Alright. I may be wading through dangerous and somewhat murky waters with this topic, but it’s been on my mind a lot lately. So… can of worms – you are now open.
Do you know the Duggar family? The Duggars are a family in Arkansas, frequently highlighted on TLC… Mom, Dad and 18 children – all biological. The family is very faith oriented and subscribe to the belief that children are a gift from God, and that as long as He is willing to send children to their family, they will continue to receive them. The oldest of the Duggar children has just gotten married and he and his wife agree that they will have as many children as God decides to bless them with. I do not have a problem with the Duggars, in and of themselves. They seem like truly wonderful people. What I struggle with is the idea that the womb is a veritable window from heaven… a doorway through which God sends blessings until a family is complete, when the babies will no longer come.
Now, first of all, I DO believe my babies are blessings. I’ve had four and have literally felt God’s presence upon meeting each new member of my family – a hand delivered parcel of preciousness – a tiny spirit I KNOW came directly from my Father in Heaven.
I believe that God IS involved in the blessings of creating and raising a family… but so is biology. Biology, and accountability, and the process of making reasonable, practical choices. Take me, for example. Pregnancy achievement has never been much of a challenge… walk past Josh in the hallway and breath wrong. Boom. Baby on the way. Delivery, however hasn’t always been as easy. A set of twins, both breech and a massively huge c-section scar have sealed my fate as an “operating room only” Mom… c-sections all the way with doctor’s approval for one, maybe two more beyond the four children already in my care. Do I assume then, that birth control isn’t necessary because God will simply stop sending the babies when my family is complete?
I don’t think it works like that. I think if I were to keep having unprotected sex regardless of whether or not I felt my family was “complete”… I would keep getting pregnant. Over and over and over, no matter the risks to my personal health and mental stability. Because it’s biology. Because sex creates babies. End of story. Let’s reverse the situation and say that God wants you to have seven children… will the family ever be created if you don’t make a choice to have sex? If you don’t submit yourself to the biology that will create a baby within you in the first place?
If babies were merely blessings, sent to loving homes through the wombs of faithful women… why are there women all over the world, faithful, hopeful, and desperately infertile? Why are there fifteen year old crack addicts pregnant with a second child? Is her womb a window from heaven as well? Her baby a direct gift from God? Is the implication then, that women who do struggle with infertility are struggling because God doesn’t want them to have children? Because He closed the window into their womb? I don’t think so.
I think God set His plan in motion, created us so that we could procreate and then gave us the ability to make choices, good or bad. We are all subject to a fallen world… to infertility and death, heartache and tragedy and the consequences of our good and bad choices. Does that mean God can’t bless us with children? That it’s all simply science, and matters of choice? Absolutely not. I’ve seen my sister have children she never believed she could have. I know that God healed her… blessed her body so that she could have the children she always desired. But is he always involved? I think sometimes, even most of the time, it really is just science.
I hope you’ll tell me what you think…