Sorry for the dearth of posts lately, grad school has been keeping me busy.
Recently, Emily bought a new book – If it wasn’t for Eve, I’d be a Perfect Wife. It’s by this über mom who has eight children, homeschools all of them, and makes all her food from scratch. She and her husband “let God plan their family size.” While I don’t think this is necessarily a correct view of divine providence, I like the attitude which it embodies. They spoke of children as being blessings from God, rather than as something they could only endure so many of. And that really appeals to me. There’s lots of Biblical reasons to see children as a blessing (cf. Psalm 127:3-5).
Besides, I suspect modern technology has spoiled us. Humans have been making babies for thousands of years, and only recently has birth control been available – and even now, for only a small percentage of the world’s population. Ironically enough, the only places in the world where couples still have a lot of babies are the places where they can’t afford to feed them.
Why is it that couples in first-world countries have so few children? It’s certainly not because they can’t afford it... they’re the people most able to afford it. I think it usually comes down to a selfish desire to maintain a certain quality of life, to not give up the resources (time, sleep, money, etc.) that are necessary to provide for a large family. And that strikes me as bad, for two reasons. First of all, because I suspect that having lots of babies and inconveniencing yourself is a lot better for your soul than maintaining your quality of life. And second, I’m not sure it even really counts as a sacrifice. I bet the blessing of children outweighs their burden by a long shot.
I think that’s enough to at least establish that I am not crazy to want a lot of babies. Emily has been telling people that I’ve decided I want eight children. This isn’t exactly true (I just want as many as God chooses to give us), but I felt a defense of my sanity was in order, anyway. She’s not buying it, though... I may have to settle for a wife that thinks I’m crazy and just 5 children :-).