[The following is from the book Let Us Highly Resolve; Families Living for Christ in the 21st Century, by David and Shirley Quine, pages 19-22]
We already had five children. Their ages were eight, six, twins that were four, and a one-year-old. Shirley was teaching our children at home, which was very demanding, while I was working several jobs. We were living in a small three bedroom house in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. Having come from a small family myself, I was exhausted and felt that there was ‘no room in the inn’ with no vacancy in the near future.
I thought to myself: How could God be so inconsiderate as to make us live in such close quarters? Had He not said that He would meet all our needs? Didn’t that include housing? If God wanted us to have more children, then first He would have to provide more space! Besides weren’t we out of step with culture as it was? We had something like 2.75 times the national average! Even those within the Church wondered if we knew the basic ‘facts of life.’
Shirley and I had heard many times that only two things will go into eternity: God’s Word and people. But for us to have more children seemed like going just a little bit too far. I had reached a barrier in my life.
During World War II, airplanes had approached but not broken the sound barrier. Many had tried, but all were turned back. It was not until October 14, 1947 that General Chuck Yeager was able to break the sound barrier in the X-1 rocket research plane. This new breakthrough propelled the aerospace industry to new heights.
Though I was not at the sound barrier, I found myself at the faith barrier. Would I go on or be turned back? I could not envision how we could possibly make enough money to support more children. We were just barely making it as it was. I also wondered where we would put more children if we had more. God would have to change my circumstances first. Then I would consider whether to trust Him in this area was my attitude. My map was distorted. I was attempting to maneuver and manipulate God…
…Since God knows all possible combinations of outcomes and all consequences of all possible decisions, and since nothing is allowed to touch our lives that He does not first pass through His hands, then He can be trusted for moment-by-moment circumstances in our daily lives.
How thankful I am that He did not give to us a larger house at once as we prayed. How often I look back to this sign post in my life and think to myself, “It’s just like it was in that time in my life: God, I am sure, is going to arrange it all so much better than I know how to. God is going to do something far better still.” God has used stories like these [the author had previously quoted a portion from the book Heidi] to help correct and to redraw my map, my picture of life. They help me gain perspective–God’s perfect perspective on what He is trying to do in my own life. In our dining room we recently placed the MANUSCRIPTURE: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
After Blaine’s [the author’s small son] persistence of more than six months, I finally agreed that if he would pray [for a baby brother] I would listen. God was making some headway with me. It was not long afterwards that I too joined in and began praying with him. About nine months later our fourth son, Byron, was born. God had answered Blaine’s prayer. It was a double miracle. He had answered Blaine’s prayer and He had changed my life. I was learning to ‘look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen’–not in our temporal home and circumstances in which we were living but in the eternal value of our children.
However, God did not stop there. Since that time, He has given us Bethany, Bonney, and most recently Brett. Can you believe it? We now have nine children and until just recently we lived in the same three-bedroom house. I found the idea expressed be Rees Howells regarding those to whom he was ministering had become my heart attitude: “After many hard experiences we found the resting place. We became like waiters serving in a restaurant; it wasn’t our business whether ten, fifteen or twenty would come, we knew the Manager would not fail to provide what was needed. We told the Lord to send as many as He liked!” By refocusing my attention, God was teaching me to walk by faith at a totally new level. I had broken the faith barrier.
Breaking the faith barrier. That’s what it takes to accept more children, usually. God knows our particular situation, what we can handle, and all possible outcomes of all possible decisions. If we can trust Him for our eternal salvation, can we not also trust Him to care for us if we leave our family planning up to Him?
Yes, it feels counter-intuitive to “let go of the wheel.” It feels like stepping off a cliff, or jumping into the deep end of a pool. But, let’s be consistent. Either we can trust God in everything, or we can’t. Which is it? How many of us are willing to step out into the unknown and live by faith in this area?
I pray almost every day for a movement of God’s hand that would cause His people to love and want children like He does, and to let go of their birth control, and let Him control birth and conception instead.