Once again I have to thank everyone who took the time to respond to this question:
Are there some people who are cut out to have a lot of kids and some who aren’t?
Let me share some of the great answers I received.
Lisa H. wrote:
I’ll jump in on the question regarding being cut out to have a large family. I think the question is really “How is God wanting to use my life?” I don’t think that God has called us all to have large families, but I think He has called us all to have a place where we get our hands dirty and our lives messy in meeting the needs of hurting people. It might be ministry to single moms, prisoners, the poor, the homeless, widows, inner city kids, immigrants, the sick, etc…, but SOMEWHERE God has a place for each of us to serve that will complicate our lives, and our homes, and our personal space and time….AND that place will be a place where we know a special kind of fulfillment and satisfaction and where we are used to have eternal impact. For the lucky ones of us, it’s the call to parent children who need families! :o)
Yes, that call has involved giving up personal time and space, living in a home that rarely reflects the ideal I have in my mind, and feeling a little over-stimulated, even, at times, from the comings and goings of our crew. But I KNOW that this is the call of God on my life and our family, and even in my worst moments, I know I’d never choose to miss the precious children God has brought to our family for a little more personal time or a more magazine worthy home.
Last summer I had the afternoon “off” as my husband cared for our children. I went out to lunch and sat in the sun at an outdoor cafe while I sipped tea and read a magazine. After a while, I thought, “This is great! I needed this!….But this is nothing to build a life around!” and I was ready to go home, and be back in the game with my family.
We are all unique creations and we have different needs for space, quiet, order, etc. We need to respect these limits and live within them. But we need to be sure that we’re not resisting God’s desire to stretch us and push us out of our comfort zones as He enlarges our hearts to love the world through us. It’s a hard, painful process but the end result is JOY, for us and for those we’re called to love… I think if we are faithful to ask God His intentions and to be seeking His wisdom with open hearts, then He will show us which situation applies to us.
My .02 on a great question!
Mom to 7
An anonymous friend wrote:
I do not have a big family… my husband and I have a 2 year old and I am due in about 7 weeks with our second. We are hoping to someday (after baby is born) look into adoption. We’re thinking a sibling group or family, depending on what God decides! My husband and I just had the “are we cut out for a large family” discussion yesterday and I thought I’d share what we came up with.
E a heritage of the Lord, the Bible calls them a REWARD! We believe whether they are bio or adopted, that is true. The next verse says they are as arrows in the hand of a mighty man. When we were talking about that, my husband pointed out that “what good is an arrow that does not have a target or goal?”, we felt like unless the parents had a vision for their children, a purpose in Christ, that maybe just having many children was not the answer. We decided for our family, just “having lots of children” was not good enough. We felt like if that is God’s plan for our life, we would need to train the children, regardless of how many for HIM. To give them a purpose in Christ, a reason for living. We do not have any experience in this, just God’s promise to be with us and to guide us, so I don’t have any “practical applications” to stick in. We feel like with God’s help, lots of patience, love and His wisdom, we would like to let God decide the size of our family. Jesus said, “…With men, this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26b)
Wow, with these women writing, I have very little to add! I also do not think that we are all called to have large families. I do think that if we are Christians, we are called to lay down our lives and give ourselves to the work that Christ calls us to do. I love the Jim Elliot quote, “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Elisabeth Elliot, the late Jim Elliot’s wife, has been like a “spiritual mother” to me. I have read some of her books many times, and ten years ago I had the privilege of hearing her speak in Denver. I still have the notes from that day in my old Bible. A woman in the audience asked the question, “How can I know God’s will for my life?” Elisabeth talked about a number of principles, but she ended with one I have never forgotten: What do I have to do that nobody else can do?
For me, my ministry, for the past 21 years, has been in my home as a wife and mother. I have many interests, but my family has been my number one sphere for ministry. When I began to pray about how God might want to use me to serve Him in new ways, it became clear to me that since my home and family were my focus, adding children to our family through the adoption of orphans was a natural fit.
It has not been easy adding four children to our family, but we know that God has led us every step of the way. Our expectations of what the experience of international adoption was going to be like were unrealistic. Not many things turned out the way we expected, but they turned out just the way that God planned. I do believe that God chose these children to become part of our family – we did not choose them. We may have received referral pictures, but God put in our hearts the children who were meant to be ours. In fact, Dimples and Honeybee were not even on “waiting child” lists when God spoke to us that they were to become our daughters. It has been a deeply spiritual experience.
I could write more, but (speaking of ministry to my family), I need to put dinner on the table. I have loved these questions and I would be delighted to present more to all of you. If you have a question you would like me to post, please email me at email@example.com. You are welcome to ask it anonymously. The issue can be big or small!
It is snowing and after dinner I am making a favorite Christmas cookie recipe with my big girls. It is going to be a nice evening.
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