A word of caution, since this will automatically post to Facebook: There may be some content in this post that is too advanced for those who, say, don’t know exactly how it is that God makes babies happen. Wait until you are older to read it, if you fall into that category.
Also, I don’t intend to get into a debate with anyone about anything I have just written. If you disagree, that’s fine, and thanks for reading. This is just a presentation of our stance on these things, since people have actually asked.
While there have been plenty of very much appreciated joyful responses from people upon the realization that I am yet again with child, there have also been these gems:
- “What!? Really? Can you even afford another one? Do you guys not believe in birth control?”
- “You guys trying for twelve? Really, how many? How many do you want?”
- (Aside to his wife-) “He must climb her like a tree!”
- “This must be payback for all those years you were dating and I wouldn’t let you have sex.”
So, here are my answers to the above questions and assumptions:
1. Yes. We do believe in birth control, provided that it is non-abortifacient. We used the pill, until we watched this interview together, and we threw it all out the next day.
If you are not willing to watch a 7 minute video on the internet, here’s the gist. The birth control “pill” and some other forms of hormonal birth control* work in three ways: preventing ovulation, closing the cervix to keep sperm out, and finally, in the event that conception occurs, the lining of the uterus is diminished so that the fertilized egg is incapable of implanting to the point that it is flushed out with your next period. As Christians, who believe in the beginning of life at conception, we consider that third function to be the preventing of a human life’s ability to thrive and grow. We consider that death. This was especially difficult for me, after losing our first child in the early stages of pregnancy to miscarriage, after only very recently discontinuing taking the pill. I knew there was the possibility that it had a part to play in the loss of my child. I wish someone had told me this, but my doctor, my parents, my church friends, no one told me. Maybe they didn’t know. So, here I am telling you. If you wonder why so many Christians are in uproar about being forced to pay taxes for other people to use this stuff, and why Christian business owners are fighting against being forced by our government to provide this to their employees, it is against our belief in the sacredness of human life- all life, even the tiniest life.
That being said, we, after several months of discussion and prayer, decided that it was simply best to trust God with how many children we have and when. If he could prevent Sarah and Hannah from having kids up until he decided it was the right time, then he can prevent us from having them as he sees fit. If he made them pregnant when he decided it was the right time, then the same is true no matter what measures we would take to prevent it. Some of those measures add up and there’s no reason for us to buy them right now. We try to control so many things in our life, and often it is against God’s wishes that we trust him that we do so. We felt the leading to totally surrender control to him in this area of our lives. However, we are all for human responsibility + God’s sovereignty, so this is not something we would push on other Christians. Do what the Spirit leads you to do. If he tells us to start using something to space out or other wise plan or prevent future babies, we will do so, provided that the method that we use is consistent with the sanctity of human life.
With regard to whether or not we can afford another one, I would like to simply say that God has provided well beyond all that we have asked for our children so far. While I had some doubt when I first gave up my job, after Bug’s birth, that everything would be ok, I am not one bit afraid of anything now. I have not bought any clothing out of need since her first birthday party, and that goes for Gus too, thanks to the generosity of Mindy, Jacque, Dawn, Nora, Tonya, and many others. They have been entirely clothed and fed, by the hand of God, through the hands of generous people, on half the income that we had before their coming into this world. He is Jehovah Jireh, he feeds the sparrows and clothes the flowers of the field, and He is trustworthy!
2. We want as many children as God sees fit for us to have. Daniel once joked that he did in fact want 12 and was going to name them after all the disciples except Judas, but we had a girl first so that didn’t turn out. Plus he said 3+ on our marriage counseling survey, so I guess he’s doing fine. We truly have no number in mind, and no spacing in mind. We found that our ideal spacing requests were not God’s plan, so we abandoned them in favor of His will. He knows better than us anyway. We do want a larger family because we both grew up in smaller families, and we want lots of siblings for our kids. One couple advised us that this was a great idea, saying, “It’s better to give your child siblings instead of toys. You don’t have to learn to share, forgive, or help anyone with a bunch of toys surrounding you. You do with other people.”
3. Dear Friend, While it is truly none of anyone’s business, and that’s probably just some redneck expression, the Bible is all for a husband climbing his own wife like a tree:
Your stature is like a palm tree,
and your breasts are like its clusters.
I say I will climb the palm tree
and lay hold of its fruit.
Oh may your breasts be like clusters of the vine,
and the scent of your breath like apples,
(Song of Solomon 7:7-8 ESV, emphasis added.)
4. Dear Milly, I love you, and you are hilarious! In the present you left for me at the lingerie shower that you *cough-thankfully-cough* did not attend, there was a sweet note on top of a beautiful white gown, covered up by a hideous grandma-style muumuu which I still intend to give back to you on your 60th birthday. That note read, “Just kidding. I want you to be happy in every area of your marriage life.” Thank you so much. It was not simply you, but God who helped us maintain our virginity to give to one another on our wedding night. He answered many of both yours and my mother’s prayers, I assure you. Otherwise, I would not have been so naive after 12 years in public school, plus college. While we have struggled to overcome areas of hidden sin in both of our lives, God has conquered them and forgiven us, and we have truly begun to enjoy this special gift He has given to us. Thank you for your sweet wish on the note, and I pray the same for you as well.
*Curious about your birth control? Read the pharmaceutical information insert that comes with it. It should detail exactly how it works.