Thursday, December 4, 2008

HOW Many Kids?

OK, time for another post straight from my brain. Lately I've been thinking a lot about kids. How many kids will we have? What is God's plan for procreation? How many kids is too many kids? I don't know. But its been on my mind a lot.
I guess I'm just trying to work through the preconceived notion we seem to have about family size and where does that come from. Is it from God? Lots of families have their two kids and then they are done. Some get a little more out there and have three (I'd be interested to know what corelation there is between religous beliefs and family size - but that is way to much to get into here) and some CRAZY families (sarcasm intended) go nuts and have four children. Since I've already had plenty of comments about teaching me how to use birth control or "better you than me" when I mention that we might have more I know what the world's perspective on having so many children is. But why? What is really so nuts about four, five or six kids even. If you enjoy your family why is that so nuts. Sure there are financial ramifications to be considered but as Ryan and I were discussing the other day even this is miscontrued in today's culture. I mean, I would be careful to not have more kids than you can afford but what do we mean by afford. As long as you can dress them in Baby Gap and Stride Rite? Or as long as you can send them to private school? Or is there more to it . . . should it be as long as you can take care of them and provide for their basic needs. I grew up feeling sorry sometimes for kids who had to wear hand-me-downs or whose parents couldn't afford gymnastics lessons for them (and I don't think there was anything wrong with my sympathy - I was incredibly blessed in having a father who provided for our family and a mother who took care of us all) but I wonder if maybe they had joy and love that I didn't recognize for what it was worth. Now when I look back on those families I see how their big families probably had much to admire that was in no way material (and again, we also had a very happy family too I'm just saying . . . ) . I hope this is all making sense!
Anyway, I also wonder about God's perspective on this. I've had a hard time finding in Scripture where it commands us to have "two to three children and then quit"! It seems to only tell us to be fruitful and multiply.
Those are my thoughts. I'm sitting here at the computer questioning if I should publish this because I'm not so sure it makes sense but hopefully you'll get to see my heart!
And a final note, don't worry. This isn't a precursor to telling you we are going to be the next family featured on TLC's 17 and Counting show!


Sarah said...

That is a GREAT thing to be asking Lacey and I remember that being a big issue in our "Heart of the Home" study. I go back and forth so much too...especially since we stopped at 3. I ask..."should we have????" But the other side of me says that there are over 1,000 kids in Foster Care JUST in Montgomery County and many, many that need adopted so I ask myself..."is THAT the way to expand my family??" That would also be "caring for orphans and widows in their distress". So I could do two things at once. Then I just try to talk myself out of all of I'm really no help to you or me! It is a GREAT thing to be questioning and SHAME on anyone who doesn't realize children are a BLESSING...and NOT only when you stop at 2 or 3. If you have 5, 6 or more, they are a blessing.

Enough soap box...sorry.

David and Red said...

Go for 4 - Go for 4! The world would be a better place with the beauty and charisma of more Trumbo children. =0)

In all seriousness, I think the answer for this question varies by the couple (not the entire family - the couple alone!) and how they define "provide".

Natalie said...

Lacey we have been going threw the same thing the past few months, and yes we all have our " im never having anymore kids days" but a few weeks ago there was an article in our Church bukketin that answered me and jesse question and yours....very true nowadays we think well its too much financially and oh well we cant have many great things in life, wont be able to afford this or that, but back in the days everyone wouldhave more than 2 3 or 4 kids and they didnt make the kinda money people make now, my mom is from is from a fmaily of 5 kids and my dad from a family of 9 and that was so normal and my dad grew up in a village in Beirut with no much water then and they had they're own garden and wore hand washe clothes... and then they all made it to Canada in there 20 and all opened there own buisness. I still struggle with it everyday lately about a third, thinking i just cant do this but my heart wants it so bad, i just still struggle with the whole idea of doing allot of it on my own.
But it would be interesting to see what the bible says about this!! Ill start searching.


Susan said...

Wow. I could talk for hours on this subject. I don't know when the "norm" became 2 and anything over became "unplanned," a "surprise," an "accident," etc. Mostly (and I may get flamed for saying this) I think it's selfishness and greed that keep people from having more children. People want to have them - if the have them - when they want to, how they want to and only have two. They've taken God out of the equation. I think a lot of people think that if they can't provide a new car at 16 and a college education for each child then they shouldn't have more. I think that's crazy. Now, if your marriage is troubled and you can't provide the proper love, or if you're struggling so much financially that you can't provide proper food and shelter, then maybe it isn't time to add to the family. But, if you don't want another because it might mean putting off a trip to Tahiti for another few years... well, that's just selfishness. Having children requires a lot of sacrifices and I believe today people just aren't willing to sacrifice. By the way, I can't resist passing along this link - it's one of my favorite things to give to people when discussing family size.

Oh, one more thing... when in the heck did it become everyone's business how many children a couple has or is going to have? When did it become acceptable for people - strangers even - to ask about family size?

I wish Dan and I had started earlier. I'd love to have more children.

Steph and Gabe said...

I have felt the opposite "flogging." Until we became pregnant with number two I had people try to guilt us into having more. "You can't have an only child." "Connor will be so lonely." "How can you not give him a brother or sister?"

Earlier in life I felt as though we would have 3-4 kids and that would be it. After health issues and other adversities I began rethinking that.

Honestly had we not tried for number two I would have been perfectly content with just Connor. I hardly believe he'd be scarred had he been an only child. When we started thinking about number two we prayed fervently for Him to reveal what we should do and if it was meant for us to have another bilogical child, or if we should answer the call He has given us to go ahead with foster parenting and adoption.

After praying that we would see His plan we were blessed with a positive pregnancy test our first month of trying. While we feel very called to adoption/foster parenting it's very much about the timing and we have faith that He will reveal the perfect timing and opportunity for us to take that journey later in life.

I'm in awe of those with 3, 4, 5 kids. You can see the awe when I watch the ease of which you juggle all three kids and wife and friend duty. I think in the end it is not about what the norm is. Or what is convenient. Or trendy. It's what feels right. You have to have FAITH that HE will reveal what is right for your family and to heck with everyone else and thier opinions.

Tracy said...

And sometimes the answer can be zero. That can be God's will,too. I think too many people have kids because the feel it is what they are "supposed" to do. I think there are many things in this world that we are supposed to be doing- but forcing one's self to have kids is not one of them.
That said, I would like to see as many Lacey and Ryan babies as you can make. You make cute ones.
(this is my avoiding studying comment of the day)

Melissas-Happenings said...

I found your blog via Amber's blog and I love your thoughts on this subject. I've been thinking the same thing the last few days, partly because my new hobby is watching the Dugger Family. They just had there 18th child, shhhh. Children are a blessing and I think each of us know what we can handle. But then again, God knows how much we can handle. I think your thoughts are "right on". Thanks for posting this.

bawade2000 said...

The bible does say be fruitful and multiply. Think about it-if we as christians only had 1.5 kids to fit into our perfect, church-going lifestyle of suburban tranquility then eventually we would be outnumbered from our non-christian counterparts and thus the Onward Christian Soldiers would be a thing of the past. We have to build a strong army of Christians for the end of time.....