This is a topic I’ve thought about a lot 🙂 I could definitely see us having 5-8 children… but my husband, from the time of our engagement, was adamant that he wanted no more than 4 🙂 And I’ve accepted this, although it is a funny thing to tease each other about in good humor.
In reality, this is a very serious topic, and something that could completely destroy your marriage.
I recently was pointed via email to a post written by the blogger The Thinking Housewife, on her advice to a woman who wants more children, but her husband is against it.
Here is an excerpt, but it’s not a long post so I encourage readers to go read all of it if they want:
“If you want more children or fewer children, take it up with God, but don’t do anything that prevents conception. To use contraception is “to usurp the right of God, who alone has the power to say who should be born and who should not.” You say you want two more, but it’s not for you to place an order. Just accept all. To do otherwise is sinful.
I think you should 1) Work on your own spiritual life (see some good talks here) and pray more. 2) Explain to your husband again and again that if you both trust in God, He will take care of you. If your husband is worried about money, that’s understandable but he should ask God for help and for the grace to handle whatever occurs. Why does he have so little confidence and trust? Insist with him that it is wrong for you to use contraception. How does he know that things won’t actually be worse for you financially if you don’t have more children? Neither of you have any obligation to pay for college educations for your children. Remind him of that. 3) Bear in mind that both you and your husband (and all of us) have been formed by a culture that does not understand this issue. Contraception should be illegal, but it’s widely promoted. This should temper your resentment toward him. Continue to talk to your husband and don’t give up. Let him know that your marital happiness is gravely threatened.”
This is by far, the worst advice I’ve ever read on this topic. Especially considering it’s coming from a Christian writer.
I’m in this position myself, so at least I can relate emotion-wise as to how hard this is to accept (that your husband doesn’t want more babies with you), but again, this is NOT the correct biblical advice women in my position should be receiving.
Here is the advice I would give, and have given to myself, concerning this topic:
- You need to trust God, which means trusting that your husband’s decisions for your family (and family size) are going to work out. He is the person you chose, for better or worse, life is not going to be “perfect,” so accepting the things that aren’t “perfect” (like having 5-8 kids) is a big part of spiritual maturity for you.
- Really learning to trust God to let His will be done in your life, when you are submitting to your husband’s leadership as well, provides so much spiritual growth and maturity in finding peace and lasting contentment with His provision for you.
- NEVER… NEVER threaten your husband with the happiness of your marriage by making him feel like he **has** to do what you want him to do – especially regarding him having more children with you. That is the ultimate worst advice for achieving a godly, happy marriage and children I’ve ever read in the orthosphere. You cannot.. I repeat, you cannot, make a husband feel guilt-tripped into doing what you want, and still retain a loving, trust-filled marriage 😦 .
- Contraception issues should be worked out BEFORE marriage, never during marriage. If a wife feels convicted over using contraceptives, she needs to pray for forgiveness, but still follow her husband’s lead on the subject, and NEVER hold it against him. She needs to regularly pray for her to never build up resentment or bitterness toward her husband over this issue, and just accept that she should have worked it out before marriage. This is just her cross she must bear, and she must bear it with grace, without complaining and with a good Philippians 2 attitude.
- The Bible clearly tells wives to win their husbands over without a word on issues regarding sin. If she feels they are sinning by using contraceptives, she needs to take this up with God, but not in a self-righteous way of believing she is “better” than her husband. She needs to pray regularly for acceptance of her marriage and the state it is in, not work to badger him with guilt and using God to get him to be “better.”
For myself… I really don’t let this issue bother me. It comes sometimes, the feelings or longings of wanting more children after we have our next (and last) child, but I try never to let it consume me. I would NEVER want that issue to come between me and the man God has given me to help and support in his mission in this life.
Women were created for Adam, and to be Adam’s helper. To hook your husband into following your plans for your marriage, is to wreck his leadership and headship over your whole entire family. And your children will definitely end up scarred by seeing their mother berate their husband over his own decisions in leadership (when she should be working to support him).
Set a good example for your children and be a true helpmate to your husband. This means learning to accept the man you’re married to, his flaws or convictions are of course, part of him.