As many of you know, Art and I will be welcoming our sixth child into the world this March. The announcement of our new baby has received many reactions ranging from heartfelt congratulations to any of the following comments: On Purpose? Haven't you figured out how to prevent that? Don't you know how much kids cost? How on earth are you going to buy cars and pay for college for all of those kids? The most recent was when we were walking into church and the greeter in the foyer looked at another lady and said,"Here they come. Would you want to have 6 kids?"
I think these comments (and many others) have a lot to say about our society today. Children are no longer considered a blessing, but a burden and a financial strain. We measure our worth by a number in a bank account and think we need to provide the most expensive of everything to be good parents. It wasn't that long ago that large families were not uncommon, they were the norm. The " typical " family these days is two children and any one with more than that is considered unusual.
On the other hand, this is some of what the Bible has to say about children. Genesis 1:28 tells us, "God blessed them and said to them Be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it. " Psalm 127:3-5 says, " Sons are a heritage from the Lord. Children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." Jesus did not see children as a burden. He blessed the children and called them to him. He also says in Matthew 18:3 " I tell you the truth unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Is it hard having a house full of children? Sometimes. I get tired, frustrated, and impatient just like any other mom. Is does take us longer to get ready to go somewhere and we do have to account for loading and unloading the children from the car (3 are in car seats.) We do not have designer clothing or all of the latest electronic devices. Going grocery shopping is definitely an adventure and we do have a lot of laundry and dishes to wash every day. Our boys do have to share a bedroom (why is that a bad thing?)
The blessings we receive from having a larger than average family are too numerous to name. My children are never lonely, they always have a playmate. There are plenty of hugs and kisses to go around. Every day we get to learn things like compromise, sacrifice,compassion, and working as a team. Every day I have the opportunity to watch these amazing human beings learn and grow. I can't imagine my life being any different.
The most important thing is not whether you have 2 children or 20. The most important thing is how you look at these wonderful little human beings. They are a blessing. A wonderful extraordinary gift from God that he has blessed us with, not an inconvenience.