I got this email today, and I know others are struggling with similar issues: what to do when there are no like-minded people to go to for wisdom and encouragement, and what if we have made decisions in the past that we regret but can’t easily change?
I NEVER once heard the idea of letting God determine the size of one’s family and thought 4 children was enough. My husband dismissed what his parents taught him in this issue and thought about how difficult it is to feed and clothe the 4 we have. Unfortunately, he had a vasectomy 3 years ago. I discovered teachings on God controlling the womb last year and have repented. My husband has also repented of this sin and we are at a loss as to what to do next. He is 40 and I am 34. He works 50 – 65 hours a wee and we live VERY frugally. We don’t have the money to pay for a reversal and by the time we saved for it, would I even be able to conceive?
I have two thoughts on this.
1) Sin has consequences that many times cannot be undone. I’ve repented and I should just move on even though I am filled with the deepest regret. Would having the reversal just be us trying to control again?
2) Have the reversal as a way of repenting and showing God that we trust Him fully and our family is in His hands.
Our (Christian) friends think that we are absolutely insane. After all, you need to provide for the children you already have. I really can’t turn to our pastor or our elders. They all have 1 – 3 children, by choice.
We really need wise, Biblical advice from a godly person and would love to see you post your opinion on this.
Hi! I am so glad you wrote as I can tell this is something that is weighing on your heart and you are struggling with how to deal with a situation that is very hard and has no easy answers. Either one of your thoughts about how to deal with it have merit, but one thing you don’t directly mention that is so very important is what your husband wants to do. It sounds like he works very hard to provide for your family, something for which to be very grateful, and one way to let him know how thankful you are for all he does is to gently share your concerns, but be willing, and let him know you are willing, to accept his decision regarding what you ought to do in your circumstances.
I do believe that ideally Christian families should be willing to accept what children God chooses to bless them with. We have been in difficult circumstances when I was pregnant with my sixth baby, and my husband’s business was failing and we lost a house and needed to move. God provided for us then, and we have had four more children and been blessed financially, as well as had some financial downturns. I don’t believe our financial circumstances ought to be the determiner of our family size, as those circumstance can change for anyone, as can health, family dynamics, and many other real-life trials that everyone experiences. I don’t want to minimize the trials, as they can be very hard, but they are part of our sanctification, as well, sovereignly ordained by God. And every child I have borne has been sovereignly created by God, planned from before the world began.
I once had a conversation with a dear friend who was agonizing over whether or not to have another baby because she wasn’t sure if it would be “God’s will” for them to do so. I told her that I didn’t think she could conceive a child apart from God’s will. Does God create a human being unless He wills for that to happen?
I have several friends who have had surgery to stop having children, then regretted that and repented, having reversal surgery done. Some have conceived and some have not. As always, that is in God’s hands, too. There are those who decide that they will not use birth control and then find, to their surprise (and sometimes their disappointment), that they are not able to have more than a couple of children. If that is what God ordains, then they have the “perfect” family.
Right now, even though you are convicted of cutting off your ability to bear children, you also have the perfect family because it is the one God has chosen to give you. It is good to desire children but not to demand that God give you what you do not have. Even though you have tried to circumvent God’s will for your family size, you cannot really circumvent His will for your family. When you truly repent of sin, He forgives you, and you need to believe that and remember it every time you despair over what you have done. You need to be thankful for the children you now have and teach them diligently about trusting God in all circumstances. If you are longing for more children, and if you believe that the right thing to do is pursue reversal surgery, then you need to have your husband’s support, of course, and the best thing to do, in my opinion, would be pray for the finances to become available. If he is not thinking about this the same way you are, then you can pray for God to change his heart but also pray for your own contentment and peace with this circumstance.
There are so many ladies in the same boat as far as not having like-minded support and encouragement in their area, let alone their church. Many I have talked to yearn to move to somewhere they imagine will be more perfect, with friends and mentors to counsel and comfort them. This is not a bad thing, but reality is that there is no perfect place and no perfect people, and even the churches filled with big families have big problems, too. I know this is true because I know how imperfect I am and my children can tell you how often I disappoint them! And in our family we tend to agree on almost everything, though the little annoyances can be that much more annoying if you have too much in common. We are never satisfied, are we? That is why, even though you may be in a place where your “radical” opinions are not understood or appreciated, you are right where God put you and you have a great opportunity to show love, forbearance, and maturity to those who are watching the weird lady who thinks four children is not enough .
Praise God for the internet…in spite of its many problems, we can find some encouragement from afar from kindred spirits, and go back to our real lives with some fresh courage and determination to please God in all things, even though we have imperfect lives and wish we could rest from our worries. But this battle in this life (sometimes called a “vale of tears” by the Puritans) is real and ongoing. God gives us rest and is our strength when we trust in Him. Don’t give up dear sister, but be a light for those around you, beginning in your home, with the dear ones you are charged to love and care for. I hope my words are encouraging to you. Don’t forget that God gives wisdom to those who ask.
In Christian love,