We often, as Christians, sing songs such as “I Surrender All”….. “all to Jesus I surrender…”
But how often are there areas in our lives that we just haven’t surrendered. We are still holding on to tightly. We still want our way. We still want the control.
The other day, a dear lady and friend of mine wanted to talk to me. She said there was an area in her life she knew the Lord wanted her to surrender, but she couldn’t. She went on to explain that the other day, she and our son Timothy and a group of others were visiting after church and somehow the subject came up of having children. Someone had asked Timothy when he gets married, how many children he’d like to have. She said he answered, “I’d like to have as many as the Lord wants to give me.” Then someone asked my friend’s husband if they wanted to have more. My friend said her husband was quiet and just walked away.
He does want to have more…many more if the Lord wills. But my friend was scared. How will we provide? What about all the work? She had been telling her husband no more children.
Here in Mexico, almost every single woman, after they have had 2 or at the most 3 children, have had an operation to prevent them from having any more. Most of these ladies are still in their twenties. Mexicans, who use to be known for their large families, have now been indoctrinated that having many children=poverty.
Many here who receive medical care provided by the government are required to attend monthly meetings. My friends have told me some of what is taught at these meetings. A couple months ago, the meeting was on how a woman is not under her husband. If a husband asks or tells his wife to do or not do something, the wife needs to make her own decision. If a woman wants to work and her husband tells her he wants her to stay at home, that is abuse. She isn't to listen to that.
They have been taught through meetings, the television, the schools, and the medical community that many children=poverty. That relationships outside of marriage are fine…just do it “safely”. The amount of single mothers here is astounding. The amount of people just living together versus getting married is…well, in our town….it’s like 100:1 now.
They do not see children as God sees them. They do not see them as a blessing from the Lord. The mothers do not see the high calling of motherhood as a gift. They have been taught wrongly for so long.
What a joy it is to open God’s Word and teach what HE says!!! What a joy it is to see hearts and minds open to something they never considered! And to see the Lord’s blessing!
It doesn’t matter if it’s popular or not. God’s Word is true, His ways are perfect, and always for our good!
We teach here in our church what God’s Word says each week. Last week, I had the privilege of speaking to a group of ladies at a church conference in Los Cabos. I opened my Bible to Titus 2 and taught them how God wants them to love their husband, to love their children, and what God says about children in His Word.
Christians tell me-
“I don’t want/can’t have any more children because…”
Here are some of the reasons I hear all the time....
*I can barely afford the 1, 2, or 3 I have. I can’t possibly have another.
How big is your God? Is He limited in is ability to provide? Does He stop caring for/providing for your family once you hit a certain number of children? Are His promises no longer true?
But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
25I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
When we were newly married, Daniel worked at a grocery store while going to college to finish his degree. We barely made it. We worked every week doing yard jobs for our land lord to help pay the rent on our apartment. We never had extra. But God took care of us.
When Timothy came along, same thing. We made it week by week. Daniel got a raise and we bought diapers.
Elijah came and another raise. Daniel was now topped out at what he could make at the store. He could have taken a management position but it would require he’d work on Sundays, so he didn’t. God is always first. Sunday is the Lord’s day. And the Lord provided.
When I was pregnant with Rebekah, Daniel was offered another job with better pay. We were able to afford to rent a place more accommodating for our growing family. It was a commission job and the Lord blessed.
And then we had Benjamin and Abigail and Isaiah, and Josiah, and then we moved to Mexico by faith. And God has ALWAYS provided! And He ALWAYS will! Because He is God and His Word is true!
We’ve had times of leanness. We’ve had times when the children needed shoes. But I’d rather have children with no shoes than shoes and no children.
*I can’t hardly handle the children I have!!!
Love them, train them, discipline them, teach them, enjoy them. It is a job of sacrifice. You give your time, your money, your prayers, your tears. It is a busy, busy job! The hours are often 24/7. But the payment is priceless!
So few children here are disciplined. They get what they want, when they want. They throw fits in the stores and are given what they cry for. They don't want to go to school, they throw a fit and stay home. They eat what they want when they want. They go where they want. Their parents let them run the home.
God's Word tells children to obey their parents. It tells parents to love, train and discipline their children. Proverbs 13:24 says that if you don't discipline your child, you hate him.
My neighbor took her 6 year old child to a psychologist because he was "troubled". He threw fits, didn't want to go to school, and was very demanding. Her boyfriend told her to stop giving the child his way and he'd learn to be much more content, but she wanted to see what a "professional" had to say. The psychologist told her she should never discipline her child....only love him.
Discipline is love! And the fruit thereof is joy and peace!
Love your children!
*I don’t want to lose my figure
You will most likely lose it anyways. Those stretch marks, curves, varicose veins…they are all simply reminders that you’ve been sooooo very blessed!
*But what about my health?
A woman’s body was made to have babies. God, our Creator, made it that way. Are there times when a decision needs to be made to not have more children due to health? Let me share a story-
I have a dear friend who has 10 children. When she was pregnant with her 9th, something developed during the pregnancy that almost took both her life and that of her child. It was something that was irreversible and while she and her husband had always welcomed each and every child the Lord gave them with open arms and heart, her husband, through many prayers and tears, decided that this baby would have to be the last my friend would birth.
While the baby was in the NICU, I called my friend to encourage her, and she said, “Jaynee, I feel so badly. All these years, we’ve left this in the Lord’s hands and now I’m no longer able to have any babies because of our own choice.”
I told her, “You have always lived a life of surrender to God’s will. And you continue to do so. It’s not about how many children you have. It’s about yielding your will to the Lord’s. Your husband, who love the Lord, loves you, and loves children, made a decision because of His desire to protect you and his family. And while you would have loved to have more, you surrendered your will to the Lord’s.”
Later, the Lord “put a baby in their lap” almost literally! They adopted a sweet baby that was given to them. What a testimony!
But most ladies I know have never even considered how many children the Lord wants them to have. They think of how many they want to have. They plan their lives. Their trust is often in their finances or their abilities and not in the Lord.
I think the saddest reason I have heard to not have a child has been given to me by wives of men in the ministry.
*I can serve the Lord better with fewer children than with more
This gets my righteous anger going a bit!! To think that serving the Lord is only wrapped up in working in the church, teaching a children’s class, teaching a ladies class, going out soul winning, working in a soup kitchen, being the head of a ministry committee, leading a choir, going house to house to visit and disciple or going door to door soul winning….
There is nothing wrong with any of these things….but to think that a woman is not serving the Lord as she rises before dawn to made her husband a hot breakfast and send him off to work with a smile and kiss, when she tucks a love note into his lunch, when she changes those thousands of diapers and wipes hundreds of snotty noses, when she teaches her children God’s Word, cares for her home, trains and disciplines her children in the Lord, loves her husband, loves her children, makes her home a place of love, joy, peace, thankfulness, stability, comfort, and fun!
She could be bringing up men and woman who will someday be pastors, missionaries, Christian mothers and fathers, men and woman who change the world for Christ. Men and women who love and serve their Lord because they were brought up to know and love Him.
I have had a lady tell me I am tied down to my home and not able to do what I could for the Lord because I have so many children to tend to. Oh, sweet sister, I have more opportunities to serve my Lord than I know what to do with! It is an honor and privilege I don’t deserve but I am so thankful for it!
I am not saying that there are not church ministries where women are needed! Quite the contrary. We need women teaching women. If we want to reach children from broken and unsaved homes, we need someone to teach them. And the Lord will call ladies to fill these rolls. But always in His will and in His timing.
I have another dear friend that has been married for many years. She and her husband wanted to have children. In fact, she always longed for twins. Year passed after year. Finally, they had what the doctors said was truly a miracle baby. That little girl is 10 years old now and still and only child. My friend is the principal of her church’s Christian school. She spends all day with her daughter and 35 other children teaching them, loving them, and serving the Lord in that way. It is what God had for her. Her husband is behind her and she told me recently, “Well, the Lord didn’t give me children in the way that I’d hoped, but He certainly gave me children!”
Let the Lord decide! Let His will be done!
I once had someone tell me, “I always thought having children was just something left to common sense or your own decision. Like breakfast, I don’t ask the Lord what to eat in the morning. I just eat what I want and choose something healthy.”
I asked her, “Do you ever pray and ask the Lord to give you this day your daily bread? Do you ever pray and ask the Lord to give you children? Be it little or much, every day, you want to eat. Your body was made to eat. But do you want children? And if not or if you only want a couple, why? Are you surrendered to the Lord’s will?”
My friend’s husband wanted more children and it had become a wall in their marriage. We opened God’s Word together, read what God had to say, talked about her fears, addressed them with the Word of God, prayed together, and last week, she told me, “Hna. Rebecca (my name here), you know how when a lady in your class is pregnant, you always tease and count that person as 1 ½? Well, I’m hoping you’ll be counting me as 1 ½ here soon.”
I asked her how she felt. Oh, she told me she felt as if a burden she’d been carrying was gone. Her joy returned. That’s how it is with surrender! We hold on to something that we were never made to carry! When we give it to the Lord, oh the relief and joy!