Jan
30
2012

Choosing Death Over Life? Never.

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. - Deuteronomy 30:19

We realize that most people wonder how anyone would want more than just a couple children. We spend a good deal of time on this blog speaking to people with these common presuppositions. But there are many who get what we’re saying, and they desire more children. A houseful of little ones is actually a pleasant idea. It may not be as easy to conceive for them as it is for the Jeubs, but they still desire to have more. We say that desire is right on. These folks have their hearts set on one of the most tremendous blessings a couple can ask. Are you desiring to have more children? We say that’s awesome!

Every once in a while someone will write in and ask if this desire is off base, especially when they need to seek medical advice because they are not able to conceive. Of course, we have never had this problem, buy why would someone think this to be a wrong thing? One mother explained that this would be “second guessing God,” and another mom explain that anything beyond “hoping” for a child is trying to trick God. We find these views strange. Think of these things…

  • We desire more money. Is it second-guessing God to attend a Dave Ramsey seminar and tighten up our finances?
  • We desire a nicer house. Is it second-guessing God to buy a few how-to manuals and plan a remodel of our kitchen?
  • We desire great relationships with others. Is it second-guessing God to find a community church and seek out wholesome relationships?

Money, a home, and relationships are all blessings. Aren’t children just as much a blessing? We think so.

But we know where this mom is coming from, really. Two thoughts. First, there exists a ridiculous legalistic attitude that trying to figure anything out in life must be some sort of “doubt” that God is in control. Silly religious nonsense, that is. God is so much more personal than that, He wants to bring us life to the fullest, and He places desires on our hearts that are holy and good. Desiring children couldn’t be better.

Second, it comes from the options that the world gives parents who have this desire for children. There are options that allow parents to conceive lives then kill the left overs. It is a gruesome answer to a most holy desire. It’s like…

  • Robbing the poor to fulfill a desire for money.
  • Defaulting on the home mortgage to afford the remodel.
  • Posing as someone else to gain superficial friendships.

Actually, it’s far worse. Killing unborn children to increase your fertility is backward thinking and should never be chosen. In fact, it’s sad that we live in a world where that choice is available – sometimes encouraged. This is a fallen and backward world in many ways.

A life with children is a life of blessing. No doubt about it, and we’ll keep posting encouragements to this most loving and trusting relationship with God in your life. But don’t give in to those lifeless options that are available to you. They take life, not give it. Your adventure into family life should be based on life, not death.

We meet a lot of families who simply go for it! They are the courageous ones. If these couples find medical help to increase their fertility, great. If those options are exhausted, adoption may be sought, and that’s just as healthy and honoring of a pursuit.

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.

  • Maria

    “If those options are exhausted, adoption may be sought, and that’s just
    as healthy and honoring of a pursuit.”

    If so, why haven’t you pursued adoption? The way you write about it here, it seems to be an option of last resort. But it doesn’t have to be.  If you value adoption so highly, why  haven’t you pursued it?

    • Maria175

      I’m not the Jeub’s, but while adoption is a great thing- having biological children also is, and it is natural for people to “prefer” conceiving if they can, I think. Something else, is that adoption may not be so easy for everyone – for example I live in a country where the rules are very strict and our family would NEVER be allowed to adopt ( and that has to with how we have chosen to live; on one income thus modestly, we do not have separate bedrooms for each child and so on). We would personally never meet the criteria set forth by the authorities. If things we’re different, I would definitely go that route – I have long had a heart for adopting an older or disabled child, but that path wont be for us as long as we are where we are…

      blessings from another Maria

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

      I adopted Wendy’s two children when I married her, so adoption isn’t totally foreign to us. But it’s not really what we’re talking about here.

      • Joseph

        What about adopting a child who has no home? God has commanded us to help widows and orphans, but I’m afraid you cherry-pick and focus on being fruitful and multiplying. What about His commandment to help orphans?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1651046276 Brandy Teasley

          Adoption is a ministry that God calls people to. Many can’t just adopt. For those who are called to adopt, that is a great thing. For those who choose to welcome their own biological children, that is a great thing as well. I do not see a need to criminalize those who do not feel called to adopt orphans. The point is being open to loving another child in whatever form the Lord may give them.

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

            Well said, Brandy!

            • Ramona

              Criminalize? I think people are asking why the Jeubs haven’t adopted any children, since they are “always a blessing” and many need homes.

              Why not stop now, Christ, at #16, and adopt the next one?

          • Jennifer

            Biological and adoptive children are both fantastic! I have some of each. But be very careful not to twist the scripture to fit what you want it to say… The Lord DOES command us to look after the orphans and widows.  The way he calls me (through adoption) may not be the way he calls you (perhaps giving financially to others who are adopting, or volunteering at an adoption agency, or ministring in an orphanage overseas, or providing respite care for foster families, or praying for families who are adopting,) While one should never criminalize others, one must also not pass over the commands of Jesus because one does not feel called to obey it.  The option is not whether or not to obey, but HOW to obey it.

        • Peggy

          I wonder how many children would need homes if we only counted orphans. If we considered the number of adoptions and the number of children with dead parents, I bet we would easily have all of those orphans taken care of. The numbers are less manageable when parents just decide they don’t care to take on responsibility right now.

          Although we should care for widows and orphans, and we should certainly have compassion for any person in need, I think we need to be very careful about making it sound as though we are obligated to take on everyone else’s responsibilities.

          I could convince you that you should help others in need and pay your down-and-out neighbor’s mortgage this month. But what about your other neighbor, who bought a new tv, then spent the remainder of his mortgage in a strip club. Will you pay his mortgage? If so, would you still do this if you have to use your own mortgage money to pay his? Does God ask you to not care for the family He has given you in order to care for someone else’s?

          If we can adopt in addition to accepting all of the new lives God planned at the very beginning, that is great. But God never advised us to avoid children, and He never even told us to take on all the responsibility of fit, yet irresponsible people.

          I think plenty of large families would consider adoption if they could. But, although my children have thrived very well in bedrooms with two or three siblings, this would certainly be frowned upon by an adoption agency, or even a mom who is looking for an adoptive home for her child – so my guess is that the state or other adoption agencies would turn down this loving, Godly, healthy home of the Jeubs.

          • Ramona

            “The numbers are less manageable when parents just decide they don’t care
            to take on responsibility right now.”

            Who cares? There is still a child in need. Would Christ blame and punish and innocent child because of his parents responsibilities?

            The point it, even if I had a burning desire for a bunch of biological children, I’d stop after I’d had some, and consider those children who had no home, through no fault of their own.

            The Jeubs constantly say that children are blessings, but it feels like they mean only their own children, not someone else’s.

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

              Hi Ramona. I appreciate your zealousness for other people adopting, but that isn’t really the point of this post. Please keep to the topic of discussion. Thanks!

            • peggy

              It’s so common to hear people say things like this when it comes to children, but we don’t say these things about any other area of life.

              Like money. I give to help others. But I could always give more and could always give up more of what I have. If there is one single financial need anywhere in the world, should I ever go on a vacation? How can I EVER justify purchasing a new pair of shoes when there is someone else in the world who is not eating tonight?

              Also – speaking for myself only – I never actually had a burning desire for a bunch of biological children. Just a burning desire to allow God to work in my life and produce fruit from my marriage. However much or little He wanted.

              Coming back around to treating infertility.. allowing God to use me in this way involves taking care of myself. This includes diet and exercise.. I also get medical treatment when I am not well.. I have never been infertile, but I’m thinking that I would seek medical care for any part of my body that is not functioning correctly. If there is nothing physically wrong with me, I would like to think I would just let get God NOT give me children and continue to seek His will in my life.

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

            Very well said. Thanks Peggy!

  • Maria175

    Hi Chris,

    I was the one writing about “second-guessing” God the other day, but I actually was not explaining that this was my view – I was asking if it could be seen as that, in your opinion. Because it is easy to be confused – when so many people have so many views precisely on what is “right” or “wrong”, what is allowed to do, acceptable etc.

    And we all want to do right and not make objectionable choices, right?!

    But I’m glad to hear your point of view, this comforts me in the idea of making use of those tests I bought that are still sitting on the shelf :-) :-)

    I still think though, that the true meaning of the “quiverfull” or “open-to-life” mindset, is the idea of accepting – and rejoicing in – the number of children God gives you, whether that will be just a couple or a small soccer team. Something about contentment and peace with the path God leads you on….

    Thanks for the work you put into your blog,

    Maria

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

      I’m glad you wrote to us about this, Maria. God bless you!

    • Mark

      If you are open to the number blessings God gives you, why would you ever seek fertility treatment?

      • Maria175

        Hi Mark. I’m not sure if your question is directed to me – but personally, I suppose this is precisely what Chris is addressing in the post……..there could be any number of reasons and my original question was about trying to find the right balance in it all.

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

        Note our first point, Mark.

  • Katitrast

    For the first time, we are not totally in agreement (I admit though, I’ve never bad my personal convictions challenged that way….we have been blessed beyond measure by our 10 children). My convictions come from the idea that God opens AND closes the womb according to His will. So for me to seek medical intervention would be a waste of resources, and maybe a tad rebellious. We have always been open to adoption, even in the midst of pregnancy or feeling overwhelmed, and continue to leave doors open to more blessings; having said that, we are content with our household;)

    • Kathryn

      Being open to adoption, and then doing nothing, doesn’t help many children.

  • Sheila(UK)

    An excellent post Chris!
    This is what I was trying to say to Maria on this subject only yesterday.

  • Maria

    I don’t think God needs “help” (in the form of fertility treatment)

     

    • KL

      Of course God doesn’t need “help” to bless a couple with a biological child, but that doesn’t mean He will do that for every couple desiring children.  Diseases and bodily defects exist in this world; God allows them to exist (but does not directly cause them). 
      He doesn’t need “help” to cure cancer, but would you refuse chemo for that reason?  He doesn’t need “help” to heal your broken leg, but would you just leave if for Him to heal, instead of going to a doctor and getting it set in a cast?
      I can’t understand how investigating the cause of infertility and treating a hormone imbalance or a short luteal phase would be any different.
      (This is from someone who has experienced 5+ years of infertility and done nothing about it.  I don’t really want to know what the problem is, but I can’t see what is wrong with seeking treatment.)

  • Ramona

    “e realize that most people wonder how anyone would want more than
    just a couple children.”

    Most married couples have more than two kids. So this statement is not true.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=814702491 Christy Fulgham Harrill

    You have to be careful with what kind of fertility treatments. Hormone supplementation is quite a different thing than in-vitro. In-vitro can involve fertilizing many eggs with only a few being used. If the others are destroyed if they prove not to be needed, then how is that different than abortion when we believe that life begins at conception not implantation and that every human life is precious? We’ve been blessed with three children and number four will arrive in less than a week and half. This will most likely be our last biological child but Lord willing, we will be blessed with many more children. God has laid on our hearts to offer our experience in recovering our firstborn from autism and make ourselves available as foster parents to children with autism or developmental delay. There are many children that need families whether temporarily or permanently. 

    • sarah leonard

      This is exactly my thought.  It’s okay to try to fix something that doesn’t work the way that God intended it to as long as it is morally acceptable.  We wouldn’t deny help for any other medical issue that causes our bodies to be “broken” but we also wouldn’t destroy someone else’s life to heal our own body.

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

      You articulated the same as our thoughts very well. Thank you!

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

    I would assume that it would depend on your personal conviction about the matter really. It is much like that of my having my death derivative drawn up already, for reason though, but I am 37. I have illnesses and in the event of anything … absolutely NOTHING is to be done. Many people feel this way about fertility treatments. Like I do about my own mortality.. it is all in Gods hands, not mans … and if anything were to intercede, it would be God and only God. I have had my veiws since I was 7 years old and held on to them since that time. My veiws are for me only though, I don’t ever assume that one should do as I do or feel as I feel. That being said… I am for whatever they feel is right for them, but for myself, I would not do what I feel isn’t already able to be done on it’s own.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=814702491 Christy Fulgham Harrill

      I think there are degrees here as well. If I need a tourniquet to stop me from bleeding out because of an accident, I would gladly accept because I would like to be there for my husband and children. But I wouldn’t want to be kept alive on machines in a vegetative state. My husband accepted radiation therapy to fight cancer this past year. We felt at peace with whatever God had in store for us but thankfully he is now in remission. The right answer always seems to be somewhere in the middle. Balance! Accepting medical treatment is not evil. Allowing someone to play God and go beyond simply treating illness into control over life and death is another thing altogether.

  • Tisha

    I have always been confused by this as well – if I understand correctly, folks who subscribe to the quiverfull mindset are of the idea that fertility is in God’s hands. In other words, they are trusting God fully with their fertility, so they are open to accepting and receiving His blessings as He chooses to bestow them.

    Therefore, it is easy to assume the flip side would be true – if God chooses not to bless a couple with the ability to have children, that couple would then accept and trust God in the same way that they would if they were welcoming children – as HIS decision and HIS will.

    It is difficult to see why intervention would be frowned upon to prohibit pregnancy, but would be applauded to produce pregnancy IF the whole mindset is that reproduction is God’s business and we are to surrender this area of our lives to Him.

    Now, if the point of having children is because a couple just wants to and they are not leaving it to God to grant them with the blessings He chooses, then fertility treatments make perfect sense.

  • Ramona

    I can understand wanting your own biological child or children.

    However, after you’ve had 8 or 10, like the Jeubs. . . I don’t understand why the Jeubs didn’t start thinking about those children who have no homes.

  • Janet777

    Have the Jeubs ever discussed adoption in a post? It seems to go hand-in-hand with the subject of IVF and fertility enhancement.

  • LiaD

    Speaking as a mommy who went through some extreme fertility treatments, I can say that one thing was always true in the minds of my husband and I: It didn’t matter how many treatments we went through or what we did or what the doctors did to get there…. In the end — as with the natural way of having children — the choice was going to be entirely up to God. If we and the doctors did everything perfectly one hundred times and God’s answer was “no”, then that would be final.

    Fortunately, His answer was “yes.”

  • Stewart

    I have trouble with this. If we are to trust God with our fertility, to believe that He can and will open and close the womb at His will, then how can we say that birth control is wrong, but infertility treatment is not? Isn’t that NOT trusting God to open the womb as He sees fit? I have nothing against infertility treatment, for the record, I’m just struggling to understand how someone can say they trust God… but only if the answer is what you wanted. You either trust Him with your fertility, or you don’t. You can’t have it both ways.

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

      It sounds like we may agree more than disagree. I don’t see how your troubled thought connects with this article, though.