Monday, April 28, 2014

Family Size and Quiverfull...Part II

Why do people NOT want to have more children?
There are some selfish excuses: God won't provide enough money. I have the amount of children society says is "okay. I want to chase the career because that's more important. I'd be too stressed out, kids are work. I want an adult life.
...and few unselfish reasons of why they just can't: Situations like Abraham and Sarah or like Hannah in the Bible. They were infertile (until the Lord saw their hearts and decided to intervene.)
Or, necessary hysterectomies or surgeries preventing a woman to bare more children.
I know that many of these selfish excuses would become non-existent if we had more Titus 2 women and men reaching out, modeling discipline how God intended discipline to happen. Disciplining a child shouldn't happen out of anger, but be administered in a self-controlled, limited, calm way. It takes time for a parent to train themselves in correct, Biblical discipline and doesn't happen overnight.

If you are struggling with discipline in your home or just want help in keeping your children's hearts, I highly suggest Keeping Our Children's Hearts by Steve and Teri Maxwell (paperbacks for just $ .45 on Amazon...a family library must-have), FIRST for reading and then Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp. Also, Heart and Mind, What the Bible Says About Learning by Ruth Beechick. The Bible touches on the heart over 900+ times and in another post, I want to go further into detail, but not for now.
Vasectomies are a touchy topic amongst Christians. I only know that we, as a family, have not chosen this route due to the fact that we haven't received a faith from God whether or not we're done having biological children yet. There's definitely something to be said about having a non-medical surgery for convenience, altering the way God created a man, but please know that I am not here to judge you if you have had one. (hugs!)
It's difficult because so many families fall into the classic "Culture Wars" checklist and vasectomies seem to be one of those things to check off the list. We have personally known many families who went through with the procedure and have so deeply regretted it. They went along with what everyone else said was culturally acceptable and these couples often wonder if God had another child for them. Who were they missing out on? There is a great site HERE regarding vasectomy reversal stories should you feel a tug on your heart for more little ones.
3.) Life-threatening medical conditions for the mother/baby.
C-sections have been on the rise for years and with these surgeries, come great risk with each one. (I know. I've had five.) I admire THIS LADY for having so many (10!). The Lord clearly had His hand on her with each surgery and you can tell that her children are such a blessing to her. However, every woman's body is different. One woman may have placenta previa with her first, natural childbirth and then you have this woman with multiple c-sections and no placenta previa, nor uterine rupture. I think there's also a lot to be said about diet, exercise, and herbal teas.
I remember when I went in to have Titus. When the medical staff found out that it was our fifth, the look on the assistants' and anesthesiologists' faces were like a deer in headlights. "Wow! You're fifth c-section!" "Yes, ma'am. My doctor says that I'm healthy and my uterus is very thick and capable."

[Side note: At one point when we were a few months pregnant with our fourth, we saw a specialist regarding having a VBAC. He said that everything looked great on the ultrasound, but after all of our questions, I looked him straight in the eye and ask him what he would do if it was HIS wife. He said that there's a large risk for uterine rupture, loss of baby, possible loss of life for me if that happened as well as brain damage risks. That was enough for us. We prayed and the Lord answered that prayer.]
Okay, back to Titus' birth...When she pulled our son out, she held up the ambiblical cord and demanded that my husband take a picture of it. He was kind of grossed out, but complied with her request. She kept raving over how thick it was. She asked me at a later appointment if I was eating or drinking anything different. I told her I was drinking red raspberry leaf tea 3 times a day (you can also take them in capsule form if you don't like the taste).
All of that to say, every pregnancy could have complications, but for us, we pray and ask for the Holy Spirit to guide every decision we make.
That brings me to the subject of surrender.
If you're claiming to be a Christian, then God asks us to surrender our lives to Him FULLY.
Let's think of a few things the Lord asks us to surrender...
1.) Our jobs. My husband has a great job and we're very thankful for his job, however, he doesn't go to work, sit down and say, "Okay, God. Work." My husband has to do his job and complete the tasks his boss asks him to. He has certain deadlines he has to meet. He has an order to how things function in his job. Does he pray over his job asking the Lord for guidance? Yes!
2.) Our finances. When we surrender our finances to the Lord, we don't throw every penny we own onto the kitchen table and ask the Lord to "take care of things". If we're surrendering our finances to Him, we still have choices and decisions to make over those finances. We have a responsibility to manage them well. We pray that God would direct us in how we use the finances He has given us.
3.) Our family. If the Lord blesses us with children, yes, they belong to Him, but we don't just leave them in a room and say, "Okay Lord, take over." There is an order to raising them as they change, develop, mature, and grow. There is structure. We have free will to raise them, we are looking to the Lord, praying daily for them, but we still have to make decisions with the minds He gave us.
It's the same with bearing children. God gave us a brain. He allowed us to obtain knowledge on how our bodies work and procreate.
  Many defend the Quiver full movement with Scripture taken out of context.
  Let's look at Psalm 127 first. If you read "a quiverfull of arrows" (many children) meant wealth, children to take care of their parents in old age and a long lineage long ago. Many were also farmers and needed their children's help to run things. They also had more children to help defend against disease should there be an outbreak, so that some may live on to carry out the family name. This is something that many families still encourage because they're all GOOD things. Let's also take into account that back then, many men had multiple wives and concubines to produce more children, so while many a quiverfull family may argue that Biblical families were large so these verses are applicable, and fit, the times are different and the Scripture can be interpreted differently. (Although there is no Scripture proving that plural marriage is necessarily sinful, there isn't one story throughout the Bible where plural marriage turns out well! Most of the wives have struggle with jealousy, which lead to major problems. Probably why in the New Testament, things changed to monotonous marriages.)
There were many family lineages recorded in the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible believed to be written by Moses) where even though the families consisted of many children, each wife/concubine had only a few children (I say a few, meaning 4-5 children), but added together with the other wives/concubines, there were more under one husband.
Genesis 38:9 is also a big verse that Quiver full will use as a defense against any type of family planning.
"But Onan knew that the child would not be his; so whenever he slept with his brother's wife, he spilled it on the ground to keep from providing offspring for his brother."
Then God strikes Onan dead. This verse isn't saying that the "spilling it on the ground" was the problem. It was the HEART ISSUE behind it. The big picture. He didn't want to provide offspring for his dead brother's wife. I'm sure Onan wasn't the only man in this situation ever in the entire existence of the universe, but God doesn't strike all of those other men dead. It was Onan's heart issue and Onan's punishment. Onan was trying to avoid Levirate marriage law where the widow's brother-in-law was to provide a son for the family name to carry on and the land not to be alienated. See Deuteronomy 25:5-10, Ruth 4, and Mark 12:18-27). There have been books written about the topic of quiverfull and while I certainly appreciate some of the topics covered some of the reviews depict what I had thought, Scripture taken out of context.

Part 3 to come.

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