Thursday, January 18, 2007

Planned? By God.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart..." Jeremiah 1:5

"Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in His ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands:
you shall be blessed and it shall be well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD."
Psalm 128:1-4

"Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
The fruit of the womb His generous legacy?
Like a warrior's fistful of arrows are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents, with your quivers full of children.
Your enemies don't stand a chance against you.
You will sweep them right off your doorstep."
Psalm 127: 3-5

Recently, Philip and I found out we are expecting another baby. While we were indeed more than a little surprised at the news, our surprise quickly turned to joy and grateful anticipation of the newest blessing. We are thrilled to know that God has trusted us with another soul to raise up for His glory and we know the kids will be delighted to have another brother or sister to play with. We have found that God is faithful and has always provided for the increasing needs of our growing family. (We may have struggled financially at times, but this is more a result of our failures and poor choices than because of the blessing of children.) The only thing we have not been looking forward to is telling our friends, family and church. This may seem odd, but we have found that the reception we get when announcing a pregnancy has grown noticeably less jubilant with every successive child. It seems that the first two children are wonderful, the third is acceptable, and from four on your sanity is questioned. This mindset comes from our culture, not from the Word of God.

The Bible clearly states that children are a blessing. It never qualifies this with "children are a blessing, if they are convenient and you planned them and you feel like you are ready for them". It simply says they are blessings. I have never known a Christian to refuse any blessings from God except the blessings of the womb. If God wanted to give you a large chunk of money you would accept it right away. Yet the love of money is called the root of all evil (I Timothy 6:10).

We don't despise anyone who feels that God is calling them to use birth control (though we believe Christians must take a long, hard, prayerful look at the use of hormonal birth control as it can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg around 5-15% of the time), and we know there are times that birth control may be necessary. We would hate to say that God never leads a couple to prevent conception. However, we are frustrated by the fact that even in Christian churches using birth control seems to be the default position. If we have truly died to ourselves and are raised in newness of life to serve Him, how can we assume that changing the way our bodies work to refuse His blessings is the way to obey? Should we not prayerfully seek out God's will on the subject, assuming that we should be open to children unless the Spirit leads another way? Why do we allow the voice of culture to speak louder than the Voice of God? Barrenness in Biblical times was a curse, and yet our culture tells us it is prudent to pursue surgical barrenness. Many Christians will use verses on stewardship to bolster their arguments for a smaller family. We have not found a single verse that contextually supports this idea. The Bible speaks often of spending the resources that God has given you wisely, but never of refusing to receive those resources.

Maybe this is because, at the heart of the matter, we have believed the world's lie. Though we may not consciously even realize it, we do not believe that children are a blessing. Our culture views children as a burden, a responsiblity that we must shoulder before we can get on with our lives. I have talked to so many women who can't wait until their child goes to school so they can get "back to their lives." Several of my co-workers look forward to the day that their children leave home so they can pursue more schooling, more job skills, more pampering, and more elusive "fulfillment." Maybe we should ask the Lord to reveal to us His Heart towards children. Get on our knees and pray until we realize that children are a gift and that when He trusts us with them we are indeed blessed.

We do not know if this child will be our last. We believe that God will lead us by His Spirit. Even though this child was not "planned" by us, we know he or she was planned by God. That before He even began to knit this child together in my womb He had a purpose and a calling on the child's life. We know many people who love us will be concerned. We ask that if you have prayed and believe that God has told you we should stop receiving His blessings that you would also pray that He would share this with us. We want to be open to His leading and listen to His Voice.


Kimberly Geswein said...

Congratulations Tamara!

May this pregnancy be as uneventful as possible and may God give you lots of health in this time!

emilymomto3boys said...

Congratulations! I will pray for a healthy 9 months for both of you.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Tamara! Sheri Neeley pointed me to your blog as Adam & I have been really struggling with whether or not we should have more children. I have been encouraged by some of the things you've written on the subject here, and I was wondering if you wouldn't mind emailing me as I wanted to ask you a few questions. :) My email address is, and in case you don't know who I am we went to church at Eden Rd. up unitl we moved to ND last month. You and I talked a few times at church, but I wasn't sure you'd remember who I am. Here's the link to my page & blog in case you need a picture to jog your memory: hope to hear from you soon!! Thanks!!

msrog said...

Wow, this is a wonderful, helpful, inspired blog entry. I pray your new blessing grows healthy and happy and your growing family is full of peace and joy.
Savannah from Mothering's Quiverfull tribe

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amy said...

Thank you so much for your blog! What a blessing and a comfort to know that there are others out there who consider children "an heritage of the Lord."

Your children are truly blessed!