My husband was adopted. His birth mother, a German woman, for whatever reason couldn't keep him. His parents, Jim and Jeanie, gave him a home, gave him love, gave him discipline, gave him purpose; they raised him and were his Mom and Dad.
What makes a parent?
Patience and love....... lots and lots of patience.... by the bucket full.
A friend posted today about the Duggar Family on TLC. I guess they recently went to Japan. That's great...really. They travel and go to all sorts of wonderful places we all would love to take our children to. But, I want to remind people that they are TV stars, not you or I. Reality TV is anything but reality. THEY ARE TV STARS AND CAN'T BE CONFUSED WITH A REAL FAMILY. We don't see their real life. Is there any family with 2 kids, much less 19 that aren't pretty chaotic at times? I mean one child can cause chaos in the morning as we all fight for one bathroom.... Do you EVER see real drama on the program? I will admit, I don't watch it. We don't have cable. I have seen it a handful of times though. So many in the Christian world look to them as the ideal Christian family. Mr. and Mrs. Duggar are great folks....but.....
Do we see a Biblical principle in all good Christians having large families? Not much is really said about the ideal family size in the Bible. You know why? There isn't one. In fact I would go so far as to say that large families like the Duggar's are the exception not the rule... even in Biblical times.
The concept called quiver full.... The basic verse that is used to prescribe to this being God plan for all Christians is Psalm 127: 3-5 "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." This verse says nothing about the amount of children, just mentions some "ideal" "quiver full" number. In fact, its left up to the readers imagination. Maybe this is because God has ordained the sands of the sea long before we were thought of and He knows how many children we were to have before we even thought about quivers and contemplated what a full quiver looked like.
Children are certainly a blessing from God, but having no children makes you no less a Godly person than having 15 makes the pagan a God fearing person. Christianity and being a good parent is more than that. We have an only, but we have had people condemn us, remarking that if we "did God's will" we would have more children. This is what the principle of "quiver full" thinking breeds. People are applying Ps 127 in unbiblical fashion. I am not condemning people with large families, not in the least. Big families (I think 5 or more children) are like families with onlys, we are not the norm in society. The true blessing from God is having children who believe and know God and Christ, having a relationship with the Father. If you are not providing a positive role model and teaching your children about God and what it takes to be a Christian, then, frankly its my beliefe that you have failed, reagrdless of how many children are in your "quiver". That can be one child, two-dozen children, or no children.... its more about you than children. Its more about how are you influencing young people around you? Only you and God know that answer. (ETA: This is written from a Christian perspective about Christians.)
It takes more than having children to fill your "quiver". A parent raises a child, loves a child, instills their beliefs and ideas of right and wrong in their child (or they try).... A parent might or might not give birth to the child they are raising. Parenthood goes well beyond giving birth. A parent takes care of the owies, kisses the bo-bos, disciplines with love, potty trains, educates, teaches how to draw hearts, teaches how to drive, walks his little girl down the aisle, and cries when the grandchildren are born. A parent does so much more....
Being a parent is the most important job you will ever be given. You are tasked with raising up a new life and showing that little being the way to go in the world. That's what makes a parent.
**Now, just on a side note, I would love to see a reality show where we see how the Duggar's function as family, how they make their soap, how they homeschool, how they break up fights between siblings, how they handle arguments between themselves..... and that, TLC, would be what a REAL family is about. Not a bunch of orchestrated events wrapped up all pretty and neat.