The Blessing of Big Families
I’m often surprised, and completely caught off-guard when people react as if I’m crazy when they see how many children I have. As if three (and one on the way) is a lot! I understand that nowadays most people have only one or two children, but why is more than that so inconceivable?
I can’t help but be saddened a little for those who say things to me like, “You’re having another baby? Have you lost your mind??!” And there’s the incredulous, “How many more are you going to have?!”
Statements like these make me take a closer look into the family of the one who is making such comments. And all too often I quickly understand why they would ask such a thing; most of these people haven’t learned to enjoy their own little ones. The children are usually disobedient, and a burden to their parents. It’s not that I don’t think they love their kids, they simply don’t seem to cherish them as the blessings that they are. It’s hard to enjoy a little holy terror. (Though it’s not the kid’s fault he’s so awful, he’s only doing what he’s been taught and allowed to do.)
Another statement I often hear is, “How can you afford so many kids?” Which also speaks volumes of our society today, and where our priorities lie.
My husband and I hold to the “old fashioned” view that children are still a blessing from the Lord. Why would we want to turn that away? Have you ever been around a big family (4+ kids) and heard the mother say, “Yeah, I think we should have stopped with 2.” I dunno, maybe you have. But my experience has always been that the families I know with more children than average tend to want even more. Why? Because they enjoy them.
I’m not saying I plan on producing as many children as I possibly can. No. I’m just saying that I’m not opposed to more. Do I enjoy being pregnant and enduring childbirth? Uh… no. A big no. But the fruits of that “labor” are so incredibly precious. And worth every moment. And if the Lord decides to bless us with a number 5 in the future, then I will be overjoyed once more.
Please don’t misunderstand. I know many families with only one or two children who hold them dearly, but are very happy not having more. I understand that big families aren’t for everybody. But if you are one of those people who gawk at a young mother with a trail of children following her at the grocery store, please don’t be quick to judge.
I must say though, for as many rude comments as I hear (and sadly, even from family members) I also am blessed by strangers as well. Often people will come up to me while I’m out and say something like, “What a beautiful family you have!” or mention how well behaved the kids are. And I truly am blessed by that.
It’s nice when people notice the children for the precious gifts they truly are instead of looking on them as if they are supposed to be a burden. No, they aren’t always perfect, but my children are NEVER a burden. And it hurts me to hear people talk as if they should be viewed as such.
I don’t regret any of my children, quite the contrary! And I’m sure I wouldn’t regret another if the Lord plans to bless us with any more.
Those of you who have large families… what do you say when people make rude comments about how many kids you have? Or when your family acts like you are crazy?
Generally, I look at them just as incredulously and pronounce what a blessing my children are. I’d love to know how you react.