“You Should Get a Job”

I lead camps in the summer. I'm on the far right with the Apologetics undeafeted champion on my shoulders (he's now one of our coaches). Jeub kids pepper throughout the photo. I must admit, my work is awesome.

Here’s a comment that’ll raise your hairs. It spoke about “Chris Jeub,” as if this blog is written about the Jeubs rather than by the Jeubs. In response to a post that Wendy and I reflected on our desire for another child, this commenter said:

“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.”

This juicy comment begs for a rebuttal. This person does not understand me, my work life, nor self-employment at all. Allow me to explain.

I left full-time employment in 2004. Since then, I have engaged in three revenue generating ventures to pay the bills. The combination of these add up to income somewhere in the 40’s. These are:

  1. Monument Publishing. We publish the Jeub resources, but that is just part of what we bring in as income. Most come from educational resources for academic speakers and debaters.
  2. Training Minds Ministry. We run speech and debate camps that “train minds for action,” a biblical mandate in 1 Peter 1:13. I hire the same coaches that write the materials. I actually serve as president for free, only accepting payment when I teach, just as the other coaches are paid.
  3. Contractual/Consulting Work. Having an MBA, having run an Internet development company, and having run a family business has given me quite a few skills over the years. Folks have paid me for my time. For the past few months I have been working for Ken Davis Productions, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it.

When I count my blessings, I’m not doing too bad. I have friends who have gone years without work, so I don’t think of myself struggling much at all. Sure, income in the 40’s isn’t rolling in wealth, but it is far from starving.

“I think he should get a job to support them.” My goodness, how could I fit a job into this? People think self-employment is sitting around in pajamas surfing the Internet. I work twice as hard self-employed as I ever did employed. Not sure why this commenter is on our website, but the judgment he/she dumped in the comment section is incredibly ignorant.

My, oh, my. Here I am, early in the morning in my living room recliner, tapping away on my laptop. This blog is fun to write, but I must confess and say it is work. In my pajamas. Perhaps this commentator isn’t as ignorant as I thought. So I must conclude: My life is awesome!

This is my work. It’s right where God wants me. I love it, and Wendy and I believe it generates a home life that a 17th child would find most welcoming.

About Chris Jeub

Chris is the father of 16 children, busily running the family businesses and learning the depths of love along the way.

  • Tania @ Larger Family Life

    I think Chris Jeub made an excellent rebuttal in this post ūüėČ

  • Eunice

    Preach it, brotha!

  • Mary Beth

    Not that you need to explain yourself to anyone but that was pretty cool. You love what you do and that is what most people want…Right? And as for having another child is totally up to God and most people even some christians can’t understand that. Love to you and your family.

  • Susan

    … the last time I checked “being self-employed, making around $40,000 a year” is a job … how can someone say you are unemployed ?¬† That’s simply ridiculous.¬†

  • rufus

    praying  god  blesses  you  with  baby   no17.mrs  bates  just  had  her  19 baby.i  believechildren  are  blessing.your  family    is    a    example  to   others.  hannah  prayed   for  samuel  and   god   blessed  her

  • Ken

    That poster should have practiced what Abraham Lincoln once quipped: ”
    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one‚Äôs mouth and remove all doubt.”

  • Carla

    You’ve written about your financial struggles. It is great to be so honest. However, people are being honest back. A job would provide you with a regular steady paycheck, something self-employed people often do not have.

    I think a job would enable you to be less dependent on others (the
    community, neighbors, Costco’s free samples, dentists providing free
    orthodontia care, gleaning). I think that’s what the poster means.

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

      Like I said of the poster, you don’t understand self-employment or self-employed people. A job IS dependency, Carla. You see it as security, we see it as bondage.¬†

      Well, “bondage” may be a bit strong, but it is definitely not freedom from dependency.

      • Amy

        But now you are in bondage to the neighbors who help you. 

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

          My neighbors who help me? Amy, I think you’ve been reading too many TV gossip sites. You’re definitely not reading this blog or our books.

          • sam


          • Sola

            I suspect she’s actually been reading your blog, rather than the gossip sites. ¬†You yourself have stated that you have had help from friends, neighbours and have ‘gleaned’.

        • Sheila(UK)

          Absolute nonsense!

    • Sheila(UK)

      Accepting help from others is not being dependent on them.  God often blesses us through other peoples generosity and we are called to be mindful of those who have needs. By your reasoning we should never help others out in case we make them dependent on us and that is ridiculous.
      Taking advantage of free samples,offers and free dental care is good stewardship of what we have been given.

  • Amy

    $45,000 is about $2,800 per person per year. That’s about $7/per day for each person.¬† It is hard for your readers to believe that everyone’s needs can be met for that amount. I think that’s where the comments are coming from.

    And that’s *without* deducting for any taxes, like self-employment tax or Social Security. $5 per person per day might be more accurate.

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

      By God’s grace, we do. We post on our ideas often. And many of our principles of frugality, thankfulness, thriftiness, and freedom are listed in our books.

      You sound doubtful, Amy.

      • Amy

        I’m doubtful because of what you have written about being in debt, and having not enough money.

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

          Well, stick around and you may find some alternative ways to think about money, life and blessings.

          • Amy

            I’ll stick around, sure, but I am happy about the way I currently think about money.¬† I would be uncomfortable with your way.

            • Sheila(UK)

              You sound like you place all of your security in the mighty dollar instead of God almighty!

              • Amy

                There is no way that $5 a day can meet all of a person’s food, housing, medical, dental and clothing needs.

              • Shannon C

                This is a very sad post. I think that Amy is missing a lot of the point..you say there is no way they can do it? Well they are doing it and have been doing it….No child is starving in their house, no child is going to school without clothes on their back, and there is a roof over their heads! They have love, knowledge, and are involved in activities so what more do they need?? What because each kid doesnt have a DS or a PS3 they are without means? You need to remember the Jeub family doesn’t waste their money on a lot of things that we do in our lives! They make their own cleaning supplies, they dont go out to eat at fast food places every other day, etc etc. You may not think it works because were all so caught up in the non essential things in life! Amish dont have full time jobs and they have lots of kids and there not starving? Can you explain that? Why …because they dont spend $$ on unneeded items. I am trying so much to get more like the Jeubs in there money saving tips and they are inspiring and I appreciate hearing about the struggles because that is real life! If they didn’t post it these blogs would be fake and we would wonder how their lives are so perfect but their honest in their struggles and share how they pull through it as a family and as a community! I appreciate you Wendy and Chris for doing that because you give me hope that it can be done!

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

                Thanks, Shannon!

  • Maria175

    well, first off – a “job” is not necessarily any more secure than self-employment these days, just look at the many people being laid off all the time ūüėČ

    second, self-employment is actually a great way of tailoring your finances to your needs – as you can easily combine several activities and have a high flexibility in how you work

    third,having “a job” is really no garantuee of not being in debt!! people choose to indebt themselves all the time – for tons of different purposes, regardless of their way of income

    and finally; dependency is such a strong word – but why shouldn’t we accept help and help our neighbours if we can? unless someone is really cultivating laziness and just choosing to parasite others, which would warrant a gentle kick in the b*** to get his/her act together – well, I say we give as generously as we can and also accept with grace and gratitude any help we’re given ourselves. This society is already way too individualized and a little community-thinking is not misplaced!

  • Sheila(UK)

    I cannot believe some of the comments being made here. I see a man who is using his talents and abilities to provide for his family in ways he sees fit. Just because some people think that it’s not enough to live on is irrelevant. Chris,Wendy and their children have all that they need and an amazing amount of love for each other.
    They are wise stewards of what God provides them with and accepting help from others  is a way of accepting provision from God through others. Surely we have all done that!
    I see a family that place love before money and some of the people commenting here would do well to do the same.
    The Jeub children will look back in years to come to a father who was always there for them providing them not only with financial support but with a tremendous amount of love and emotional support.Some fathers are so wrapped up with working outside the home that their families hardly know them.
    I have followed this family for a long time and read their books. Please take the time to understand them before making such judgmental comments.
    Chris, I know that you are well able to speak for yourself but I wanted to show my support for you and Wendy. Hope you don’t mind!

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

      I don’t mind at all. Thanks, Sheila! I appreciate your kind feedback.

      • Sheila(UK)

        You are very welcome Chris!
        It seems that some people on a rather spiteful and nasty forum are saying that I have issues because of my support for you and Wendy. I am inclined to think they are the ones with issues but they are entitled to their opinion.

  • Anonymous

    Chris and WendyРWhen I look at that photo I see what is right with America.  It gives me hope in the future.  When a young father of 16, who runs 2-3 businesses at a time, can find time to build into the lives of young people across the United States, it inspires me to do more for God and Country myself!

  • Vanessa

    I cannot believe the negative comments made, either. A man supporting his 16 children is worthy only of the highest praise. We all do what we can to survive and get through life. Even through I may not be the richest of people, I hope that I will be blessed with many children too and there’s no reason that only the rich should breed. If we needed to have lots of money to have children, the world be pretty much lifeless!

  • Amy

    You may see a job as bondage. I see it as fullfilling your responsibility to your children. Responsible adults have to do lots of things that tie them down and limit their freedom. They get up for sick children when they’d rather be sleeping, they drive them to music lessons when they’d rather be home relaxing. When I fulfill my obligations to my kids, I don’t see it as bondage, I see it as an expression of my love.

    Since you’ve complained that your debate camps are shrinking and your books sales are down, a full-time job is a good way to meet your obligations to your 15 dependents. I don’t think any poster is unreasonable for suggesting this.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=799259836 Amy Woolley Pederson

       How is Chris not meeting his obligation to his 15 dependents?  In this economy, how can you say that a job is the answer when so many people are being laid off? 

  • Shannon C

    Honestly I only have 3 kids and were living off of a $34,000 income, no
    assistance, no community, my husband was laid off, we had just bought a
    house and we have a family with medical needs and Ill tell you it was
    tough. What I have learned from the Jeub family is that unlike most of
    us in the world they are honest about their money struggles and its not
    because they just bought a new television or a brand new hummer or even a
    brand new car its because they have what should be real money

    ¬†¬†¬† I read on here that people are telling Chris to get a job….well
    what is a family business.? Should we tell all Americans that are trying
    to start or run a family business to give up and get a job? I thought
    that is what America stood for is your right to be your own boss and do
    what you have always wanted. They aren’t living off of tax payers money and if they were I wouldn’t care. I would honestly rather pay higher taxes to assist in a women getting food for her family or medical coverage for her child with cancer. Honestly, I am not a avid church goer and have maybe in my life read a
    few pages of the bible and I should and plan on reading more however,
    without having to be extreme participating Christian I can say that I know
    that God wanted us to work as a community, give to eachother, and
    support eachother. Its not that they are being dependent on their
    community, neighbors, free samples, but rather finding a way to live as a
    community. There community chooses to work together! Do you think God
    said I will make you rich and you poor…no! I want you to struggle and
    you to have more money then you know what to do with…no! Imagine if
    more communities came together to help eachother. If someone had extra
    money and instead of buying that brand new 62inch television or that
    brand new Rims and Tires that cost $3k if they were to buy groceries for
    a struggeling single mother in their community, or helped a neighbor
    redo their leaking roof, or instead of owning a home in the Hamptons,
    one in Jamaica, and one in Texas they helped someone in their community
    receive a home that does not how much better this world would be.


      I think everyone is missing the point here. Were all so caught up in
    money money money….that we miss the community and people in and around
    our lives. Thank god my husband finially got a job 4 months ago but Ill
    tell ya even on a small income I still help who ever I can as I watch
    people who make $100k+ a year sit on their money to buy fancy things! Buy
    used and save the difference, help someone in your community instead of
    buying materialist things. Its taken me a long time to come to this
    realization but you know ..do we really need monthly plan cell
    phones..no I purchased a buy the minute one to use for emergancies, yes I
    have cable but you know what my two year agreement is up in May and its
    going bye bye! Id rather play games with my kids! There are a lot of
    things people could cut out of their budgets slowly to save money to
    help another. Were so caught up in our own selfish ways to really think
    outside of the box to work as a community! If I won a million dollars
    you better believe I would give the majority of it away to assist my
    community besides some putting away for college and buying a house that
    doesnt have leaky pipes and mold issues! I really hope that the Jeub
    family can be an inspiration to some of you instead of a reason to
    create more negativity in your minds. Use there community giving as an
    example of how you can help someone and show God that humanity is a
    wonderful thing!

  • Denise

    Wow, the negativity towards the Jeubs astounds me. I mean he and Wendy are doing what they feel is the best interest for their family. Who are we to criticize their family size, educational viewpoints etc?

  • Mel4ministry

    Amen! ¬†You are doing much to support your family, not just financially, but spiritually, emotionally, and educationally. ¬†Whoever your rude comment was from did not understand the true joy of raising children. ¬†There is MUCH more to raising children then “bringing home the bacon.” ¬†:)

  • Linda J

    I’m curious on your views on retirement.¬† My husband and I are closing in on retirement age and putting about 10 percent of our income into a growing fund as well as tithing and giving, but still have a long way to go.¬† How do you plan for the days when you and Wendy will be to old to work.¬† Social Security won’t be nearly enough to provide for your needs not let alone wants.