Now, think of the husband as God and the special box as your womb. Keep in mind that God is God and not a man who doesn't always get us. He knows what is best for us, He knows what we need, He is our provider, our protector, He gives us all that we need and never gives us something that would destroy us but gives us "every good gift". ~ Kelly Leinbach
Friday, April 15, 2011
Since sometimes we struggle grasping the idea of children being gifts from God, here's another way to look at it. Assume you have a special hiding place where your husband habitually leaves sweet presents for you. Say, a little box on a shelf in your closet.
One day, he finds that you screwed the box closed and then wrapped duct tape securely around it in your best efforts to keep him from putting any other gifts in there. He still COULD [put the gifts in the box], but he definitely got the message. He would get the impression that you obviously didn't like his previous gifts (if he had already given you any). So much so that you didn't want another one.
If you had just gotten married and you both knew that he was PLANNING to put gifts in this little box and he found it in the above described way, he would probably be hurt that you didn't even want the first gift from him. "She doesn't think I can give her good gifts!" he would think to himself.
However, how would he feel if you put that box right where he could see it, perhaps even leaving it open, eagerly waiting for his gift! YOU cannot put the gift there, but you can certainly do your best to remind him that you LOVE his gifts and are EAGERLY awaiting another one!
COMMENT: Isn't it legalism to try to work for our blessings?
RESPONSE: Actually, legalism is trying to improve your standing before God, as the Pharisees did. It is the motive, not the deed itself; the heart, not the action. In other words, true legalism is a type of work-based salvation. Obedience is a heart, seeking to obey Jesus and become more like Him in order to bring joy to the Savior! "Obeying God's laws is an act of praise, not a bribe. Obeying God's commands is an act of gratitude, not a payment. " Dr. Robert G. Spinney So, I don't really see how legalism could be applied to this subject, unless someone was trying to "improve their standing before God" by actively conceiving children..."The more children I have, the happier God will be with me." In that case it would most definitely be a "heart issue".
COMMENT: What if someone tries to impress others with the number of children they have, not just to impress God? This was obviously part of the Pharisees problem.
RESPONSE: Yes, but I think the Pharisees (and people like them now) could also be viewed as being proud and pompous in addition to being a "legalist." Being a legalist is obeying God's laws for selfish reasons or for the praises of men. If you're sincerely and solely trying to please God by obeying His laws, then you're definitely NOT a legalist. In that case, Jesus would have called us all to be "legalists" when He said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" and God would have also called us to be so when He said, "Be holy because I am holy." We get labeled as a legalists quite often, but I don't believe that we are. I believe that we're doing what we do (whatever it might be - not just in this matter) to please God and honor Him through obedience. Again...it's ALWAYS a heart issue with obedience to Scripture.
COMMENT: Should we have big families simply because they did in Bible times?
RESPONSE: I DO NOT think that we should all have large families. I simply believe that God is the one who is shown throughout Scripture to be the One Who opens and closes the womb. He is the one who should be the decider of whether or not He creates an eternal soul. I just LOVE the whole "present analogy" that "Kelly from FL" (quoted above)! It's perfect for understanding how we attempt (and most often succeed) in taking away that control from God by using birth control. God certainly does have the ability to override birth control, but most of the time He chooses not to (which is why so many people use it - if He did override it regularly we wouldn't rely on it's success rates so much).
Soooo......It's all about God's control over our family size...not about the actual SIZE of that family, which is why I said that we all need to be content all the time with the number of children GOD has chosen to give us, whether it be 0 or 20. Contentment at any point is key.
BTW...."The Power of Motherhood" by Nancy Campbell is EXCELLENT on realizing God's plan for women and childbearing! It really opened my eyes to see how I could be ALL that God wanted me to be in this season of life (my childbearing years). There's also a YahooGroup that discusses the chapters, if anyone's interested.
I think we need to be open to hearing the Lord's heart in this issue!!!! Be content; be open; seek God in all things!
Labels: Letting God Plan Your Family