Does your quiver look like this:
Or like this:
4 weeks ago Doug and I were surprised to find out we were expecting our 5th child!!! The truth is, I cried immediately and spent several days numb to this whole idea. We did want more children but due to some personal circumstances in my life that I'm not one to really blog about at this time and also due to the change in our financial situation at our current job, this wasn't the best of news. I had a tremendous amount of guilt over the tears. I love children. I want a lot of children. But the reality of this new baby coming scared me tremendously. Doug woke up a few mornings later and told me, "Lisa, it's time to get excited about this new baby!" So, we spent several moments talking about if it would be a boy or a girl and what names we would pick and how exciting it was going to be. I decided to call some friends and tell them the news although it's still very early to be sharing this news. Lily was thrilled to hear that she would be a big sister again but she's very upset that we won't find out the sex of the baby until it's birthday. She's so funny about that!
Doug and I talked about Psalm 127 where it says
3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
children a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one's youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
So, how full is a quiver anyway? I have had many families tell me over the years that 5 is a full quiver but just today I had someone tell me that her husband is an archer and it's 8 that make it full. My research is showing me that some carry 2 or 3 and some carry 15.
I've had a lot of people tell me I'm crazy to be having another child and that I must never want to sleep again. I've had people say "WHOA" or "GOOD GRIEF WOMAN"...I'm never one that does well at hiding my responses but seeing as I definitely take the cake in hearing the most ridiculous comments as a pregnant person, I've gotten very good at biting my tongue. But these comments have got me thinking and I've finally decided how I really feel about this whole thing.
Children are gifts and rewards from God, not burdens. They are not just a result of sexual intercourse. Nowadays, man thinks he can control conception by abortion or using fertility treatment or even natural family planning methods of counting your fertile days, etc, but the Bible teaches that conception is truly a gift from the Creator, Yahweh.
Who decides how full your quiver is? I'm here to suggest that you allow the Creator and the originator of life to continue doing what He's always done best. He knows our days (Psalm 139:16) He knows the plans for each one of those days (Jeremiah 29:11) He knows what we will come up against and gives us a measure of faith to use to help us (Hebrews 11:1) He promises to help us in our time of need and exhaustion (Matthew 11:28)
I'm not suggesting that you and your spouse never use birth control or have 18 kids but I am suggesting that you seek God with this decision just like you do with all the other decisions of your life (hopefully). I think a lot of people trust that God can answer their questions regarding jobs or schools or homes or friends or finances but they don't trust God to show them the plan in this area. I can think of countless people who have told me "I wish we had decided to have more children!" but their child bearing years are long gone. Society seems to say how many kids we can have based on our income or status in the community, etc, but why is no one asking God what His plan is?
I had a friend recently tell me she was "weak" because she only wanted 2 children and it really tore me up. Does that make one weak? I think if someone believes God has spoken to their situation and said "your quiver is full with two" then that shows great strength.
I encourage you to seek the Lord regarding this topic. Forget about the job you have or the paycheck you don't have or the house you live in (or don't live in) or the stress you have. God does give us the responsibility to manage our life and to make decisions in our life so there is no shame in deciding how many children to have...or is there? I'm seeing it demonstrated that the family that has 1-3 children are looked at as more responsible than the family that has 4-18 children...I'm done trying to figure it out. I don't know how full a quiver is but we are up to 5 it looks like and I'm thankful for each one of them. It's a blessing to have them. It's not more spiritual, it's just more opportunities for blessing through them and because of them.