Children: Blessing or Burden?

baby

The issue of birth control is a major one in most marriages. Newly married couples are often advised to wait a while before having a baby. They’re advised to purchase a home, get a good job, and establish a sizable savings account before considering having children. They’re advised to consider carefully how many kids they will have, and use whatever means necessary to avoid “unwanted” children. The amazing thing about all of these considerations is that God never advises any couple to wait before having children, or limit the number of children they will have. Instead, in the pages of the bible, we find newly engaged women praying for “multitudes of children” (Gen 24:60), and God blessing the poor by giving them more children (Psalm 107:41).

Considerations such as those listed above stem from a worldview that sees children as a burden. Rather than see children as something that will add to and enhance our lives, we feel (subconsciously or otherwise) that children will take away from our quality of life. The result is that we seek to limit the number of children we will have. By doing this, we can keep our finances, careers and recreational time relatively untouched by those who would put too much of a strain on them. But a long time ago, my husband and I had to ask ourselves this question: How does God see children? What is God’s role in our fertility?

“Children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward… Blessed is the man who has his quiver full of them.” –Psalm 127:3-5

God tells us that children are not only a blessing, but a reward from Him. How do we respond when God blesses and seeks to reward us? Do we praise God for the money He sends, and then hope that He doesn’t give us any more? Do we appreciate our good health for a little while, and then ask God to give us diabetes? Do we thank God for the friends we have, but pray that we won’t meet any more?

I know many of the reasons that lead people into controlling their fertility, and limiting the number of children they will have. My husband and I have struggled with most of them ourselves. I know how frightening the concept of giving God complete control of our fertility can be. In the future, I hope to write more on this but for now I would like to leave you with these questions:

If God says that children are a blessing and a reward from Him, are we living our lives as if that were the case? Are we honoring God with our bodies, and accepting the blessings He desires to give us?

If these are questions you’ve ever asked yourself, I highly recommend the following article, written by one of my best blogging friends, Mrs. Parunak:

Blessings, But…

Are all children blessings? It’s a question that deserves to be answered.

Related Posts:

Raising Godly Children

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6 Responses to Children: Blessing or Burden?

  1. Erika says:

    Beautifully written post- it made me smile. And become almost a little sad, because it’s true that so many people view their children as a burden or a trial to endure. It breaks my heart to think of the children who grow up thinking they are a burden, it’s just awful.

    Every single day I thank God for my two beauties. They are God’s best creation, although I might be a little biased. πŸ˜‰ They completely enhance our quality of life, and just as my husband and I “complete” each other in a sense, our children complete the family as a whole. I wouldn’t be who I am without them.

    I get really mad when I hear all the angry comments and speculation about those who choose to have as many children as God will give them. I think it’s amazing, inspiring and completely selfless. I’ve thought often about this very thing, and have wondered what it would be like to have had more… ultimately, for us, we’re kind of at a stage where if God wants us to have more children, then he will either intervene physically, or he will change our hearts about more children. I cannot imagine wanting to bear another child, the whole experience was horrendous and awful and if there was ever a time our marriage was in danger, it was during both pregnancies. And with physical complications in the past, I’m not willing to risk leaving my children without their Mommy. I’ve seen the Duggar specials and just love that family. I love how warm and wonderful they are, and I so admire their courage to speak out and let the world in to see their way of life. At the same time, I am jealous, because that’s just not something I can see us doing.

    At the same time, while I don’t want to bear any more children myself, I have a heart for children. I’ve been keeping an open mind about this, because I often say that I could easily love and care for 15 children if I didn’t have to bear them myself. I have often wondered if our path is in a different direction- in the direction of fostering or adopting some of the many children who don’t have love-filled homes. Right now, with our circumstances, that isn’t a possibility, but should they change, and should God direct us in that way, I would be all over it, and I would weep with joy over it. It’s not something I’ve felt strongly led to explore, but it’s been there, in the back of my mind, and maybe, with all the discussions I’ve seen regarding the Quiverfull way of thinking lately, maybe it’s time to spend some knee time dwelling on this more.

    • Rina says:

      Erika, I understand how you feel about the physical complications you’ve had to endure. It’s something my husband and I have often thought of ourselves. We truly feel that God wants to be in charge of our fertility and that if God chooses to bless us with another child, He can be trusted to protect me and the baby during the pregnancy. As someone who has been blessed by the “quiverfull” mentality in more ways than I can relate, I would suggest prayer over this issue to anyone who asked me about it. I know so many people who have said that once they made the leap into trusting God with their fertility, everything about their relationship with God grew stronger and He began opening doors wide open to them that were closed before. My husband and I went through something very similar, and we’ve really come to see the “quiverfull” issue as the one which ultimately changed everything for us. I think that making the decision to trust God in an area as big as fertility moves something in the spiritual world. Once you make the decision to trust God for something as huge as that, it becomes so much easier to trust God for smaller things. Anyway, I know I’m rambling, but I’ve come to see first-hand what blessings are to be had when we put our trust in God in this area and it’s something I’d love for everyone to experience for themselves.

  2. Mrs. Parunak says:

    Lovely post, Rina. And thanks for linking to me. πŸ™‚

  3. DM says:

    Your post brought me to tears.

    I should tell you about myself. I have been married for 8 years. When we first married, my husband and I agreed that we didn’t want children. But as I got older I found that not wanting children was not what I wanted after all. I told him on Thanksgiving ’07 that I was thankful for our family but that I would be thankful if it was allowed to grow. He was shocked and avoided the issue for several months. I knew in my heart that if he was completely against children than I would grieve the loss in my own way and as a couple we would continue on, without children. But surprisingly he said that he was finally ready to have children.
    We started planning for kids spring 08 and hoped to be pregnant within the year. Due to planned move over 3k miles we postponed pregnancy until we would get settled. A last minute decision lead us to not move after all, he has a very secure job and moving somewhere with no job and an ever increasing unemployment rate lead us to change our minds. We started in December to try and have kids, and now nearly 3 months later we have yet to conceive. I am ashamed that I haven’t gotten pregnant and wonder if it will happen. Our families have NO idea that we are even trying so I am very isolated as to who I speak to. I try to keep a upbeat attitude around my husband but the truth is, I wonder if we are being punished. I have been avoiding family get togethers as seeing the young children brings me to tears. I can’t help but feel jealous for those that haven’t had to struggle to get pregnant.
    I believe that all children are a blessing. I heard a saying yesterday that I feel is the truth. It is that, parents aren’t just wiping bottoms and feeding mouths but that they are nuturing an eternal soul.
    I pray that god feels that we are worthy to be parents and that he will bless us with children.

    • Rina says:

      DM,

      Thank you for writing and sharing your heart. I understand how you might feel that God is punishing you, but please, please know that this is NOT the case. Jesus died so that He could take your punishment – every punishment that you deserve – for you. The Bible says that God casts our sins “into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19) and, as Corrie Ten Boom likes to say, He puts a sign out that says “no fishing allowed!” Shame and guilt have no place in the life of a believer. It is unforgiveness directed toward ourselves. We have a biblical promise that God will redeem us of our sins when we confess them and ask for forgiveness. He has placed upon Himself the full responsibility of recompensing us – even for things we have brought upon ourselves.
      Guilt is not from God, it is from Satan who tries to keep us in slavery to him through self-condemnation. If Satan can convince you that barrenness is part of God’s punishment for you, he can effectively strip you of your ability to pray in faith. God tells us that if we will pray in faith, we will have the things that we ask for (Mark 11:22-24, Luke 18:1-8, etc). Satan is desperately trying to keep you out of effective prayer.
      The Bible says that we must β€œtake every thought captive to Christ.” When thoughts of guilt and self-condemnation (and jealousy) enter your mind, use them to prompt you into prayer. Don’t give an audience to Satan. As my husband likes to say: “don’t let him rent space in your head.” He’s trying to strip you of your blessings – refuse to listen to him. Instead, believe what the Bible says about you. YOU ARE FORGIVEN. Don’t let guilt and condemnation take you out of your inheritance. Your sins have been cast into the sea.
      No fishing allowed. πŸ™‚
      I hope that you will write again to let me know how you are doing. I will be praying for you – specifically, that God will bless you with a child! In the meantime, I would like to send you a book that I think would be a tremendous help. I will email you and if you’re willing to send me your address, I’ll send that to you. In the meantime, I wanted to give you a chapter from my husbands book that I thought might be beneficial. You can read it Here

      May the blessings of God fill your life. May His love be made real to you, and may He grant you the blessings of children. In the name of Jesus, I ask that God would bring life into your spirit and into your womb.

      Amen. So be it.

  4. Pingback: Where DO I Get My Energy??? | Rina Marie

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