Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Blessed Beyond Measure

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
(Psa 127:3-5)

When considering the blessings that the Lord gives to His people, there is nothing in this life that compares with the blessing of children.

As parents, children are a constant reminder of our relationship with our Father. They are dependent on us. They are in constant need of training and discipline. We love them unconditionally. They are naturally self centered, but it brings joy to our hearts when we see them have consideration for others. We are thrilled when they reciprocate the love we show to them. Yet, we go on loving and caring for them even when they don’t show it.

Children build a multigenerational heritage and allow us to take dominion over the land and over the society in which we live. The birth rate on average in the U.S. is just slightly over 2.0 children per household. This is a stagnated birth rate. We are barely replacing ourselves as we pass on. There is much corruption in our land that severely needs reformation. This won’t happen on its own. It takes a populace that cares about its Christian heritage and is willing to stand up to all the sodomites and feminists that would seek to destroy our country. When Christians declare that God is the giver of life and resist all efforts at “controlling” their birth rate, it will not take long before we can take over key leadership positions in our government and make a real difference. For out of sheer numbers, we can carry the majority in just a few short years. We shall truly be able to speak with the enemies in the gate.

Children are the only thing in this life that we can take with us to Heaven. What a vile thing it is to trade the blessings of children for the luxuries of this life! Quite literally, it is the trading of our “birth right” for a mess of pottage, as Esau did so long ago. Our society feels that they must have all the highest quality “stuff” and children are a hindrance to this goal. Day Care is quite expensive. If we were to have more than one or two children, then it would cost more to care for them than what Mom earns. We couldn’t let that happen, could we? Wake up Church! The cars, the boats, the televisions, the lake homes, the whatevers will all burn up some day. They will perish. But those eternal souls God has entrusted to our care will live forever. Yet sadly, even professing Christians fail to see this truth. They see children only as an expense. It never occurs to them that children are an asset. They are most definitely a spiritual asset. Very often, they can be a financial asset as well. In days of old, children worked together to prosper the family. If we would make this our goal once again, then suddenly the most wealthy families would be those families who have the largest amount of children, working to create a lasting business that they know they will inherit someday.

I say all this to lead up to my joyous announcement. We have recently found out that we are expecting our seventh blessing from the Lord! Not everyone has rejoiced with us in this news. Yet, we are undaunted. God’s blessing abounds within our family. It is possible for a single income family to raise seven (or more) children these days. It all boils down to a matter of priorities.

Our little blessing should arrive sometime around the first part of November 2007. He or she will be born into a family with three older brothers and three older sisters. This little baby will have a mother and a father who have desired him from before he was ever conceived. We are the recipients of God’s greatest blessings that He ever gives His people in this life.

4 comments:

Becky said...

Congratulations to you!! We are excited for you and know you are sure to hear good things, even if there are some negative folks. At least you know where they stand, right?

If you need any reference to a good Christian midwife here in Oklahoma, let me know. She is quite used to large families and has attended many of my quiverfull friends' births.

I am on the QF digest list with you and we live in SW OKC so if your wife feels the need of encouragement of a like minded wife, please have her contact me.
My email is keepermom at cox dot net.

Sincerely rejoicing with you,

Becky M.

Mike Southerland said...

To their credit, those who aren't that excited have our best interest at heart. They have not received the revelation that a large family is truly a blessing. They only see it as 7 mouths I will need to feed. The one voicing the strongest opposition was my dear grandfather, whom I love, respect, and honor. Interestingly enough he had three brothers and three sisters himself. When I pointed this out, his response was, "And we were dirt poor." Nevermind that that was in the 1930's when most everyone was poor.

Andrea said...

Don't feel the need to post this. I'm not here to rebuke your grandfather or preach ('cause we don't believe in women preachers, anyway). Your grandfather is probably a very wise man and deserves respect and, no doubt, you show him all that and more. But earlier I read your comment from your grandfather and wanted to say... I've met quite a few older folks who grew up poor and most had large families almost by default. Many folks were poor during those years, but that's not the key. Yes, they would've chosen a different income bracket for themselves, but there are differences in these folks I've met. Some grew up dirt poor and had a good attitude and love within their home and thus have awesome memories of their childhood days and say "those were the days". Some spent their days laboring and toiling and worrying over their income and invited weariness into their homes and thus have not so fond memories. I am absolutely NOT rebuking your grandfather. I just didn't want anyone to think that growing up poor was a bad experience for all. Maybe no one would choose it, but attitude is everything. And we all know that finances and circumstances are not a reason to cut off the blessings of God but rather those blessings help us through the hard times and go on to make their eternal mark on history. I know you're doing your best and providing well for your family, but I just wanted to add that. And congratulations as you add to your quiver all that the Lord chooses to give you.

Mike Southerland said...

I think that sometimes a younger generation who has never lacked for food, clothing, or shelter has a hard time imagining life during the depression. There are some very wise lessons my grandfather has taught me that stem from his experience during this time. He has always warned against the snares of debt. After growing up in the environment of extreme lack, I can somewhat understand the comfort he found in “working for the government.” My grandfather bravely served his country in World War II. He shot down Japanese planes loaded with explosives that were heading toward his battleship. After the war, he hired on with Lancaster Police Department before finally joining Dallas Police Department where he served for 38 years before he retired. He and my grandmother still get their pension from the City of Dallas. They only had one child when the doctor advised that it would be a great risk for them to have more children. My grandparents have never been extremely wealthy, but I can’t remember them lacking for anything. So, I figure that when he looks back at his life as a child, he sees poverty and a large family. When he looks at his own adult life, he sees his needs met with his one child (my father). So, looking through that lens, he tries to advise his adult grandson based on his own life experiences. I always listen to his warnings, for he has lived much longer than me. I have learned never to dismiss the advice of my elders. However, when his advice is counter to what the scripture says, I must trust my God over my grandfather. So, we will revel in the blessings of children that God has given us. Whereas he found security in a government job, I have a goal in front of me to be self employed. This is where we differ greatly since his “self employed” farmer dad was barely able to feed his family. I have learned some things in the past few years that are really quite different than the thought patterns I grew up with. Issues such as family size, homeschooling, modest dressing, entrepreneurialship, courtship, and so on are pretty much taking root in my household (and providentially in my brother’s household at the same time!) for the first time in my family heritage in which I am aware. I come from a long line of Christians. Yet, some of my convictions are “first generation.” In walking out the path God has placed before me, I want to always be careful not to disparage those who have gone before me. I also want to make it known that there are some areas that I probably would relate better to my great-grandfather (who I never knew) than my grandfather whom I’ve known and loved all my life.