open to adoption however we have no idea how God would bring that about, but if he does then we are open. In the meantime we will not restrict pregnancy while we wait.

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  • Annonymous Poster

    “We are living in a day when children are seen as a nuisance, a bother, an inconvenience”
    Funny some say the same about elderly. Yes I do find kid annoying because the parents let them be that way. They let their darlings run amok all over the neighborhood, scream like banshees in public stores,talk back to their elders. If you try to make them mind, parents get mad at you. It is really hard from some like me to like kids these days.

  • Wade

    This is a conversation that I often hear about, the whole “God called me to be childless”. I’m not judging in a self-righteous way here, but I suppose I am judging by what I know of scripture. If I’m wrong, feel free to let me know.

    I read in scripture that Paul says that God does call some people to remain single, and thus to be able to focus their attention on the Lord’s work. I also see where Paul said that those who are married are concerned with worldly endeavors, specifically how to please one’s spouse. I don’t see in the Word that God has ever called people to be childless by choice. To reason through things though, I must say the only possible way that could be is if He called them to be single. Children are a natural result of marriage, unless the couple is barren (infertile), and this is shown in the Bible as undesirable, something women are constantly praying for God to reverse (Samuel, Samson, Isaac being examples of God’s answer to that prayer).

    So we have the option now to be married and resist having children. Thanks to the miracles (or not) of modern science and medicine, we can choose to enjoy sex without growing up and caring for children. Maybe that’s too harsh, but that’s what it gets down to with a lot of people. A question- if God (who several have stated is more than able to overpower a hormone pill) doesn’t want you to have children, won’t He make you barren? Isn’t He able to wield His power to carry out His will without the aid of hormones, condomns, etc.?

    The Church for far too long has followed the culture of the world. Children are not a hinderance to ministry. It seems much more a life of faith to allow God to do what He wants with our families, our provision, etc. Is it more a life of faith to say we can’t afford children? Is not God our Provider? If we are indeed more valuable than flowers of the field or birds of the air, will God allow us and our children to starve? Or is it just that with 6 kids, it would be much more difficult to take a vacation twice a year and go out to eat with friends every week? Would the daycare bills be too high? That leads to other discussions…

    I understand the effects the Feminist movement has had on the Church. I understand that Christians sometimes don’t want to trust God unless it’s easy- I was one of them just a few years ago. However, I also know that my desire to stop having kids was one of doubt and selfishness. I knew it then too. I think in some ways I HOPED God had called us to not have more children! It was not a life of faith though. As Christians we are called to follow Christ no matter the cost. We are called God’s “peculiar” people. In other words, we’re weird compared to the world. We stick out. People notice us because we march to a different drum-beat. Sometimes that means differences of integrity and spirit. Other times it’s more outward, such as family size or dress. Embrace God’s will, not your own, and you will find a life worth living for God’s glory!

    Stepping down from the soapbox now 😀

  • Jana

    I just don’t buy the argument that God will just give us the number of children that are best for us and so we don’t need to exercise any kind of birth control. To me that’s like saying I am going to cross this busy freeway and if I get hit by a car that was God’s will or if I make it across than that was God’s will. I think God has given us a little more responsiblity than that. I think about Andrea Yates and I don’t know about her religious convictions. I do know she had serious problems before she had her last baby. So why did God allow her to have so many children, obviously she couldn’t handle it. I know Godly couples who would be loving parents who can’t have children. On the other hand abortion is out of control. I remember when I was struggling to get pregnant the second time I begged God to put a baby in my womb instead of the mother who would abort it anyway. I finally did get pregnant only to miscarry. I am not sure what to make of that. I just think it’s way to simplistic to say just trust God for the number and timing of your children. Unfortunately life is more complicated than that. I have two family members who decided to limit the number of children after having children with special needs who needed more time and attention than they were expecting. I think our children or our families can be our idols. Even a good thing can become an idol in our lives.
    What if one of your children decide to not accept Christ. Just because a child is born in a Godly home does not mean they will believe like we do. I prayed that God would not give me a child that would not go to Heaven with me who knows maybe that’s why I miscarried.
    No where in the Bible does it say birth control is a sin. It does say that children are a blessing but does that mean that birth control is a sin? I can’t follow that logic. God did tell Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply but that was when the world was empty and they needed to start filling it. Being a barren woman is a curse but only for a woman who wants children. I don’t think the Bible ever says that if you don’t want children you are selfish or unspiritual. Perhaps it’s more selfish for a woman upset for not having her 10th kid instead of just being happy for the ones she has. Some women find their identities in being pregnant and giving birth and that is wrong. What about missionaries childless by choice who want to live in dangerous parts of the world and care for children who live there, are they selfish. No they are more selfless than me. I’ve never been out of this country.

  • Jazztink

    My husband and I have been happily married for 9 years, we have graduated college and both have our careers together. We have been trying hard for children for about 5 years now, with no luck. We have prayed daily and have all our church and family praying likewise. So maybe God does call people not to have children. I question him now. Sometimes I am angry, and I am honest in my prayers. Not understanding why teenagers with no man in their life end up with children and families with more children than they can support, so they end up being supported by others. Yet, what kind of God would deny a happy couple who works so hard the pleasure of raising children in a christian, educated home? (confused)

  • Gardnerfields

    Just how many children do you have that people are saying you have too many, anyway?

    If you are able to take care of them properly, they shouldn’t be saying anything. But if you are expecting everyone else and the government to take care of them, then there might be a problem. You’ve got to admit that there are a lot of people who have children that shouldn’t…
    And you can’t say they were all planned by God…God doesn’t tell people to go out and have pre-marital sex or affairs…if it ends in a pregnancy, God may allow it…but it wasn’t His plan…

  • Rachel

    This is great. I have a question. My husband and I really want children however my husband is under the impression that God will give us a child when it is His timing and will. That we do not need to try nor have sex anytime near the time I am fertile. I always thought, if we wanted to know God’s will, try for a child and if it doesn’t happen then we know the answer. Now I find myself confused, should I just sit back and wait or should I say something to my husband? I respect him and love him very much. However, I don’t want to sit back and wait forever and miss out on children if God does not usually work that way.

  • Elena Bennett

    This is a great topic!

    My husband and I have been happily married for 11 years. We have been involved in ministry greatly all 11 years. We have no had any children though. We have been able to have the privilege to serve God because we have no children.

    However since the day my husband and I gotten married we wanted children. We have prayed and prayed, but still no children. Being ministers in church, we see many single unwed mothers come in church. Many of them have up to 7 children. Nearly all come in to the church already pregnant or come in church brokenhearted after they aborted, looking for God to comfort them. Some of them even backslide and go back in the world. After a while they come back and we notice their bellies grow :(

    I am not here to judge or condemn anyone but I would like for someone to share with me, why God trusts single ungodly women with many children? Surely God will look after them and their children. God will be the father to their children, after the father to their children forsook them. I am positive that the Lord knew their children even before they were formed in their mothers womb. All children are from the Lord.

    However, how can the unrighteous be more fruitful than the married woman?
    I have been longing to at least have the privilege to have one!

    Like I said before, I am not here to look down on anyone, but I need to desperately understand so that I can find comfort.

    Thanks.

  • The Truth

    Got Never gave me a wife and family period.