I've been stewing about something for a week; something I read on another person's blog. By nature, I'm not one to react too quickly. I read or hear something and then take a few minutes (or a week) to soak it all in and think about it. I find that if I speak to quickly, I end up regretting it. Therefore, I take my time. It's been a week since I read that ire inspiring blog entry and a week later, I'm still on fiiiiire about it. I'm definitely the recipient of the hot headed Italian gene and while I stated above that I don't react too quickly, it's safe to say that the thoughts inside my head, while stewing all week, have not been kind.
The thing is, the blog author, the one that set me on fiiiiire, is 16! A child. An eager, zealous, God fearing, Christ loving teenager. I won't link back to her blog because I truly believe that she's well intentioned, however, she's completely brain washed and has been force fed some sort of Patriocentric, legalistic goo that has completely distorted her thinking.
I don't mean to sound harsh (although that sort of did); like I said, she's very earnest, sweet and well meaning. She just simply doesn't get it. She's caught up in this thinking that young girls should not go to college, should stay home and remain under the care and protection of her father until the day she marries. I don't begrudge her the right to believe this or to put it into practice in her own life. What fired me up so much is her assertion that since God told Adam and Eve to "be fruitful and multiply" that we are all called to have copious amounts of children. And if we don't, we're egregious sinners, brainwashed by raging feminists, who are guilty of "rejecting children" and having "disdain" for them.
That's what she said.
Those who limit family size, reject children and have disdain for them. Of course she offered the caveat that some women are unable to have children and other women are called to remain single, but if you don't fall into either of these categories, you're sinning if you do not fulfill your God given role to fill your quiver with many arrows.
Now, this is a sensitive subject for me because I do carry around a tremendous amount of only-by-choice guilt. There isn't a day that goes by that Caroline doesn't ask or wish for a baby brother or sister. Craig would be happy to have another child, but has kindly left the finality of that decision up to me because it's a choice that would change my life the most. And to top it off, I have a friend, who so desperately wants a child and as of yet, cannot have one. I hesitate to write about this because I do not want her to feel badly. But, the truth is, I feel complete with one child. In theory, a large family would be nice; for family holiday celebrations; for the prospect of having lots of grandchildren later on. But, if I don't feel the pull or the desire to have more, why should I? I like having an only. It's easy. Caroline is the queen and that suits her (and me) just fine.
With that being said, maybe I am sinning. I'm certainly guilty of being selfish; in all areas of my life, not just this one. But I would argue that having another baby to please others, when I'm not firmly committed to the idea, wouldn't be so great for the baby.
I'm certainly not a biblical scholar, so I enlisted the help of my pal, Google, and did a little research. From what I found online, it's hard to find evidence that limiting family size is sinful. Obviously Catholics and hyper-fundamentalists would disagree, given their stance on birth control and letting God decide family size. I personally think that husbands and wives should have as many children as they want. Be it none, one or twelve. I simply do not care. I do not begrudge anyone the right to have many arrows in their quiver and also wouldn't dream of suggesting that parents of one, two or three children are child "rejectors" or full of "disdain" for children.
It's ridiculous that a 16 year old would suggest such a thing. She's 16! I've been married for nearly as long as she has been alive. She has a glamorized view of marriage, submission and child rearing. It can all be wonderfully fulfilling, but life isn't a fairy tale. Real life is, well, REAL; she just doesn't have the benefit of life experience under her belt to warrant her the right to judge my intentions and life choices.
When she's married, I hope she is the mother of many, as that's what she clearly wants. At the same time, I hope she'll open her eyes up to the fact that not everyone subscribes to the same legalistic thinking she professes. And that those who do not are not any more sinful than the next person.
I don't wear dresses. I do not home school my child. I cut my hair and expose my knees. I'm not meek, mild, gentle mannered. I'm not always a submissive or attentive wife.
But, you know what? God loves me just the same. We're ALL egregious sinners. Broken and dirty. Thankfully by his grace and grace alone, we're set free. God loves me and my jeans and New Balance running shoes as much as he loves that blog author and her feminine dresses and long hair.
I tried to write a comment on her blog, to refute her assumptions that I'm a child rejector, but I had a hard time writing something kind. There goes that hot headed Italian temper again. I just wanted her to see that even though I have an only, I'm still a committed mom. If I rejected my child or harbored great disdain for her, I wouldn't volunteer at her school every week. I would not have lost my voice on Tuesday at Field Day while trying to get kids to throw the rubber chicken into the burlap sack. I wouldn't have baked cupcakes for our neighbor's 11th birthday. If I rejected children I wouldn't welcome the neighborhood into my home, feed them snacks, take them to the pool, talk to them about their lives and then clean up the messes they've made. If I had disdain for my child, I wouldn't read with her at night, makes sure she eats nutritious foods, encourage her in her schoolwork and sit through very cold soccer practices. If I didn't care about Caroline I wouldn't take the time to instill the importance of obedience, kindness and good attitude in her.
As I see it, God doesn't look more favorably upon Michelle Duggar than me because she's pregnant with her 19th baby and I only have one. He loves us all the same.
I know I'm stubborn. Maybe I am refusing to see the truth. But I have a hard time believing that God frowns upon small families. I guess I figure that if God wanted me to have more children, it would have been done already. He's bigger than birth control and if it were in his plan that we have many kids, it probably would have happened by now.
Thanks for listening.