• Jena

Loving those bigger families..

My cousin just called today. It was so great to hear her voice and especially her great news–she’s expecting a baby. Unfortunately, not everyone in her circle was rejoicing. You see, she already has a girl and a boy. I mean, you already have the perfect family, why go for more? Are there any other varieties of children that you were hoping for?

And so the persecution starts. On top of morning sickness, taking care of a preschooler and a toddler, the expectant mother of her third child, gets “flack” from perfect strangers, family members as well as church people about a new baby coming. Is this really fair?

(I eliminated this paragraph–sounded snooty)

But what I do not get is why people in the church are not more supportive to bigger families? Perhaps, I am naive, but the bigger families I have met are great additions to the local churches. I am not saying that having a big family creates this aura of godliness that no one else can achieve, but I know from the few years that we did have quite a few children in very close succession that it is something that really draws you to the Lord in faith and dependence.

Not to mention–developing a sense of humor! If having a big family does not teach you how pathetic you are without God, I’m not sure what will! And if there’s anything in you that thinks you have it together, God will make sure you get just the right child to put you back in alignment. (thanks, Hud!) Speaking of Hudson, he was child #3. And he’s the child I’m going to live with when I’m too old to live by myself. I can’t wait. I’m going to crawl up on the counters and eat treats off the top of the fridge. I’m going to plug the toilet with wads of toilet paper. I’m going to eat laundry detergent and swallow money… Oh yes, I am..

Oh, where was I? Big families. I am not campaigning for everyone to go out have a big family. Nor am I suggesting that smaller families are less spiritual. But I am campaigning for everyone to start appreciating the treasures that you have. I feel like I have a “medium sized” family, since we only have 5. I always thought I would have a bigger number, but health issues took over. That’s O.K. I’m happy with my family. I think you should be also.

But I think we can all learn from these bigger families. I appreciate people with convictions. I think we ought to work harder to love the bigger families around us. It’s just plain hard work. If I were to think about having more children by way of adoption, you know my gut feeling would be: that sounds like a lot of work! So, I think we ought to give respect to those who have chosen a very hard path, in obedience to the Lord. Even if we do not agree, understand or like it, I think it is the right thing to be positive, pleasant and supportive whenever anyone announces a new baby coming. A new life has been created, and we should rejoice.

And unless someone asks you to foot the bill, there is no need to make any comment about the cost, the expense or the inconvenience of it. It’s really not your problem. And if it is possible for you to smile and be friendly about the announcement of baby #4, or #6, or even #13, that would be fabulous also.


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