This is awkward.
Renee and I haven’t used any form of birth control since just before she got pregnant with Ben.
Ben will be 11 in January. He’s our fourth kid. We have ten now. You do the math.
Actually, it turns out that nursing a baby is some kind of magical, slightly effective, birth control through some crazy hormonal influence happening in a woman’s body, probably because it’s just too much to ask a body to do all of that at once. That wears off after about 6 or 8 months, though.
Ayda is now 11 months old. Once again, you can do the math.
No, we’re not pregnant, yet. Neither of us. Odds are it’s only a matter of time. We’ll let you know.
So, we decided to go this crazy route because I was worried about the side-effects of a life on birth control medication. I also love kids, and I’m slightly unbalanced. Obviously, Renee also loves kids, and she’s also very unbalanced.
She initially only wanted three or so of the little folks, though. While I was contemplating side-effects, she happened to meet a woman who was living this lifestyle of no birth control. After a few weeks, we talked ourselves into it . . . as an experiement.
The experiment is going well. We’ve proven that married life without birth control leads to population growth. Eureka!
We’ve had big moments of pause in this process, as you would suspect, wondering what we’ve gotten ourselves into this time. But, so far, we keep arriving at the same place: let’s just see what happens (as if we didn’t know).
Our deal is this: we believe children are a blessing from God; we like God’s blessings; we don’t want God to stop giving us blessings. We also believe only God makes babies. Humans make love. God makes babies. (Actually, turns out, he made love, too.)
So, we came to the conclusion that God would stop giving us babies when he wanted us to stop having them. We kind of agreed to take no action to prevent kids. The requirement for action would be his.
Don’t worry. We’re not proselytizing. We believe this is some kind of funky personal calling. We can’t even figure out our own lives, so we’re not taking any chances on figuring out yours. We wouldn’t wish God’s blessings callings practical jokes shaping love on you, unless it’s him telling us to do the wishing.
Of course, though, we would wish trust upon you, and maybe shaping love comes with that.
Trusting God, it turns out, is entirely counter-intuitive to the human paradigm.
In fact, trusting God at all, with all of its requirements for faith in unseen things, intangible things, irrational things, and maybe even self-sacrificing things, just seems foolish most of the time.
So, here we are, staring deeply into our forties, and double-digit family size and wondering if God is ever going to stop blessing us in this way. Yes, that will make you pucker. Yes, we have lots of days that make it difficult to avoid shooting dirty-looks heavenward.
People generally don’t say so much about this nonsense to us directly anymore. They stopped that at about six kids. I’m pretty sure that lots of people think this kind of trust in God is foolish, though.
Back before we got really radical, people used to say stuff like, “Yes, that’s great, but God gave you a brain, and the means to stop babies from coming, and he expects you to use the brains and the means.”
Well, yes. God gave us brains. So we could be captains of our ships? So we could be in control of our own lives? So we could snub our noses at his attempts to direct us?
Okay, so we’re not looking for converts to the baby boom, but we’re definitely looking for converts to the trusting boom.
Where is God prompting you to trust him more? Where is God calling you to let your brain be used by him and for him? Would it be foolish to trust him with that thing? Would people call you crazy and tell you to use your brain?
Be careful, if you give in to God’s calling to trust, it could lead to blessings beyond imagination, in conjunction with trials and tribulations that make you all he needs you to be for his sake.
As Renee always says, “we may wonder what we’ve gotten ourselves into, but which of these kids would we want to give back?” If we had stopped at Ben, we would be missing six of the greatest things God has ever made.
If you stop now – if you use your brain to make rational decisions that keep you in control of your own environment and destiny – what will you be missing 11 years from now? Maybe it’s easier to answer this: In what area/issue is God calling you to trust him now?