Monday, March 08, 2010

Some consider it immoral. I have no opinion. Perhaps that is why I find the issue so hard to talk about. What issue is that? Overpopulation.

I never truly considered that the people I encounter with their sideways glances and short comments considered large families wrong justfor being large until one day while I was at a favorite park (in the heart of downtown Corvallis). In a typical conversation-starting way, a man asked: "...those all your kids?" "Yep..every one."

"I have something you might be interested in." he said, as he began scribbling on a piece of paper.

At first glance, I had an idea what it was. Not long ago my mom had given me this link.

I questioned him weather this was the article about overpopulation. He was embarrassed. Of course he was probably hoping I would discover this in the quiet of my home when he was long gone. Nonetheless, to him it was a moral issue and worthy to bring to my attention. I don't fault him. I just wonder...what does he want me to do about it now?

I will say this again: I have no opinion either way. Obviously, I am not concerned as some people seem to be; neither do I think all families should be large. We love our family and have simply not been convicted (through conviction or scientific evidence) that we are to limit our family size because of this.

I am sure there will be more posts on this subject as things and thoughts come up. May this just be an introduction to the issue. Your thoughts are long as they are kind.

I do have some advice for those who are passionate about this: rather than pushing for family limits or criticizing those with large families (who obviously do not see a problem) why not try this. (I know people who have done this and COMPLETELY respect them. These are the people who would truly convince me of something.) Have no children biologically. Adopt. Convince others with similar concerns to do the same. In this way, I will respect you. Please respect me as well.

My children are beautiful. Uniquely beautiful and uniquely loved.


Ana said...

Aw Jodi. My grandparents had 13 children, and when asked, they responded to inquiring minds, "Okay, which one do you think we should not have had?"
You live in a happy, full home. Your children are happy. Your children are loved. Honestly, if people have issues with it, look them dead in the eye and ask, "Okay, which one do you think we should not have had?"

Rebekah said...

haha, that article was ridiculous. John and I both said "sounds like someone has a little too much time on their hands". We too don't really have an opinion, we have had people tell us we should stop at two but that was not a conviction of ours, rather it was a conviction of ours to have more. And I'm gonna go with Ana up there and next time someone asks say "okay, which one do you think we should not have had." LOL,

Jeremy and Ang said...

The way that i figure it is this: There are people in this world who are meant to be parents and those are people who are not. If each of us are expected to have 2 children to come up with such figures as mentioned in the article then when one mom has 4 and one woman like myself has none, it breaks even. =) So I wouldn't worry too much about overpopulating. There are plenty of us who aren't having kiddos and are simply happy loving on yours and others... Ha!

Sheri said...

Can't imagine being without any of them! Glad you decided not to let others rule your own hearts.
I like your advise for the "others". I'm sure you were much kinder to the "gentleman" then I would have wanted to be....!

Jen said...

You really should move here. Life is better in the mid-west for large families.

Kat said...

This post made me ache for the man who said this. I canNOT imagine living a life that doesn't understand the blessing of children. Looking at a child and seeing a statistic and not seeing the laughter, joy, and tears...he's missing out!

Kellie said...

Well, I'm personally glad you chose not to stop at two! I can't imagine life without them. Besides, you and I balance each other out so have as many as you want!

The Six of Us said...

One thing I have been convicted of is not to brush it off my shoulder as stupid. It is a growing view in our culture (especially here in the great Pacific Northwest) and to understand people, we must try to understand this. Especially since it is something I am faced with. After all, when I share my convictions with people, I certainly find it respectful if they at least listen with an open mind.

That said, I think it is a problem of "everyone should be forced to have to do the same thing" You are right Angie and Kellie, it is about balance. MOST families are not large.

And the saddest thing of all: by looking at statistics, you will never see the beauty of the individual.

Coraly said...

Well you did it... you posted!
I am so proud of you Jo. I am so grateful that God has placed a desire in your heart to raise children that are not ashamed of the Gospel, who respect the Authority of God in their life, and who are allowed to be uinique individuals that God created them to be. And really that is the heart of the issue...are we functioning in the roles that God has placed before us, do we acknowledge him as the Supreme Authority, the author and the giver of all life!
Keep up the good work my precious friend! I am rooting for you, all the way up here!

S L said...

Honestly, I have seen figures that indicate that the average large family uses fewer resources and whatnot per family member because you are able to do so much on relatively so little with more people around. A family of four who continuously outsource every aspect of their lives cannot possibly be better for the environment than a family of seven in which the mother stays home with the children, the children are homeschooled, the family doesn't eat out all the time, the family is frugal, etc.

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