Dec
22
2011

Is God Calling Us?

Following God's Footsteps

Great discussion from yesterday’s post, “Did We Plan This Many Children?” If you haven’t scrolled through the discussion, please do. There are some very good insights.

We listed four common doubts most couples experience when considering another child, but we purposely left out one. It’s actually the most important of the list of five. Not sure if you tried to guess, but some of you did:

Is God calling us to welcome another child?

This one question changes it all. It brings it home. Where is God in all the soul searching and doubting and questioning and researching? Sure, the practical stuff is persuasive, but they aren’t more rational than the creator of the heavens and the earth. What does God have to say about your fertility and family?

As it turns out, He says quite a bit. And what God says is quite the opposite of what our culture dishes out. Our books and much of this site journeys through the questions, but it ultimately boils down to trusting God with your fertility.

Does this sound weird? It probably does because we think of our fertility as something that belongs to us, not God. Sounds as weird as giving our vehicle over to God. “Dear Lord, you know how much I love my motorcycle, so I give that to you.” No offense to you Harley Davidson fans. If you do “give your bike over to God,” we would look at you like most people look at us when we talk of giving our fertility to God. Kind of strangely, wondering inside, “Are you serious?”

Reason is because we don’t pray for things that we already own. Instead, we ask for things outside our control. A good night sleep, a good day tomorrow, a successful work week, escape from illness or hardship. We trust God will take care of our “daily bread,” but we pray for the bread we don’t have control over.

Control. The older we get, the more we realize that God also wants us to give up what we control. He wants our finances, our plans, our life. He wants our all. Not just some of our life, but all our life. Jesus reminds us, we cannot worship both God and man (Matthew 6:24), dicing up the things of this world like poker chips at a card game.

Only when you take life seriously — if you take God seriously — does this idea make sense. Giving what we control to God is a most profound step in our spiritual journey. Really, was God half-hearted when he set the stars into place? Was he napping at the wheel when humanity came into existence? And what do you make of the nails on the cross? Was the ultimate price paid to make sure we get a good night sleep? We don’t think so. He sacrificed everything in order to call us to a life walking with Him, “life to the fullest” (John 10:10).

So that begs some questions:

  • Is your life full?
  • Is your house full?
  • If it is full, is it full of space or children?
  • Is it full of love, or is it full of you-know-what?

We would wager a bet that, if you’re like most families today, answering these questions makes you a bit uncomfortable. Many families today are wallowing in misery. They’re suffering. That’s just the norm nowadays. We don’t have to argue with you on that, do we? Half of marriages end in divorce, domestic abuse is on the rise, there’s a growing record of welfare families and hungry children, unemployment at record highs. Should we go on? You know we could.

If you are feeling trapped, kind of wedged into a family life that is not joyful, something is wrong. God doesn’t want that empty life for you. The challenge is to figure out what is the problem. This takes prayer, open discussion with your spouse, perhaps more than one honest and redemptive discussion with your children. It might take the help of an outside source like a counselor or pastor.

Consider this site one of those influences. Not necessarily an influence to have 16 children like the Jeubs. But why not? If 16 children brings Christmas to you day in and day out, why wouldn’t you accept it? But honestly, 16 children is not what we’re trying to point to here. We want you to walk with God. To get life straight. To rediscover joy in your marriage and your family life. Maybe you never have experienced it. That’s fine. You’re on your way to discovering love in the house.

Yesterday, one of you used a word that we have been using lately. “Surrender.” It sounds like a helpless, defenseless word. But it means so much in our walk with God. Would you describe your life as “surrendering” to God? Be honest, now. Don’t hold back. Is there something in your life that you are having trouble letting go? We’d love to hear from you below.

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.

  • http://thepassionatehomeschooler.blogspot.com/ Pam

    Just one tweak I would make. Sorry. It’s just that the third question “Is it full of space or children?” Maybe isn’t possible with everyone. Even when they trusted God. Even when they  gave it over to Him. So maybe that would read instead, “Is the space full of temporal or eternal treasures?” What do you think?

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

      You are absolutely right. If this ends up in a book, the edit will be made. Thank you!

      • http://thepassionatehomeschooler.blogspot.com/ Pam

        Wow. Thanks for hearing that with humility.
        On a personal note; maybe it was in one of your books and I missed it–but has Wendy experienced any miscarriages? And does your extended family support you all? Just wondering.

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

          Yes, Wendy has miscarried, though not past the first trimester. We hadn’t needed extended family support before because they never knew in the first place. We mourned alone.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UBFYRNZ3RB4S5AFUKMMMXGCDUQ V

    I am so thankful for you guys, Jeub family, for putting the message out there and pointing people toward God.  My dh and I decided this summer for me to stop taking bc pills and let God be in control.  We just found out 2 days ago that I’m pregnant!  This will be baby #5 (we have 4 boys and I miscarried in ’05).  I’m a little worried about explaining to our unsaved families that we felt “called” to let God be in control, but I’m hoping it’s a powerful testimony to them.  It’s amazing how God has changed my heart, because I was SO SURE that I was done.  My 4th ended up in an emergency c-section due to preeclampsia at 30 weeks; I wanted my tubes tied, but couldn’t have it done due to the emergency delivery.  I guess God knew best, huh?  ;-D

    Blessings on you and your wonderful ginormous family this Christmas!

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

      We LOVE reading messages like this. Thank you for letting us know. Wendy and I honestly believe this is on people’s hearts more than they like to admit. We’re just expressing what is on ours!

  • Delilah

    Truth be told, I wrestled with this conviction for mant years. I was 17 when I saw the Duggars 1st documentary “14 kids & pregnant again”, and immediatley felt my heart change. I KNEW that was what GOD was calling me to do, be a mommy of many. However, when I expressed this belief with my family and friends I was berated with comments of how crazy I was or how I didn’t understand what a burden children were or how expensive they could be or how I was too young to do that much damage to my body and so on. I was so discouraged. It wasnt until reading “Love in the House” that I was finally able to overcome those baseless fears.

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

      Don’t let the little snips from others get you down. Your children certainly appreciate your focus on love. God bless you, Delilah!

    • roddma

      It is easy to see the world through rose colored glasses when so young.Just because something seems to work easily for others doesn’t mean it’s for you.  A reality show can make things look easy.

  • Vicki

    I have to admit, some posts like this are hard for me because I would like more children. While that door hasn’t closed, it probably will soon due to age. We also have a special needs son who requires much care and it is harder for us as a family to do things. It really is a different situation than when all your children are healthy and typically-developing. I thought we were ‘done’ after him and I wanted another and that’s when I read “A Full Quiver”- I wish I had when I first got married but not sure if my husband would have agreed. I have a friend who is pg w. #10 and I almost feel like it’s a contest for her. I also wonder why more large families aren’t called to adopt. I would love to, but we are not in that financial situation. I think the key is to be content with what God has called your family to do, but for the right reasons.

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

      Adoption keeps creeping up as a discussion point. I like to yield to my guest writers who know more about the topic. But here’s a thought: Large families usually aren’t in the position financially to adopt, or just too overwhelmed with their children. Really, there isn’t much time to ponder such a commitment. If anything, wonder why wealthy couples with few kids (or none at all) don’t feel the conviction.
      Thanks Vicki!

      • Beka

        I am by no means an expert, but from the research I’ve done, many of the adoption agencies, and specifically the foster-to-adopt agencies have very strict guidelines about the number of children you can have per room as well as total (I believe most of them in So. CA have 2 per room and 6 total, combined bio and foster/adopted). This severly limits a family’s ability to adopt/foster as well!

      • MM

        Perhaps large families should consider adoption *before* they get so large.  Did you consider adoption after your third or fourth child, Mr. Jeub–why or why not?

        Have a great night!

      • Ralph888

        Lots of families adopt, of all income levels and all sizes.  It sounds like you are saying, “I can’t do it, why don’t you do it?”

        Love another child, huh?

    • MM

      “It really is a different situation than when all your children are
      healthy and typically-developing.”

    • MM

      “It really is a different situation than when all your children are
      healthy and typically-developing.”

      Absolutely true!

  • Sheldon

    We just welcomed our 5 child into the world 4 weeks ago. People look at us as if we are crazy when we answer their question about if we are going to have anymore. Can you guess our answer? Whatever the Lord will allow! Yes if that is what God has in our plan we would welcome more! More people need to look at children as a Blessing instead of a headache. If the Lord wants us to have more than that is what we will do. Thank you soooo much for your writings. We were really starting to think about stopping after this babby even though deep down we didnt feel it was what God wanted us to do and after reading this it has help us feel so much better about our conclusion on allowing God to be in control of not only how many children we will have but our whole lives!!! Thanks again & God bless all of your family!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1160853318 Tammie Page Ewert

    I want you to know I come as a friend. But since loosing our son and given the fact that I gave my trust and now I feel betrayed. I feel lost and without reason.. I have had to re think all my choices. Maybe someone understands, and maybe some dont. . I really just dont knwo annymore to be honest. Anyway sometimes it should just be the persons personal choice I guess I am trying to say. Whatever happens between them and God is between them. I understand the thought process as I used to be there, but just dont feel it is one I can relate to anymore.

    • JM

      Of course, family size is a personal choice. A huge family would not be a good choice for many people.

      Frankly, I don’t understand how Chris Jeub can wish for a 17th child while he is unemployed, with income problems. If you are going to have that many kids, I think you should get a job to support them.

      • Guest

        Chris is not unemployed. You call his income of around $40,000 a year unemployed? What are you a millionaire?

        • Charlie

          A full-time paid job would provide him with a stable income, conventional health insurance and help him reduce his tens of thousands of debt. 

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

            See response above to Ron above.

            Where are you getting this information? Aside from my mortgage, I am not “tens of thousands” in debt.

    • MM

      I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I hope you seek out others who have suffered this loss–that is the best way to recover. Don’t let anyone tell you how you “should” feel about faith or God. It will not ring true or convince you. You have to find your own path back to religion, if you so choose. And those who have not walked in your shoes cannot give advice or understand.

      • Guest

        Amen MM. God was right there with you during your loss, but he was not the reason. God does not let or cause bad things to happen to people, they just happen and thankfully he is always there with his love.

        • MM

          I’m not saying that at all. Maybe God wasn’t with her during the loss. If so, why would He allow the death of her son? She alone needs to determine these things and come to piece with them. That’s why I said she should find her own path back to God, if she chooses to.

          • Guest

            I loved what you said!  Amen!
            I personally see him as being with her but not causing her pain. I believe God is always with us and never leaves us, even in our pain. 

            • Guest

              Oh and I’m Unitarian, so I see all sides!

    • Jesfrs

      Tammie, I am so sorry for your loss. I wanted to say that I will pray for healing in your heart and soul, which can come only from the Lord. The church today has done a disservice, IMHO, in regards to this area, this doctrine of suffering. Because the Truth is that God is the same in times of joy and times of sorrow. And in those times of sorrow, it is still true that He works all things together for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. I have a friend who recently lost her son to cancer. While it was heart wrenching, to understand that God was right in the midst of that pain, and that cancer – that He has designed all things, including suffering – to bring about the greatest eternal joy for us, and to bring us closer to Himself is an amazing Truth. He is a God we can trust in all things, even when we can’t see out of the pain. You are right to say that it is between each couple and God, although we must discern whether or not He’s given us the liberty to make that choice, or if it belongs to Him. Each will answer for themselves, very true, although I hear gentle encouragment toward the path of greatest joy in this blog post, not condemnation for those who choose a different path. So trust God, and I pray He will heal your heart. Blessings to you.

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

      Tammie, you know the Jeubs love you and hold you in our prayers. God bless you, friend!

  • Mary

    ” Many families today are wallowing in misery. They’re suffering. That’s
    just the norm nowadays. We don’t have to argue with you on that, do we?
    Half of marriages end in divorce, domestic abuse is on the rise, there’s
    a growing record of welfare families and hungry children, unemployment
    at record highs.”

    Chris, you and Wendy are unemployed and yet you have plenty of “love in the house.” Are you sure there is a connection between the two?

  • JaneM

    We are all different. God has led me to limit our family size. I know I cannot be a good parent with tens of thousands in debt, as you have. The stress would destroy the “love in our house.”  I know from experience that stress like the kind you have is destructive to our family.

    God leads us all to different things. Love your blog. God Bless!

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

    A couple of commenters are claiming I’m unemployed. Where did they get that notion? I’ve been self-employed since 2004.

    • Jesfrs

      I’m really glad you wrote that, because it was starting to bug me. 😉 I was wondering when self employed started to equal being UNemployed. Last I checked my self employed husband works his tail off! 

      • Guest

        It was driving me crazy too!! I am self employed and people think I don’t work. Just because Chris is smart enough to form his own company and work alongside his family instead of working for a corporation and being bossed around by other people  doesn’t mean he doesn’t work. I get comments from people about how I don’t work until they see the amount of money I make. Not that my bank account matters to me, but goodness it drives me crazy.

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

          I think there is a TV gossip site that claims I’m “really” unemployed, just putting up the facade that I’m self-employed. Gee, sometimes I wish. I’m sure that I put in more hours of work than I ever did employed! =)

        • Ron

          Dear Mr. Guest, Actually, working for a corporation would give Chris a lot of things he doesn’t have for his family: standard health insurance, pension, retirement benefits, dental insurance, social security payments, etc. It might be worth being bossed around by other people to gain these things for his kids.

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

            You bring up a deep concept, Ron, a concept I’ll be sure to blog on in the future.

            Real quick: I see what you’re saying, and many more people choose this route than not. I, however, see it as sacrificing freedom for security. On par with this post, this is sometimes a surrender to fear, not God’s will. 

            • Ron

              Well, everyone’s different. But I think that a father of 16 would expect to sacrifice some freedom for the security of his family. That’s why so many don’t want 16 kids in the first place. But responsible parents provide as much financial stability for their families as possible. They don’t have many kids and then refuse to get a job because they want their freedom.

            • Ron

              Getting a job to support your family is not “giving in to fear.” That’s what most of the world does (the lucky ones of the world, that is).

              Are you saying that teachers, firefighters, office clerks and salesmen are “giving in to fear” by working to support their families? And are you saying this is against God’s will? That is what it sounds like.

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

                You brought up an interesting concept, Ron, and that’s great, but now you’re trolling. These are red herring questions. Settle down and wait for the post on the topic of work, this post is on having children.

              • Ron

                I was asking for clarification on what you wrote.

                Merry Xmas!

          • Guest

            You think I’m a man (Dear Mr. Guest) because I have a successful business? I’m a 25 year old woman.  I actually pay my own health/ dental insurance ect.
            I don’t know about Chris, but I pay a large amount into my retirement each month.

            • Ron

              No, if I had known you had a successful business, I would have thought you were a woman.

  • Christinejaneschultz

    Thank you for sharing!  It is cool to read the testimony of your family.  God bless!

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

      You bet, Christine. God bless you, too!

  • roddma

    In case you haven’t noticed children aren’t toys you toss around. Adding a child isn’t like adding another dog.Most people put more thought into getting another dog than having a child.