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Thou Shall Have More Kids
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Thou Shall Have More Kids


Feb 25 2013
In defense of bigger families and smaller budgets.

Not in my house. "Conscientious" is a word my husband and I consistently hear applied to our children, though we wouldn't credit ourselves for this. Our children simply have to remember their lunch boxes, field trip money, and gym shoes because it's unlikely we will. Moreover, their contribution to the household in the form of consistent chores is necessary and needed.

Sally Koslow, author of Slouching Toward Adulthood, suggests, "The best way for a lot of us to show our love would be to learn to un-mother and un-father." Maybe it's regrettable that my husband and I can't do more for our children... but maybe our "un-mothering" and "un-fathering" allows them just the room they need to grow into responsibilities of their own.

Regardless if yours is a small family or a big one, we need to ask ourselves: Do we continue to allow culture to shape our vision of the good life? Does the state of our bank account take priority over all things?

Marilynne Robinson, in The Death of Adam, laments the way economics imperiously rule in our culture today. "Suddenly we act as if the reality of economics were the reality itself, the one Truth to which everything must refer."

Unfortunately, I can't say that my husband and I believed in the benefits of a large family before it became our reality. Even today, as I sit in our basement playroom to type this article, I realize what the mathematical factor of five does to a life. (It's a mess.)

If the good life is measured by financial security, economic flexibility, even Pinterest-perfect homes, having more kids may indeed jeopardize these goals. But if we take our cues from Scripture, we can't help but admit that children aren't liabilities. They are assets (Ps. 127:5).

It will simply require faith to suspend our disbelief.

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