[#] Big Families and my big mouth (1)

Well: Alana Roberts has offered her brief thoughts on the series here on contraception. Let's start first of all with thanks to her for being bold and brave and also kind enough to join us. In normal blogorific style, we'll stroll through her thoughts and respond to them in kind.
Many of my arguments were aimed against the anti-prevention folks - i.e., no one should listen to them too carefully, here's where it ends, and here are some arguments against their position.
Before we wade in too deep, I think there are extremists at both ends of the spectrum – and both fall off the biblical world view table. That doesn't mean there's not a biblical worldview at stake here.

And let's be clear: what is important in this issue is that we respond to the world with the Gospel – which includes God's plan for marriage and family.
Towards the end I was more addressing your views specifically. I agreed that children are seen as a blessing in the Bible. I don't want to argue with your point that children are a blessing, or with your interpretation of the scripture you use. I think I can narrow down my objection to one simple counter-warning.

Go ahead and criticise "the pandemic view that children are a burden and not a blessing". But be careful how you establish a connection between viewing children as a burden and prevention.
I think that is a completely valid place to start. However, I also think that it must come down to interpreting Scripture. We can invent all kinds of arguments if we ignore Scripture that have no bearing on the matter because those arguments ignore the precepts God has laid down in Scripture.
It may put it in perspective if I tell you where I'm coming from. I've been in three churches and all of them preached anti-prevention loud and clear, always on the basis that "kids are a blessing and if you prevent pregnancy you are devaluing that blessing". They were filled with large families. Many of these families were suffering under marital or financial problems which they just couldn't seem to get under control because there were always three babies in the house and one on the way. If you've never been in this situation or viewed it up close you have no idea of the organizational, emotional, and spiritual bewilderment and chaos that results. But they felt guilt about the idea of identifying this as a problem. Because of the argument used to bring them there, they felt the same sense of responsibility toward the non-existent child that could be created tonight as they did toward the kids they already had. If they valued children they wouldn't move a finger to stop one from coming into being. In the process the children they had suffered.
Anecdotally, there is no one reading this blog who hasn't seen a family of 5 kids, 7 kids, 9 kids (or more) toward which one hasn't thought, "brother: cut your wife a break. Take a walk or something." I also don't doubt that we have also seen large families that are great families – families with many kids in which the whole clan apparently gets along and keeps on keeping on.

But there's a significant flip side: we also see plenty of families of a few children (and even no children) to which we want to say, "brother, cut your wife a break. Get a job/Get a life/get a clue," or in which we want to say, "sister, cut the brother a break."

The issue, ultimately, is not about economics: the issue is about whether we are living the way God intended marriage to work, and whether we are striving for that objective and not some lesser, mundane objective.

It is also important to note that divorce is more prevalent among the newly married and those with older children, and infertility actually is a major self-identifier in the causes of divorce. Additionally, two-income families are more likely to divorce apparently because they have a lower fertility rate. This again points to whether we are living the way God says we should live instead of the way that seems right to a man.

I.e., your articles were apparently prompted by a nasty attitude you see in your circles; my counter-warning was prompted by a difficult situation I saw in my circles accompanying the attitude you suggest adopting.

There are many good reasons to prevent pregnancy at one time or another or limit the number of children one will have, besides simply not valuing God's gift of kids.
I don't think I would call what I see a "nasty attitude". I think that most people who think this way (like me, personally) don't mean any harm by it – we just have forgotten that Jesus is Lord of All, and that we have a greater responsibility than simply to get by, or to get a new PDA, or a whatever your personal consumer weakness might be.

I want to talk specifics, and to talk about the rest of Alana's comments, but I have a meeting about to start this morning. I am hopeful I will get back here tomorrow. Let's keep the powder dry until we can get all the way through Alana's comments completely, shall we?

Be well. If you think about it, pray for my wife's sister and her husband and son. The boy has been diagnosed with water on the brain, and he's only 5 months old. They are seeing the specialist today. Prayer would be appreciated.