Answers to Large Family Question #4

A few moments ago at my house

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!

Lisa H.
Mom to 7


Blogger Signe said…

I have been thinking about this question for a day or so. I think Lisa H. summed it up well.

I can very much relate to Leslie. I am also an introvert that likes to have quiet time. God has allowed me to work with that in my family. Some seasons have been tougher than others, but God will give us the grace we need to travel through whatever He calls us to. I think we are “cut out” to follow Him wherever that may lead. I certainly don’t think everyone is called to have a large family, but I don’t think there is a type of person that is more likely to be good at it either.

I know many Moms that keep their families very organized no matter how many they have in their home. I also know many that need a little quiet time. Sometimes going into the bathroom and locking the doors to have some time with God meets that need.

I can say that God has done amazing things with my children that I can not take the credit for. I was willing to welcome them into my home and to trust Him. He has worked out wonderful things in each of them. We have had valleys, but we have lots of mountain tops as well. My kids are still young so I have a lot to learn still, but I am willing to take more in if that is what God calls me to.

God uses our weakness to show His strength.

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.

My husband, although a emergency 1st responder is a little squeamish of the whole “birth thing” and thinks having 2 bio children is enough. He has always said that 2 or 3 children are enough, I have always hoped for many children, bio or adopted, as I love children and have thoroughly enjoyed our son. I can tell my husband’s heart is changing toward children tho, because as we were looking on the state adoption website at some of the available situations last week, there was a family of 4 children he said, “Maybe that’s what God is calling us to do, take in a family of children and raise them for Him”. I was totally blown away, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined him saying something like that! After praying about it that night, we decided to call the state and just see what we’d need to do and if or not we would be eligible. The children had just been placed on hold that morning due to a pending family. I can only say “Thank you Jesus, for changing my husbands’ heart” tho. I feel as though God surely has a plan for those 4 beautiful little children and for our family also, and my husband opening his heart was a “first step”. Yesterday when we were discussing if we were cut out for a “large family” we talked about Psalms 127:3-5.
127:3- Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
127:4- As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
127:5- Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Children AR
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)

Blogger Laurel said…

Les … I am the mother of 13 children (10 bio. and 3 adopted from Ghana this year). When my husband and I got married, we knew we wanted a “large family”. But, we thought a “large family” meant 6 kids. We had no idea that the Lord would give us 13 (so far).

I do not believe that all families are called to have a dozen or more children. However, I do believe that the Lord is grieved by the amount of Christian families that choose to limit their family size.

With 3 children under 6 years old, your life might be overwhelming right now. While now may not be the time to enlarge your family, that does NOT mean that things might not change later on.

I just heard of a woman from our church who decided years ago that she would complete her family before she was 30 years old. Where would such a hard and fast “rule” come from? Not the Lord. I had my 10th bio. child the day before I turned 40. We thought we were “done”. But, at 45 the Lord started stirring my heart towards adoption.

I am 46, my husband is 48 … we do not know whether the Lord is done enlarging our family (either bio. or through adoption). While my peers are celebrating their “empty-nests”, I am so glad that I have MANY years of homemaking and homeschooling left (I have 2 children in 1st grade this year).

And, if it is your personality that you are worried about. Maybe it is children that the Lord wants to use to refine you. If you don’t want to give up order and control … maybe the Lord wants to give you a large family so that you allow HIM to be in control. My husband and I are “naturally” very orderly and controlling people. The Lord has definitely used our children to teach us flexibility. We must loosen our control, in order to give the Lord ALL of the control.


Laurel 🙂

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 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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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. bethr
    December 18, 2008

    Thank you for the encouragement you have all brought me this morning. As we anticipate the arrival of our two daughters from Ethiopia I have had many comments of “why would you adopt-you already have four children”. Knowing that there are others who love being wife and mom helps me to remember I’m not crazy- just following the pattern God has woven for me. I am honored to have been called to influence and love little ones, however they arrive.

  2. darci
    December 18, 2008

    all wonderful to read! thanks to all for sharing. people look at us like we’re crazy as we wait for our two from ethiopia to add to our three that is big. 🙂 Thanks for the wisdom in all the comments and your writings-what a great reminder to just be a vessel for God to use however HE wants.

  3. Cat and Mark
    December 18, 2008

    Great question/answers! Thanks for sharing Lisa. I’ve really enjoyed these Q and As.

  4. Angela
    December 20, 2008

    Thanks for the sweet words of encouragement this morning! These were all words that I needed to hear…
    A friend of mine said the other day ‘I pray every morning that my life would be like a drink offering…poured out…expecting nothing in return’ What a challenge for me. Those words have rang in my ears all week, as a call to live more fully for Him as I serve my husband (which I’ve been failing miserably at) and try to train up my kids. This sounds like a blog post, rather than a comment… I think I’ll cut and copy it to my blog. 😉

  5. Flamingo Mama
    December 24, 2008

    i just love reading the answers to your large family questions…thanks for asking and sharing!


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