The view of having children in the modern church

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jjraby

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello PB!

I have been in hiding for a while but something has really been grinding my gears so I needed to post to get some opinions and advice. Forgive me if there are some rants.

My Wife and I currently have a 6 month old and we have recently discovered that she is pregnant with our second. The problem is that we have dreaded telling her parents because we know they will react negatively. They are very wealthy and they are Christians. The problem that is they think the worst of everything. They first thing her mom said that the timing is wrong. My first reaction to that was, "The timing is perfect because it is God's timing." She told her yesterday a and she has already emailed her that she needs to go back to work and put our son in daycare. its hard to say where i'm going with this but since when have children been seen as a burden in the Christian community? Its saddens me that we as Christians have reduced out faith to how much money we have to "take care of" our children. We have not waited the approved 2-5 year between children so we are doing it wrong in their eyes. I'm sorry if this is a rant but I'm sad for my wife that her parents have made this a bad thing. They have made her feel guilty about having another child. My children are not unplanned, they will all be planned. Planned by our most high God
 

earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Just be patient and understand we all come with a lot of baggage. My MIL was the same way and now that she has gone on to glory I am sure she understands now she was wrong in thinking that way.
 

Jash Comstock

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not a father, so I can't offer any advice. I will say, my wife's family has reacted the same way when they heard about our views on children (God decides when and how many). I will also say that it is good for a man to stand up for his family choices (graciously). Extended family will always be critical if you don't live your lives their way. Ultimately it is your godly responsibility as a father to steer your family towards respecting the authority of God and his timing. I'm glad to see you doing this. Be patient, be gracious, but stick by your guns.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Don't worry about convincing them of the blessing. Just be content that the Lord has blessed you and they'll come around. They'll love the child when it comes and probably see the folly in their own reaction after holding the baby in their arms.

We have five and there was a little bit of eye rolling when I announced that my wife was pregnant at my retirement from the Marine Corps. I sometimes think: "Man! This is crazy!" but I wouldn't give up a single one of them for anything this world can offer.

Congratulations to you and your wife!
 

mossy

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello PB!

I have been in hiding for a while but something has really been grinding my gears so I needed to post to get some opinions and advice. Forgive me if there are some rants.

My Wife and I currently have a 6 month old and we have recently discovered that she is pregnant with our second. The problem is that we have dreaded telling her parents because we know they will react negatively. They are very wealthy and they are Christians. The problem that is they think the worst of everything. They first thing her mom said that the timing is wrong. My first reaction to that was, "The timing is perfect because it is God's timing." She told her yesterday a and she has already emailed her that she needs to go back to work and put our son in daycare. its hard to say where i'm going with this but since when have children been seen as a burden in the Christian community? Its saddens me that we as Christians have reduced out faith to how much money we have to "take care of" our children. We have not waited the approved 2-5 year between children so we are doing it wrong in their eyes. I'm sorry if this is a rant but I'm sad for my wife that her parents have made this a bad thing. They have made her feel guilty about having another child. My children are not unplanned, they will all be planned. Planned by our most high God
Perhaps there are other issues you didn't mention causing your MIL concern, such as finances? I am just guessing but there may be an underlying issue that is the real concern.
Terry
 

jjraby

Puritan Board Freshman
Hello PB!

I have been in hiding for a while but something has really been grinding my gears so I needed to post to get some opinions and advice. Forgive me if there are some rants.

My Wife and I currently have a 6 month old and we have recently discovered that she is pregnant with our second. The problem is that we have dreaded telling her parents because we know they will react negatively. They are very wealthy and they are Christians. The problem that is they think the worst of everything. They first thing her mom said that the timing is wrong. My first reaction to that was, "The timing is perfect because it is God's timing." She told her yesterday a and she has already emailed her that she needs to go back to work and put our son in daycare. its hard to say where i'm going with this but since when have children been seen as a burden in the Christian community? Its saddens me that we as Christians have reduced out faith to how much money we have to "take care of" our children. We have not waited the approved 2-5 year between children so we are doing it wrong in their eyes. I'm sorry if this is a rant but I'm sad for my wife that her parents have made this a bad thing. They have made her feel guilty about having another child. My children are not unplanned, they will all be planned. Planned by our most high God
Perhaps there are other issues you didn't mention causing your MIL concern, such as finances? I am just guessing but there may be an underlying issue that is the real concern.
Terry
Finances may be tight. My wife doesn't work. We have given up alot of luxuries in order to be able to do this. my MIL thinks they help us more than they actually do. My son is having to have several surgeries to remove a giant congenital nevus from his leg. He has already had one surgery and they they say they will pay the bills. Its not that i specifically have a problem with them doing this its just that i'm not going to ask them to pay it. If they offer to pay it then they need to ask about it (just my MO). I don't want to hound them about paying our bills. I have pretty good insurance so the surgeries come out to about 500 OOP. While is this an extra expensive it's not something that will send us into bankruptcy. I'm currently trying to get an promotion and have an interview on Monday (please Pray!) this would be a significant pay increase that would make life much easier, at least as far as money goes. We have some financial issues early on simply because i had difficulty finding a job. But God has been gracious enough for in two years time i went from making 11k a year to 51k (more if the company does well). God has taken care of us in the past and I do not doubt that he will take care of us in the future.
 

jjraby

Puritan Board Freshman
Don't worry about convincing them of the blessing. Just be content that the Lord has blessed you and they'll come around. They'll love the child when it comes and probably see the folly in their own reaction after holding the baby in their arms.

We have five and there was a little bit of eye rolling when I announced that my wife was pregnant at my retirement from the Marine Corps. I sometimes think: "Man! This is crazy!" but I wouldn't give up a single one of them for anything this world can offer.

Congratulations to you and your wife!
Thank you for that. I expect eye rolling from outside the church. What bothers me is that Bible believing, Christ fearing people roll their eyes.
 

Dying_Daily

Puritan Board Freshman
My wife and I made the decision years ago not to use birth control. Thankfully we were blessed to have parents who largely supported us in that, but I can relate to your situation. We have 5 children 6 and under. After our first two or three, I think there were some who thought we weren't being responsible, especially since it was obvious at that point that we were struggling to handle so many little ones. But now that we have 5, and our oldest is getting older, God has brought us to a point of greater confidence and wisdom in what we are doing (not that we have arrived by any means!). The awesome thing is to see so many obvious blessings from this decision, even though raising a large family is hard work, and I know I fail a lot. But I remember recently a church member was brought to tears of thanks that our family came to her church, because she felt the body was missing the blessing of children. For all the times where other Christians may not understand or even agree with having large families, there are so many more times where God blesses us through our family. There are days honestly when I ask myself, "What are we thinking?," but then I fall back on God's Word and on the testimonies of so many large families that show how God's blessing and promise comes through those that fear Him. Lord bless you.
 

Hemustincrease

Puritan Board Freshman
She told her yesterday a and she has already emailed her that she needs to go back to work and put our son in daycare
This kind of talk just breaks my heart. :(

God says that He has joined them together (man and wife) for the purpose of Godly seed. How tragic when that sacred union of marriage is seen more as a double means of breadwinning!

The last thing your wife should feel is ‘guilty’. She is a woman highly blessed of the Lord. I stay home, against all the ‘wisdom' of the world (and some within the church) as a single mother with my three precious children and hope and continually pray that the Lord will enable me to continue doing so.

"Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord.The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.” Psalm 128
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
Well then, they needn't bother visiting the grandkids I guess. Keep them out of the loop for a while if they are going to be so negative! I am not recommending not honoring your parents, rather honoring what they are communicating by leaving them alone. Perhaps they will "wise up."

Keep calm and carry on.
 

Abeard

Puritan Board Freshman
It is hard in general having a big family in a culture that thinks children are a burden. I remember talking to someone who said that having children is a waste of money.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
This is a difficult topic and I try to maintain a good sense of humor regardless of the frankly crass and low brow behavior people display when it comes to these things. One of our parents immediately after our marriage said, "I hope you don't have a lot of children." That remark and others along has given me reason to respond firmly and not always perfectly to various family members over the years. Honoring one's parent is commanded but does not include a blank check for whatever rolls out of one's mouth. Earlier in our marriage there was a six week period or so with painfully difficult phone conversations and emails to get a point where our family can get together in relative (no pun intended) peace. We welcome the advice of family but I was clear that I wouldn't tolerate nasty characterizations of my homemaking wife, our fecundity and other personal life decisions that are no longer in vogue. So far we have one almost three year-old daughter and one or two miscarriages. We hope for more children but realize we had a late start as she's thirty-five and I'm forty. SDG. It's up to Him. I've made it abundantly clear to my extended family that I love them but my wife and daughter are first.
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Graduate
Well then, they needn't bother visiting the grandkids I guess. Keep them out of the loop for a while if they are going to be so negative! I am not recommending not honoring your parents, rather honoring what they are communicating by leaving them alone. Perhaps they will "wise up."

Keep calm and carry on.
It almost came to that for me a few years ago. It was horrible but thankfully there was reconciliation and forgiveness.
 

jjraby

Puritan Board Freshman
It is hard in general having a big family in a culture that thinks children are a burden. I remember talking to someone who said that having children is a waste of money.
Its sad. Its even worse that this view has permeated the Church.
 

RPEphesian

Puritan Board Junior
Hello PB!

I have been in hiding for a while but something has really been grinding my gears so I needed to post to get some opinions and advice. Forgive me if there are some rants.

My Wife and I currently have a 6 month old and we have recently discovered that she is pregnant with our second. The problem is that we have dreaded telling her parents because we know they will react negatively. They are very wealthy and they are Christians. The problem that is they think the worst of everything. They first thing her mom said that the timing is wrong. My first reaction to that was, "The timing is perfect because it is God's timing." She told her yesterday a and she has already emailed her that she needs to go back to work and put our son in daycare. its hard to say where i'm going with this but since when have children been seen as a burden in the Christian community? Its saddens me that we as Christians have reduced out faith to how much money we have to "take care of" our children. We have not waited the approved 2-5 year between children so we are doing it wrong in their eyes. I'm sorry if this is a rant but I'm sad for my wife that her parents have made this a bad thing. They have made her feel guilty about having another child. My children are not unplanned, they will all be planned. Planned by our most high God
My new wife and I have been through something similar, and that is people feel free to advise you to hold off on children or how to manage the number.

Though, as a pastor's wife had said to a friend of mine when she was nervous during her third pregnancy, "We should never call a curse what God calls a blessing." She went on to joyfully bring 6 more into the world.

So glad that the Lord is giving you and your wife one more blessing :)
 

The Baptist

Puritan Board Freshman
I've had similar problems with my own family. My wife and I only have three children but our most recent son was born 7 years after the previous. This really brought some negativity from my family, but like you said, it's God's plan. For me, my greatest worry is being able to be emotionally available to so many kids. Even at three I'm taxed to the limit. I can't imagine how families with so many kids are able to give the love kids need so badly. I'd love to hear from parents of large families how they balance it all.
 

jpfrench81

Puritan Board Sophomore
JR,

I can understand your discouragement. We too have chosen to trust God with our family size, and it's definitely not the easy path for a multitude of reasons. It is very hard to be criticized by believers for holding fast to your convictions based on the Word of God. Even if they don't agree, it would seem that they would encourage you to follow your conscience! But the church has bought the lies of Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood, and the rest. I encourage you to stand strong and be a faithful witness to your convictions about God's Word in the face of opposition.
 

jblue88

Puritan Board Freshman
I am neither father or husband, but the closest I can relate is through the recent marriage of my brother. Early on, he and his wife made it known they were not planning on using birth control. I was happy for them, seeing that they were placing their "family planning" in God's hands. Yet, the rest of my family was not pleased...to say the least. Great pressure was placed upon them from both sides to the degree that they eventually caved on the matter. It is such that both my brother and his wife as well as my sister and her husband (who have been married 4 years) are waiting until "the proper time" without defining what exactly constitutes that proper time. Many seem to think that children rob the husband and wife of their relationship, thus they postpone children in order to "enjoy" their marriage. I cringe when I hear such talk because from what I have witnessed children are an immense blessing and bring joy upon joy., but since I am not in their shoes, they usually discount any exhortation I try to give.

My church is full of little ones and although at times they can be loud, it is such a treat to be part of a congregation "teeming" with new life! I will gladly take a service with the occasional little one interruption over the service that is completely silent. Blessings to you brother and may the Lord work in the hearts of your in-laws.
 

Clark-Tillian

Puritan Board Freshman
It is hard in general having a big family in a culture that thinks children are a burden. I remember talking to someone who said that having children is a waste of money.
Its sad. Its even worse that this view has permeated the Church.
Your situation is, indeed, difficult. I'll be praying for you. Children are a great blessing from the Lord; they viscerally reveal to parents the desperate need for His hand in every aspect of our daily lives. However, I'd be a bit loathe to assert that "having children is a waste of money" is a view that has "permeated the church". I've never heard anyone assert that radical opinion. I'm sure some have, but "some" hardly equals a "permeation". Your post also highlights the complexities in marriage. It is the household that the Lord has given to you---not your in-laws. It's not a war, but a "stand your ground" attitude (permeated with Christian love!) is a wise strategy for you to take. Blessings.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Brother, there is no down side here. We had the same thing with numbers 3-12 (yep, pretty much every one) and when #2 came along from the orphanage and was 'handicapped' (the government tells us he is seriously so, he would be offended that they think so little of him), one set of parents told us to bring him back, the other was apprehensive.

This is no random stork-drop. The Creator of the Universe has given you something He wanted you to have.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Early on, he and his wife made it known they were not planning on using birth control. I was happy for them, seeing that they were placing their "family planning" in God's hands. Yet, the rest of my family was not pleased...to say the least. Great pressure was placed upon them from both sides to the degree that they eventually caved on the matter.
Since I haven't seen anyone mention it in this thread, I feel it's important to bring up that the refusal of birth control goes beyond reasoning of trusting in God's sovereignty for family planning. Many forms of birth control are actually abortifacients (something most doctors conveniently leave out). For my wife and I, yes we trust in God for our family planning, but we also refused to use birth control such as "the pill" since it actually allows for conception to take place, and then disposes of the fertilized egg. Based on our convictions, we are prepared to stand against anything our family could say to us because, while we value their input and support, we value human life far above.
 

Joyful Noise

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm sorry her family is giving you a hard time. That has been a concern for us too and God has seen fit to space our children out 2-3 years so far, almost 3 between the oldest two and the next one will arrive when the (soon to be) middle child is 2y3.5m. And people still make comments ("was this PLANNED?"). Not at our church where there will be about 10 new littles by the end of the year, but certainly other places. And some of those comments have been from professing Christians. I don't get it.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
I doubt you'd find anyone on Puritan Board advocating for the abortifacient methods of birth control, which are in fact abortion tools.

Of course some methods of birth control don't abort already conceived children, and those methods may well be defended. That's not the point of this thread though, I suppose.
 
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