Posted By Stacy McDonald on June 12, 2010
This morning, I woke up to find the following comment on my Facebook wall. A pastor’s wife was writing in response to a video I posted yesterday describing how “the pill” is an abortifacient. If her comment hadn’t been so troubling it would have been hysterically funny. She apparently doesn’t know the hundreds of large, homeschooling families I know. What do you think?
“I have no idea how anyone can care for the needs of so many children. Well, yes, I do: the kids are stacked in bunks, the garage is made into a bedroom (more bunks), the kitchen table is a door…”
I’m assuming she meant that a door is used for a kitchen table. Sounds very shabby chic! And since when are bunk beds tragic? I’d love to get rid of the one in my sons room, but he loves it!
“…and the big kids become babysitters for the many babies, none of whom are breastfed for more than a few months between Mom’s pregnancies… or else she’s tandem nursing.”
The older children loved helping with the little ones – in fact, they often accused each other of “hogging” the babies! And the little ones learn to pitch in too! Nobody in a large family can afford to be lazy or self-centered (though some certainly try!). Children are taught early that being part of a family means that we all live, love, learn, cry, laugh, sacrifice, and work hard together!
And for the record, this mama-of-many nursed all her children for a minimum of 18 months – and cherished the opportunity. My last baby was nursed until he was nearly three years old! Clearly, the aforementioned commenter hasn’t been around healthy, active large families.
“The household is chaos; nobody is given really fine instruction in musical instruments, unless the Walmart plastic guitar counts; the finances run in the red, and regular dental care is nonexistent.”
I grew up in a small family and never even learned to play the piano. Most of the kids I knew who played an instrument hated it, but their parents forced them to take lessons.
On the other hand, large homeschooling families are some of the most musical people I know! Several families I know very well play together as a family. At my daughter’s recent wedding, the string quartet, as well as most of the choir, consisted of large family members. I’m sorry this commenter didn’t do a little more research before drawing her conclusions.
“Mom surrounds herself with pillows at night in hopes that Ol’ Randy can’t find her, but he does, anyway. Next morning, she prays in angst to be made willing to bear another mouth to feed. Her wardrobe is all maternity clothes, because her poor belly never goes down. Birthday and Christmas money is earmarked for another bathroom. She is 35, and looks 50. Her husband drives a wreck and longs for windfalls of cash that, when they come, are instantly gone. Sound familiar, gentle ladies?”
I’m always amazed by the way Satan can use the normal trials and temptations of life and turn them into nightmare scenarios in our minds. Of course, that is the way fear works, isn’t it? Instead of seeing the beauty in a child of God humbly praying that God would give her an obedient heart, it is turned into a depressing scene of slavish abuse.
By portraying a “fruitful” wife as a weary, miserable wretch who is forced to have intimacy with her husband and sentenced to wear tattered maternity clothes all her days, my dear commenter creates a false image of despair.
The problem is, those of us who live this life know it’s a lie. Those who don’t, may be easily deceived by ridiculous scenarios! Fear draws its breath from the unknown. We are a people who, without faith, fear the unknown. But truth dispels the lie – and faith dispels the fear (Heb. 11:1).
“God gives us bodies that will reproduce automatically, and that was fine in a young, underpopulated Earth. Now, however, the planet groans with its burden of humans, and this results in massive crime rates, widespread poverty, and dense pollution. We need to be responsible in our family planning; the ability to reason is one thing that separates us from the animals.”
Have you looked into the demographic data around the planet? European nations are paying people to have children. Japan is giving people time off to “invest” in their families. The only significant segment of the global population that is still growing is the Muslim one. Check out this post Just Another Mouth to Feed.
Still, you are right, if we do not train up our children in the way they should go, we will raise heathens who could wreak their own personal havoc (the same is true for small families). And that is the point. Responsibility means we are accountable or answerable for something. Each of us is accountable to God for what He gives us. He has given me ten children to train up for His glory (I gave birth to only six of them, but I will say, childbirth is the easy part!).
And I take that responsibility seriously; but, it doesn’t mean I am going to “tell God” what I can handle. He gives me the strength and the grace to handle whatever He gives me each year – each day. He supplies all my needs; not all my wants, but all my needs. This doesn’t mean life is easy. There are difficult days. There are days when I struggle with selfishness, exhaustion, and fear. For I am weak. But God’s grace is sufficient for me. His Word says:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Five of my children are now adults (three are out of the house – one engaged and two married) and I can say with assurance that God keeps His Word.
“What I’m hearing here is sentimentality, not godly obedience. Some of you advocate just letting nature take its course. You take verses out of context to justify this, but it won’t wash, folks. God never intended for us to abuse the very great gift of reproduction. “
What I am hearing are man’s ways glorified. What I am hearing is fear and lack of knowledge. Perhaps you’ve never seen a godly, large family living out their convictions with faith and joy. I’m sorry for that. But I pray you will stay a while and learn a bit more about the families you have so badly misrepresented. Grace and peace to you and to those who have believed the same stereotypes.
[Incidentally, “Quiverfull does not necessarily equal “large family.” Read “Jesus-full” HERE]