Generation Cedar

A reader/friend sent a blog post to me that had a beautiful “why” explanation to those wondering why we allow God to control our family size. I love this thought…

“Generations were intended to overlap – Families were meant to be a seamless garment. God did not create The Generation Gap… humans did. Now that our children have an age span of 6 months to 18 years, I see clearly how God intended that in His creation the older children would come along side the aging parents and “fill in the gap”… that older children would grow comfortable with babies before moving on to have their own babies. That the younger children would grow comfortable with nieces and nephews before moving on to have their own babies…”

I’ve thought about this aspect a lot. And if you’ve ever watched closely, you’ll see children–especially girls, swoon over babies, having never had a chance to cuddle brothers and sisters. Ask any child–almost every one wants another brother or sister. It really does seem so unnatural when you think about large gaps in extended family with hardly no babies!

And then I wonder, how many girls may grow up with an aversion to having babies simply because they’re “not used” to them? It’s not natural for them?

Of course, sometimes God places gaps–for His purposes, so I’m not insinuating if there is a gap in a family it’s less than ideal; but it’s interesting to note how the majority of couples plan their families and how most often, that’s not at all how they would look if God had planned them. Sometimes I wonder how many other things are different for families because of our decision to refuse more children. How would we be different?

Just an interesting thought…

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14 Responses

  1. That’s true. I was afraid of babies as a young woman because I’d never grown up with them and never learned to care for them. I had a brother 4 years younger than I, and then my family broke up. My father and grandmother had all older friends whose children were grown and had moved away, so I never even baby-sat except for one time when I was 11 (looking back, who would leave a baby and a 6 year old with an inexperienced 11 year old and her younger brother???). It was a terrifying experience for me.

    It was a long time before I would let myself be talked into having children.

    Modern life presents so many, many problems.

    It is not good how our society is separated into age groups everywhere.

  2. My lands this article gives me goosebumps. I was just recently talking to my husband about this very same topic saying the very same things. I love it when the Holy Spirit does that!

  3. I love the words “God did not intend a generational gap”- I know not word-for-word. I totally agree. We have had a natural gap-who knows why it’s been all in God’s hands-but my oldest is 11 years older than our 3rd child and will be 13 years older than the newest addition in April. We have 3 girls currently 12, 8 and 15 months. The newest one and #3 will be 18months apart. I am so very thankful the Lord has blessed us with more children! Watching my older ones with the babay is precious and they are receiving wonderful on the job training!! Enjoying your posts:) Amanda

  4. THIS IS TRUE! I see the Duggar girls and almost envy them. They will go into both marriage and motherhood WELL prepared. I explained this to THE General and my frustration that I spent my formative years playing soccer and cheerleading and preparing for a “career” and now I had to learn AFTER having my Princesses how to care for children.

    HOW BETTER to teach your children how to care for your grandchildren, then under your watchful eye and wise guidance.

    Many Blessings 🙂

  5. Thankfully… my mom got pregnant with my sister while she was on the pill! So I was 12 when she was born. I tell her all the time how special God thinks she is.

  6. This is so important to think about. A lot people see couples starting families in their early forties and say, “How can they handle it? Even with just one?” Then, they look at women who started their families in their twenties and are still adding to the clan around 40 and say, “How can they do it with so many??” The answer is just what you have said: no generation gap! Their children help them with the menial tasks so that they are better able to parent their little ones.

    Thank you for this article, Kelli. It has really brought peace to my heart today.


  7. So true! I was watching our oldest, 13 yo old boy the other day with our youngest, 1 yo old twin girls. He was holding their hands, walking with them, showing them flowers and different things, and I was thinking what a wonderful daddy he will make one day. Families are where they learn and prepare. It’s so beautiful.

  8. We were just talking about this the other day! Dh, being outspoken, happened to mention it at his parents the other day that he thought it would be really neat if I were having a baby at the same time our daughters-in-law were.

    I gently backed him up with a smile and a reminder "Not too many people think that is special, my love."

    His parents then launched into how it would be the worst thing that could possibly happen to them, to have a child now, and how it would probably disolve their marriage! This coming from a solid, 'godly' couple! My dh said that was very sad and dropped it.

    It's very counter-cultural. Yet it helped me so much to take care of my 8 & 10yrs younger than me brothers!

    I can imagine entering menopause in denial that child-bearing is over for me. 🙁


  9. The article really hit home. I love watchin my older children and babies together. When I was a new mommy, almost 21 years ago I never would have imagined having 9 children in 20 years. I don’t have to wonder where did time go, I know it went looking after Andrew,Kyle,Ashley,Nicole,Connor,Jonathan,Sean,Christian,and Alexandra.

  10. Have any of you asked your eldest children, especially the girls, if they wish to take care of their younger siblings while mom and dad make baby after baby? I had two younger brothers, one 5 years and one 9 years younger than me and I resented having to take care of them. For your information, it is NOT the job of your children to do the menial homemaking tasks and childcare that you deign to assign them so you can simply make more babies, whatever the reason for doing so. It is a rationalization that you are preparing them for adult life. They are supposed to be children and they are not responsible for your other children.

    I feel sorry for the Duggar girls. They are given no choice about their direction in life; they are raised to be nothing more than breeders and homemakers. When they are adults they are free to make that choice, but they are not unpaid childcare providers while the mother indiscriminately propagates over and over again.

    Children are not meant to be your bred nannies and cooks. They are your children, deserving of a childhood to learn about who they are, what their interests are and what they want to do when they grow up.

  11. Gizmola,

    I guess I probably used to think the same thing, before I had a clue what real joy and real living was all about.

    First, on a side note we don’t “breed”, (that’s quite the insult, don’t ya think?) we bring valuble humans into the world. To devalue the miracle of life is to devalue life itself, including yours and mine.

    We do what our bodies do naturally, much like you urinate if you need to. One may choose to alter the normal function of the body (you can have your uretha snipped if you wish); I choose to let it do what it was made to do. I think it’s weird to do the former.

    My oldest daughter (14) not only LOVES helping take care of her siblings, but also has a plethora of gifts, talents and interests…far more than I was able to have because of my restrictive school schedule and the distraction of useless teenage activities (most of which did me harm.)

    Have I asked her if she wants to? Yes, many times. She looks at me like I’ve grown two heads and replies something like, “Mom, I can’t imagine life without the joy of these children.” She’s the one who is ALWAYS the most excited when we announce a new pregnancy. In fact, she starts asking before I’m even pregnant (“when are you going to have another one?” with a big smile on her face.)

    She writes, blogs, sews, reads college-level books, plays two instruments, has a load of friends, is an aspiring photographer with quite a portfolio, to name a few of her interests.

    Children who share the normal family responsibility, learning to love work, are not to be pitied…they will be leading those grown-up children on meds with dysfunctional problems because they just discovered that the world does not revolve around them.

    Be careful hanging out at these “weird” blogs…I’ve seen several home-hating feminists do a 180 😉

  12. I always thought that the point of being “quiver-full” was to be happy with however many children God gives you.

    God does not give every family 18 children. Some only have two or three. There are many women in their late 20s/early 30s who, as of yet, have not been able to conceive a child and would be happy if they were blessed with one. And at this age, there is no way that they will have enough children to “close the generation gap,” as you have written here.

    For those of you who only have 2-3 children: There are many ways to familiarize your teenage daughters with the care of infants and toddlers, without having some of your own…if you are part of a church, encourage them to volunteer as a helper in the nursery. Enroll them in a babysitting clinic (the Red Cross sponsors these in most towns), where they will learn valuable skills, including obtaining their CPR certification.

    As a 32 year-old woman who is still trying to conceive, I would encourage those of you who are blessed with children to be thankful for the blessings you have without assuming the worst of those of us who do not have any, or who only have a few.

  13. Leanne,

    I have always emphasized that “allowing God to be sovereign” is just that–18 children or none.

    Perhaps you missed this part of the post:

    “Of course, sometimes God places gaps–for His purposes, so I’m not insinuating if there is a gap in a family it’s less than ideal;”

    I never “assume the worst” of women with no or few children (often they inform me they’ve had tubes tied, but I never assume that.) I have many friends who struggle with infertility.

    I pray God would grant you the desires of your heart…

  14. So true. My daughter was born a week ago, and until then, I had no idea how to hold a baby. I wonder how many young women like me, who grew up baby-deprived, are afraid of motherhood.

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