I was supposed to write this weeks and weeks ago. Since I already procrastinated, what better time to pick it up again than on Father’s Day? So I’m here to answer questions you might have about our fourth pregnancy. Let’s start with the #1 most-asked question by far……
Was this pregnancy planned or was this an accident?
Planned. But that leads to the next question……
Why would you plan to have four kids?
I bet this number “four” is surprising to people when it’s placed next to the word “planned.” Even “three” seems weird, because “two” children is seen as the “normal.” Recently I took the three kids out to lunch and a woman passed by and said, “You got your hands full there!” And I said, silently to myself in my head, “Yeah, I get that a lot.”
My short answer is: it just feels right to us to have four children.
To put this in perspective, Wendy and I were married for seven years before we had our first child. We tried for some time without success, and at one point, I almost gave up and decided not to have any children. But God gave us our first one, and then our second. At that time, we re-evaluated what we want for our family, and we decided to have either a total of 3 or 4 children, but preferably 4.
This is what I keep telling myself: Wendy is the youngest of 5 children, and she’s the perfect wife for me. If her mom didn’t decide to give birth to #5, I wouldn’t have found Wendy as a mate for life. so I am thankful for parents who decide to have more children.
However, a clarification is in order. I do not claim any superiority over other parents by the fact that we have relatively more children. I know a family with one child and I admire them a lot by how they parent and how they conduct their lives. And I also know a family with six children that I have lots of respect for. As well as other families with different numbers of children in between. Having more children does not make anyone more of a “supermom” or “superdad.”
But the opposite is true also. We should not see having more children as stupidity. Children are blessings, not burdens. I cannot tell you how many singular picturesque moments of joy I experience by just looking at my three kids’ faces. More importantly, Psalm 127 says children are a reward, and according to Tim Keller, Jeremiah 29:5-7 tells us that it is to the welfare of the city that we should raise a family.
Of course, it’s not easy raising many kids. At times it is tough physically and even mentally. But the difficulties do not arise because kids are “little monsters” — a term that I would never use. The real reason is that kids are “little sinners” who are parented by “big sinners” — us. Sin is the problem that leads to our strife. So that puts my main task of parenting into perspective — instead of raising them intellectually and financially into model citizens, my goal is to guide them and disciple them into people who fear and serve God and to pass this to future generations. So any time I feel stressed and challenged in parenting, it should be a time to assess sin’s impact (our sins and our children’s sins), and every such time should also be a great opportunity for growth in faith.
I want to end with this quote from theologians Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon:
“The vacuity of our society is revealed by our inability to come up with a sufficient rationale for having children. …… Christians have children, in great part, in order to be able to tell our children the story. Fortunately for us, children love stories. It is our baptismal responsibility to tell this story to our young, to live it before them, to take time to be parents in a world that (although intent on blowing itself to bits) is God’s creation (a fact we could not know without this story). We have children as a witness that the future is not left up to us and that life, even in a threatening world, is worth living — and not because ‘Children are the hope of the future,” but because God is the hope of the future.”
Is it a boy or a girl?
There’s a chance we might decide to keep it a secret and only find out at birth (with a due date in mid November) ……