Why I have four and no more

Kids at Box Hill

I am a competitive women.  I love challenge, goals and lots of work.  I thrive on that.  My husband is super chill.  He loves lie-ins, days on the beach, barbecues (or a braai as my South African hubby will insist I call it) and golf.  When we first talked about having kids (which was on our honeymoon in case you were wondering) we talked about our dreams of a large family and settled on the number 6.  When I had my fourth I went into it knowing that this would probably be my last.  And then my husband told me that he definitely wanted it to be our last.

But I must confess, to this day whenever I see a mother of five or more kids I get a  jealous pang in my stomach.  My competitiveness strikes up and I start convincing myself that I could easily do that and that we definitely need to have more kids.  And then I’ll see smaller families with nicer clothes, cars and lifestyles and feel a jealous pang of desire for the finer side of life.  This is totally ridiculous but this is the battle field of my mind and emotions.  The only way I can get the right perspective on this is to get God’s perspective.

There is no perfect number of children, there is no right or wrong sized family.  I’ve heard and read so many different opinions of why we should never stop having kids to why we shouldn’t be having any.  But lets be willing to hear from God about our own family.  Only he knows the end from the beginning and he is the one who has prepared good works for us to do.

I see the mum of two very presentable children with a successful career looking down at the stay at home mum of more kids wondering how much of her taxes is going to supporting that family.   And then there’s the stay at home mum of growing numbers of children shocked and appalled at the neglect of the working mother.  Do you see where this is going??  Around in circles.   Lets stop comparing and start preparing for the work God has for each and everyone one of us.

When I had to come to terms with having four and no more this is what God shared with me. “Husbands love your wives and wives submit to your husbands” Col 3:18-19.  Now my mum could preach a whole other sermon on that scripture but I’m just going to say this.  My husband loves me – really, truly, deeply and madly.  So therefore I definitely, absolutely, whole-heartedly and respectfully need to submit to him.

I always think of this when it comes to family decision making.  Our marriage came first and then our children, and our marriage will go on after our children are grown and gone.  Invest in the marriage, keep it healthy, happy, growing and thriving and we’ll always have success in our family.

Let me just leave you with a few things to check in your heart and pray about when deciding on the size of your family.

1. Is this what God wants for us?

2. Am I in agreement with my husband?

3. How will this affect my marriage?

4. How will this affect the children we already have?

Now may the God of peace… equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him.
All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

3 thoughts on “Why I have four and no more

  1. Very wise words. Each of us must hear from God for ourselves and our families. What is it Jesus says to Peter about John after his resurrection “What is it to you if…”

  2. Dear Jenny
    I am also a South African and we do call your barbecues a “braai” in South Africa! I agree that children are a gift from God and should rather concentrate on what He has blessed us with personally instead of comparing ourselves to others!
    Blessings XX

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