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.