Mar
11
2011

We Had Two Kids. Were We Wrong?

“My husband and I had only two children, and we believe God called us to have only two. Are you saying that we were wrong?”

This isn’t the first time we’ve been caught in the corner with this question. The world is filled with parents of two children, at least most with fewer (much fewer) than the Jeubs, and it is only logical that such parents would be curious of what we thought of their choices. We encourage couples to “love another child,” which is the title of our newest book. This begs the question from parents who have limited the size of their family, often times voluntarily.

We’re still trying to figure out a good answer to this question. It’s tough to answer one way or the other because we’re uncomfortable making the judgment. Who are we to say to this mother what God called her and her husband to years ago?

What we can testify to is our personal calling. Our calling has been to love another child. Our conviction has never been to have as many children as possible, but simply to love another, to be open to the blessing, to adapt to the challenges another child would bring to our family. This has been our conviction from day one, and that calling is countercultural, out of the ordinary.

And it is “out of the ordinary.” As parents to 15 children, we have an entire culture against us. Having 2.1 children is the cultural norm; having 15 is “crazy.”

We aren’t apologists for the convictions that are ordinary, only of those convictions that are out of the ordinary.

Back to the question. Are we saying these parents of two children were wrong? Perhaps this is the best answer: “We don’t know.” That’s not avoiding the question; it’s quite honest. We don’t know. All we know is this: God called us to love another child for the 3rd, 4th, 5th…soon-to-be 16th child. If, back in the day, God called us to stop at two, our lives would not only have been much different, but we wouldn’t today have had to be defenders of our convictions. We would have been in the norm.

Mothers like the one above do corner us every now and then and ask us this uncomfortable question. It’s a difficult one to answer because we don’t have the answer. Only they can answer that for themselves.

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.

  • Kmamalorenz

    As one who had it all planned – 4 and no more – children, and ended up with 6 here and 5 already gone (via miscarriage), I’m sad for the ones we missed due to “OUR” plans. We NEVER sought God on how many children. We did what the worldly Church did. We made our own plans. BUT GOD. One day, He had just enough quiet in the house for mom (me) to hear a broadcast on Focus on the Family – The Joys of Having a Large Family with Judge Randal and Marsha Hekman. I was convicted; I bought the tape and hubby and I both listened. It was a longer process for me to let go. I was afraid. Learning to let the Lord be the LORD in every area was a difficult one for me. What if He gave us 12 children?!!! The Church has missed it in this area. He doesn’t expect us to “use common sense” or lean to OUR own understanding, does He? Now I LONG for those children I may have missed. If He’s not Lord of everything, then He’s not Lord at all. (PS I have NEVER met an older person who said, “I wish I’d had fewer children. Quite the contrary, in fact!)
    Blessed with my small family of 6 children,

    • Anonymous

      “Small” family with 6 kids? That’s kind of funny when you really think about it. The Duggars are coming to Focus on the Family next weekend, and some of us are going to go see them.

      • Jennifer E.

        I truly hope that TLC is there to tape the event, I follow the show and would love to see your families meet!! : D

        • Anonymous

          That is an AFFIRMATIVE. TLC will be there taping their visit.

          • Tgates

            Yay! Can hardly wait to see the episode!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1636655232 Holly N Gary Sharpe

    Just a thought….more of a question…but if you trust that God called you to only have two children…would he not have stopped you from having anymore without you doing anything? I know it is hard to “read” feelings…so I will add that this is humbly asked/thinking out loud.

    • Anonymous

      I guess the question begged also begs a question! Good thought, Holly.

    • Margaret

      I would say yes. And not only that–this is my experience.

      I am pretty clear that God has not called me to deliver 15 kids out of my own body, as amazing as that would be. :) Being clear on that has not caused me to feel the need for birth control. I am clear on that because of my observation of God’s work in my life, and how he has arranged our family. Unless he starts handing them to us in multiples, 15 is not a number we’re going to get. Probably not even 10.

      I do not need to shut my body down, nor does my husband, with regard to fertility. We will wait on the Lord and see what he has in store for us. Maybe raising 3 children is his plan for us. Maybe he has more for us, by birth or adoption. Either way, I want what he wants, not what my emotions at any given time may tell me to want.

  • Luvmyjje

    just like any decision in life…God should be the guiding hand.

  • Anonymous

    God did not guide our choice of having a vasectomy…but He sure did guide us back to making it right!! Praying that He chooses to bless us with loving another child!!

  • ShellyS

    If I were asked that question, I think I would answer it with a question: What exactly did God say to you to make you “believe God called you to have only two”? I suppose if this couple really studied the Bible, prayed, researched, and thoroughly discussed their decision before coming to the conclusion that God called them to have only two… that would be more than most (Christian) couples these days.

    Personally, we have been there as a couple… wondering what God wanted us to do. We had four children when we finally decided to let God decide. There is something very freeing about trusting God in this area. There is no doubt or confusion about what is God’s will, if He wants you to have another child you will, if not you won’t. Simple as that. There are couples who trust the Lord in this area and only have one child. We all know it’s really not about the number of children, it’s about trusting God.

    By the way, I guess God wanted us to have more than four… I am currently pregnant with #7. :)

    • Anonymous

      Whoohoo! Congratulations Shelly.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heather-Nations/1202314574 Heather Nations

    I have gone on birth control three times and only lasted a month each time. It just didn’t seem right to me. I read the fine print on my package of pills and it did say that sometimes an egg can be fertilized even though that is not the way it is *supposed* to work. I stopped taking them and we have fully committed to letting God decide the size of our family. When we first got married we wanted 8 kids, now we are just open to how many God wants to give to us. I am 25 and so far we have 2 boys (6 and 18 months) with one miscarriage in between. I have finally loved to just enjoy my children and not be stressed about “what ifs”. I would love to have more, but in God’s timing not my own!

  • Jennifer S

    If someone is walking with the Lord, then there is very little another Christian can say to someone who says “they were called” to something.

    God is not black and white and he doesn’t send us letter outlining his calls for our lives. He gave us our hearts and minds and intelligence for a reason. He wants us to think and reason and make decisions. He calls us each to something specific – it is obvious that he has called your family to ‘loving another child’. BRAVO for following his calling! He calls others to other things and having more than a few children may not be part of that calling. My sister and her husband have been called to live in Australia and to travel with missions organizations. Having more than the 3 children they have would prohibit that calling. Or her husband would have to go alone – which defeats their calling as a family.

    We can’t all have the same callings on our lives – otherwise the body would be unbalanced and certainly not in harmony. We must stick to the black and white of our faith and not allow the gray issues to divide the body.

  • LittleMama

    My husband and I have often wondered when to stop having children. To the best of my knowledge, I have never had a miscarriage. We conceive easily and my pregnancies, though filled with heartburn, discomfort and other normal pregnancy aches and pains, are pretty routine. Today is my “due date” for #5 and I am waiting fairly patiently.

    We don’t fully understand other people’s decisions on how many children they have and for some people it is made clear to them by things like and inability to conceive or carry a baby full term. Others make it based on what they can handle.

    All I can say about us is that I have never known when we would be done. We always wanted four, but then felt that maybe more is what we are called to as well. In our context, it is quite counter-cultural, even in our church community. But I now understand that I only have so many resources and at this moment in my life, I am at the end of my own resources. So unless my husband and I feel beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is calling us to have more, we are done with #5. I have never quite felt this way before, but, at least on my own strength, I have nothing more to give and I need time to heal and let the rest of my family mature and move onto life after baby. But ultimately, I believe it is in God’s hands, not mine.

    • Jeanine Farrar

      Litttle Mama
      I so relate. We had our first three children very close together. 14 months and then 16 months. We were not only encouraged, but pressured to stop having children by our family,church, etc. I had minor complications with our first two deliveries and was experiencing an unusually difficult labor with our third when the doctor said we should do a c section because I was not progressing. He also suggested that since he was doing a c section it would be a good time to have my tubes tied. He referenced the three children in 28 months and said now was a good time to stop. We agreed in the pressure of the moment but my husband asked God to intervene if this was not his will. My surgery was scheduled for 12, but bumped to 2 by an emergency. At about 1:50 my baby was born. We named her Grace. We felt this was of the Lord but we were still pretty overwhelmed.
      After another baby, struggling, praying, talking to lots of people, and reading Yes, they’re all ours, I still could not come to a final decision. I told my husband I simply did not have the faith to let God determine our family size. I did however have the faith to trust Him for one more. He encouraged me to exercise the faith I had been given. We concieved again and when our 5th child was born, though I was very scared and overwhelmed, I told the Lord I was willing to let Him have control in this area of my life. I was sure I would have another baby every nine months until I was 50. What I got instead was a peace and sense of God’s presence. I felt God was saying to me, I love you and I will never lay on you more than you can handle. Trust me. What a relief not to have that decision on me.
      When our sixth child was born, God did something amazing that I cant explain very well. It was like He knit the heart of that child and my husband in a special way. It was as almost a confirmation of His good pleasure.
      We now have 12. I have had two miscarriages, one of them was my last pregnancy. My youngest child is three, and though I am still having cycles, we are not conceiving any more. I have one married child and became a grandmother at the end of last year. I cannot tell you how happy I am that we decided to trust the Lord and His goodness. I guess I want to encourage you that God does love you. He knows you cant do it in your strength. I always tell people who ask that God only gives you grace to do what He asks you to do. If you only have 2 children, he wont give you grace and strength to handle 8. We have had plenty of hard, really hard times, and tears when the Lord carried us through. But He has sustained us and blessed us abundantly. I never would have known this abundance if He had not taken us through the valley over and over. ( I sometimes felt that we would be there forever) but we werent.
      Anyway, I felt led to share my story with you and would enjoy emailing back and forth. Enjoy your new little one. Relax and dont worry about finalizing anything just now. Let the Lord lay out your path.
      My name is Jeanine Farrar. I live in Stevensville, MI. My email is jeaninefarrar@sosensible.com.

      • Jeanine Farrar

        p.s. I felt exactly the way you did after four, also after my fourth one. I know what you are going through even though it was 18 years ago for me. I will pray for you and your family.

        Jeanine

  • ginnamom

    as a mother of 3 Who has also lost 3 to miscarriage I understand then need to be open to life. I also have come to the thought that I may not conceive anymore to term but with God’s grace I will. I am blessed with my 3 and if that is what God’s plan is for my husband and I then I need to be content with that. I do find that sometimes I have moms of bigger families treat me as though I’m not doing “God’s Will” for not having as many kids.

    • Margaret

      It is a shame of people treat you poorly because of not having many children. We have only three. I am sure many people simply assume we’re “done”, but we are surrounded by people who think three is more than enough anyway. Nobody with a larger family has been unkind about our family size.

  • JoyM.

    I believe if God called you to do something you would not question later on if you where suppose to do it. That is my humble opinion. We did not reasearch our options and felt pressured to only have 2 kids after all the 3rd child was always an oops and to have an oops would be horrible. We got a vasectomy done and neither of us wanted to truly do it. Seeking advise of many people including one pastor we did not get proper advise. We did not pray on it enough nor read the bible. We regreted that so much that God Blessed us with a third child and she was no oops she was a true blessing and every bit wanted. We got a reversal done by the Grace of God and now we wait to see what blessings he has in store. We know God has called us to foster care and we have 5-6 kids on a normal basis. We love having so many little people to love on. People often ask us how we do it and talk about how we have our hands full. We truly feel blessed to care for these children and do respite on the side. So I have had up to 8-9 kids at a time. I am leaving it up to God if he decides or wills us to have another biological child. But in the mean time he has filled my house and home with lots of children and endless number of babies and toddlers to love and cherish while they are here. We don’t look back and say gee did God call us to foster care we know with out a doubt he did. We would love to adopt but the world somehow thinks that if you have 3 kids adding more would be a burden. However I know that it would be a blessing and God will always provide. He always provides for the kids we have and he never lets us down. I know with out a doubt he has called us to foster care. I know with out a doubt that getting a vasetomy done was wrong and not the right choice for us. However as with all the things he can use something done like that and turn around and make it for his Glory as he did with us becoming foster parents and even adopting our youngest child. God Bless and thanks for sharing.

  • Peggy

    This subject made me realize how many people look to you two to justify their living styles. Whether choosing to have 2 kids or 20 kids, people e-mail you asking whether they are doing the right thing with their lives or whether God’s calling is the right thing to do. I love your answer. We don’t know. How can one couple possibly know what another couple is being called to do? That is between God and the couple. :) Bravo for this answer!

    • Hailey

      Peggy,
      I dont know if you are the same peggy who has commented on many of the posts. But I love your views and comments! Do have a blog or anything?
      Thanks!

      • Peggy

        Lol yes that’s me, and unfortunately no, I don’t have a blog. But I’ll make sure to keep commenting here! :)

  • Miranda Fann

    We had just had our fourth when I found out how the Pill worked and decided that I could no longer with good conscience continue taking it. We decided to let God work out the size of our family and we are expecting our seventh baby in July. This will be five boys and two girls! And we’re SO glad we threw out the pill and let God have His way!!!!!!

  • Momof4

    I have four children all together. My third one suffered brain injury at birth and has all sorts of issues on top of already raising two adult children with ASD. I think it’s safe to say I’m done since the stress of raising my special needs child and some other issues with toxic exposure has cause hormonal imbalances and multiple miscarriages.
    I’d have loved to have a big family but really, can’t handle anymore on top of what I’m already dealing with so we are definitely done.

  • Mjkt

    I have only 2 kids here on Earth and one in heaven that I lost in a miscarriage. My DH and I did not choose to have only 2 kids but God did choose that for us. As I have been in Menopause since I was 29 and I am only 34 now. So all I am saying is please remember if you see a small family remember they may not have chosen for them to have a small family but God has chosen for them to have a small family.

  • http://creatingtreasures.blogspot.com tereza

    I think this question about having children is similar to the question about mission work. Whatever we do it needs to be what the Lord called us to do. Having children is not a BAD thing, it’s actually what God ordained us to do. Same as being a missionary/ evangelist… we were all ordained to do so…but the way by which we do it or where might be different.

    For a short time of my life (2.5 years) I was a full time missionary. During that time I encouraged people and challenged them to listen to what God was asking of them. I answered to that call because I heard God call me to it. I thought I would be doing it for the rest of my life. I had no idea that this was true but in a different way. I still think of myself as a missionary but I am in a different field now using different mediums.

    I think that one of the Jeub’s calling is to encourage everyone to look at children from the point of view of God. Children are not a burden or a curse, children are a blessing. Like any other blessing we would think we want lots of it. :) But we have fallen for the lies of our culture and we have limited ourselves to what we can do. We forget that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. :)

    I think as a Christian we need to consult God about what we are supposed to do and really be open to what He will say. Many times we aren’t really listening or we just plain say NO like Jonah and other people in the Bible. There are consequences to those actions and they are not a fully lived and blessed life.

    I am called to live a life of faith and it is not an easy life. It’s a life trusting the unseen and it goes contrary to everything the world wants you to believe. :)

    yes, love another child!!!! yours or someone’s else…they are all blessings from God. :)

  • http://www.gabesbabes.com/ Gabe

    Six years ago we were sure we were “done”, baby #4 was on the way, we would have our “large” family. God worked in our hearts…. baby #5 came along. Then again that maybe this was an area that we should hand over to him…. baby #6, and now we’re expecting #7! Six years ago we were thinking of ourselves, the extra work it would be, how hard it would be on my body etc. Last week we had a rare moment when the youngest three were already in bed and we just had our oldest three to do our family devotions with. As sweet of a time as it was my husband pointed out that with just the oldest three we would have missed out on so much, so much joy, laughter, and GROWTH!
    While I was expecting #4 I had so many women in my life tell me how much they regretted the actions that they took to prevent further pregnancies. Not once did I hear anyone tell me that they should not have had so many. God used those ladies to help change my heart.
    Can God’s plan for a couple be “only” 2 (or even 1 or none?) of course! I guess the question is, was it really left up to God, or did the couple make the choice themselves?

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