Sunday, October 26, 2008

Children are a Blessing

Another controversial issue is having an open womb (or "quiver full").

I know that children are a blessing. I know the Bible is very clear about this. But there are many other blessings in Scripture. So are we to claim all of the blessings without limit? Here are some articles on this topic. What's your input? This is something I'm trying to work through so please leave me your comments.

Is Genesis 1:28 a blessing or command?
Children are a blessing, not an inconvenience
What does the Bible say about birth control?
The blessings of children
Is it wrong to use birth control - response by Piper
Does the Bible permit birth control - response by Desiring God Staff

9 comments:

  1. I think you know my general view... I've got more questions than answers, and it's not something I'm willing (at ALL) to be prescriptive towards others about... except to encourage others not to use abortifacient birth control.

    Aside from that, I don't know. I'm definitely not willing to yoke others with some rules or convictions that I haven't even entirely sorted out (not to mention that the "heavy hitters" like Piper and Mohler don't have it all clear either!). Historically, it wasn't even a question... and we have to recognize the anti-child mentality of our culture and examine our motives in the whole issue. But I really believe it's one of those things that couples together need to decide in concert with the Word of God.

    We may not all come to the same convictions, but we all need to be sure of what we believe and are acting on... and act in faith. I believe God honors our faith and our humble acknowledgment of His sovereignty over all things.

    There are so many philisophically difficult questions about it all... (Can we buck the will of God and not have persons created that He wills to come into existence? If He's really sovereign, then why use b.c. at all?, etc...), but at the end of the day we each have to decide how we'll live out this faith in action. And by His grace, He'll lead us in this too.

    Sorry I don't have any more answers. It's a tricky one, and it's one that we've weighed from a variety of angles (Doug being severely sick/worried about that; the whole "I just had a baby- what if I get pg again?" thing; etc.)... and we continue to face and reassess with each passing month and year.

    Let us know if you hit any epiphanies about the whole thing. :)

    ~Jess

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  2. The only problem I have with natural family planning is that it seems to me go against 1 Corinthians 7, where husbands and wives are told to not deny each other for a long period of time. If a couple is using natural planning, they will abstain for at least a week per cycle, if not more. I may be wrong - perhaps those who follow the full quiver practices don't use ANY calendar or family planning techniques.

    That said, I don't think either choice is a sin - a full quiver family or a slightly smaller family. I like what the links said about if your heart is viewing children as a blessing from God, then your focus is correct. God is the one who creates life after all - not a man and woman.

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  3. Not sure exactly what I think about all that... I haven't really done much "research" on it...

    Again, not having done much research on these things, my opinion is that we probably shouldn't base our opinions of the amount of kids to have or if we should us birth control or not (the non-abortifacient kind) off of one verse in the Bible that says if you have a quiver full of kids then you won't be ashamed.

    I think Children are a gift from God but that doesn't mean that you need to have a billion of them :) BUT if you want to have a billion because you want a billion then go for it :)

    Personally though, I think that if God wants you to have a baby, then he makes a way (this isn't necessarily Biblical, just a though)... I had a friend and they were using 3 types of birth control AND she only had one ovary and they got pregnant the first time they had sex...

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  4. Hey Shan, I read this briefly with the limited time I have because it's an area of interest to me as well. The Lord has assured my heart that He is sovereign and has shown us (given the fact we have only planned one of our kids, and it wasn't our first child) that He is bigger than the pill--we conceived on the pill and on the "breast feeding" method-- He is in control and gives and takes away according to His purposes...but I still regularly check in with Him regarding the pill just to check my actions against the Spirit, searching for any new conviction He might be pricking my heart with...Just my thoughts, love you girl...you are a great momma!!
    Rebekah

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  5. Not sure exactly what I think about all that... I haven't really done much "research" on it...

    Again, not having done much research on these things, my opinion is that we probably shouldn't base our opinions of the amount of kids to have or if we should us birth control or not (the non-abortifacient kind) off of one verse in the Bible that says if you have a quiver full of kids then you won't be ashamed.

    I think Children are a gift from God but that doesn't mean that you need to have a billion of them :) BUT if you want to have a billion because you want a billion then go for it :)

    What verses in the Bible make you think that this "quiver full" theory is correct?

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  6. Totally agree with agree with Jess about not being willing to be prescriptive towards other about this topic as well as having more questions than answers! Enjoyed the list of articles - hadn't read Piper's view yet. So, we'll be working through that for a while. :O)

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  7. God gave us 2 hands and a husband with 2 hands so that means we should have 4 kids ---

    I think that's just as silly as thinking that the quiverfull verse says to have a quiver full of kids (5 kids)

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  8. We, personally, want to be good stewards of what God has given us. Good stewards of our money, our time, our children, and even our own bodies. And for us, that means planning - planning financially, planning when we want to start trying for {more} children, etc. We seek God's face and will in the steps leading up to the planning - we don't want to do anything that isn't in His plan for us!

    Truthfully, after having to use fertility drugs to get pregnant with Noah, we've decided no longer to use the pill. Not just because it messes with how your body is suppose to work, but also because we started to feel like there has to be a better way to "control" when you get pregnant {which is a really big deal for a type 1 diabetic}. We didn't come to this decision lightly. Knowing that God only has our best interests in mind, we're trusting Him to help us "manage" when more children will join our family. We are using FAM/NFP. We either find other ways to share intimacy {Sex isn't the only way!! Remember when you were dating??} or we use, ah-hem, protection.

    All that being said, I totally agree that there is not a one-size fits all answer. For us, we're simply taking a "planned"-quiver-full approach. Especially since medical issues are involved and the desire to adopt is so great.

    We're planning for four, willing for more, and will be grateful for the blessings even if we only have Noah. :)

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  9. Shan, I have never really researched this as a faith-based question so I will leave it to you and others to provide that knowledge. Another drawback to my opinion is that I have no children of my own. However, I will mention that the education I have received through nursing school and my experience with friends and families who have more than 3 or 4 children have provided the knowledge that no matter how many children you have you still need to take care of your own body. Be sure to allow your body plenty of time to heal between pregnancies. You want to be in good health to take care of all those precious little bodies, so you have to take care of yourself as well. I know I am not telling you anything you don't already know, but while you are striving to follow God's Word on this matter, be sure that your are following it in regard to your health also. Even if it wasn't a faith-based question, it would be one concerning health because of the toll pregnancy can take on the female body, not to mention the mind. Since you have had 2 (almost 3) already, I am sure you know about the stretching and what-not that goes on with the involved body parts, along with the hormonal ups and downs that come and go with pregnancy and birth. Sometimes those organs don't always make it back to the original position and the more pregnancies/births you have makes it more likely.

    You are truly an inspiration because you are doing your best to follow God's Word. I think that if you take your knowledge of all aspects of this and pray to Him, you will find your answer. Like another of your readers, I really don't feel that there is any one answer to fit everyone's life. All we can do is our best when it comes to doing as He asks.

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