Wednesday, May 2, 2012

large families

I was reading in Psalms a few minutes ago, in the 120's. It's late, I'm tired, I've been working since 6:30AM and I really want to sleep! Just doing a bit of reading to get my mind on things above before I fall asleep - you know. Then I read Psalm 127, and boom - India, you should blog about this. But I'm tired! But you should really blog about this. But I'm really super tired and if I closed my eyes right now.... .....Okay.

So here I am, at midnight, blogging away. Shall I tell you what on? Large families.

My family used to hang around a large group of homeschool people - maybe 10-12 families - and we all did 'home churching' together. It was pretty neat - I had my girl friends that I'd be around, we'd all read/sing/pray in a huge group, eat together, play games together - it was mostly pretty cool! Except every family there seemed huge to me. Granted I was, say, 10 or 11, but coming from a family of 6 even a family of 10 seemed large! And in the homeschool arena, large families aren't uncommon.

Back to Psalms. I'm reading Psalm 127, and it says "Behold, children are a heritage of Yahweh. The fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are the children of youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. They won't be disappointed when they speak with their enemies in the gate. 

I can remember a time (or two or five), when one of those larger homeschool families would stand up and recite those verses with pride. They seemed to say "Yes! We are living out that Psalm - just look at how many children are in our family!" 

Please don't misunderstand. There is nothing wrong with having large families. I think they are awesome! I hope to have one of my own someday! But the thought process of "I have lots of children, therefore I'm obeying God and I'm so much better than all of y'all with only x (say, less than, like, 5) children" -- that's just wrong.

God telling us that a man will be happy when his quiver (house) is full of arrows (children) doesn't mean that 'full' = 20. I believe that God made every quiver a different size... aka every family a different size. And if you come from a family like mine, where there are only 4 children and that's what God has blessed us with, awesome! If you come from a family like some of my homeschool group friends, where there are more like 12 children in a family, that's awesome too! Because God plans the family, right? Which means He decides how many children are in a family, right? I think so. Which means, I would think, that thinking you're closer to God because you have more children than so and so..... isn't okay.

Just because I do have friends reading this with larger families, I'm going to say this. Please don't think I'm judging you! I'm judging no one by this post. I just want to make the statement that small and large families are from God, and both are wonderful. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone either.... I don't have anyone in mind writing this post. Just felt like it was something I needed to write down and share after reading that in the Bible tonight. :)


  1. Thank you for this post, India! I agree. God isn't saying, "You must have at least 15 kids or you can't claim this!" or "A full quiver must be more than X number of children!" He's saying, "Children are a blessing!" and so that must be our attitude, whether He blesses us with 2 or 5 or 9 or 13 or 19 or whatever!

  2. Great post. Pride is such an ugly thing isn't it? Really this sometimes happens in just about any area...homeschooling, home-birthing, home-churching, family planning, eating healthy and the opposites of all those too. We need to be on guard all the time for pride and arrogance to seep in and take over. (as a side note, I first heard this verse and the idea of quiverful/letting God plan the family from your parents long ago.)

  3. Very good post! God is the One who decides when the quiver is full in each family :-)

  4. Excellent thoughts, Indi! "Large" *is* a relative term. A family of 5 seems very large to a family with no children. So how can any man set a physical/tangible standard or minimum for what God calls "full"?