Jan 6, 2015
A third blessing and thoughts on family planning.
For those who don't know (although I mentioned morning sickness in my last post), we're expecting our third baby this July. Joshua's birthday is at the end of November so we'll have three under three, all before celebrating four years of marriage!
When we found out we were expecting again a month ago (we found out a bit later - apparently I must have been distracted by two somethings this time around?) we were immediately excited and joyful. We love our babies, so of course! My other thoughts after were wait can I do this and will people think we're crazy and darn I just started wearing my pre-pregnancy jeans last week but back to the stretch band drawing board...and other such vain and selfish things.
To back up a moment, with our first two babies only sixteen months apart, the tentative plan was to have at least a two year gap before the next. I was looking at enjoying these two and getting into shape again and experiencing full, uninterrupted nights of sleep. But something began to shift in our hearts, particularly my husband's. He has one brother and even after marrying me (the second oldest of seven), having a large family was not on his radar. He was open to more but would be happy with two or three. But over the last few months I think God was changing his heart and preparing both of us to be open to another child sooner if that was His will. Which apparently was, as evidenced by my growing and queasy stomach.
And this matter of children and God's will brings me to the thing I've been pondering and questioning for some time - how should we, as Christians, view children and family planning?
I have no thought of judging others or coming up with concrete rules and stances, but I'm naturally a curious person and this topic is one I haven't yet been able to settle in my mind.
Much of what I've read on the pro let God control your family size side comes from individuals or ministries that tend to be legalistic in several other areas that I believe God gives us freedom in (although requiring much wisdom). On the other hand, arguments I've seen (from respected Christians) for the God expects us to use wisdom and purposely limit our family size side just don't satisfy me or strike me as soundly rooted in Scripture.
I haven't come to a conclusion yet - I just question Christian culture that agrees that children are a blessing and that we should trust God but somehow the sum of these truths is to decide for ourselves how many are a blessing?
Aren't we told that God is the one who opens and closes the womb? Is the Sovereign one not to be trusted to close it if that is best? Is this idea of limiting children seen anywhere in Scripture (even implicitly)?
Again, I'm not judging those who have come to a different conclusion, only trying to wrestle this one out in my own heart.
Any thoughts and perspectives on this topic - whether you're married or have children yet or not - would be most welcome!