Monday, October 19, 2009

Why We Are Not Part of The Quiver Full Movement

We are not part of the quiver full movement. We have never gone to any meetings, nor met anyone else who considers themselves to be a part of the quiver full movement.

Wikipedia describes the quiver full movement adherents as those whose "viewpoint is to receive children eagerly as blessings from God, eschewing all forms of birth control, including natural family planning and sterilization"

Okay, yeah, we do believe that. But we signed on to that idea, not through a movement of other like minded people. It was quite the opposite in fact.

Before we were married, we were planning on limiting our family to five kids. We had names picked out for three girls and two boys months before my husband even proposed.

Before our wedding, we had premarital counseling. We read The Home by John R. Rice as a study guide with our pastor. Our pastor had selected chapters for us to read as assignments and then we were to come back and discuss. He omitted the chapter on birth control, where John R. Rice outlines his position against birth control.

Our pastor was pro birth control and said that if we didn't use it, we'd have too many kids. We remember him also saying he wished he had more, as his three were starting to head off to college.

True rebels that we were, we read the chapter on birth control. Some of the information was culturally dated, but the Bible verses were compelling, especially the one about the "quiver full."

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." -Psalm 127:3-5
Since this time, God has instilled a desire in my husband and I to have a large family. At first, it was a little frightening, trusting him with this, but now it is thrilling. We are confident that he is far wiser than we are and is fully capable of making the right decision for us about how many children we have.

We have met a few other like-minded families. I connected deeply with a mother of eight in her her late thirties. She was a mentor to me, and I adored each of her kids. Another was a family with one adopted daughter. They couldn't have their own, and because they were honest about some of their beliefs, they weren't allowed to adopt more. A friend that Dan grew up with has been unable to have any children. He is in his late twenties, as Dan is, and is surprised not to have children after several years of marriage, but is still trusting God. Then, there is the family with three boys, aged nineteen, fourteen and nine.

We are like-minded even though our families look different. We are all letting god decide how many children we get and when we get them. It can be heart wrenching at times, and scary to trust God, but we are confident he knows better than we do.

Is this frugal?

Yes and no. The more kids you have, the lower the cost per kid, but overall, the cost is higher.

Should every Christian do this?

Yes and no. My husband and I err on the side of trusting God. I often think it would be nice if all Christians believed the same thing, but what I mean is that it would be nice if all Christians believed the same thing as me. I believe I am right doctrinally, but God, every once in a while, does change my view on this or that, so I guess I wasn't that right after all. I guess what I'm saying is that born again, Bible believing Christians don't agree on everything, and it's not my job to change that, it is the Holy Spirit's. It's my job to testify about what God has done in my life through his word and his Spirit.

Is this green?

Again, yes and no. We are going to instill in our kids our values to conserve, not be wasteful, and use alternative energy when possible. Each kid will have a smaller than average "carbon footprint" but our family as a whole will probably have an averaged size "carbon footprint."

For our family, being green is a matter of obedience to God, as it is being good stewards of his gifts and resources. Both trusting God with our family size and being good stewards are secondary to our main goal in life, which is serving, worshipping, and knowing our God.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Emily,

What an interesting post, very thought provoking, I do believe the Lord does not give us more than we can handle.

Having said the above, I also know I cannot have anymore children ......I enjoy my little men above all else and the money is there for another, but during my last pregnancy I developed Supraventricular tachardyia, a rhythm disorder of the heart that causes me to get heart palpitations.

Most are mild, but whenI was pregnant for my youngest it would often last an hour or two. very scary.

So in a way a quiverful for me is two, which I have to admit most days is all I can handle, They are good boys, but boy can they be active :)

Terry Lynn,
Ontario Canada

lucky-mom4 said...

Emily, I hope God blesses you with the large family you desire. My husband and I wanted a large family as well, but ended up with only 4 wonderful kids, ages 9,13,16,19. I had a lot of health troubles, and eventually had to have a hysterectomy at a young age. I guess that was God's plan for us, and we are happy with what we have.

Scottish Twins said...

I completely agree with you. My husband and I aren't part of any movement, but we do competely trust God with His plans for our family.

I also do not personally believe in birth control, but that has as much to do with my health beliefs as it does my religious beliefs.

When we got married we put an age limit on how many kids we would have - we would stop having children when my husband turned 35. That became stressful, knowing that we only had X amount of years to complete our family. As time has gone on we have realized that we shouldn't put our own limits on the blessings God wants to give us.

Taking that stress out of our lives has been wonderful. I can enjoy the time I have with each of my babies without having to worry about weaning early so I can be fertile and get pregnant again to meet some deadline I have put on myself.

Anyways, your family is beautiful! May God continue to bless you. :)

Congratulations again!

Barbara said...

We do believe that Gods Word is true. We have 5 children living, they are ages....37, 34, 23, 21 and 18. I had two miscarriages and a son that was still born. So if all had lived , we would have 8 children. We are thankful for them. They truly are a blessing in our lives. We have 8 grandchildren and expect a lot more. I was 41 when my youngest was born. God did not bless us with another one. People were nervous about a baby being born that late in age. She is our smartest, hardest working child. Graduated at age 16.....God knows what he is doing even in the loss of our son. The grief was overwhelming but He is faithful to bear our burdens.

Susan said...

Yes, an interesting post. I don't believe the same as you do about family size, but I do believe that each child is a blessing and that the sibling/s we give our children, when able, are the best gift/s we could ever offer them.

Barbara touched upon another interesting idea... the higher costs, both financially and socially, of having (and raising) children at an 'advanced maternal age'.

Jessica said...

Thanks for this post! My husband and I never considered using artificial contraception, but did use nfp to both postpone and then achieve pregnancy for the first year of our marriage. I realize now that I very much had a birth control mentality, planning out the "perfect" time for our daughter to be born. Convenient, yes, but not trusting God as much as I should. I am working on "letting go and letting God", and for now the charts are away (though nursing is part of the reason). I'm not against nfp, though, it definitely has it's place, with the right mentality.

Treva said...

Emily, this is one of your best posts yet. It's thoughtful and it's obvious you put a lot of time into making sure you explained your position on things. I wish I could have more; I have 1. DH and I even considered it and then I developed yet another problem with my reproductive area and needed another surgery.

I believe that God gives dr's knowledge and works through dr's to the benefit of humans (when we bother to listen that is!). I'm on what my dr has called "hysterectomy watch" -- it's not a matter of if, but when. They are doing what they can to stave off a hysterectomy as long as possible b/c there's a good chance I'll lose my ovaries as well and that brings with it a whole set of other problems. I still get a little sad about it sometimes, but I believe this is God's plan and I just have to keep the faith in what He is doing and is going to do in my life.

I sincerely wish you the best in following God's will for your family. Those little men are so lucky to have each other!

Amber said...

I just have a question... why is adoption against biblical belief?

Helen Neely said...

Hi Emily,

This is another interesting post, nice and very thoroughly written. We all hope that God gives you the very best. He knows what everyone of us can handle, and he will never give us more than we can handle or deal with.

Have a great day!

Emily said...

Amber, we don't consider adoption to be against Biblical beliefs at all.

I'm Lori...and maybe I'm you, too. said...

This was a great post. And fairly poignant for me, as we are trying for our second, but without hitting the mark so far. I know that, like Joseph, our next baby will come exactly when s/he should, but that doesn't make the waiting any easier.

Pam said...

It took a long time for me to conceive my first child, and I was content with just one. Then, I was blessed beyond measure with a second 14 months later. At that point, I was more than content, and my husband felt very strongly that 2 was what we could handle. I deferred to his leadership even though I was willing to have more, and he went to be "fixed." The way he looks at it, if we made a mistake and God wants us to have more, He can make it happen no matter what we do. :)

Tara said...

We are also "quiver-full". But as one of the smallest families in our church, we don't "look" it :). WE have been blessed with 3 lovely ladies but our youngest is almost 7. It isn't about having as many children as you can. It's about trusting that God knows best how many and at what intervals you should have children. Thank you for posting this because Trusting God is truly what it's about, not the amount of children (although I certainly would LOVE more! ;).

Debtfreemommy said...

Emily
Thank you for answering my question. Ill explain briefly why I asked. I have heard people say that they Duggar family are "quiver ful" and described it as a set belief to have many children in a negative way. The Duggar (as your)have not openly called themselves or classified themselves as that. They explain it the same as you do with the verses from the bible. They just trust in God and she has been SO BLESSED!! Thank you for explaining your views on it.
My husband and I have believe the same as you. I believe in this verse and do not take birth control. We had our daughter unexpectedly before I believed in this verse and realize now that GOD knew what he was doing even though we were scared to death at the time. We pray that we are blessed with a large family but are very thankful for any child that God give to us as a gift.

Kathryn said...

Your kids are so cute.I like that you got some shots with the baby crying. With my first two I would wait until they stopped but after awhile I realized that it was more true to life to show a few tears.Your middle guy seems to comfort him when he cried.Sweet.

Barbara said...

I will add that our daughter born when Iwas 41 was not a financial burden in any way. When I was pregnant, my Grandmother who was 91, told me that God was giving me a daughter to care for me in my old age. The interesting things is that my Mom, now 85, is being cared for by that daughter, age 18. I dont know what my Mom would do without her. She loves her Grandma so much and delights in cooking, shopping and helping her. God know best.

Sam said...

Debtfreemommy,

I can't remember now where I read it, but the Duggars have actually stated they are not part of the quiverfull movement. Jim Bob was saying something about how those in the movement see having many children as an obligation to God, while his family sees them as a blessing from God. Like I said, I can't remember now where I read it, or maybe I saw it on a clip from their show? I used to consider them part of the quiverfull movement until I read/saw that.

K said...

To elaborate on an answer to Amber's question:
Many view adoption as a picture of what God does for us when we put our trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. God "adopts" us as his children spiritually when he sees us positioned in Christ, his son. This is presented in the Bible when the apostle Paul says "He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will..." in Ephesians 1:5.

Anonymous said...

I know people who say they are "quiverfull" and trust God for their family planning AS LONG AS THEY KEEP HAVING BABIES one after another. When a stretch of time occurs when they might not get pregnant right away, suddenly they begin to get angry and doubt God and the whole "quiverfull" label to me gets a bad rap. I think it is one thing to trust God when "your plan" seems to line up with God's plan- but it is a whole other thing to trust him when your plan is not lining up with His. Not exactly the best example of faith when you claim to trust God but only when God is working on YOUR timeline. None of that is directed at you, just an observation I have made of families that I know who are in the quiverfull movement.

I think it is awesome that God has given you a desire for a large family and hope he continues to bless you. :)

We want a birth story too btw! LOL! :)

Captain Cleavage said...

Your answer to the question should every christian do this is very interesting.

I like that you point out that we wont always agree and that you are just sharing your side of the big picture.

For hubs and I we are catholic and we do use natural family planning. More so I can know my own body than anything. We do put our trust in god but in a diffrent way. Before we started a family we prayed about it asking god to give us a direction. We got a very solid answer. It was not time for us to do it. So we started NFP. It worked and when it was time for us to be parents we were blessed. We do this for everything including the number of kids we have. Again we were given an answer. Every family is diffrent and I think that what might be a "quiver-full" for some is not the same for others.

For my mom it was 3 and for my hubs grandma it was 8. Although my mother did want more children after her 5th miscarriage she also went on birth control. Which is what she belives she was directed to do by god.

heather said...

great post!

i have a lot of mixed feelings about all of this. my parents chose to have one child-me. and their reason for doing so was that they both had to work, put themselves through college and all of that on their own. they never visited a dentist til they were adults and could take themselves. now they both have horrible problems with their teeth. (that being said i do disagree with the thought that dentistry is a want not a need).

they didn't want their child to have to live like that. i went to the dentist regularly, had braces, had a car at 16 and even the one i wanted (which turned out to be an older hippie chick car-so the price was pretty inexpensive. a win-win). they gave me a head start on my adult life without a struggle when it came to college, with debt, etc. and so they had just me. i guess they felt that they would not be able to adequately provide college educations and what nots for more than one.

i appreciate what my parents did for me. however, i didn't like being an only child. even as an adult i don't care for it. it seems to be such a lonely existence. of course in my mind siblings are always friends. i knew that i wanted more than just one child. to me, three was what i wanted.

i was blessed with two perfectly beautiful baby daughters, 18 months apart. and it worked out just fine. though they are now "tweens" and not the best friends i hoped they would be. maybe that will come with time, i hope.

i do worry that i won't be able to provide the things i want to if i have many more children. not all agree, but i tend to agree with my parents philosphy of braces, cars (reasonable older ones), helping with college, etc.

my husband on the other hand, well he was raised in a way that was different than mine. and not a good way. he also feels that young adults need to do things on their own. we obviously disagree.

and we disagree on the amount of children we will be having. i still dream of three. he is done. it's quite a source a conflict between us. i do wish we could compromise. but it's not likely.

anyway, as for the duggar family and others like them. as long as they can provide for the children's needs, as long as they can spend adequate one on one time with each child, etc. then i have no problems. i probably would disagree if they weren't into dental care or there to help with college tuition. but that is my ideal only. i know that having close to twenty children would push me beyond my limits.

but three...would be nice. =)

Dustin | Engaged Marriage said...

Wow, this is the first I have heard of the Quiver Full Movement, and I'm a bit surprised since my wife and I both practice and promote Natural Family Planning. I would have expected to hear from those that feel that NFP is not in keeping with Quiver Full philosophy.

This is my first visit to your blog, and I really like what I see. I have my own blog that's about 2 months old now. It's focused on helping couples take their normal/good marriage to the next level to create an awesome marriage.

It sounds like you guys are doing that in your own way, which is great! Please stop by, say hello and offer your advice there as well.

Anonymous said...

I think Amber asked her adoption question in light of this statement:

"They couldn't have their own, and because they were honest about some of their beliefs, they weren't allowed to adopt more."

The way this is phrased makes it sound like they felt adoption was against God's plan in general. Perhaps what you meant is that they did not feel called, personally, to be adoptive parents?

Emily said...

Anon, thanks for the clarification. What I meant by that statement was that they believed in spanking and the adoption agency they were working with wouldn't let them adopt any more kids.

mary bailey said...

Emily, I commend you for sharing your views with such grace and tact. You are a wise and thoughtful young woman. Children are indeed a blessing.

Atheist Mama said...

I personally don't see anything wrong with large families...as long as the parents can support them.

Having kid after kid while milking the system is just irresponsible. I know YOU aren't doing that...but there are quite a few others out there who are.

I'm not saying that welfare or food stamps are bad things (I am on WIC, and also receive a small amount of FS - which I wont anymore shortly) but they are meant to be *temporary* programs to help people get on their feet - they aren't supposed to be relied on indefinitely.

I realize this is a tad off topic...but not really ;)

Stacy said...

Emily,

I really like this post. We have been married almost twenty years and just have our one two-year-old son, who is so precious to us. We always thought we'd have more, but haven't. When I was very early in our marriage, I decided against B/C for health reasons, and we just figured it would happen as it was meant to happen. However, now in my forties, I wish we had maybe "tried" to have kids more intently. We want a bigger family, but realize it's so late. Also, finances are an issue. Anyway, I do appreciate your post and I agree that erring on the side of trusting God is the best, and not really an error at all.

Having said all that, I don't fault anyone for using B/C. I just think maybe it's more like not the best thing IN MY OPINION, but still okay. The Bible also talks about whatever you do, do in faith. If it's not faith, it's sin. So if you can't leave the B/C and feel confident about it in the Lord, then maybe for you it's a sin. Likewise, if you can't take it and feel confident in the Lord, maybe for you it's a sin. I don't know, I'm just wondering.

The Cummings Family said...

Thanks for sharing this! My husband and I are also not a part of the "movement" but fully believe that each child is a precious gift from above. :)

Tammy said...

Hi Emily,
I have just recently found your site, and I admire how you and your husband are serving the Lord and raising your family!
This is a very special post to me; after having a tubal ligation nearly 13 years ago (at age 27 and after 4 children) and regretting it the entire 13 years, I have just underwent reversal surgery--at 40! My husband and I feel this is the right thing to do, even if the Lord chooses not to bless us with more children, or if I am not able to carry a baby to term, or if we have a special needs child or WHATEVER, we will let the Lord decide and trust Him. (Of course we are hoping and praying for as many babies as possible before I'm REALLY to old! And no, we aren't planning on using any type of birth controll, ever.) Many people (especially my family--they think two are plenty) think we are crazy and even irresponsibe, but that's OK. Your children are beautiful, you are blessed to have them and I believe they are blessed to belong in your family!

Amber said...

Thank you for elaborating on the spanking thing. It was quite confusing and I know that my Jesus said to take care of people, and adoption is an offspring of that. I was quite lost as to how it could be interpreted that adoption is against any biblical beliefs.

Have they tried going through another adoption agency? I personally think spanking is borderline barbaric, but I don't necessarily think it should make it so you cannot open your home to a child without one.

Lila said...

I believe that God presents different paths for different people in different times and places. For me, I believe that my personal knowledge of my body (through charting) and the knowledge of the medical community is of God. My approach to birth control is that as long as it is not 100% in preventing pregnancy, there is room for God to intervene.

I used to use birth control pills, but stopped for health reasons. Now I chart my fertility signs, and we use a barrier method during my fertile times.

I also think children are a gift from God. But God has given me the ability to let him know when I think I'm ready...and I'm well aware he may laugh at my plans and send a little one my way at any point. That child, though a surprise, would be a blessing.

Thank you for sharing your path with us.

Anonymous said...

I personally think that God wants us to be responsible and take excellent care of our children - and for most people, that means using birth control or natural family planning to limit family size.

The rare few that can do a great job raising a large number of kids should go for it, but the rest should keep it to a manageable size.

I have relatives who don't use birth control for religious reasons and as a result, they have way more kids than can care for. The aftermath is very sad, as their kids are neglected emotionally and physically and are now growing up with all sorts of problems.

This is in no way a commentary on you, Emily. You seem like a very good mom and I have no doubt you could handle a large family very well.

Ginger said...

First, I completely support every couples choice to have whatever sized family works for them, as long as it is their choice, they can care for them and raise them responsibly, and a church isn't telling them they shouldn't use birth control to prevent them. What I wish was that more folks who want large families would choose to create those families not only through biology, but also through adoption. There are so many wonderful children both here and abroad who are needing and deserving of loving homes, and yet so many anguish in orphanages, foster/group homes, on the streets, etc.
One thing, if you will allow me to "educate" you on sensitive adoption language...you mention your friends "couldn't have their own"...I assure you that our adopted son is as much our "own" as is our biological daughter, and I especially wouldn't want him to think or feel "less than" which is what such language can lead to (and I know that was not your intention, I just try to educate whenever possible because it can be hard to know what the right terms are)...a better way to phrase your friends' situation would be that they were unable to have biological children and so they turned to adoption to grow their family.
I'll leave you with one last thought...did you know that if only 7% of the world's Christians adopted ONE orphan, there would be no orphans left? Powerful thing to think about, especially when we consider that there are people of other faiths who also adopt, so in reality it wouldn't even take 7% to truly hear and understand God's message through the Bible about His expectations of His People to care for the orphans of the world.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this sounds silly:p, but I was wondering why does "quiverfull" mean "as many as naturally happens?" Why not the limit of 5 like you originally felt? It reads as "have children" to me, not "have as many as naturally happens."

Also, you seem to follow a Traditional Foods diet, is this so? I suppose one of their ideas you reject is that children should be spaced about three years apart for the health of both the child and mother?

I know you are busy with the kiddos so perhaps save it for a later post, but I am interested in knowing more if you follow TF beliefs. -Cris

Emily said...

Cris, it's about letting God decide, so it may still be five in the end.

Yes, we try to follow a traditional foods diet as much as our budget allows. I was already pregnant with my third when we started changing our diet. Since then, I have learned a lot, including the fact that most of the world breastfeeds until age four. I'm not sure we're going to do that, but we're aiming for breastfeeding far beyond the American goal of one year. So, it is very possible that the rest of our family will be more spaced out.

I have many posts started about my health convictions and diet, but I like to tackle the issue little by little, as much of it is considered radical to many people.

Jenny said...

Speaking of Traditional Foods and breastfeeding, I see in a previous post that you mentioned needing to use formula. If you get pregnant again soon and your milk supply drops before the new baby is a year old how will you fit formula into your food budget without WIC?

Emily said...

Jenny, we didn't use formula because my milk supply dropped, my milk supply dropped because I was working and I (stupidly) relied on formula. We were able to afford formula without WIC for months. It wasn't a problem.

Anonymous said...

Letting "God" determine your family size sounds wonderful.
Do you look both ways before crossing the street - or do you just put your faith in God's will?
He gave you free will to make your own decisions. Using God as a crutch to explain your desire for a large family strikes me as fairly lame.

Daphne said...

I love this. I don't believe the same things as you at all, but I love how humble and non-pushy this post is. I love it when people just live their lives as they see fit without getting angry or putting other people down as "wrong". More power (and kids!) to you!

Aiming4Simple said...

Children are a blessing to everyone. By disregarding this truth, many countries are faced with a growing problem: underpopulation. Their governments are offering couples thousands of dollars in incentives to try to solve the crises.

https://www.babybonus.gov.sg/bbss/html/index.html
http://reason.com/archives/2008/06/16/baby-bust

I used to think overpopulation was a serious problem, but my thinking has changed radically, even before hearing about population decline.

Anonymous said...

I am the mother of a 26 year old daughter who's been married to a man whose family subscribes to this movement. I myself am one of 8 children. We raised our two children to love God and when she met her husband, she was led to believe that her life and our family who have loved and supported her should have no part to her new life. Instead, she has aligned herself with her husband's family and his siblings and even though she gave birth 3 months ago, we have not been allowed to share in our grandson's life nor communicate with them. This is not to critisize your belief system, but I find their behaviors and this belief that the wife should turn all decision making and control over to her husband ludicrous and because her husband has emotional issues that stem from his childhood and how he was raised, we're the ones that have lost our precious daughter. The husband was raised in the Bill Gotthard philosophy and Southern Baptist beliefs.
As a child of 8 kids whose parents have passed, I'm grateful for my siblings, but it was difficult to get the attention from my parents due to how crazy and busy our lives were. I had to find my own path and pursue my own goals all of which made me a stronger person, but my parents were not ever able to fully parent the kids in the manner that smaller families were able to do. My SIl's parents struggle financially and none of their children have attended college nor will they. The older daughter was courted and married off at an early age and already has two children, with more, no doubt on the way. My daughter does not subscribe to birth control and says God will open and shut her womb, though her husband is trying to find a job and is financially strapped living with his parents. More than anything I want my daughter to be happy and fulfilled. As a college graduate, she had goals and aspirations to make a difference in the world. Now, with her husband calling the shots, she claims all she wants to do is have babies.

Emily said...

Anon, I don't know everything about your daughter's situation, and some of it does sound concerning, but I can tell you, my mother can sympathize. She does not approve of our decision to have a large family and feels I am wasting my potential. I keep in close touch with her, but her disappointment has driven a wedge between us. I would encourage you to accept that your daughter's goals may have changed from what they once were, and that having children can be a fulfilling way to change the world for the better. I sincerely hope you can meet your grandbaby soon.

PerryC said...

You said
"Okay, yeah, we do believe that. But we signed on to that idea, not through a movement of other like minded people. It was quite the opposite in fact."

I say
"very well said"

I struggle with calling myself "quiverfull" and I think what you said sums it up exactly.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I never knew there was a quiver full movement and as some of the responders have pointed out it must be very law oriented. That is so sad to take a principle like taking however many children God gives, many or few, with joy and grace and making it a law that the more children the better.

Even using the quiver full analogy, a great hunter whose arrows fly straight and have sharp heads can get by with fewer arrows than one whose are less carefully created.

All of the people who I know who believe in letting God plan their family size believe as you do, that God is in control. Of those there are more who have a small to medium sized families than those with many children, it is God's way of giving us what we need to grow strong in him.

Thank you for being so honest about your beliefs. I wish more families would examine every area of their lives in the light of God's Word, then live it.

In Christ, JulieBeth

Penniless Parenting said...

Hi Emily. It was nice reading about your beliefs on family planning (or not).
I ascribe to similar beliefs, but not exactly.
I believe that not only are children are a gift from G-d, but He also commanded us to have children when He said "Be fruitful and multiply". However, He also said "Be very careful with your life/guard your health", and because of that, we need to weigh having children with our health state.
Basically, we have children unless there is a reason we cannot. We do not decide when is a good time to have children and time things accordingly. Conversely, we let G-d decide if He will give us children, and only do something to prevent having children if there is a reason- like mom is sick, docs said mom needs a break after a c-section, mom is overwhelmed and needs a break for her mental health, etc. Yes, we consider mental health also a reason to limit family size.
With this way of thinking/belief system, most of our mindset do use birth control here and there, but not for the majority of their marriage. Most end up with anywhere between 3 and 9 kids, and more than 9 is considered "great, but not for everyone". We also sometimes take birth control in order to be able to nurse our babies for at least a year or two, as we are guarding the baby's health by taking birth control so that our milk supply doesn't dry up from pregnancy.

I have two so far and thus far haven't taken birth control. My body and nursing naturally spaced my children 2 years apart, and we'll see what happens with the next one. If I had babies a year apart, I could see myself ostensibly using birth control to give myself a little break so I don't have a panic attack (i.e. to guard my mental health), but aside for that, I hope to not need birth control.

We believe that with every child, G-d sends a monetary blessing. G-d decides how much money you'll have per kid. Limiting the amount of children you have doesn't mean you'll end up with more money, and having more kids doesn't mean you'll be worse off financially.

We would use fertility assistance if we would have trouble conceiving because we do believe that we need to do our share in trying to fulfill the commandment to be fruitful and multiply. That is where we differ. We wouldn't just resign ourselves to a childless fate by saying "Guess that's what G-d wants from us".

Sorry, this was a little long winded.

www.PennilessParenting.com

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