Generation Cedar

Interview between Holly Elliff and Nancy Leigh Demoss


“And I remember vividly the day he (husband) came out of his study and said, ‘God has just given me the neatest mental picture of someday sitting on my front porch and looking out and seeing scores of children out there. And we have every temperament type represented. And we have every spiritual gift represented. And our children know how to relate to everybody in the world because they lived with all different types of people.’

And he had this wonderful vision of what it would be like and I immediately said to him, ‘Well, that’s very easy for you to say because I’m the one wearing the stretch pants for the next 20 years. And I’m sorry, but I just don’t want to go there.’ ”

And I really did not want to go there. It was a very frightening thing to me to think of taking my hands off that control in my life. And it took me about six months to work through what I believed the Bible said about that whole issue. And I became an avid student of God’s Word and just began to search the Scriptures for every reference to children, to children as a blessing, to God’s sovereignty in that area as far as opening and closing the womb and looking, honestly, for a way to avoid releasing that area in my life because my preference at that point was not to relinquish that area to the Lord.

As I did that, over and over and over, I found the same things: that God was the Creator of life, that God knew who He wanted to create, He knew what we were going to look like, He had a plan for every person–that it was all His business. It was not what I wanted to find in the Scripture, but that’s what I kept encountering. And I remember vividly one night sitting down at my kitchen table with a legal pad and a sharp pencil and making a list. And at the top of the list I wrote, “Reasons I Don’t Want To Have A Million Children.” And I began to make a list of all the objections I had to what I was seeing in God’s Word.

Everything I had on the list was rooted in selfishness. It came down to whether or not I was better at making decisions than God was. And it suddenly became very clear to me that this was a heart issue, at least in my life. It was a matter of me choosing, just like I said…God was Lord in every other aspect of my life.

We prayed through what to do with our money, we prayed through where we were to pastor. When we bought a car, it was a huge issue that we prayed about and trusted God to give us direction. But in this area it was as if we had said, ‘This area is ours to determine and we will make this decision.’ And for the very first time I was confronted with the fact that I had never really said to the Lord, ‘What is Your will?’ ”

Nancy responds:

“And really, again, we’re saying this is the fundamental issue of life, Is Jesus Lord of every area of my life? And I like the way you made that so practical because you said, ‘We went to the Lord and said, ‘Lord, what do you want us to do in this area of our lives?‘ And the fact is, you and I are not totally free until we have released ourselves, our lives, our future, our marital status, our childbearing, every aspect of our lives fully to the control of Jesus Christ. And somehow, when we come under His control, then we find that we really are free.

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161 Responses

  1. What a wonderful perspective on childbearing. I have a question that often enters my mind. I am approaching my late 30’s and am currently pregnant with my seventh child, two which are in heaven. I had my first child shortly after I turned 30. My pregnancies keep getting physically harder and harder on my body. Based on the belief that we are to give God complete control over our wombs, do I continue to just keep getting pregnant, even if my health is at stake and serious problems could possibly occur?

    1. Blessed Mommy, God bless you for asking your sincere question. What came to me as I read and thought about it is, “Whatsover is not of faith is sin.” Not in the sense that you should just quickly decide, “Yes, that’s right, I don’t have the faith to have any more pregnancies, so I won’t.” But in the sense that you must get down to business with the Lord and ask for His guidance, and make sure that you have the faith for the path you decide to take. You can’t ride on someones else’s faith.

      In the interview cited in Kelly’s post, the question asked was ‘We went to the Lord and said, ‘Lord, what do you want us to do in this area of our lives?’

      I had the opposite yieldedness issue: I wanted tons of kids and was always asking the Lord to give them to me, and in the end just had to accept that He gave me the exact amount He wanted Me to have, for His own reasons, which I might not know until I get to Heaven.

  2. blessed mommy,
    Remember that God knows all about your body and your health and He can “close” your womb if He wants to. The key is to keep your focus on Him and trusting His will for your life. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.Proverbs 3:5
    I am 43 and I have 11 children, my youngest is 6mths. old and I have surrendered my womb to God to have as many as He has planned to give me. When I was expexcting my 4th I had to be put to bed the entire 9 mths. After the birth I was told I could not have any more children, the risk to my health was too great. But my husband and I chose to trust God and He has blessed us with 7 more so far. If we had taken our eyes off of trusting the Lord we would have missed having 7 of our sweet, beautiful children that He had planned to give us! Romans 12:1 has always been a great encouragement to me. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable unto God, WHICH IS YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE.Romans 12:1
    If you search the scriptures you will find that nowhere in the Word Of God does God give us the right to decide how many children to have or when to have them.

  3. Beautifully said.

    Kelly, I do have a question here, though… I used some words from Nancy in a small group meeting I had once before, and the other ladies in the group would not hear what she had to say because she is not married, nor has any children. They felt that she could not speak from experience.

    Personally, I feel that if what she speaks is from the Word, then it doesn’t matter… but I found that so many others are distracted by how she is (or is not) living her life.

    Wondering what you thought about that, and if you would have a better response than I did?

    1. “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.”
      1 Corinthians 7:8-9

      And then on to verses 32-35:
      “I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”

      The way I interpret the Scriptures is that these men and women are so much more able to focus on the Lord and His teachings because all of the “distractions” are not there. Jesus never married nor had children, yet his Word says that He understands every hard thing we face, which of course, includes marriage and child-rearing. I’m not suggesting that NLD is Jesus, but she sure has proven that His Spirit is within her and His Word in her hands and heart so that alone gives her credit to speak.

      Just my $.02 worth. 😉

      Kelly, could you tell me where you saw/heard this interview? I’d like to listen in its entirety, if possible.

      1. Gayle,

        I had posted this interview a while back and for some reason, I don’t have the original link…I tried (unsuccessfully)to find it but I’m in a bit of a hurry so I’ll look again when I have a few more minutes!

    2. Hi Jaime,
      Well I’m not Kelly, but I thought I would jump in here with my answer to your question, I have thought a lot about this issue too.
      1. Just because you haven’t experienced something for yourself doesn’t mean that you have no right to speak about that issue. We all have the word of God that we can read for ourselves and the Holy Spirit to guide us in understanding God’s ways. The Bible speaks clearly about many issues and I think any Christian should be able to discuss such things. I mean how many times have pastors preached a sermon on heaven or hell? They’ve never been there, never experienced either place, yet I have never heard anyone come away from such a sermon saying that pastor had no right to preach on such things! I have really only heard this kind of argument when it comes to controversial subjects 🙂
      2. For Nancy Leigh DeMoss specifically, a lot of the time on her radio show she has guests who HAVE experienced marriage, childbearing, etc. Take this show for example, she was discussing this issue with a woman who had herself experienced it so it is not as if Nancy just gets on her show and tells everyone her opinion. She is so faithful in sharing the truth of Scripture and also has guests come along side of her and share their thoughts and experiences in certain areas.
      3. If we’re going to say that we should only listen to teachers who speak from experience then I guess we are going to have to disregard a lot of things Paul said as he was never married himself.

      I hope that helps some!

      Amy W.

  4. I have to say, not one of the better postings here,and not because I disagree w/ open womb.

    This is a classic example of a false dichotomy.

    On the one hand, you have a woman who sees trusting God as equating “a million children” (more or less), addresses family planning from purely selfish reasons, and admitting to not treating childbearing/multiplying prayerfully;

    and on the other hand you have the faithful, prayerful wife who fully embraces children and multiplying with open womb.

    She acts as though there’s not middle ground, which there is. The woman/couple who prayerfully take family planning to the Lord, and still “space” their children, for reasons that have nothing to do with creature comforts or control issues.

    So it’s not a good example of why to have “open womb,” and it’s not a good example of womanhood: it perpetuates the myth that women are insensible, while fancying themselves philosophers (she sits down w/ sharp pencil and legal pad, only to come up with a false dichotomy).

    1. (sorry, I had to comment – and it’s not because of “open womb.” Honesty I’m just sick of the false dichotomy. I’ve encountered it so much in the past week I just want to pour gasoline one it and light it on fire the way you do with a fire ant hill!) 😉

      1. Akk. One more clarification. I disagree w/ open womb as a biblical doctrine, not as a personal choice, to be clear. I support those women who reject personal family planning.

    2. Hi Lori,
      Can you give some specific situations where a “woman/couple who prayerfully take family planning to the Lord, and still “space” their children, for reasons that have nothing to do with creature comforts or control issues”? I think it might help support your post.

      1. Excellent thoughts, Lori.

        Tiffany, I’m sure you could imagine some examples yourself. Such as dire finance issues and health, whether mental or physical.

      2. Tiffany, Jennifer pretty much said what I would have said (well, would have wanted to say, anyway).

        Look, the Bible talks specifically to children being a blessing and being fruitful and filling the earth. I absolutely agree with these doctrines. However, the Bible does not speak to specific birth control as family planning doctrines (Don’t bother reminding me of the Onan story. I’m well arware of it, have studied it, and am convinced that it is an issue of breech of covenant primarily, not family planning primarily – family planning is just the instance in which the deceit happened to occur). Therefore, it is not a doctrine. It sounds as though you are suggesting that it is, which is to say there is a definite, Bible-defined right and wrong on the issue of family planning, which is to say I’m either submitted to what is right, or in rebellion to what is right. If I’m in rebellion, then the burden of proof is on you – and that is a biblical doctrine.

        1. I am sorry Lori, I did not mean to come across as confrontational when I asked my question. Actually I agree with you about the health situations. I am still trying to discern what God is teaching me in this area and was wondering if there are other reasons besides health reasons to prevent spacing of children so instead of seeking God first I was seeking the advice of others. I’m sorry, truthfully sorry if I upset you.

  5. These articles are always hard for me to read. On one hand, the idea of trusting God with my fertility sounds wonderful. On the other hand, it really is my choice because God gave me free will for a reason.

    I will be honest and say that I do not believe that QF is right for my family. I don’t think it’s something that is either all or nothing. I don’t consider myself selfish for not wanting more than two kids. Truthfully, I think I would like a third but my husband is not exactly on the bandwagon for another. And I think my being submissive toward him is important – I don’t want to obey God by dishonoring my husband by being disobedient.

    I fully support any woman who feels as though they are called to do QF. But again, I don’t see it as something mandatory like following the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule, etc. I don’t feel called to it. If He wants me to have more children, He’ll make it happen regardless of my plans (I don’t use contraception other than the withdrawal method).

    I too disagree with open womb as a biblical doctrine. I see it as a fully personal choice.

    1. CMD, while I do disagree that open womb is a biblical doctrine, multiplying as a doctrine is not. We have a mandate to “be fruitful and multiply (Gen 1:28, Gen 9:7). I would encourage you beyond your hesitation to have more than 2 children (you “think” you’d like one more, not feeling *called* to have more). It’s not in the 10 commandments, yes. It’s a creation mandate, and as such, predates the 10 commandments, which certainly did not do away with the creation mandate. So unless you have serious reasons for not having children, or more children, such as serious health consequences, we do need to “be fruitful and multiply” as commanded. Adoption is a great way to that end. Now, I’m not saying you *have* to adopt, I’m just saying that maybe it’s something y’all should seriously consider if pregnancy/childbirth isn’t a good option for health reasons.

      Now, I certainly do think that you should be submissive to your husband in this area, but that doesn’t mean not approaching him on this topic after a lot of prayer. And you should still be praying even if he is resistant, just because you should always be praying for his submission to Scripture, esp since it affects your submission as a family.

      To repeat, while open womb is not a strictly biblical doctrine, the mandate to be fruitful and multiply is. We should be trying to obey. Perhaps God will not allow us to multiply (again, health reasons or something), but we should be trying to obey.

        1. Lori, I totally get what you’re saying – I do. But I feel that by having my two children I did what the Lord said. I was fruitful and multiplied. If He was more specific and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and have 7 children,” or “Be fruitful and multiply and have as many children as your womb can sustain” then I would feel compelled to have more. But He didn’t and that’s where I feel my free will comes in. I haven’t felt led to have more….if He really put it in my heart to have another, I’d be on top of that. But sometimes our emotions don’t line up with what we’re supposed to do – and I can’t trust my emotions of perhaps wanting another child because I don’t know if it’s just a fleeting feeling or if God really wants me to do it. Until I hear from Him on it, I’m putting it on the back burner.

          Again, I am totally for women who go the “open womb” path. I support it 100%. But I don’t think it’s for everyone.

          1. Forgot to say that adoption isn’t an option for us. I would adopt a child in a heartbeat but my husband is vehemently opposed and told me there is no hope of him changing his mind. And because of that, and the fact that I have peace with never going that route, I realize it’s not something that will ever be a possibility.

          2. I’m sorry I have to interject here – you have 2 children – so you multiplied by 1! Hardly much multiplication there! 🙂
            The bible very CLEARLY calls children a Blessing. You certainly don’t ask God to limit or delay your other blessings, now do you?
            You absolutely can NOT believe part of God’s Word, but not all of God’s Word- that’s idolatry. Your creating a god of your own. The bible is clear that God WILL provide the needs of those who are faithful. So you want to limit children because you fear you will not have the finances necessary? If so, your not trusting God’s Word.
            God is the Perfect Creator Of Life, he will not give you more children than is right for you and he will provide.
            Yes, you MUST be submissive to your husband, but you can pray God touches his heart and you can make a respectful appeal to him.
            Married people involved in martial relations should always be willing to accept a sweet blessing. It’s just the natural way.

          3. Maybe it’s not multiplication by your standard, but 2 children is a good amount to me.

            Please don’t accuse me of not trusting God’s word. You honestly know nothing about me. I’ve been through battles that have literally turned my bangs white (wish I was joking but I’m not) and have trusted and leaned on God’s word the entire time.

            QF is an extreme stance on a biblical position. To me it’s the same as stepping on poison snakes because the bible says we can.

  6. Ack – typo – I meant to say ” don’t want to DISobey God by dishonoring my husband by being disobedient toward him.”

    Sorry. Hope that makes more sense now. I should really proofreed before submitting, lol.

  7. The woman says she doesn’t want to trust God with her family size because she’ll have to wear stretchy pants from now on, assuming that trusting God means giving birth to child after child. The Bible calls children a blessing three times and refers to our call to care for orphans 69 times. We limit God when we think that God opening the womb is the only way to experience children as blessings.

    1. I have struggled with this for a while now.
      My DH and I have three wonderful blessings and one up in heaven. I can not have any more. Physically I just can’t. My pregnancies got worse exponentially, with our last, our son, being the worst and then me bleeding TERRIBLY for a long time afterwards. My ob/gyn talked with me, I prayed about it, talked with my DH about it, and we decided it was safer for me, and that the three we had needed both their parents, and we decided to not have any more and try to fix at least part of what was wrong and causing so much trouble. I have to wait and believe in the Lord for a miracle healing from the bleeding disorder.
      I still long to hold more babies, to have more kids…. Maybe one day the Lord will lead my family to adoption. I don’t know. But though I do still long for more children, I also know because God gave me that personal knowledge of my own body that if I had had one more I most likely would not be here today. And my babies I have here on earth need me to be here.

    2. Ginger, I think you make a great point, that begs a larger question….what is God’s purpose in placing children in our direct care? All too often we think they’re for us, or about us or some validation of ourselves, or “ours”, and I think that’s where some of the decision making difficulty with regard to “how many?” comes in.

      Whether a family subscribes to QF or NFP or conventional medical birth control methods, none is a salvation issue, but it is a question to the state of the heart. I don’t think it’s a complete understanding of God’s word to say “open womb” isn’t a Biblical directive. From one of the earliest commandments, “be fruitful and multiply”, to the references to blessings and care of children Ginger points out, I’m not sure there’s a way around a spirit of abundance where children are concerned. If children are blessings, why wouldn’t I want as many of them in my life God would allow me? Do I say “I’m blessed enough and want to: have enough money to take _____(however many children I have) to Disney World next summer/go back to work in 5 years/keep my figure/put out my nice things again/have some peace and quiet/….and the really hard ones – keep my health/keep my life/care for my aging parents/properly provide (?) for the children I have…”? Some reasons are noble, some are practical, most are immature….all are about me, ultimately.

      At what point do I tell God “thanks, but no thanks, your promises are nice and everything but I really am not sure I believe you’re up to MY SPECIFIC CHALLENGE”? (that would be me, by the way, not too long ago)

      Human nature being what it is, we’re prone to “managing” our blessings in such a way as to maximize their benefit and convenience to us, as if they were lottery prizes or party favors. It’s funny, but none of us would turn down a pay raise saying it was just too big a blessing for us to handle.

      While I have my reservations about women continuing to risk their health in pregnancy and childbirth as if it’s a proof of faith (because again, the human element comes in here), I don’t see where our call to “be fruitful and multiply” ends. “We limit God when we think that God opening the womb is the only way to experience children as blessings.” Very well said.

      1. I absolutely believe children are a blessing, but food is a blessing, too, right? But even though it’s a blessing, we have to step away from the table for a while once we’ve had our fill. The same is true of having children for some couples, I think. Their children are surely blessings, but their family may be complete, or God may lead a couple to time or space their children for health reasons or otherwise. Not every choice to postpone childrearing is necessarily selfish, though many are.

        All that said, I personally have left my fertility to God, who has not yet in His wisdom allowed me to give birth (although I’ve had two miscarriages). That’s honestly fine with me, because He knows best and I’ve left it in His capable hands…but not everyone shares the same convictions. Though it’s pretty much required for Christians to believe that children are blessings, that doesn’t mean they should feel compelled to have them if there are good reasons for not doing so. And of course, if a couple chooses to space children, they should be careful to do so in a way that respects life…again according to their convictions and understanding of Scripture.

        1. “I absolutely believe children are a blessing, but food is a blessing, too, right? But even though it’s a blessing, we have to step away from the table for a while once we’ve had our fill.”

          Yes! Food is a blessing, and yes, we have to take care with it – but the comparison is more a matter of spiritual blessings, rather than material ones when it comes to children. I’m agreeing with you on spacing with prayerful consideration, for many reasons. I don’t see NFP as interfering with God’s plan in any way if it’s a matter agreed to within the marriage and it’s not a subject of denial or manipulation by one party or another. I also don’t criticize women who are truly led to continue in childbearing when it’s medically risky – again, as long as the heart is pure – there is certainly room for selfishness in that, too, as there is with all human pursuits.

          That’s why I appreciated Ginger’s statement about the many means of including children in our lives. Being fruitful and multiplying is about more than being a baby maker, it’s about honoring the blessing of children for the miracle it is. Kelly/WW has featured some families here that live that example beautifully.

          That said, MOST OF THE TIME, the reasons given for not expanding a family have more to do with self than with God, or God is incorrectly offered as the reason for it. I’m suggesting THAT is a matter worth weighing.

    3. I totally agree with Ginger. Yes we should keep adoption as a valid option. But adopting & being open to the idea of God leading us to adopt does NOT in anyway mean we shouldn’t also allow God control over how many & when we have natural children. My mother certainly had plenty of both. God chose to give her only 3 natural children. Yes, her heart yearned for more so she prayed about it. Years later she was lead to adopt my younger sister & myself. She completely turned EVERYTHING over to God, that’s what we are called to do. A good biblical example: Niaomi who so many years later was given a son after she could no longer have children. She was given Obed the son of Ruth. And think about poor Sarah, Abrahams wife! She was old & prayed for years for a child, and at a very old age she gave birth & was greatly blessed! God has a different plan for each women & each family.

  8. We’ve birthed nine children. Our pregnancies are extreme, to say the least. We’ve lost one of our children. And yet…. The bottom line for me, when all of the “interpreting” of scripture is past… What does it mean to be Christ-like? If I am to share the mind and heart of Christ, in that my beliefs align with His, how am *I* to view children? Should I see them as anything less than an amazing gift and blessing from God? And if they are a blessing and if I do believe what the Bible says about children and if I am willing to turn over “self” control to God’s control, then what does that mean for child-bearing?

  9. I’ve also been researching a lot about Biblical childbearing over the past several years, from an opposite standpoint of most. We’ve had many pregnancies, but only a couple of live births. I hope you will let me share where God has brought me in my journey.

    What God has put on my heart lately is that we are to turn to Him in everything. I don’t know how to articulate this well, so forgive me if I stumble with my words. We use the Word as the central point of guidance for our life. But, we need to remember that the Word is Living, according to it’s own testimony. If we use the Word as an instruction manual, but never allow the Spirit to be alive and speaking to us, then we have closed off part of ourselves from God, and that is also sin.

    If we look from the very beginning, and throughout His Word, we see clearly God’s desire to have a relationship with us, and yes that that relationship is based on love and trust/faith. But if all we are doing is reading His Word, powerful as it is, and making our decisions based on what we think His Word means in our life, then are we not forsaking a true, deeper relationship with Him and relying on our own understanding of what we think He is saying? It is so important to use His Word to allow Him to speak to us, and then to go even deeper in prayer, asking His Will for our life, and allowing time and openness to receive His answer, even (especially) when it is different than what we think He should be saying. To me, this has been the ultimate in yielding, to allow Him to work in me in ways that went against my own understanding of His Word, only to see a greater plan that I was not able to see until I yielded all of my thoughts and expectations to Him….

    I don’t know if this makes sense, but I would encourage all to seek His Will for YOUR life, being careful not to judge others by their decisions. It may be that their decisions are selfish, but it also may be that God has put something different on their heart. We have been excluded by “quiverfull” friends, who assume because we only have a few kids, that we are not “faithful” enough. They are not aware of the nearly dozen losses we have faced. They judge our hearts based on the number of children they see with us. In my particular situation, I now know, so clearly, why we only have a couple of children. My children have needs that take tremendous time–some developmental, some health, some spiritual. To be able to fully love them in ways they can receive, and to teach them the ways of the Lord, takes most of my day. Add to that that God has called us into ministry of children who are often times from very broken homes, and that most of our extended family is non-Christian, and I can now see that God’s plan for us has to do with ministering deeply to our children and to others, while protecting our children as we engage in outreach ministry. That protection comes in terms of time in our family–time to spend talking about His Word, about the application of His love, time to loving each one of them individually through their love languages, time to praying deeply for and with them, but also time to pray deeply for others, time to talk about how God can transform lives, time to learn how to be a light and a servant for/to others, etc… Do I think we could still do that even if we had more children, absolutely! But God must know something I don’t. And, I have seen that as God has temporarily put children in our lives, that it has changed the amount of time and spiritual focus we are able to spend with our own children, sometimes causing them to mature, and sometimes causing them to backslide. Maybe one of my children would have backslid out of a relationship with God if we had had several more children…. I don’t know, but I know God does.

    We’ve seen so many other kids who have turned their back on God, and who have rejected their faith because their parents are too busy, and often busy helping/serving others–it’s not just the “selfish” parents who have children who struggle. We’ve seen ministers’ kids really struggle with the time and effort their father’s (and mothers)spend with other people, but not with their own chidren (out of ministry to God, out of teaching their own children not to be selfish, etc…) We’ve watched some of these kids turn to destructive worldly habits and even crime, as well as to “just” worldly ways of living (which often become “ok,” because they are so much better than the destructive ways). We’ve seen all of this, often to the heartache of their parents. In talking with some of these parents, over and over we hear, “we did what we thought God wanted us to do….but we never asked Him specifically what His Will was for OUR life; we thought we knew.” Such a valuable lesson here.

    Another reason I now know why God limited our family is my husband. I had no way of knowing that he would go through a huge faith struggle, refusing to teach our children, pray with our family, or lead our family in Godly ways. On the outside, and in ministry, he would portray himself as an energetic Christian, but on the inside of our home, he shut down spiritually. The more he shut down, the more he pushed all of us away, and the more he distanced himself from God. It became a show, and a statement of “see, I’m a good enough Christian–look at all these Christians who like and respect me, look at the ministry I’m doing…” But on the inside, he was spiritually dying. With each child we added to our life, he withdrew more from God. Each child added complications to our life that challenged his faith. It wasn’t acceptable to him to even have faith questions, so he buried them deeply, becoming angry and distant, and then switching to focus on fun. Anything with any substance disappeared. It was a scary time, spiritually, and I often wonder if God was protecting him (and us) by not giving us more children during this time. God knew that my dh was not a Godly head of his home for many years, and maybe not blessing us with more children was a way of blessing the children we already had. God was able to use me, our children, and some friends, to minister to my husband. It was incredibly private, and incredibly time consuming. Now, he is a true Believer, relying on his own Faith in and his own relationship with God, instead of trying to live a faith that he was “supposed” to have, but that he had never taken the time to develop on his own. (This was the source of his struggle, he shared.) He is growing in his faith daily, and learning how to really minister to our children, and to those around us, instead of just pretending. My children have been allowed to see God really work in and grow their father. They’ve seen what it looks like to see a heart turn and really yield to God. We are blessed to have been able to hear God’s calling in this area.

    My oldest still struggles because He was following my husband’s leadership, which was not of God. Now, my dh can minister more intentionally to that child. But if we had had more children, how many of those might have been lost? I’m not saying that more children would not have been a blessing, only that God knows how many children my husband can handle. And, for that matter, how many I can handle. (I admit that my own mouring and disappointed expectations with my husband and with God made me a less than ideal Christian mom at times! Add exhaustion, lack of support, and special needs children, and maybe God was protecting me from a spiritual melt-down, too. I’ll never know, but I have learned to praise and thank God even when His Will is different from mine!) We look around and see the results of people who think they can do something, including having more children, that they cannot do without the help of God. If you don’t believe in the power of the Lord, then you really can’t rely on Him. My husband always said he wanted a large family, and wanted God to be head of His home. But when we were told our baby was going to die, and when another child could no longer speak or function, and then when another was in tremendous pain, and slowly dying, and no doctor could diagnose her illness, my husband realized that he really didn’t have a faith in God… His God was only strong enough to praise when things were going well. This realization crushed my husband, and he felt unworthy of God. Instead of clinging to God, he ran away….

    Praise God, He is ministering deeply to my husband, and all my living children are thriving, and growing physically, mentally, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually. We still have days where we struggle, and we still have some underlying anger issues in our oldest…but we now know that God is the Lord of our family, and that all things truly are possible with Him. I wonder, some days, if my dh had gone through all this when he was younger, or if my children had all been born healthy, if maybe we would have enjoyed the blessings of many children in our home. But right now, I’m content trusting that God’s plan for our family is so beyond what I can comprehend, in the overall spiritual battle, that I will joyfully trust Him with my family.

    I share all this as a way of illustrating that we don’t know the faith level of fellow Christians. They may seem to have it together on the outside, but that doesn’t mean they are really strong on the inside. A family rooted in Christ is so different than one pretending to be rooted in Christ. And sometimes, God is the only one who knows that difference, at least until times get tough, and it becomes clear that there is really little or no faith guiding the first one. And, children seem to know when an adult is sincere in their faith, and when they are just “playing Christian.” We see that sooooo much. One minister reminded me that the Bible is a very different book for those who are placing their trust in Christ than it is for those who don’t/won’t embrace Him. I forget that so often.

    So, I encourage everyone to please be careful when taking ideas from the Bible, and assuming they are meant for all. Since Jesus never addressed this issue directly, I think we are meant to pray about it. Yes, children are a blessing–all of them. And, there are so many who desperately need someone to minister to and love them with the full love of our God. And, yes, blessed is the woman whose quiver is full. The issue here is that Jesus never says that more children are a bigger blessing, and a quiverful is never defined.

    My quiver is full. I am nearing 50, and recently mourned not only a miscarriage, but also the probable end of any more children, and the realization that I will never have a large nuclear family. I was so angry at God, and felt like such a failure as a woman, until a wonderful Christian lady asked me so many questions, helping me to realize, that I was being just as selfish in my desire for more children, as the woman who wanted none. Our goal, is not the size of our family, but whether or not the Lord is at the center of our hearts. And, whether or not we are praising and glorifying Him regardless of whether our life is what we think it should be, or how we want it to be.

    The bigger question seems to be whether Christ is at the center of our hearts. If he is, then all these other questions will work themselves out, including the questions such as “is birth control” acceptable for Christians… God is powerful enough to conceive a child even on birth control (and one of our good friends got pregnant while on the Pill). I disagree that using birth control closes the womb (that doesn’t mean that I agree with birth control, but I do disagree that birth control prevents God from creating life….unless, of course, it is a type of birth control that kills the life.) That’s implying God can’t be more powerful than birth control.

    It seems that these are really several issues being debated, one involving family size, one involving whether birth control is appropriate, and if so, when and how, and one involving whether Christ is at the center of those decisions. As to the former two, I know I will go against the majority here, but again, I honestly believe that decision needs to be prayed over DEEPLY between husband, wife, and God. I would never want my personal beliefs to be a stumbling block for someone else. And, I would never want to presume what God wants for someone else.

    I’ve seen so many children who have been conceived, but then abandoned (emotionally and spiritually), many from Christian homes. Again, I know that Christ can still work in them; but what we’ve seen in reality, is that often those children are lost… As we look at the world around us, and we see fewer and fewer children holding onto their faith, we have to ask why. We’ve seen that childbirth does not change a person from being selfish to being selfless. Often, that selfishness continues, often at the expense of that child. And sadly, I don’t see very many Christians, even in church families, that really step forward to help these families. Unfortunately, it’s often the child that suffers, spiritually. Selfishness is such a hard word to define. I know several people who believe it’s selfish to have a large family, and some of these are quite sincere–they genuinely have concerns about raising a spiritually healthy child through all the temptations of the world. They also look at the expense, and the financial burden children can place on a family, which might cause a family to not be self-sufficient, something which they value as Biblically important as well. I know our medical expenses often exceed $1000/month. On my husband’s salary, that’s more than 1/3 of his take home pay. If we had more children with health issues, would I be able to stay home? Would we have to put our children on welfare? Neither are acceptable to us as responsible Christian parents…. but I again I mention, this is what God has put on our hearts. We know other Christian families who believe that relying on welfare is a fine way to live, as long as they are paying into and not taking advantage of it….

    It is all so personal between each family and God’s plan for that family. I guess it troubles me that so many Christians are eager to find fault with other Christians who God has led in different directions than our own…. We are called to encourage each other in Christ, all the more as the day is approaching.

    Seems like there are many issues here–family size, birth control, selfish attitudes, seeking God’s personal Will for our families…. I hope we can come together and encourage other women to get on their knees, with their husbands, and truly seek God’s Will for their lives, and for their families. And, to take quiet time to really discern His Will. Then, if we have Faith, and if we Trust God with His Will for our lives, then we will be living a life deeply rooted in Him, whether we have 2 children, 5 children, or 15 children. And, if we are deeply rooted in Him because of Faith, then He can use us to move mountains in the world around us, even if it’s only one stone at a time.

    I write this, respectfully, just to remind us to be careful as we go down this thread again, because for a woman experiencing loss in childbearing, or a woman who has truly had it put on her heart to limit her family size, it can seem that we are attacking their faith because their lives don’t appear to reflect what we perceive to be God’s Will. In reality we need to be encouraging them to be on their knees and to let God provide whatever answers He will, and to also provide His comfort, peace, and His suredness. If a woman is insecure in this area, we should be encouraging her, not in our answer for her life, but in her need to go to Him. Once she knows His Will for her, whatever it is, He will give her peace. And obviously in this area, it’s important for both husband and wife to go before the Lord in that prayer.

    This blog, and it’s postings are so based in love and encouragement and Godliness, that I can’t imagine anything becoming attack-oriented. This blog has been such a blessing to me, personally, and I’ve shared it with many friends, including many seekers. On other blogs and lists, however, I’ve seen conversations such as this one, become ugly and insensitive–something I can’t imagine Jesus condoning. Assertive, yes; ugly, no. I base that on the apostles’ writings. So, I write this to encourage all to be careful to encourage each other in prayer, and not to be stumbling blocks out of our personal knowledge of what God has put on OUR hearts, but to remember to pray for our fellow sisters in Christ. I’m sorry I’m not a better writer, but I hope God has used this time to communicate His desires, for each unique reader who is visiting this site today.

    Praying blessings over, and Spiritual discernment to all who read this post…

    In Praise and Glory to Him,


    1. Mary, you write with a wisdom born of much pain. I respect that very much. Recurrent pregnancy loss is such a tough road, and people do judge women who don’t have as much children as “expected” by the length of their marriages. I have had women outright ask me when I’m going to turn my womb over to the Lord or when I’m going to stop sinning and get off birth control. Some ladies at church just ASSUMED I was contracepting, when in truth, I have walked a very hard road of infertility and miscarriage. Your post was a good reminder that people should not judge just based on what they see on the outside. Being infertile in a quiverfull environment can be uncomfortable or even painful.

      God bless you, Mary!

  10. We have left our family planning in God’s hands since a few months into our marriage. We have been married almost 10 years and are expecting our sixth child, and I am 27 years old. Early on, I focused more on the children as a blessing as the primary reason. But, over the years, that’s gradually changed to the fact that Scripture makes abundantly clear that *God* opens and closes the womb. *We* don’t. So, why use birth control to prevent or space children? Because, otherwise we think God might open the womb, and for whatever reason, we don’t want that to happen. Ultimately, it boils down to thinking that we can plan it out better than God can. And so we try to force His hand.

    And as for the argument that God can override birth control, of course He can! But, think about all that Scripture says about God controlling the womb and children as a blessing. If we leave it in God’s hands, are we somehow going to accidentally get a child that God didn’t want us to have? No! But, what about if we His children try to refuse the blessings He has for us and try to take the reins of our lives away from Him in some area or another? Most of the time, we live with the consequences of our choices when we refuse God’s plan. We do after all have free will. That means that we can choose to take the reins and suffer the consequences; it does not mean that we are supposed to try to take control of our lives into our own hands.

    With that said, I know many Christians who feel differently on this topic. While I believe they are in error in this matter, I don’t think that I am a better Christian than they are because of it. I am sure that I am in error in other areas where they are not. But, my heart does ache with sadness for them when I think of the many blessings they are turning away from.

  11. I don’t know. I just really feel that it’s unfair to imply that if a woman doesn’t want to hand her fertility over that she’s being selfish or self-serving. By limiting the amount of children I have, I’m trying to make sure my kids get the best of me (I have Asperger’s Syndrome and while I’ve been able to live a pretty normal life, I do have my limitations).

    I believe God lets people know what they can handle and what they can’t. And those who know that QF isn’t for them probably had some sort of feeling that it’s just not for them – myself included.

    God bless all of you who have gone this way – that is great! I sometimes wish i was called to it as you were but unfortunately I was not.

    1. CMD,

      I would only challenge you to search the Scriptures to find out what God says about children, what He does not say and be honest enough with yourself to accept what you find.

      There are things you said that “make sense” according to man’s wisdom and sound very much like what I hear most people say about this subject. But listen closely:

      “I believe God lets people know what they can handle and what they can’t. And those who know that QF isn’t for them probably had some sort of feeling that it’s just not for them.”

      Does God usually work like this? The majority of people would say “God has let me know I don’t need more than 2 children”. Really? Does that sound right given what the Bible does say about God’s heart toward children, the womb and the way He has always advanced the Kingdom through “the godly seed”?

      A feeling? That, to me, is very dangerous theology. I wonder if we followed our feelings about other issues where it would get us?

      I believe God does speak to us and I believe that He primarily uses His Word to do so. Just as in the past, if He wants someone to do something that is outside of what He has already prescribed, He speaks dramatically and specifically to that person. (I’m thinking of when He asked Hosea to take a prostitute as his wife.) But what is narrative is not usually normative.

      I think you may be surprised, if you look in the Word with a fresh readiness to see what He says, at just how much there is.

      1. Kelly, have you ever read a book or taken a course in hermeneutics? I know that you’re not big on higher education for women, but I feel like it would be really valuable for you, especially if you’re using this blog to teach about the Bible. There are many books out there that are helpful, and some written explicitly from a reformed perspective.

        Notice that you used the term “a godly seed” (singular). And do you remember how Paul interpreted that? Abraham’s godly seed was Jesus. The whole world is blessed through Christ’s work!

        What you said here–and correct me if I’m wrong–sounded an awful lot like salvation comes through having as many children as possible. But in the New Testament, it’s not giving birth but being born again spiritually (!) that ultimately gives life. I say that with grave concern as a Christian sister, who loves large families, and values many of the things that you say. But your comment seemed to put our fertility in the place of the Gospel, and may that never be.

        God never says, “have as many children as you can until your body breaks down or you die.” Some women are so fertile or have health problems to the point where that could happen. Some women are infertile. Our bodies, including our reproductive systems are affected by the fall. God works through the fall, yes, I believe that. But Christian women still deal with the results of the fall in their fertility and reproduction, it is not the only area untouched by the fall, and we still make choices in light of that fallen world.

        Would you say to my friend who has spina bifida and is wheelchair bound, “Have as many children as possible. It doesn’t matter to God that there is no way you can physically restrain multiple active toddlers and babies.” That is very much what it sounded like you were saying to this woman, it doesn’t matter that you have a physiological disorder that is severely limiting. How do you know, Kelly, that through prayer that God wasn’t communicating to her in this non-sin area (!!!) that her family was complete? Have you never had that quiet whisper in your spirit about another area that was not sin related? And do you really feel that if someone feels this call in their inner spirit that they “hate children”?

        1. Joanna,

          I’m surprised that you surmised some of the things you thought I said. I apologize, again, for being unclear and writing in a hurry. No, I do not the gospel is only propagated through bearing children. I believe very much that it is one of the primary ways though, given multiple references through Scripture.

          You obviously haven’t read much of where I stand on this issue to conclude that I’m asserting “have as many as you can until your body breaks”.

          I haven’t said that. I also don’t think it’s an issue (although it always becomes one) of dissecting the hypothetical. For heaven’s sake, if you and your husband have a peculiar, limiting issue, with much prayer and wisdom make your decision before God. No one judges that. What I’m talking about here is a heart issue about who the author of life is and what our general ideas about welcoming children should be.

          1. It really does become easy to misunderstand people on subjects like this, doesn’t it?

  12. I do want to clarify one aspect of my letter. We did leave our fertility in God’s hands, from the very beginning. We got pregnant immediately, and began what would turn out to be years of unviable pregnancies, and infant/toddler health complications. Our children are spaced far apart not because of our timing, but because of God’s. There were times when I did close off my womb, to heal–physically and emotionally. But, in general, we prayed for children, and would have welcomed many more of them. I have spent huge amounts of my life mourning the loss of children when I desperately wished I had been one of those women who were blessed with more children.

    It’s only in looking back where I can see why God may not have allowed more children, and why He chose the spacing He did. Why God allows one woman to have 10 children, and another to have 1 or 2 or 3… remains a mystery. I just think we need to remember that it’s in God’s hands, and that ultimately what He cares about is our faithfulness to Him. If my husband and I wanted children, and prayed for those children without praying about that first, then we are asserting that what we want is more important than what He wants. I see that as the same as the couple who says they don’t want children. I think what I see as missing in this whole conversation in other groups I’ve been part of, is the prayer and petition of everything before going forward. There is something that happens to us spiritually when we go before Him with everything. I don’t know how to explain it, if you’ve never experienced it, but there is a difference from when I made decisions out of obedience to His Word, vs decisions that I’ve made that have come from the full knowledge that this is where the Spirit is leading my life. Like I said, if you’ve never experienced that, I can’t explain it, but I can tell you it is life changing–literally. This is what I’m trying to communicate. We may all agree that God opens and closes the womb, and for some women that may be at 10 kids, and for some it may be at 2 kids (God promises not to give us anything we can’t handle). My point is that we don’t know where that limit is, and what method God uses to close a womb. I don’t pretend to know what God considers ok and not ok in that area. I know some who quote the Bible against the rhythm method too…. all of this is so far out of my area of Spritual discernment. I just want to encourage us as we engage in this conversation to be careful not to judge someone else, because none of us knows the desires that God has put on their heart. I think when we start talking about being selfish, there are some very fine lines, and pain and fear can often hide the bluriness between those lines, as people try to grasp with what is happening in their life. I’ve heard many women say they are glad that they only have one or two children because of all that it allows them to do, only to find out years later, that the decision to have only 1-2 kids wasn’t theirs. It’s easier to find the good in God’s plan for our life (which we’re also instructed to do) rather than to say, “I wasn’t blessed as much as you….” which is how many women I know feel. I don’t believe Christ ever wanted Chritians to measure or compare their blessings….I believe that is part of why we are commanded not covet. It separates us from each other and from God. We are first to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and then to love each other with the same love that God has for us, as much as humanly possible I guess it would be fair to say. I truly believe, that if we focus on those two things, the Spirit will guide our hearts and minds and words as we speak of areas where He has called us but not the person next to us. Just as he calls us to speak lovingly when holding someone accountable, His first concern is in building or maintaining of a relationship that leads to Him, or helps us to remain grounded in Him. If you know of someone who is turning away from God, and this is one area where that is being manifest, then speak to them gently and privately. I’m doing that right now with a young widow and the direction she is tempted to take her life (out of her hurt and anger). But, I don’t think God wants us to seek out those who are failing in their faith and point it out to them universally. We all have those areas. Think of one in your life, and look at how God provides ministry for you… that’s what He wants for all of us. Scripturally, it seems to me that He wants us to cultivate relationships that honor Him, and that bring others to Him, ministering where, when, and how He has directed us. My concern is that sometimes in trying to “help” people grow in their faith, we decide where they should be growing, and address that as a universal issue. I think we should be careful that when we are speaking for God, that we are careful to minister to those He has called us to minister to, and in ways that are consistent with His plan for ministry. Look how carefully and differently written the epistles are. They are tailored towards the spiritual maturity and needs of the churches being addressed. To me, that’s a model for my conversations with those around me. If I talk to one woman about God’s plan for her fertility when she hasn’t even fully embraced what it means to trust God with her life, then I am not ministering effectively. For a woman who knows what it means to trust God with her life, and to expand that into the area of fertility, that could be appropriate. I have a woman just coming out of jail in 2 weeks. I have to ask whether counseling her to open up her womb is a wise decision, since she has not been able to stay out of jail for even a year in the last decade. She has three children who are living with different relatives. I would never deny that these children are blessings, but I do have to look at whether encouraging her to have more is consistent with what God would want for her life at this point. I would really have to KNOW God was putting that on my heart before I could counsel her in that direction. She is a professed Christian, who just seems to relapse into drugs when life gets hard. Clearly, she needs more ministry in general trust areas. Another woman is raising a child who may never be able to function in society because of brain damage, from in utero drugs, that has impaired her ability to recognize right from wrong. She steals, hurts, lies daily. She exhausts the family she is in, and will likely have to be institutionalized. I recognize that her life is still a blessing, and she has brought people to their knees in prayer. But, to encourage her mother to open up her womb to other children is an area where I would really have to pray.

    I know our converstions aren’t dealing with this issue, but in a way they are… if we’re dealing universally with turning fertility over to God. And, again, there are no references by Christ himself, so I have to look at how important a universal instruction is in this area. Sometimes I often wonder if the open womb statements are just that–statements. Kind of like leadership by men. It doesn’t say to go out and be leaders, it says that the men ARE the leaders. We’ve learned how important that scripture is, because it has shown us that God has designed men to lead–that’s how He made them. Whether they choose to be Godly in that leadership is open to free will, and the consequences caused by those decisions. I am beginning to wonder if it’s the same thing with the womb (pure speculation here). Maybe God is simply telling us that He opens and closes the womb. Whether we respect that or not is part of our free will. And whether we are blessed with children or not may be a consequence of that decision. But whatever He is telling us in scripture, I keep coming back to the notion we confess that God is in control, yet if we are not turning to Him for each child, for every decision, then we are claiming that control from Him. The real question is, if God answered that He wanted to close your womb for a time, or permanently, and that He put it on your heart to not have children during that time, would you respect that? (I’m not saying He would do this; it’s just a test I use on myself to check my obedience…)

    Trusting God with every aspect of our lives can be so scary, and I am certainly not an example of someone who has been successful in this. I’ve probably learned more from my mistakes than my successes. But, each time, I am so keenly aware of God’s forgiveness of those mistakes, and His loving grace that covers me. Somehow, that gives me the courage to go on, and to give more and more of myself to Him. It’s nothing anyone else could command or ask of me; it comes only from the Love of My Savior.

    Peace in Him,


  13. CMD,

    I also wanted to comment on another thing you said:

    “If He was more specific and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and have 7 children,” or “Be fruitful and multiply and have as many children as your womb can sustain” then I would feel compelled to have more.”

    Again, dangerous theology. Consider two things:

    1. He has written in our very bodies something that shouldn’t have to be reitterated. We are made to reproduce. Our reproduction is normal, not a sickness that requires medicated or surgical alteration. We think of other function of the body this way…we go to the potty when our bodies tell us to. We don’t have to think about it or reason whether it’s “what God meant” when He created it that way. We just believe our natural design.

    2. If God says, “Go to the end of the road and turn right”, He means, by implication, “Go to the end of the road and DO NOT turn left”. It doesn’t have to be stated because “we are wise enough to get what He means” by the positive command.

    I submit that “be fruitful and multiply” means “don’t NOT be fruitful and multiply”. For some people that may mean one child and God could close the womb telling them their quiver is full. For some, they could be barren and adoption is the means by which God wishes to fill their families. But given all Scripture says about the positive commands of having babies,(coupled with what He has already written into our bodies) it is difficult to conclude that God would give us jurisdiction to just cut off the seed of our own accord. Multiply implies exponential. One person said, God said “multiply” not “add”. (“And why did He make them one? Because He desires godly offspring.”) Malachi 2:15

    Someone already said it, I think, but I feel the need to emphasize that it’s not about numbers at all. It’s about a heart that delights in seeking Him. If He gives us a large family, it’s about living to glorify the Lord. If He gives us no children, it’s still about living to glorify the Lord. It’s about Him–ALWAYS.

    1. Word Warrior, I’m aware of what the Word says concerning children, as I have done research in this area and have friends that are QF. I concede I’m no expert – I believe that knowing God’s Word is a lifelong endeavor. I just know that some things aren’t right for all families, and I believe this is one of them.

      I did use my body to be fruitful and multiply, to bring children into the world who – God bless them – are already saved and have an eager desire to learn about God’s love.

      I don’t remember ever stating that pregnancy was surgical or a sickness. I was under a midwife’s care and had one of my children via water birth. I always said that if I were to ever have another one, I’d do it at home. I feel like you’re insinuating things about me, and those things are grossly incorrect.

      I almost feel this is yet another debate that divides women instead of uniting them. Co-sleeping verses crib-sleeping. Cry-it-out verses attachment parenting. Breastmilk versus formula. Quiverfull versus …I don’t even know what to call it. Family planning? Inaccurate since neither of us use contraception, but what else fits there?

      Why can’t it be said that, “Okay, QF is right for my family, but I understand if it’s not right for yours” and then let it be left at that? Why does it always boil down to a “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality?

      Am I the only one who sees satan possibly using this debate on a grander scale as a staging area to divide Christian women? I believe we need to be more accepting of what’s right for each person’s family instead of having an “all or nothing” approach.

      1. CMD,

        “I feel like you’re insinuating things about me”

        I apologize. I don’t want you to feel like that and admittedly, I was in a tremendous hurry answering you earlier and should have waited until I could better articulate.

        That said, the reason I brought up those things is still because of the basic question you implied: If God doesn’t explicitly tell us to keep our wombs open then aren’t we free to make that decision?

        Using reasoning from both Scripture AND what nature tells us about God’s design for our reproduction, it seems there is an answer.

        Is it another debate that divides? Perhaps. The question is not whether it divides, but whether it’s important enough to disagree EVEN IF it divides.

        I think it’s of import in a different category than co-sleeping or home birth, or what have you. And for the record, I’m not into “movements” and do not call myself Quiverfull. I don’t intend to insult or offend. Sometimes my words are too candid when I’m not writing with a militant spirit at all.

        It is simply my intent to challenge what I think is a long-standing infiltration of a child-hating culture into the church. I see lots of slippery slopes that have caused destructive results and I don’t believe this is a non-issue. I believe very much this is one of the most foundational issues to the body of Christ and that we are commanded to teach what we believe is right from the Word of God. Please understand that is my heart.

        1. Not a problem – don’t think twice about it – I understand the point you were trying to make.

          And I do get where you’re coming from about this becoming a child-hating society. My sister refuses to have kids. My two cousins don’t want children either. My entire family’s bloodline is going through my two little ones. No doubt there is joy to be found in big families….lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

          How does one convince a spouse that’s not on board though? Tricky.

      2. I don’t think it’s an ‘i’m right & your wrong’ mentality in the least!
        I think it’s MUCH MORE about what The Holy Bible says & thus what IS right.
        By Saying QF is not for every family your saying God is not Almighty enouph to handle each family!
        Not every family should be large. Not every family should be small. But ONLY God knows the Perfect size & timing for EACH individual family.
        Saying QF is not for everyone implies you do not trust God. If your family needs to be smaller, God will limit the size. If you need to have more children, Gid will provide them: and with good stewardship of your resources: also provide the needs.
        How can you say trusting God is not for everyone.

        You say you feel Satan is ‘using the issue to decide Christian women’ can you not see how Satan has used birthcontrol of all types to lessen our trust in God. To cause us to think it’s perfectly ok & Christian to take Creation into our own hands.

        This issue is fundamental to our faith and MUST be brought forward!

        1. You wrote: “You say you feel Satan is ‘using the issue to decide Christian women’ can you not see how Satan has used birthcontrol of all types to lessen our trust in God.”

          Has satan also used fertility treatments for his own means as well? Does the use of say, IUI or IVF cause a woman to have less faith and trust in God? Didn’t God give us medical science for a reason? I don’t let doctors have final word in my life, but I certainly wouldn’t condemn a woman for going through fertility treatments to conceive, just like I wouldn’t condemn another one for taking the pill. My best friend is expecting a baby through IVF – a very good Christian woman who prayed for 4 years to become pregnant. Then God opened some doorways for her and IVF was possible.

          I don’t see BCPs as the devil as long as they prevent conception. The ones that cause the baby (aka embryo) to be unable to implant are the ones that are bad IMO.

          1. Okay – at the risk of derailing the thread I have to argue the issue of IVF/fertility treatments, because I see it as two sides of the same coin when it comes to the “open womb”.

            I have never walked in the shoes of those who cannot conceive inexplicably, so this isn’t meant to be insensitive, but at what point is infertility treatment yet another chemical means of attempting to thwart God’s plan? I am in full understanding that we are meant as married woman to raise children, and have no issue with pursing medical correction of physical problems. I just wonder about the long haul as I watch a family member spend into six figures of not just her family’s own money, but insurance and public assistance dollars in pursuit of pregnancy – (and that’s just it, pregnancy, because parenthood is available by other means), missing the forest of children who are aching for families, and for Christ.

            I don’t mean to condemn, but I do mean to stir up – at what point will we be grateful for the children in our lives? If our free will outranks God’s will (if only in our imaginations), will we only settle for being “producers”, like hens in a coupe, and will we only accept the blessings on our own terms? Can we not accept that our broken bodies and foolish choices can be redeemed? If that’s the case, are we really interested in training up children in the Kingdom, or just satisfying or attempting to validate our own sense of self?

          2. I do see a BIG problem with birthcontrol, even if it ONLY prevents contraception.
            Again, God does not view pregnancy as we do. He knows us even before we are in the womb. A theory that ‘life’ begins even before mother and father come together could be supported by scripture. The point being we do not know when God defines life as beginning. So it’s certainly best NOT to toy with it.
            Scripture IS however VERY clear on the roles of women. One very important role, repeated over & over in the bible is to have children. Not to ‘think’ about how many children she ‘wants’ ‘needs’ or is ‘good for her health’ but to simply be submissive, be at home, & have children.
            The bible never specifically says how many children to have. But it certainly also does Not in anyway imply to take the matter into your own hands!
            Do you think biblical couples did not have knowledge of basic bc methods such withdrawal?
            They certainly did. Do not forget in the old test a man sinned by spilling his seed rather than giving his brothers widow an heir in his brothers name.

          3. I do see a BIG problem with birthcontrol, even if it ONLY prevents contraception.
            Again, God does not view pregnancy as we do. He knows us even before we are in the womb. A theory that ‘life’ begins even before mother and father come together could be supported by scripture. The point being we do not know when God defines life as beginning. So it’s certainly best NOT to toy with it.
            Scripture IS however VERY clear on the roles of women. One very important role, repeated over & over in the bible is to have children. Not to ‘think’ about how many children she ‘wants’ ‘needs’ or is ‘good for her health’ but to simply be submissive, be at home, & have children.
            The bible never specifically says how many children to have. But it certainly also does Not in anyway imply to take the matter into your own hands!
            Do you think biblical couples did not have knowledge of basic bc methods such withdrawal?
            They certainly did. Do not forget in Genisis Onan sinned by spilling his seed rather than giving his brothers widow an heir in his brothers name.
            In this case we know God saw this form of BCas sin.
            Through out the bible women are commanded to have children. Never once are they commanded to limit or space children or use ‘common sense’.
            Instead it says many children are a blessing.
            Birth control just is not supported by the bible.

  14. “For some people that may mean one child and God could close the womb telling them their quiver is full. For some, they could be barren and adoption is the means by which God wishes to fill their families.”

    Ack! Please don’t insinuate that adoption is only for couples who can’t produce children, as if it were second best. Why is the quiver full just because a family can’t “make” more babies?? Why is adoption only for barren women?? I find that insulting. We personally have four biological children and four adoptees. It doesn’t have to be an either or proposition and it certainly is not a second best way to grow a family. ALL children are a blessing. Chinese, Russian, African, children born to neglectful mothers, etc. etc.

  15. Ginger,

    Oh heavens no…I’m sorry. I’m sitting in a house right now (at The Baby Conference) with my best friend who has 3 adopted children with her in addition to her 5 bio ones. We LOVE adoption for any family!!

      1. CMD, so do I. I do not need to have kids to prove my trust in God. I am quite comfortable with the 3 God has given me. Having kids isn’t a “my faith is greater than your faith”. I am just as blessed with my 3 as someone else is with their 10. I believe this is an area that God has given us a choice in the matter. And through prayer, circumstances, and health, we’ve chosen to cherish the ones we have and not have any more. Follow God, and don’t let others try to make you feel shame because of your choice.

  16. Kelly,
    Thanks again for another great post! I pray this type message spreads to ALL Christian women!
    I sit with an elderly women while her daughter is out. She is one of a family of 7. We recently discussed how about 60years ago before the ‘feminist revolution’ and ‘birthcontrol boom’, if you only had 3 children others felt sorry for you, now just a generation later people feel sorry for you if you have 3 children cause ‘that’s a lot’! We discussed a lot about how this turn from family values & feminist revolution has destroyed our culture & society.

    The idea that anyone would want to limit or delay any blessing from God is just crazy!
    You absolutely can NOT believe part of the Word Of God and not all of it. By doing so your creating your own God & that’s idolatry!
    Scripture clearly calls children a blessing. So many stories in scripture center around birth!
    What if Marry decided she wwanted to limit her family size?
    By saying ‘i will not turn my fertility over to God’ or ‘ QF is not for my family’ your saying the God is just not Almighty enouph to know how to care for your family. You a sinful women are obviously much more capable of knowing when and how many children you should have. Limiting children to give them the ‘best” says you don’t trust God to provide or you’d rather be just a tiny superficial and have fewer kids and more expensive clothes ect. Why do we worry that God will not provide when we follow scripture?
    Do we not trust Him?

    We have allowed Satan so much control all in the name of women’s rights! It’s a womens right to kill her baby before it’s born. It’s a womens right to refuse to trust God & limit family size. It’s a womens right to refuse to submit to her husband. It’s a womens right to divorce when her marriage falls apart because she refuses to submit. It’s a womens right to work & leave her children in what many times equates to a day orphanage.

    Why have all of these things become the norm? We see no problem with latch key kids or marriages falling apart. The loss of family life! We see no problem with limiting the blessing of children so we can go & do.

    But everyone jumps in to say ‘No Way’ when someone points out biblical truths! We don’t want to hear biblical truths about submission, children, educating our children, bebeing keepers at home, ect we say ‘that’s not for me’

    Christian women must stand up & say no more! We will not live this feminist life- we will live what the bible says!

    (please excuse typos – I’m doing this from my phone! Not so easy! Lol)

    1. The feminist movement destroyed the family because before then it was much easier to survive on a single income. Houses cost $12,000, cars a couple hundred dollars, etc. Once women entered the work force and double incomes were being brought in, the cost of living skyrocketed. Now it’s much harder to balance one’s expenses on a single income (not impossible, but I don’t think anyone would reject the fact that it has become more difficult since then) because the economy has adjusted to it.

      Quoting you: “By saying ‘i will not turn my fertility over to God’ or ‘ QF is not for my family’ your saying the God is just not Almighty enouph to know how to care for your family. You a sinful women are obviously much more capable of knowing when and how many children you should have.”

      I couldn’t disagree more. But I’m running out of ways to state my point of view. I feel like this discussion is going around in circles. There are many different reasons why a woman wouldn’t want a large amount of children – being able to provide for them effectively is just one reason out of many.

      For me personally, if I’m meant to have more, then God will make it happen. I don’t use birth control. He could cause it to occur because, after all, He is the creator of all life.

      Quoting you again: “You absolutely can NOT believe part of the Word Of God and not all of it. By doing so your creating your own God & that’s idolatry!”

      I’m exercising the free will God Himself gave me. I have not felt Him call on me to put my fertility in His hands. I haven’t seen any specific verses about giving up control of that. Everytime we considered having another child, I approached it prayerfully. I have approached QF the same way – in a way I was hoping to be called to it – and can honestly say it is not for me. It just isn’t. I’m not a terrible person or a horrible Christian because I wasn’t called to be QF.

      We as Christians all have different gifts. That’s okay – it’s the way God made us. We should embrace each other’s differences rather than demanding uniformity.

      There are a few very good Christian preachers I follow that have international ministries. One has 3 children, the other has 4, and these are excellent people of God who teach others the Word and build them up. The one with 3 prayed to see if she should have her last child. It wasn’t for her either. Some women are called to it, some aren’t. I’m not. I’m glad the ones who are called to it are following their calling though.

      I would never say to someone that is QF that they are wrong, so I’m wondering why that is being said for those who know it isn’t for them?

      1. I completely respect your opinion & understand where you are coming from. The problem is: your assuming being QF or turning your fertility over to God means you MUST have a big family. That’s just NOT true. Being QF or turning your fertility over does NOT mean you try to conceive every chance you get! Far from it! It simply means you and your husband have relations whenever without worrying if you will conceive. Your not trying to conceive or not conceive. You just express your love in the way the bible intended.
        Turning your fertility over doesn’t necessarily mean you will have another child anytime soon.
        There are ONLY 6 days in each cycle that you can become pregnant & only 3 of those days are ‘prime’ the other 3 are possible but certainly not assured. What are the chances you & your husband will be intimate each time you ovulayate?
        And then what are the chances the child will implant properly & pregnancy continue?
        Each baby is truely a gift from God. Baby overcomes great odds to acctually get here.
        You are correct, a big family is far from right for everyone. But God knows that. Trust him in that area. You can truely trust God with everything!
        Again being QF does NOT mean you have to have a big family or that you try to conceive each cycle. It simple means you let God do as He sees fit! How liberating!

        1. And CMD has already said that she believes she has multiplied as much as God wishes her to. You make pregnancy sound a lot more unlikely and difficult to occur than it most often is.

          1. Jennifer,
            Again I respect her opinion. However it’s far from scroptual to take fertility in your own hands solely based on a feeling. She may feel she has the perfect family size, but feelings can deceive. You must judge your feelings based on scripture. And scripture is clear – we are to trust God with every aspect of our lives. If God thinks her family is the right size as she has implied then she will not have anymore children.
            Jennifer – it’s pure facts. NFP is just as effective as contraceptive BC and more so than the barrier method & works on the scientific principlal that you can only get pregnant 6 days each cycle. Many women’s cycle last longer than the ‘standard’ 28 days. And breastfeedinf longer (til the recommend age of 1) also delays ovulation in many women. Pregnancy really is a miracle & the fact it happens so often despite the real odds is astonishing! 3 days a month of peal fertility. 6 days a month of possible fertility. Then the sweet new baby over comes great odds to implant properly & grow. It’s just facts.
            What are the odds of being intimate each time you ovulate?
            Again being QF does not mean trying to have as many children as possible. It doesn’t mean you will have a large family. It simply means having relations with your husband as feels natural & accepting the gift God may choose to give you!

          2. Please excuse my obvious typos – again I’m viewing the blog from my phone today! Not so easy to type! Thanks!

          3. The facts are that there’s no order to have as many kids as your body allows. Not everyone is equipped to have an unknowable number of babies, and it could very well be that God’s been privately counseling CMD and telling her exactly what He wishes.

          4. Jennifer ~ Again, thanks. I appreciate what you wrote and agree with it.

            Tawny ~ When my daughter was 7 months old, I became pregnant with my son. They’re 16 months apart. Based on my past fertility history, I would have to assume that I could probably conceive pretty quickly. If I continue to have sex all throughout my cycle – even through ovulation – there’s a very good chance I’ll conceive again. I mean, let’s look at it this way. If I continually put my contact lenses in without washing them properly, I increase my chance of getting an eye infection. Doesn’t mean I will, but the increased chances are there. Same with fertility in my views. If I have lots of baby-making sex throughout my fertile window, then I’m opening the door to having another one, plain and simple.

            I don’t use BCPs, not because I don’t like them but because the hormone fluctuations are too rough on me. I get weepy and my emotions get messed up.

            Speaking of feelings, I’m not basing my decision to limit my family on emotions. I put very little trust in emotions. In fact, I will tell you that my emotions will often tell me to have another one – but I never feel at peace with that thought. I see little babies out in stores and my uterus feels like it’s doing flip-flops. But I feel as though God is holding me back (at least right now). Like Jennifer said, I think God is personally ministering to me about it. I’ve prayed about it and unfortunately I don’t have that perfect peace I need in order to know adding another is the right decision. I’m not saying I’d never consider having another, but it seems right now that it’s off the table, so to speak.

          5. I do see the point you are making. You (or I believe you may have said it’s your husbands decission) don’t want more children at this time. And yes, it seems you are fertile & thus turning your fertility over to God may mean more children.

            I hope you will continue to pray & study over your decision. I truely respect your willingness to submit to your husband & do not in anyway think you should do other wise.

            Please do not think I am being insensitive to your situation. It’s understandable & one many Christian women face.

            I just feel this is an issue Christian women must continue to discuss.

            To me’, and many others, it’s very clear in scripture that we are to turn everything over to God. ‘in my opinion Fertility is no different. Esspecially with all the scripture saying children are a blessing ect.

            I certainly think the issue warrants further study & prayer.

            Again no one is trying to be insensitive to your opinion, we just have a different opinion. One that we feel is validated by scripture.

            I truely wish the best for you & your family & thank you for sharing your story & opinions.

          6. Thanks for understanding, Tawny. I will continue to be in prayer about this as I feel my decision is supported by scripture as well as yours.

  17. Thanks for this post. I’m dealing with this right now. I’m 29 years old (black and conservative) and 5 weeks away from delivering our third child under three years old. My husband and I have been married for 3.5 years and I’ve been pregnant most of that time. I’m tired, have a lot of pregnancy pain/discomfort, and I really “want my body back”. And having two toddlers (2.5 and 1.5 years old) is really trying my patience.

    What these ladies say is true: it’s a decision between what I want and the obedience I know God wants. What if God closes the womb after this? What if I hemorrhage and am no longer able to bear children? What if I have miscarriage after miscarriage after this? It all comes down to this: will I believe that God is in control? Will I trust that He is? Will I act like He is? Will I believe that He is good and will complete the good work He begun in me? Is He holy? Is He worthy of trust? Is He not in control of every star, planet, sun, moon, heaven, earth, lightening, atom, galaxy, the hearts of kings and the destiny of nations? Can He not also be in control of something so important as the giving of life?

    I know what I should do and I know what I want to do. But when the time comes, will I do what I want or what I should?

    Thanks again. Is there more of this interview?

  18. I’m not sure I agree with how far this argument can go/has gone. I am infertile, so if taken to the end, I should accept my barrenness as God’s choice for me. But, we’ve adopted three beautiful children out of the foster care system, who I believe are God’s gifts. I agree that people who use birth control solely because they believe that too many children would impinge on their lifestyle, etc. etc. is not right, I also don’t think that that is the reason that many people do use birth control. One girlfriend had her tubes tied because another pregnancy would probably cause a ruptured uterus, or something like that. THis family loves God and trusts Him, but I believe they are also using the wisdom He gives and the medical wisdom available to make the best choice for their family. This is an interesing subject, but it can also get very legalistic very quickly.

  19. Kristen, Kelly’s not legalistic, but I sure wish you’d been there to discuss this on the LAF article concerning it. One single woman, of all things, was lecturing everyone she could about the evils of choosing your own number of kids.

  20. Joanna,

    I didn’t answer all your comment and I think it needs answered. To your first statement:

    “Kelly, have you ever read a book or taken a course in hermeneutics? I know that you’re not big on higher education for women, but I feel like it would be really valuable for you, especially if you’re using this blog to teach about the Bible.”

    I know that is intended as an insult. The reason I know that is that I have been adamant about the fact that I do, indeed, believe in “higher education for women”. I just believe a superior education can be obtained a lot cheaper, easier and safer than necessarily attending an off-campus, secular university. I would be very grateful if we were able to have a respectful discussion without intentional jabs in an attempt to ignite emotions.

    Secondly, I appreciate your book recommendation. Admittedly, I’m no scholar. By the same token, I can’t find anything in Scripture about the need to be a scholar before we obey the command to teach younger women. Fine line, I know. We need to teach accurately, always seeking to “rightly divide the Word of truth”.

    I referenced “the godly seed” because I was quoting Malachi 2:15–God was speaking specifically of husbands and wives in a simplistic way about what He expects in marriage, in general. “Godly seed”. I don’t feel my hermeneutics were off here. But I do want to be open to being corrected for poor interpretation.

    1. Actually, I didn’t intend it as an insult–I realize later that I phrased it poorly, and I apologize. I was picturing a class at a theological institution, and remember an excellent hermeneutics class I once had, and then I was thinking that perhaps you wouldn’t feel comfortable at an out-of-the-home class. I know it came across as snarky. But I could see you really enjoying a book on hermeneutics instead.

      I was deeply concerned, though at your response, and at some of the other responses to this woman’s and another woman in this thread’s difficult situation. I probably worded my response more strongly than I should have, but I just didn’t see the Gospel as central to the responses that the women were given. Part of my concern was at responses given by others in the comments, and I should have made that clear.

      I’m bowing out now–deep concern was what I intended to express, insult was not.

  21. I am always in awe at how far this topic goes on this site. I do not mean to offend, AT ALL, but I think some of you are overthinking this or making it more complicated than it is. When you or your dh is sick, going through a medical or financial issue (such as lay-off,etc) simply take some time off from relations. I was very sick with a serious condition and my dh and I did not relate for nearly a year (not necessarily avoiding pregnancy but bc i was so ill and could not perform). Same thing in my 2nd pregnancy, per dr’s orders. You can show love for each other in other non-physical ways. There is no mandate on how often to make love. There are however verses regarding chastity in marriage. The debate over this makes me wonder if everyone is just going at it 15 times a day or something.

    1. See Liz, THAT to me is an example of ridiculous overcomplication. If you’re not having babies, there’s no difference between using a pill or not having sex..except, of course, that the latter is (I think) a totally unnecessary deprivation of sexual relations. I don’t blame you of course for not having sex when you CAN’T, but regarding a financial issue that could take years? What people will do to avoid medical BC, even to the point of depriving each other of sex when the result is THE SAME, just astounds me. It’s STILL BC; the only difference is that one type actually allows a window of opportunity still for pregnancy and sexual pleasure to boot.

      “There is no mandate on how often to make love”

      Ironic, because there’s ALSO no mandate on how many babies to have. I certainly don’t think a financial issue is reason enough to stress my husband further by depriving him. Also irnonic is that you could abuse Scripture on both cases to claim that there’s virtually no stopping allowed on either one.

      1. I agree with Jennifer. I don’t think that a layoff is a good enough reason to deprive one’s spouse of relations. Marital relations is necessary. Not only does it bring a closeness between the two that cannot be felt by anyone else, but it joins them and protects them from the attacks of the enemy. It’s hard to be in strife with your spouse when you’re making love to them.

        1. There needs to be something more in a marriage that can bring you together and keep you close, IMO.

          If a respite from intercourse is enough to “let in the enemy” than I would reckon there are other problems going on. Spouses are to love one another as their own selves. That implies putting aside one’s desires for the good of the couple. Do you not all believe that Joseph and Mary were chaste while she was carrying Jesus?

          For clarification, in terms of financial difficulties, abstaining for a few weeks, long enough for the spouse to get his thoughts collected and a plan made, possibly readjust the budget or apply for govt, church, or family assistance, was what I had in mind. Not going for years without sex.

          I stand 100% by my first comment. If you are in that dire of straits that you believe you cannot have a child, and are opposed to BC, than go without. Sex is one part of a marriage.

          1. Well fortunately, most are not that opposed to BC and therefore don’t need to go without. And I think CMD’s comment was clearly not referring to sex as the primary thing to hold a couple together.

    2. Liz – I agree. The Bible says in 1 Cor 7:5 ‘do not deprive each other except by mutual concent & for a short time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer.’
      So there is no reason to not go through mutual times of abstinence for healing & praying.
      However these times should be brief. ‘ Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you.’

      This tells us short periods of abstinence are perfectly biblical. But don’t extend them so you are not tempted.

      Also the verse doesn’t give not bearing children as a reason for abstinence in the marriage.

      It’s obvious God knew Satan could quickly get a strong hold & cause sin, even in the marital bed.

  22. God’s Sovereignty and our God given free will has been and will continue to be a discussion that, I believe, will never have a clear cut answer until we are in His Heavenly presence. There always has been and always will be a mystery involved.

  23. “The idea that anyone would want to limit or delay any blessing from God is just crazy!”

    If ONLY it were that amazingly simple.

    ““By saying ‘i will not turn my fertility over to God’ or ‘ QF is not for my family’ your saying the God is just not Almighty enouph to know how to care for your family. You a sinful women are obviously much more capable of knowing when and how many children you should have.””

    That does sound like a very arrogant presumption. Turning your family over to God and being QF are not the same. Thank you for explaining more fully your views, Tawny.

    1. Jennifer,
      It was arrogant but also a bit satirical to make a point. I appoligise if it was offending – that was NOT my intent.

      My understanding of QF is that it is infect turning your family & fertility over to God. It is NOT intentionally conceiving at every possible opportunity. That would be turning your fertility over just about as much as using birth control in my opinion.
      To me’ being QF & turning you fertility over to God simply means having relations with your husband as is biblical & natural. Not having relations based on a schedule to delay or purposely conceive. Just enjoying the gift of marital relations and gladly accepting and children God chooses to bless you with in the process. It’s about truely 100% trusting God in everyway!
      If your practicing good stewardship, and trusting in The Lord he will provide the needs & means & strength for everychild he provides. No, he prob will not provide means for designer clothes for each child or other material things, but your needs will be met.
      God knows our hearts & our needs. He will not give us more than we can handle.

  24. First time commenting. I love your blog Kelly and find that you always encourage me in the Word of Truth! At the risk of getting caught in the cross-fire, allow me some measure of grace please. There is indeed some intense commenting going on. In that same spirit of truth, I do wish to clarify some things. It’s always important to make sure the information we share is accurate. To say that feminism destroyed the family by creating a “two-income” society is only part of the story. One of the foundational goals of most feminist groups was to reject maternity. Feminists sought to be free of the confines of motherhood and the domestic life at home raising children. Please don’t try and argue that. It is well documented. This is what has led to the two-income society but this two-income society is the result, not the heart of the matter. There is only really one group of feminists that accepts motherhood as a positive choice for women with limitations. All others see it as oppressive. Remember that scripture paints the picture of a fruitful woman, deep in the recesses of her home, caring for her children and repeats this principle throughout scripture. Birth control as we know it today was born out of a rejection of this kind of motherhood. Remember that while some feminists are interested in the condition of abused women, feminism, at its root, remains a ME-centered movement and therefore is the opposite of Christlikeness, dying to self, serving one another. (I’m can pull out my notes from my feminism class to support this). If you were alive a century ago, we wouldn’t be having this debate because birth control was not readily available. Perhaps feminist ideas concerning motherhood were being tossed around at tea time but your biological design would most likely prevail, regardless of your convictions. Now you face the challenge of being offered a different way. You carry the burden of choice. It is so important to search the scriptures on childbearing and children specifically to find out God’s heart on this matter and to examine where the idea of birth control, limiting family size etc. originates from. It is a challenging time for Christian women indeed. Finally, I wanted to clarify also that being QF or yielding your family size to the Lord is not a matter of feeling “called” or of having some special gift. I have not ever met a woman who is QF or yielding her fertility to God who based her decision on feeling “called” to it. It is usually a result of careful study of the Word revealing God’s heart and a biblical principle concerning children and childbearing. Indeed it is actually a yielding to how God has biologically designed us. Why would He change His mind based on technology/medicine born out of an anti-God and anti-family movement? Not to mention that most contraceptive methods are aborificant…this should concern us greatly and raise red flags on the issue, so to speak. Let us be clear in our understanding and use of the scriptures. Being QF or giving God control of our fertility is well supported by the scriptures. Our natural design speaks to God’s mind and heart on this issue. No one can argue that. Be blessed ladies. If you disagree, be kind with humility of heart please. But, let us be accurate in the information we share. In His Grace and Love.

    1. Julie-Anne,

      There have been methods of birth control around for centuries. The pill, not BC, is new. And I see this as another matter of health and personal issues, just as choosing surgery or anti-anxiety meds are. Was safe surgery or emotional medication around for centuries? No, but this doesn’t mean God wouldn’t want us to use it, or that using it would indicate He’s “changed His mind”, or that it would contradict our bodies’ and brains’ natural ways of handling things themselves. BC, in fact, has been around far longer than either of these.

      “It is so important to search the scriptures on childbearing and children specifically to find out God’s heart on this matter and to examine where the idea of birth control, limiting family size etc. originates from”

      I honestly don’t care what their motives were in cretaing the pill; I only care about my own motives in using it.

      “Being QF or giving God control of our fertility is well supported by the scriptures”

      But neglecting common sense is not. Choice was indeed limited a century ago, and this was NOT a good thing. The limits included almost all aspects of life and how society dictated it. Don’t get me wrong; God was as much in control then as He is now, but it wasn’t His will that society as a whole sought with their exclusive ideas. Every Christian couple I know has carefully studied Scripture and most of them have practiced birth control; it generally takes far more than study of the Scriptures alone to come up with an all-inclusive method.

        1. Jennifer, I have to disagree with you, although I want to be gracious. Yes, there have been other methods of birth control around for many, many centuries but in general, they were not as absolute or widely used or effective as newer contraceptives introduced several decades ago and this is when the sudden and dramatic shift in family size began (well documented). Until the advent of modern contraception, most married women had more children than they do today. And, there are many more contraceptive methods that are “new” to the last several decades in addition to the pill. Think IUD’s, diaphrams, spermicide, depro-provera injections etc. I personally cannot use modern medicine for illnesses such as depression to argue for the pill. We cannot say that to reject birth control is on the same page as, say, rejecting heart medication. The pill, and other forms of birth control, alter a natural function while heart medication, anti-depression medication, diabetes medication etc., HELPS where there is an illness or something is not functioning properly, according to the original design. Surgery is usually for restoring health or improving it. BIrth control is not in the same category. To me, it just isn’t. I want to be loving here but this is what I meant by speaking accurately about things. I personally care very much about the motives of those who created this birth control society I live in. I have to say that in my personal experience, most of the Christian couples I know who use birth control have not studied the scriptures on childbearing and fertility and children very closely. And, many of these christians use methods of birth control that are aborificant, sadly. As for scripture vs. common sense, I personally choose scripture. It trumps common sense every time. Mainly because God doesn’t think or work or act like we do. I love that about Him. 🙂 Well, at the risk of dragging this on and on, I just had to reply. But, honestly, Jennifer, I appreciate that you took time to read my comment and it certainly appears that we have very different views and personal experience. Be blessed. Respectfully 🙂

          1. I respect you too, Julie-Ann.

            “We cannot say that to reject birth control is on the same page as, say, rejecting heart medication”

            Yes we can. For some women, it’s exactly that. Pregnancy can compound anxiety and cardiac issues.

          2. Again, let’s not use extreme situations to explain away the “normal”. Very, very rarely, will a pregnant woman experience serious heart issues with pregnancy, and now you’re talking to someone who trained formally as a midwife 🙂 I just personally can’t accept those types of arguments. Perhaps others can. I think Kelly said it so well when she said: “For heaven’s sake, if you and your husband have a peculiar, limiting issue, with much prayer and wisdom make your decision before God. No one judges that.” I don’t think these extreme cases are the issue at hand. But, perhaps we are starting to run around in circles here because we’re not changing each other’s minds! 🙂 Enagaging debate! THanks Kelly and all the ladies! 🙂

    2. Julie-Ann,
      Wonderfully & truthfully stated! Thank You!

      I think those who find reason to not turn thier fertility over are simply scared. And that is understandable. Most of us have grown up amongst feminist. We have subcousiously picked up ideas of what ‘burdens’ children are to your social life, pocket book, & body. But we must turn those fears over to God. We must learn to see children the way God sees children. And we must TRUST HIM to create life & provide for that life as he sees fit.

      Again, not every family who is QF has a large family. God’s plan is different for each family. You may only have 3 or 4 children.

      It seems as though we are treating this issue like we are rabbits! We just don’t all reproduce like that! Being QF is about going with whatever God gives you, not intentionally having 20 kids! If God gives you 20 great! But he may only give you a few. Do the math. 3 days a cycle (and most womens cycle is not the standard 28 days) of peek fertility. 6 days of probable fertility. 6 days a month! That’s only 72days a year that you are likely to conceive. Factor in Prrgnancy & a years worth of breast feeding & you have almost 2 years that your not fertile.(well except for the baby your about to have or just had ;D)When a couple is not ‘trying’ to conceive your odds are not all that great of having relations while ovulating. Yeah, sometimes you will, and there is a good chance that will result in Pregnancy. But what on earth is so bad about a married couple having a baby?!?

      1. “I think those who find reason to not turn thier fertility over are simply scared.”

        Well…probably so. But I think there’s a deeper level to this. There’s so much that needs to be taken into consideration, I don’t believe it’s fair to just chalk it up to fear.

        I never see my kids as burdens….ever.

        I grew up with a very feminist mother. She told me she refused to breastfeed my sister and I because “she didn’t want to be tied down.” I was also the reason why she never wanted to have anymore kids because I had colic and was a difficult baby. She has told me I was so bad she realized back then why some mothers kill their babies. 🙁 She said she couldn’t wait for me to go to school full time (aka 1st grade) because she hated staying home.

        I was being raised very liberally as well, but broke free from feminism when I was 18 and became born again. I submit all areas of my life to Him as much as possible now.

        I’ve always wanted a large family but I can’t seem to get the hubby on board. He’s 9 years older than me and has a different family background than I do (grew up poor).

        After the birth of my son I fell into a very bad time of PPD that took 2 years for me to claw my way out of. I’m amazed we didn’t divorce during that time – God pulled me through and preserved my marriage on top of it.

        Now, here I am – thinking about having another and wondering how it will affect me. Will I fall into another depression again? I hardly remember the first year of my son’s life. Why wasn’t a protected from it initially? I got out of it without medication, but it was a terrible struggle…and I doubt my marriage can withstand it once more.

        Yes, I do have fears, but it’s not because I see children as a burden on my life or my finances. I have no problem trusting God and having another one. But my hubby is not on board and since it’s my role to remain submissive, I don’t press him. I just keep praying.

        1. Def not a direct attack at you CDM. Again, you SHOULD be in submission to your husband & not press him about it but rather pray & approach the issue with respect & honesty. Usurping Authority over your husband is never a good idea IMO. Your doing the right thing there for sure!

          I do however, think for most women, the decission is rooted in fear. Fear of finances, fear of resources, fear of health complications, fear of not having the strength energy or patience foe one more child. But again, it’s about trusting God. He absolutely will not give you more than He will give you strength to handle. He will provide. It may be difficult & challenging & many times will not be easy but God will provide. It all boils down to TRUST & a willingness to follow scripture. Trust.

          1. Oh no worries – I didn’t take it as a personal attack – I just figured I’d share since I know I’m one of the ones who are limiting family size for the time being.

            I agree that trust plays a huge role.

  25. No problem Joanna…totally forgotten and apology accepted 😉 I’ve said many things that came across too harshly or not as I intended.

  26. This is such an interesting conversation! What do we know about God and about the creation of life? We know that God is all powerful, that he alone is the author or life, that all life has value to God, and that he commanded us (humans) to be fruitful and multiply.

    We also know a few other things. Fertility treatments cannot guarantee a baby. They can make conditions optimal and the environment favorable BUT medicine cannot guarantee a baby to anyone seeking treatment. IVF is successful only about 30% of the time. “Unexplained” infertility is very common (meaning there is no medical reason found for a couple to not have a child). I want to say that I am not against fertility treatments and think they are a wonderful advancement to help couples “fix” things that are not properly working but they still cannot give one a child just by being treated medically.

    Another thing we know is that medicine still does not understand why so many pregnancies end in miscarriage during the first trimester. Many “spontaneous abortions” occur and medicine has not found a way to prevent these from happening. Otherwise healthy pregnancies end suddenly for seemingly no reason.

    Why do I bring up these two things? Because whether we like to admit it or not, we (humans) are not in control of creating life. God is. Birth control is just the illusion of control. Do we have free will to use birth control, of course we do. This is a choice we are free to make just like any other choice in our lives but we will have to live with the consequences of our actions. This is the part we don’t really like about free will.

    If we really believe in a God who is the author of life, birth control will not be an issue. We would accept that God knows your situation better than you do (for His will is better than ours) and that he would send the blessings of children. No need to use birth control. God can close the womb. God can space your children. To me, believing anything else is limiting God. Saying “but God gave me a brain” and I have enough sense to use birth control is your choice. But I believe (and I think maybe some other ladies who frequent this site) that we have a brain and enough faith to not put limits on God by saying that we know better how to build our families than He does.

    Having said that, all women have a choice in this matter. You may not believe as I do, and that’s okay – I respect your decision to make your choices about your own fertility. But, I know what I believe and why I believe it. We don’t use any BC, we don’t worry about what “time of the month” it is, we don’t avoid our fertile days, and we don’t worry about it. It’s a very freeing way to live. I would love more children, but we don’t try and have them or try and prevent them. We just trust God will send us the ones he wants us to have in His time. When He’s done, He won’t send us anymore.

    1. Just one thing I want to say….I went to a reproductive endocrinologist who wanted me to go through the IVF process. She said the success rate was 80 percent, and that was 6 years ago.

      I do agree with you that God is in control when it comes to sparking life. Which I actually hate to admit because now I’m feeling more conflicted than ever.

      1. I’m sorry you feel conflicted. Sometimes prayer and time are the only things that can change that conflicted feeling to one of certainty. This is not a bad thing! God sometimes allows us to feel conflicted so that we seek His will for our lives. Whatever side of this issue you eventually feel at peace with, God can use this to draw you even more near to him.

        Different IVF labs quote different success rates based on individual patient’s circumstances. For your age and paticular fertility challange the success rate for you was 80%, but for another couple their success rate may have been 20%. I went through various treatments over 8 years, and we did IVF consultation twice but never
        went thru the procedure. So the overall combined success rate for IVF is somewhere
        around 30%. It works best for someone with correctable fertility issues who is in their

    2. Katie,
      I love and agree with everything you had to say! Thank You.
      I don’t know much about IVF – but I have heard many embryos or fertilized eggs (aka babies) are killed or die in the process. Is this true? I know on popular TV shows like Jon & Kate plus 8 the couple used IVF & we encourages to select a few embryos to survive pregnancy but chose to keep all 8, I personally don’t watch the show but this is what I’ve heard.

      1. Yes, embryos are destroyed or deemed non-viable in this process. It was one of the reasons we chose not to go thru with IVF. Though, I do not have a problem with anyone who chooses to use IVF, we felt uneasy about the lab procedures and decided not to pursue that procedure.

        As far as Kate G., she did not use IVF. She took ovulation inducing medication in high doses which produced 7 embryos, 6 of which developed into her sextuplets. IVF is actually a much more controlled way to limit the number of babies if done in an ethical and reasponsible way.

        To make a long story short, I went thru 8 years of treatments to correct problems with my reproductive system. I had PCOS that resulted in tons of scar tissue that shut down my ovaries, a herniated uterus (a birth defect), and a tilted uterus ( among some other minor problems). Once every problem was addressed, we still were unable to get pregnant for over a year. Then, we concieved naturally with a girl born April 2008. Then, another girl born May 2009. We are now expecting a third child in February. We were very careful to prayerfully consider all of our fertility treatment options and changed doctors three times before we found one that viewed children in the way that we did.

        I guess our journey made us realize just how much God is in control. The creation of life is still a mystery. We know how it happens but cannot make it happen everytime even with all that medicine has to offer.

        Sorry for the typos. I’m on my phone since my teething baby fell asleep in my lap!

  27. Long time lurker. I am a christian by birth and by God’s saving garce. I have always been fascinated by the quiverfull movement. I am an immigrant to America. Came here for higher education. From a third world South Asian country. I did not know there was a debate about feminism, quiverful etc until I came here.
    I come from a very populated country. Where land and resources are very scarce. My culture dictates that parents pay for education and marriage. The number of children per family per generation has steadily decreased. My great grandparents for instance had 8 or 9 siblings. My grandparents 4 or 5. My parents and their siblings have 2 children each. I knew my mom had two c-sections which caused her to have her tubes tied. She almost died when my brother was born. You would think feminism is the reason the number of children per family decreases with each generation. But it is cultural. I come from a country of diverse religions. Most people limit their children to two or three. The government in fact encourages it to be two. Nothing to do with global warming. There simply is no space or land for a billion people.
    Ask any priest from where I come from and they will have nothing against limiting the family. And I have asked several people because this has confused me a lot and people almost equate salvation and obedience to God which is scary to think. And people seem to interpret it based on culture.
    So my question is this, Is quiverful only predominantly American or European ? Among certain ethnicities ? What about certain parts of the world predominantly third world countries where people live in extreme poverty. Where they do not have resources to food or clothe (my family is not like that, but my birth country is). Even the poorest people in my birth country have access to birth control and use it irrespective of religion to limit families and space children. What would you say about them ? Please forgive me if any part of my question is offensive. I truly want to know and it is very confusing.

    1. Sylvia, I’d glad you shared the following thought: “And I have asked several people because this has confused me a lot and people almost equate salvation and obedience to God which is scary to think.” I agree that that sometimes happens (people equating salvation and obedience), and I think it’s sad because it’s unscriptural, and causes the wrong kind of fear to motivate those who believe it, causing condemnation and unnecessary heartache. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, yes, but to fear that you’ll lose your eternal salvation, or not be able to receive that amazing gift from God once you have believed, received, and confessed Jesus, is different.

      (Please understand that my intention here is not to start another thread, nor another controversy here!)

      Should we obey God? Yes! Obedience that comes from a yielded, loving heart (even if it is very difficult) is especially precious to Him. But our salvation is by grace, through faith. “For by grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2: 8,9)

      I believe many of our rewards, both in this life and in the next, are dependent on our obedience. And only God can see our hearts.

      God bless you!

      1. Thank for the answer. I do understand the obedience part. But what should I obey and who interprets that ? That is where the conflict comes for me.
        In my experience people use culture to interpret scripture. A small example would be modesty and home making. In my culture showing legs is considered immodest. My traditional dress includes something like a pant and a long top. I translate that to wearing a pant and a loose, long top in my daily life. Nothing to do with feminism. But because I do not wear skirts I am considered ‘immodest’ and of course have had verses thrown at me.
        In my culture, I was taught to clean and cook. But I cannot knit to save my life. Or sew. Does that make my training as a ‘home maker’ incomplete ? People again judge culturally and use scripture to justify their views.
        I get so confused and conflicted. I never felt this way in my birth country where Christians make up less than 10%. American Christianity is very confusing to an immigrant. So many denominations, all interpreting scripture and saying their way is the right way. I have fully assimilated to American Culture, I cannot seem to assimilate into an American Church.

        Sorry, long years of pent up things came out today. I hope I do not offend.

        1. Sylvia, thank you for sharing your parents’-in-law compelling story. I am so sorry you feel confused and even put down, and I certainly do not feel that you come across as arrogant at all!

          I’d love to ‘talk’ to you more, via skype or e-mail. If you’d like, you can contact me via my husband’s and my natural health site (let me know you’re Sylvia whom I ‘met’ on the GC site) and we can communicate personally. Just click on my name and you’ll get to our site; then scroll down and on the left, near the bottom, you’ll find “Contact Us”.

          Christianity does not have a national home, and again, God sees your heart, even if others judge you!

          “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” Rom. 14:13

  28. “Is quiverful only predominantly American?”

    Yes. It’s a new movement with a new name, and like all movements it has people ranging from amazing, sensible Christians to legalistic and dangerous members.

    1. Jen,

      No insult against you, but I DETEST that we use the terminology “quiverfull movement” and I totally disagree with you about the idea that it’s new.

      I do understand that we need terms and definitions to be able to have discussions, but we have to be careful about what we call a “movement”.

      “Quiverfull”, ironically, comes from Scripture. The very word reveals that the Bible does, indeed, plainly celebrate the idea of fruitfulness, and fullness of children.

      And yet, often “quiverfull” is used as a derogatory term. That’s the first place I take issue. Biblical terminology shouldn’t be attached to insult.

      Secondly, it’s no movement. “Movement” implies a moving away from something. Actually, we are in a “birth control movement”. I would really prefer to see “movement” spoken of in that sense–accurately. Though there’s no doubt that some people have been trying to prevent children for millennia, in general, throughout history, God’s people have not.

      So, as we discuss among believers, it should be noted that we are certainly not in a new movement, but rather fighting the new “birth control movement”.

      1. “We use the terminology “quiverfull movement””

        I’m pretty sure that it was the supporters who coined that term and many still use it proudly. Not using BC may not be new, but BC’s no longer a movement, it’s a part of modern medicine, and those who speak most loudly against it are definitely in a movement against it. I don’t consider you part of any easily defined “team” or “group”, but others clearly are.

        1. Hey, Jennifer – I would disagree with your conclusion about birth control being merely a modern medication…birth control IS a movement. There are several 0pop and single child advocacy groups throughout the world, including the US. Kelly/WW has posted on some of the WHO efforts in the same vein. It is in fact, a movement.

          1. I’d say it was a movement, but isn’t anymore. It’s been around for some time now.

          2. Sunstein and John Holdren believe in forced sterilizations – ie. dragging women in to get their tubes tied, limiting a family’s size to only 2 biological children and putting sterilants in the drinking water. If a wife/mother becomes pregnant with her third child, they support dragging her to the abortion clinic for a forced abortion.

            The history of Planned Parenthood is a nasty one. The woman who founded it was actually an extreme racist. She believed in ethnic cleansing and said if abortion clincs were set up in poorer areas, the minorities would decrease their own population size. Very, very horrible.

            So she was right – women took the concept of their right to choose as their own and began exterminating their own children. Disgusting.

          3. exactly my point CMD – birth control in the guise of resource management (read:population control) continues to be an extremest movement in the US. Disgusting about sums it up.

          4. It’s definitely knowledge that needs to be disseminated. Government forcing families to limit their size is diametrically opposed to the freedoms that our founding fathers secured for us.

            The fact that the government is so captivated by the idea of controlling what they see as the “surplus population” made me realize how much family planning is in play as a deception. They want women to feel as though they have a choice, but actually we’re being led like “sheeple.”

            I watched an interesting YouTube video that stated since we (Western World) started limiting the size of our families, the Muslim population is expected to become the dominant one in about 15-25 years. That’s quite sobering. Made me want to have 4 more right then and there.

        1. I’d say it’s a simple case like the feminist movement and the patriarchal one: the feminists have gotten what they wanted and should have moved on. Those who still yell, thinking they’re in a movement, or one that’s necessary and still needs change, are fooling themselves; we now have an egalitarian society. Now, it’s the patriarchals who are in a movement, because it’s they who are moving away from what’s the current norm and has been for some time.

          1. I’d be more than happy to explain this to Cass Sunstein. I’m sure most people I know would be surprised at her and others’ idea that what she promotes is still a movement and not what’s often an important part of modern medicine.

          2. Cass Sunstein has really horrible beliefs. I posted some of it in the thread above. That man seriously needs to be removed from his position of czar.

          3. On the phone number I mean, though I’d be happy to remove him from czar position too!

  29. @ Jennifer ~ I’ve been trying to respond to your post on another comment, but have been unable to do so due to a glitch. So I’ll post my reply here.
    Thanks. <3 I don't believe she said it to be cruel, but her not putting any thought into her words equals thoughtlessness, kwim? So even if her intent wasn't to be cruel, it still was cruel to say that. My daughter was a difficult baby too, though she will not hear it from me that way. When she asks me as she gets older, I will tell her that even as a baby she wanted to communicate with us alot and since babies can only cry, it came across as her being upset alot, but really she just wanted to let us know what she wanted, needed, etc. I never want her to feel as though she was a burden to me in anyway.

    There's no doubt that the feminist movement has done some damage to the family. I'm 33 years old and learning to cook and clean this late in life because my mother never taught me. Not fun learning this right now, but I guess the saying "better late than never" rings true here. 😉


  30. I’m the daughter of a feminist and my mother taught me and all my four brothers to cook and clean.

    Do you teach your sons to cook and clean? I’m curious.

    1. Yes, my son and daughter are both cooking and cleaning. But she didn’t teach me because she was out late at night (pretending to be working – ie. having an affair) while my father was left in charge of the house. And his mother never taught him, so he had nothing to pass along to me.

  31. Kelly,
    I am late posting on this. As always, I always glean so much from your Words and thank the Lord that He uses you to speak His truth.

    I always have a hard time with the comments that go back and forth. Maybe, and I just might be completely ignorant here, but for me it just has always boiled down to one simple question.

    Do you trust God or not? Period. Why is it any more than that?

    Who am I to think I know better than God in any area of my life?

    Scriptures tells me not to lean on my own understanding and that I am a fool if I do so.

    I am being formed and molded every day, learning new and beautiful Truths that the Lord shows me in His Word. One of the areas that He has grown me in is that this life, my life, is not about me. Everything I do, all that I am, it’s all about Him and for His glory. It doesn’t have to make sense to me for it to be Truth. I just know I have to trust and leave the rest up to Him.

    Thank you Kelly, for the wonderful reminder to trust in our Heavenly Father!

    1. I think we’ve already explained why it’s more an issue of using common sense than trusting or not trusting God. I’ll trust God to guide me with any and all of my medical decisions, and this doesn’t mean I’ll just let my body go to do its own thing in pregnancy or anything else.

    2. Chelsey, I agree with you on the idea of trusting God. Using your “common sense” is (to me) saying that I trust myself more than I trust God.

      1. I find that to be both a fallacious and offensive comment, Katie Grace. Do you believe this is the case with all instances of using common sense? It’s been said several times that if a woman’s health is in peril, she should by all means take precautions from pregnancy; is she trusting herself more than God then?

        1. Katie, I withdraw my comment. I still disagree with you and hope you don’t put every BC using person in the same boat, but if that’s how you feel about trust, you’re entitled.

          1. Jennifer, I am going to be direct, which is my style, but I am not angry or in any way hateful in my “tone”. Tone is hard to convey with a keyboard.

            I in no way implied that by not using BC you trust God more, ONLY that you have trusted Him with that part of your life. A person can trust God with many different areas of their lives and still seek to control their own fertility. As I’ve stated, they have that right and can exercise their free will to do so.

            I do not however believe that preventing children in a healthy woman and taking a doctor’s advice about avoiding pregnacy is in the same category. Women now view their fertility as a medical issue and believe that preventing pregnacy until they’re “ready” is as good enough reason as any to avoid having children. I would think taking a doctor’s advice to avoid pregnancy is up to the individual woman and her spouse. I know many women who have chosen to end their reproductive years based on a doctor’s advice.

            Everyone wants to talk about the exceptions to the rule. We need to talk about the Christian women who are choosing to completely ignore God when it comes to their fertility. Healthy, married women who have no medical reason to avoid having children. The church will not touch this “sacred cow” of women’s rights because of the feminist backlash that would ensue. Women may not come to the same conclusion as me, but they need to atleast think about what God says about children and fertility. (I do not include you in this group having read enough to believe you have given this subject much thought).

            You obviously believe my logic to be flawed and my views to be offensive. As far as being flawed, I do not believe using birth control equals having common sense. Sorry, I just don’t agree. If you want to show me in the Bible where God says to lean on our own understanding I will be happy to review my beliefs. As far as being offensive, I learned long ago that the narrow way is offensive. I’m sorry my lifestyle is offensive to you. I don’t live my life in a way to intentionally be offensive to anyone. If you find my views offensive, then it is obviously something about my life that makes you uncomfortable. I cannot help this. I can only explain why I believe what I believe and let you draw your own conclusions.

            My heart is for women to think about why they cut God out of this area of their lives. Why is their fertility not surrendered to God? Why are children viewed as a burden, a drain, an inconvience? There is a real hateful tone about larger families, even in the church. I am really seeing this now being pregnant with my third and having two toddlers. People all comment jokingly (as an insult) or negatively! No one would dare do that to a first time mother! Why a thrid time mother or seventh time mother? What about a large family is so offensive to others? Is their something about it that convicts them or sickens them?

            My great Christian OB summed it up today. He said people come in wanting him to “make it work” and after two they come back wanting him to “make it stop”!

          2. Hi, Katie. Your lifestyle doesn’t offend me at all; it’s personal choice and trusting God is great. It’s only the way some speak that offends me. Since I don’t think it’s a rule to never use BC, I don’t think examples of women using it are exceptions. I think if God wills a baby to be born, they will be, regardless, and that it won’t be a matter of baby’s souls floating around the womb and being jilted because of BC; I don’t believe there are poor souls in heaven who were robbed of their chance of conception because their mothers used BC, unlike Geoffrey Botkin’s overly-emotional and pot-stirring claim to the contrary. Adults having children without being ready for them can be disastrous and it’s so different for every couple. It’s a great relief to me that you hold doctors’ medical advice in esteem; as far as I’m concerned, that’s common sense enough.

          3. Jennifer, can I give you a piece of advice? Maybe you should stop assuming that everyone who decides to not use BC is a QF, legalistic, “wants to make everyone like them” Christian. There are many stereotypes associated with this idea. I don’t call myself QF. I and my husband are very educated. He works for a large company and makes a great living. I taught reading for a decade in a poor, minority school district. I wear pants and makeup and jewelry.

            I do not think this is for everyone. I would just like Christian women to actually think about their family planning instead of ignoring God in their decisions unless something goes wrong. I’ve seen this with every young couple in our community. They prevent pregnancy until their ready. They never even consider what God says about children.
            Oh, and you should be careful about assuming people are saying something that they are not. Example: I didn’t say women who “use” birthcontrol are the exception. I said people always want to point out the exceptions – like women who have severe health problems, or extreame circumstances. They want to make the exceptions the reason why not using birth control is wrong. You read into what I said to defend your position.

            I’m sorry if I sound preachy or demeaning, that is not my intention. I’m just straight forward. But you have approached my comments with a preset list of assumptions that have influnced your comments. Part of being “open-minded” is not entering a conversation with someone having them “figured out”. I don’t know who Geoffery Balkin is but from what you said he and I would not agree on much. Please don’t lump everyone with a paticular view on an issue into a stereotypical mold. Weigh what they say based on what they say, not on what you think they mean.

            I hope you have a blessed day.

          4. “Maybe you should stop assuming that everyone who decides to not use BC is a QF, legalistic, “wants to make everyone like them” Christian”

            I have not once done this, not with Kelly or you or an egalitarian friend of mine who’s against BC. Nor did I lump you with Botkin by bringing him up. I don’t know what gave you that impression.

  32. Sylvia–I was interested in your comment. My husband is also not American. He was born and raised in Africa, and his father was a native evangelist (IE: Very, very, VERY poor).

    I do not think that reduction of family size in other countries is purely organic. In the decades that followed American missionaries and Western culture arriving in my husband’s culture, family planning was heavily propagandized, and the missionaries participated. There is even a “Lutheran” mission that partners with Planned Parenthood in that country. 🙁 It seems that the world has decided that the solution to almost any problem is birth control and/or abortion.

    My father in law was a renegade. He and MIL had 9 children, and in their old age have taken in an orphan child as well, even though adoption of non-related children is still mostly unknown there. They actively repuidated missionary efforts to get them to stop having children. They accepted that the church limited the allowed stipend for evangelists to what would support two children, and struggled to make up the difference to feed the rest of their children. My husband as a young man struggled with his father’s beliefs, and *wanted* to find Biblical justification for valuing physical comforts above accepting children into marriage without limitation. After several years, he just couldn’t. And then his struggle was to find a woman who believed the same as he. Which is how he ended up with me, an American who also actively rejects cultural attitudes about childbearing. 😀

    I admire the faith of my in-laws a great deal. There was no way they could have known how things would turn out. They considered their sons and daughters blessings while everyone else considered them undue and foolish burdens to take on. I am so very pleased that my husband now has the opportunity to give to his parents much of what they sacrificed in raising him and his siblings, and I hope we can do more for them as his business grows here in the States.

  33. Oh, and….we have only sons. They clean, and they’re learning to cook. My middle child has a great eye for style, likes pink and purple, and is going to be a delighfully eccentric young man someday. 😀 I am teaching my boys to sew, will teach them to knit, and my husband mends torn clothign better than I can. 😀 When I was sick while we lived in his country, my husband had no problem violating cultural standards in order to cook for us since I couldn’t. 🙂

    Conservative theology and complementarian views of gender roles does not demand being bound to a cultural concept of “macho”.

    I wish people who denigrate “Quiverful” beliefs could understand that aside from the rejection of birth control, there is too much variety to put us all into a box.

    1. Thank you for telling about your in-laws. My ancestors were missionaries too. And they were helped by British missionaries. Monetarily. I was talking about really poor people. Who beg for their food. Who eat from the garbage with dogs. I wish I am making this up. Those are the kinds of people we ministered to in my youth fellowship. By giving them food and more importantly education for their children, especially daughters. It shocks me to see many women in America make a choice to not continue their education and it is again supposedly scripturally based. I have seen so many young girls yearn for that from where I come from. Or too poor to go to school because their families need them to work as domestic help to help the family make ends meet. We have personally taught such girls to read and write, count money etc. And so many of them yearn for a higher education.

      You said
      “I wish people who denigrate “Quiverful” beliefs could understand that aside from the rejection of birth control, there is too much variety to put us all into a box.”

      My christianity practices is in many ways defined by my culture. For instance, we cover our heads during church and prayer especially during communion. I also wish people do not put me in a box or make me scared for my salvation. Not everything is feminist driven.
      On the other side, where I come from, feminism which is so reviled here could be pointed as playing a role in preventing something called dowry deaths which is the practice of setting women on fire because they did not bring enough money and/or goods from their father’s house (dowry). Usually they would demand more just before the wedding ceremony. Well, now more and more women speak up and refuse to get married to such monsters. I see education and female education being responsible for that. And in some way feminism is responsible for that.

      1. I do not participate in these kinds of discussions because this is something that I do not understand culturally. I hope I did not come across as judgemental or putting anyone down or arrogant. If so, I humbly apologize. I am trying so hard to understand something I am only recently exposed to. A whole different way of life and philosophy, though christian. It should be familiar but it is not. It completely baffles me and it should not. Again sorry if I offend.

        1. Hi, Sylvia – I’m certainly not offended by your comments, and not sure why anyone else would be – you’re stating your experience and asking questions about others. Sounds like a good conversation to me.

          As for the effect of feminism throughout the world – in it’s true human rights sense, not the strictly dogmatic political movement that has evolved in the US (and elsewhere, to some extent)- I hope there is no thought that anyone would consider it anything but just that the harm and culture-induced atrocities against women have stopped or subsided in your country because of awareness and enlightened attitudes of women’s worth. Unfortunately, many of these cultural devices are used throughout the world without answer by the political factions of feminism because they’re mission has become somewhat single minded in the West – abortion and birth control, with a little misandry thrown in for good measure. Planned Parenthood, it’s flagship, is at it’s core a social engineering program with eugenicist leanings. This movement has also aligned itself with the radical political left, and again for expediency and in seeming contradiction to their own agenda, will not cross into critical women’s issues that might interfere with their access to the political hierarchy (ask the women who alleged Bill Clinton was inappropriate with them, or worse, how many feminists rallied at their side – they were vilified by feminists, not supported by them).

          So, sadly the human rights efforts by men and women who could rightly call themselves “feminist” – my husband would be one, as are most Godly men – found the righteous title usurped by a group that is decidedly anti-human, testified to by the persecuted millions of babies, half of whom were girls, sacrificed at the altar of “choice”, another word for “self”.

          All this to say the human rights aspect of feminism – Mother Theresa comes to mind when I think of that kind of feminism – you speak of is not the same thing as American or Western Feminism any more. The distinction is an important one.

          (Gosh – sorry, y’all, here endeth the lecture 😉 )

          1. (I’m laughing to myself as I write this, in considering the typos and grammatical errors in my previous reply)…as for the education aspect, it’s become another Golden Calf of Western Culture. It’s idolized as some sort of intrinsic answer to all societal ills when most aren’t about head knowledge, but about the state of our collective heart.
            We aren’t a poor country, so I see that differently than you likely do.
            We are a country of fat people starving to death, literally and spiritually. No amount of money or higher education can fix that.

          2. It’s not altogether good, CC, but it’s a lot better than some; we still have millions wonderfully shamelessly worshipping God. When someone called America one of the neediest countries in the world, at first I agreed, but then I thought, “Compared to who, though?” We’re still free to worship Christ and have many who do so.

  34. Sylvia, no offense taken. I understand the confusion too. I have watched my husband wrestle with the cultural aspects that people try to attach to Christianity, both in America and in his culture.

    Cottage child answered so well. I hesitate to say any more. My objection is not to women being treated as equal in value to men, or in being paid fair and equal wages, or in getting education. Or being protected, loved, and treated with respect. Again with the box–dh and I are not opposed to education. I chose not to go the college route but I have self-educated for years and will continue to do so. If God blesses us with girls, they will be encouraged as much as our sons to further their educations and to love learning. We are concerned about the environment of American colleges, but not living on campus and participating in the icky aspects of college social life does not mean they cannot get a very good further education. 🙂

    As to the rest of it, when we conservatives here in America talk about feminism, we largely mean the radical, leftist, pro-abortion, anti-family type. There is nothing in the Bible that would support such horrors as dowry deaths, and CHristians should not need American neo-feminism to strongly oppose it and act against it. There is nothing in the Bible that would support wife-beating. Same thing. We don’t *need* feminism to oppose that. IMO, there is nothing in the Bible that opposes learning, even for women. I don’t *need* feminism to learn or to encourage any daughters I may have to learn. And if education for women is illegal, I don’t need feminism to tell me that’s wrong and to act for social changes.

  35. Thank you Margaret and TheCottagechild for your kind responses. Your explanations about feminism, education etc makes sense to me now.

    In my birth country education is ‘the Golden calf’ for a middle class family LOL. Definitely it was the tool God used to bring me to America.
    In my birth country people sleep on the street sometimes for days to get a student visa. Parents, children, from out of town. I know of people who mortgage ancestral property or sold it, jewels (in my culture jewelry is part of an investment and is part of the dowry) to make the dream of higher education in America possible for their children. It does change lives. It certainly altered mine. We as a family prayed so hard for it. And even if you get admission in a university, a visa is not guaranteed.
    As for feminism and abortion, if I remember correctly in my birth country it is not so easy to know the sex of the child inutero. The technology is of course there, but the doctor will not tell you unless there is a compelling reason. There are rules for that, the reason being something called female infanticide. In some families, again mainly uneducated ones, girls are considered a liability and killed. And when the technology for finding out the sex of the baby inutero came about, people started abusing it to abort female children to a large extent that many women had to stand up against it. Again, education and feminism play a large part in that in my experience.

    Thank you ladies, it has certainly been enlightening. I would have come out of lurkdom a long time ago had I known some of my questions will be answered.

    Thank you and God bless you !

    1. Sylvia, I left a new comment for you up above. I think I must have been writing it as you wrote this one, because as soon as I submitted it, I saw yours here, which wasn’t here when I began writing mine. Anyway, it’s up there if you want to read it.

      God bless you.

    2. Hi, again, Sylvia – as for education, yes, the paradigm of living here (US/West) is certainly different than what I would imagine it would be living elsewhere – the examples you gave were excellent reasons why education should be pursued. I am not by any stretch condemning education, rather the false value our (Western) culture has placed on “book smarts” and the way it’s been manipulated to belittle women who choose a Biblical life at home ESPECIALLY if they have completed their higher education.

      In your case education accomplished EXACTLY what it was intended to. As an educated Christian woman you now have real choices. Feminists don’t like that, you’re a hitch in their agenda :).

  36. I didn’t read all the comments. I become VERY suicidal during pregnancy due to the hormone surges. It is so bad that I cannot take care of my children for 9 months and this gets progressively worse with each pregnancy. I barely survived the last one. After pregnancy, I stabilize and am able to care for everyone like normal. I have 5 kids and I am deciding to be a good steward of what I have an not have anymore. If that makes me Ungodly or disobedient, then so be it. At least I am alive to take care of the children I have. I refuse to feel guilty by this one person’s convictions.

    1. Alani, prayerfully considering to limit the size of your family based on medical conditions is in no way ungodly or disobediant. You will find no condemnation from me.

  37. I agree with everything you said. I’ve never had a challenge surrendering that part of my life to the Lord. We’ve never been on any sort of birth control – natural or otherwise. My heart has been aching at times for more children – we have two boys who were born exactly one year apart – same birthday. Everytime I hear others talking about how people should let God dictate and not limit I want to scream but I’m not wanting to limit I’m on the opposite side why don’t we have anymore children yet?

    Sorry if I sounded bad. I just need someone to help me figure this thing out because I really would like more children. Everytime my period is late I think this might be it and then its not. Help me please.

    I don’t dwell on it much and 98% of the time I am content with our lives. It’s just from time to time the desire creeps up on me and I ache all over again. I know God is in control and most times I speak to myself those same words and then I relax. I sure wish I knew for sure whether these two are it or not then I won’t think about it anymore and maybe look into adopting.

    I think I’ve been long enough with my comment. Have a great evening and if you can help with an answer I would love it.

    1. Fruitful,

      I think it is normal for your heart, which has embraced the blessing of children, to ache for more. Every one of my friends who have many children still go through a grieving process when they believe they’ve reached the end of their fertility.

      It can be just as difficult to surrender your womb as it is to accept that one or two or none is the number God wants for you. I think of women in the Bible who cried out to God–it’s OK to cry out just as they did.

      But, as you know, in the end it’s not about a number, but about really trusting God’s sovereignty. That’s the hard part. I don’t have a brilliant answer except that. Praying He will give you grace and patience to see His purposes.

      1. Thanks a lot for your encouragement. I guess that is the part that is hard for me the accepting that two may be the number God wants for us. Thanks for your prayers.

  38. agree on your points about the basics of wealth building. Being frugal is good,and we will obviously see the benefits of saving in the small picture analysis.

  39. That is the fitting blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You understand so much its nearly onerous to argue with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply great!

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