Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Do You Think Everyone Should Have Many Children?

This is a question that I'm asked often and even now, I am perplexed when I hear it.  It's really the much the same as saying, "You have three you think that everyone should have three?"  or "You are a you think that everyone should be a doctor".  But I guess I am only perplexed because I am privy to my heart and mind on the matter and I don't share it with everyone...until now...haha.

I understand that there is a curiosity and many, many myths about large families.  So, I thought I would share my heart and mind on the matter so that it can be filed away here on my blog for reference should anyone be interested...haha.

People are usually surprised to find that I was not raised in a large family myself.  I was raised with two brothers and that was an average family at the time.

I thought I would sprinkle pictures of my childhood throughout this post.  

 Here I am with my two brothers.

Whoahhh...look at those tiles!...and the Disney carpet in our "playroom" behind.  
Here I am with my older brother doing "The Fonz"...Sunday, Monday, Happy Days, Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days...  Sing with me...haha.  
I can still remember the Oreo necklace with a bite out of it.  Did anyone else have that? 

The Calling: For me, having a large family is a calling that the Lord put in my heart as a young child.  Ask anyone who knew me as a child and they will tell you that I have always loved babies and children.  I believe that it is a calling just the way that individuals are called to go on the mission field.  This is my mission field and I rarely have to eat gross things...haha.  It does change the perspective when you look at your life calling as your mission field...whatever it is that God has called you to do with the life He gave you.

 These pictures will not must have something to do with them being scanned many years ago.  Anyway, the above picture is me proudly holding my little brother.  I was 2 1/2.

The Scriptures: I believe that it is wise to always line things up against Scripture.  I would not be dogmatic about the "large family" issue as I know there are many passionate answers on both sides of the question.  But, as I search scripture, I honestly can't find any place where we are commanded to have many children.  Some verses could be interpreted that way, but I think they are taken out of context.  Just as we aren't all called to leave family, friends, and country to share the gospel in other countries, so not everyone is called to have many children.  But, I am forever grateful that I get to be one of the few that are called to have many children and reap the wonderful blessings that accompany the calling!

 This picture looks so much like Nathan and Ransom to me.

4K before we started homeschooling.

The Heart: I believe that like so many other things, it comes down to the heart.  What is our heart on the matter.  There was a time when I thought I might not be able to have children.  I had to come to the place in my heart where I was surrendered to God on this and willing to live my life with no children, if that was His will for me.
So, on any issue, I ask myself, "Is my heart open to what God is calling me to do?".  Or, do I have a list of things that I will not do, places that I will not go, and people to whom I will not minister.  Do I have an open heart to what God wants for my life and am I willing to wholeheartedly embrace His plan whether it is few children, many children, or no children? 

 Haha...Look at that "vintage" baby mobile and plastic bumper pads.

 The Societal Myth and the Blessing: Modern society puts little value on children and even less value on sacrificing self for children or posterity (or sacrificing for anything else for that matter).  We have become a generation of "me first" and immediate gratification.  Some of the things that have the longest lasting results and the most blessing require sacrifice and time.  We are learning this with finances as we go through Financial Peace University.  In much the same way, the time and sacrifice that we put into our children will produce amazing a generation...and we are hoping for compound interest...haha!  So, I am looking toward the future as I have kids and not the here and now...or even the next ten years.

I would also turn around modern culture's questions and instead of asking "Why have more children?", I would ask "Why NOT have more children?".  The reason leads back to the heart.  Is it so that I can get my nails done, have lunch with girl friends, or have more things?  These are all amoral things but it is our heart that makes them good or bad. Have I put anything above God's desire for my life.  If so, then that thing is now an idol in my life.  It can be wanting something...or not wanting something.  The Bible teaches that children are a blessing and we are to view them as such.  So, I am just living my life and doing what God has called me to do...and loving all the little ones that He has entrusted me to raise!

 Here I am on the front steps of my grandparent's home (so many memories here) with my 
Aunt Jan.  Isn't she beautiful?

One last thing that I would like to say on this topic is that both husband and wife need to come to a mutual agreement when it comes to having children (and everything else too).  I believe strongly that God never calls a person to do something that He hasn't called their spouse to do as well...or at least be in agreement...but that is another post altogether. 


  1. Bless you dear daugher. How the memories flood back as I view and review your blog. I am now living Psalm 127:3-5. "Seems the apple doesn't fall far from the tree".

  2. This blessed me this morning, Allison. I appreciate your focus on surrender and your faithfulness to scripture--it's true that the Bible doesn't give any specific instruction about family size! I am sure that when people see my 5 they sometimes assume I am militant about having a big family, but I agree with you completely. God called us to have these 5, and at this point we have peace that our family is complete. He may change our minds later, but right now I see His wisdom in guiding us to focus on the needs of the 5 sweet ones we have right now. Some of those needs are pretty intense. I, too, love having a big family. Each one is so different and precious.

  3. What a beautiful post! I used to *think* I was going to have more kids. Like you, for about 5 years, I didn't think we'd ever have any. I feel extremely blessed with the two that I have (of course, it feels that I have more like 4 since my mother passed away and my 2 younger brothers spend so much time with us ;)

    I think I get the opposite reaction when people hear that I had 9 siblings, yet I only have 2 of my own children. Some people, I think, expect me to 'out-do" my mom or! OR others think I hated having a large family so I am opposed to it. Neither is true, of course.

    The Lord has different plans for each person. Large family or just a little family, the important thing is doing what God has called you to do and following HIS will for your life :)

    Children ARE a gift from God and you are right that raising children IS a mission field.

    Love this post and you have a beautiful mission field :)

  4. Thanks for sharing your heart:)
    I wish people would just look at larger families and be blessed and marvel at what God has allowed them to have.
    It's kind of how they respond to homeschoolers - they think we are the strange ones, because we choose a different path than the herd. Why is it that choosing something different, but still good, is looked down upon?

    I personally think larger families are a joy. God only blessed me with two boys, but I have to trust that He had his reasons:)

    Blessings to you:)

  5. I loved this post! I'm a first time reader and loved hearing your heart on this issue. I personally only have two children, but was raised in a family of four girls. Even growing up, I was surprised at the stereotypes people imposed upon us, simply because we had more than the average 2-3 children.

    God builds the family, God adds members as He sees fit, and He leads us to His work, be it multiplying our biological family members, or our spiritual family members! God Bless you in all your endeavors!

  6. Beautifully stated. I loved this post also! Thank you for sharing on the topic.

  7. Wonderful post! I love it really love it! I like you have always wanted a large family, my husband has not always wanted a large family, but God has worked on his heart for each child. I love the way you spoke of it as a calling. I really dislike the feeling I get from some large family's that make it sound like every one that dose not have one is in sin. I know that God has put desire in my heart and the ability to carry out mothering many children. Thank you for this wonderful post. I love all of your childhood pics so very sweet :)

  8. Your pictures and your heart ... simply a wonderful blessing tonight. Thank you friend for sharing with all of us.

  9. Hi Allison! Just found your blog tonight and really enjoy it! You wrote with such grace on this topic--very well said...It was a blessing to read!