Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How many arrows does a quiver hold anyway?

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.


Melissa Priewe said...

You know, I think people misunderstand about children. They are a gift God intrusts in our care, they are not ours. So, if we recieve a precious child, it is because God has intrusted them to our care until the day He wants them home,not due to anything of our own will or desire. So, congrats and I can't wait to see what God has blessed you with this time!:)

dustin rice said...

"I had someone tell me that her husband is an archer and it's 8 that make it full."

I came across your article while searching for how many arrows fill a quiver...

My name is Dustin, I've had four girls in a row, and had my first(biological) boy the first of this year. My wife already had 2 great sons when we met so now have seven wonderful "Arrows". We have made appointments to get "fixed" but both times something has gotten in the way. So me and my wife have been praying for a clear answer to whether or not we should have more children. Yesterday we were looking at a motor home to buy when my wife, I, and the man selling it conversed about the Lord and his way. It was a very spirit filled moment when he said "your quiver is full my friend..." then paused, "well, I think a quiver holds 8..." we know the answer now.

You have a beautiful family.
-Dustin and Family

Island Girl said...

I love it! I thought I was the only one that is taking that scripture literal! I was searching the web to find out how many arrows are usually in a quiver. My heart is to have more children! I've really been talking to God about this and have recently read the Hannah's story and how she prayed for a son *she ended up having 7 total*. Your blog has ministered to me...thank you so much for sharing. Here's a scripture for you...
Psalm 37:25-26 "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed."

Sara Cart said...

I was actually looking for the same answer when I came across your blog. I'm coming to the conclusion that a quiver is how many God wants to give us. I think I'll just stick with that answer.

Anonymous said...

I came from a family with 6 children. I was always proud to tell people I was the baby of 6. As I've gotten older, I've realized what a blessing it is to have so many people I can turn to for love and support. God also has our times in His hands. I married later in life and only have two...but my quiver is full. I love my family and God has a special plan for all of us who follow Him. It's not how many you have, you can raise one child who could make an incredible impact on the world. It's choosing to glorify God with the family He places you in.

ren said...

I think a quiver full depends on the size of the quiver not the amount of arrows. What is the equivalent to quiver in our lives? House, maybe? Finances, maybe? Or maybe it's just however many children until your family feels full (that's my take:) great blog. . .you have a new follower;)

Jerry Wilson said...

God bless you all! This is such a beautiful blog!

Anonymous said...

I am not sure how many arrows a quiver holds. However, I was just goggling to find out and stumbled upon such awesome testimonies on the subject which confirms my thought. What brought my search about: I was my reading in 2kings 13:14-19 where the prophet Elisha told the king Jehoash of Israel to get a bow and some arrows and to obey his command. the prophet told the king to shoot the arrow and as soon as the king shot the arrow, the prophet exclaimed, "you are the Lord's arrow, with which He will win victory over all your enemies and defeat them. When I read this it immediately reminded me of Psalm 127:3-5 about children being a gift from God and Happy is the family who has many such arrows. He will never be defeated when he meets his enemies. Then, the prophet told the king to take the other arrows and strike the ground and the king struck only three times, and then stopped. This made the Elisha the prophet angry, and he said to the king, "you should have struck five or six times, and then you would have won complete victory over the enemy, but now you will defeat them only three times. (2Kings 13:14-19). I

May our God give us more revelation of the arrows in our hand with which to defeat our enemies

Andrew said...

I must comment, this article has blessed me. I am in a similar situation as yours. It took a while for my wife and i to come to terms to the news of her 5th conception. She was born 3 weeks ago and she's such a bundle of blessing!

Bill and Toni said...

Well, here I am a year later, googling to find out how many a quiver actually holds and I run across your blog. Why am I trying to find this out? Because we're waiting to travel to China later this month to adopt our 7th and 8th children. :o) We were quite certain we were done, but God had other plans... and like yourself, tho it took a bit of time, we're getting pretty excited about it too!!
I trust your child arrived safely and is a true blessing to you all.

Anonymous said...

Well, I too have been blessed by this answer. My husband and I have teased each other about this scripture because with our blended family he has 5 children (we have 3 together). I lost three, one before each of my two pregnancies and one for which I was not prepared in December 2010. Our quiver is full, but God has given me an assignment where I impact 1300 students with the decisions I make daily. My life is so much richer with this blessed all.

Lisa Thomas said...

Yup, our baby boy is now 15 months old and he's changed my life COMPLETELY. We are still very open to the idea of adoption and are praying towards that...waiting ....etc.
Thanks for reading!!!!

Donna Hovey said...

My husband and I are about to have our twelfth child. Early on in our marriage, we decided to leave it up to the Lord, as he knows what is best for us. We believe that there are reasons, not always known to us, why some are given few, some are given many, and some are given none. We are all different and have different purposes in this life. I, too wondered how many were in a quiver. The answers on the web vary between 5 and 30, but one site said that 12 is the number most used in literature. That was good enough for me...although I did feel like it was getting pretty full between 5-8 children. The most important thing is that the psalm states "happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them." And my husband and I are definitely happy, even though it hasn't been easy to raise all these wonderful children!

Lisa Thomas said...

Congrats Donna! That's fantastic! It's been a long time since I wrote this and now my husband and I are at a place where we are looking for that 6th blessing through adoption or fostering. It's on the horizon!!!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have been discussing whether or not it is God's will for us to have more children (we already have four). It is so encouraging to know that there are so many other people who feel as though their quiver is not full. This blog was definitely timely. God has always provided our needs and we know that He will continue to do so. We are so blessed by God! At this point in time we are unsure exactly how many children our quiver can hold, but we have decided that we will let God lead us. We have never went wrong when we have trusted Him. If He wants us to have more children then we will definitely be obedient. Thank you for sharing your feelings about having more children on this blog. I know it will help so many people!

Anonymous said...

What do you do if you desperately want more and your husband does not?

Alissa Mallory said...

;Wow, so neat to hear how God is so faithful to those who trust Him. Like most of you, I was searching for how many a quiver is. My husband and I are expecting # 7. We are very exited, and know that God is in control. Thank you for sharing.