I read this awesome post on here: http://themourofamily.blogspot.com/ and she said it would be OK to share it with you guys. Go Laura- I think big families are great too!
I was just thinking today about the statistic that the divorce rate is lower for large families and what would make this true. You would think with the stress of more kids, added expenses, etc. that larger families would have a higher divorce rate. However, the opposite is true! I *think* it is because the more kids you have the less time you have to argue!! Or, maybe it is because you are too tired to argue! ;) In all seriousness though, I do think it has something to do with the fact that the more kids you have, the more you are required to serve and the less you think of yourself--not by nature, but out of necessity. This is true to a certain extent in any family with kids. However, with every added child, I feel stretched even MORE to serve. Honestly, when Cameron and I were first married, I was very selfish, and as a result, we argued a lot more. I demanded my "rights". We were both in grad school and very busy. There was more competition, esp. over household duties. Now, with seven little ones, we both have to pitch in and work ALL OF THE TIME. There is no slacking for either of us. Sleeping in? Forget about it! God has grown me in this area greatly! I was not a servant by nature when we got married. I wanted to be served. Having children has forced me to serve. Having many children with a husband in residency--who was rarely home and having very little money--forced me to learn to be content. I definitely didn't do it perfectly! There were times that I just wanted a break, or a new outfit!, but Cameron was on-call every 2nd or 3rd night. OR, he was on nights for a solid month! Or, we ran out of money and still had 2 weeks to go until payday. We just had to make do! Most months my perspective was "just make it to the end of this month". Cameron was just telling me today that he filled up his gas tank in his car and how good that felt! He said that in 4 years of medical school and then 4 years of residency, he never filled up his gas tank--because he didn't know if he could--if the money would be there! Anyways, God used having many little ones, little help and little money to change me. With each new baby, I learned to die to myself MORE. Before having these little ones my perspective was that I didn't want to die to myself. I thought that it would hurt too much to "lose" myself, lose my identity, my freedom. In reality, I have found myself (I am tearing up even as I write these words!) It is true! I have such joy, so much freedom. I can't explain it. It does hurt to die to oneself, but it is worth it! I used to think that serving equaled degradation. Now I know that serving equals absolute freedom and joy! The more I have been required to serve, the more joy I have! It is the TOTAL opposite of what the world tells you! I feel like I believed a lie my whole life. I now have learned the secret to my happiness!I think that you HAVE to have a good marriage to have a lot of kids. Can you imagine the absolute chaos in a home with many children where the mom and dad didn't get along? Cameron and I have to be united--in our vision for our family, in our goals, and our purpose. This is what makes having a large family possible. Also, without a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, everything would fall apart! We have to give each other grace, we have to forgive, we have to depend on Christ to parent these children and love each other. I think this is true in any marriage, in any family, but in large families esp., where the demands are so high. We do NOT have a perfect marriage-we both fail, but we have less of those times now with lots of kids because there just isn't time to demand our own rights.The more children a family has, the more commitment is demanded to grow and raise that family. It is very difficult to have outside interests and pursuits when there are so many little ones demanding attention. That may seem depressing to some, but I think of it in a different way: All of my hobbies are just that--hobbies. These precious little ones are eternal souls that will one day worship God around his throne. They are an eternal investment. My hobbies are a way to pass the time, my children aren't.Lastly, having a large family is usually a result of the parents viewing children as a blessing and not a burden. This perspective makes a HUGE difference! My children are not an "intrusion" on my life--they are my life--they are the "work" God has given Cameron and I to do. They are a gift. I have never heard an older person ever complain that they had "too many children". BUT, I have often heard people tell me that they wished they had had more. You will NEVER regret the decision to have another baby--ever. Sure it will be hard, but one look at that precious little face and it will all be worth it! Marriage does take so much work and finding the time to make it a priority is difficult in a large family where the demands are high! Cameron and I are in a period of time right now where we really can't leave Jerome and Ruth with anyone else. We are in the critical "attachment" phase with our adopted children and a date is really out of the question. We are both looking forward to when we can go out alone together because we know that if this family is going to work we have to be united. In Christ, Laura