You never know what you’ll wind up talking about as you wait for cross country runners to come out of the woods and sprint toward the finish line. I’ve been attending meets for nearly 10 years now, and the topics of conversation some parents choose catch me off-guard. For instance, I never expected that another mom would want to talk about letting God choose family size. After all, it’s a rather personal matter.
I met this lovely, young mom for the first time at a recent meet. She had several toddlers and infants in tow and also had a son on one of the teams. Another mom mentioned to me (perhaps because she knows I myself have 10 children) that the other woman was a mom of eight. I love watching moms with little ones. At one point, we were standing next to each other, so I told her what a joy it was to observe her family. I also told her that she looked fabulous.
A surprising response
My parents raised me to always be tactful and to speak with good manners. In my adult life, I meet many other adults who don’t have filters, meaning they say whatever they want whenever they want. I should be used to it by now but I’m not, really. After I complimented the young mother, her first reply was to thank me. It’s what she said next that took me aback. She said (in a loud tone, no less) “I cannot wait for my husband to have a vasectomy but he won’t.” She also said that she wishes she were better at letting God choose family size.
She said that every time she wants to convince her husband to have surgery, she thinks about God. As a Christian, she wonders if she’d regret taking matters into her own hands instead of letting Him choose family size. Like many women often do, she asked how I was able to ‘handle’ 10. I told her it’s understandable that she can’t comprehend it because she has been (so far) given grace for eight. God grants needed grace with each child.
Why I don’t regret letting God choose family size
I told this mother I would pray for her to know God’s will in her life. I would pray that she has the courage to fulfill it. I also told her I’m glad I allowed God to decide how many children I should have. His design for my family was a bit whimsical in my opinion. My eldest four children are several years apart from each other. My youngest six were born in seven years’ time.
I have since navigated menopause. I even wrote this post to help other women do the same without going crazy. As I look back on my younger years, I am at peace knowing that my husband and I agreed to be open to life. I wanted to surrender my life to God and that, for me, included my womb. We definitely had to make a lot of sacrifices and struggled financially at times but it’s worth it. I always tell my kids I’d rather have them than fancy cars, vacation homes or gobs of money in the bank.
Considering letting God choose family size?
Letting God choose family size is definitely no small matter. Many people think I have a large family although my husband says it’s a relevant term. If you compare the size of our family with another that has 15 children or more, we might not appear as large as if compared to a family with two children.
Society often frowns upon openness to life in marriage. Why do people think they have a right to an opinion about your family’s size? The truth is that only you and your spouse can determine how you will live. Do you agree that God will see you through it if He calls you to it? Then, you might find letting God choose family size the best option.
She believed in letting God choose family size
Mother Teresa used to say that saying there are too many children is like saying there are too many flowers in the world. I agree. This year, four of the runners on the cross country team are my own children. When I consider others’ opinions that 10 kids is too many, I wonder where they would have me draw the line. Which ones “shouldn’t” be here?
Some people have asked me about letting God choose family size, curious as to whether I worry about bringing children into a “messed up” world. While each generation has its challenges, the world has been off kilter since the fall of man. I believe in a Savior who promised that He would be with us always. He said we have no reason to fear. I think it’s amazing that God allows us (humans) to help Him populate His kingdom. Not even the angels are granted such a privilege. There are many people who say they are confident in their decisions to not have children. I guess I’m simply someone who is very glad she did.