DiscoverMarriage After GodQ&A Having Children, Birth Control & how many kids to have and more
Q&A Having Children, Birth Control & how many kids to have and more

Q&A Having Children, Birth Control & how many kids to have and more

Update: 2020-01-27
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In this episode, we answer questions for our community about having children, birth control, how many kids to have and more.

Please also take a moment and download our free 52 Date Night Ideas eBook.

http://datenightideas.com

 

PRAYER

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the gift and blessing of children. Thank you for creating and designing us with the ability to recreate, what an incredible miracle life truly is. We thank you for the opportunity to build our family and have children. We pray for others who either have not had children yet or in awaiting their first in anticipation. May you lead them in the way you desire them to walk and to grow together. We praise you for all those who have children and we also pray for those who can’t have children for whatever the reason may be. You are sovereign and we trust you. We continue to surrender our hearts to you as you lead us in parenting and raising our children to know you. Please help us with our fears and insecurities. Please remind us every day of the purpose we have with our family. May your name be glorified.

In Jesus’ name, amen!

 

READ FULL TRANSCRIPT

- [Aaron] Hey, we're Aaron and Jennifer Smith with Marriage After God.

 

- [Jennifer] Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

 

- [Aaron] And today we're gonna answer some of your questions about having children.

 

- [Aaron] Welcome to the Marriage After God podcast where we believe that marriage was meant for more than just happily ever after.

 

- [Jennifer] I'm Jennifer, also known as Unveiled Wife.

 

- [Aaron] And I'm Aaron, also known as Husband Revolution.

 

- [Jennifer] We have been married for over a decade.

 

- [Aaron] And so far, we have four young children.

 

- [Jennifer] We have been doing marriage ministry onlinae for over seven years through blogging and social media.

 

- [Aaron] With the desire to inspire couples to keep God at the center of their marriage, encouraging them to walk in faith every day.

 

- [Jennifer] We believe the Christian marriage should be an extraordinary one, full of life.

 

- [Aaron] Love.

 

- [Jennifer] And Power.

 

- [Aaron] That can only be found by chasing after God.

 

- [Jennifer] Together.

 

- [Aaron] Thank you for joining us on this journey as we chased boldly after God's will for our life together.

 

- [Jennifer] This is Marriage After God. Hey, everyone welcome back to another episode of Marriage After God. We're happy to be with you and we're really excited about this episode, and just being able to answer your questions. So doing Q&As is gonna be just an awesome new feature of the podcast where every couple of weeks, we're gonna poll our trusty community on Instagram and ask you guys what questions you have, and hopefully get some answers, well I should say opinions.

 

- [Aaron] Yeah 'cause we have all the answers.

 

- [Jennifer] No.

 

- [Aaron] On everything.

 

- [Jennifer] We don't but you know what, we're happy to explore these questions with you. And so thank you to everyone who shared these questions with us, and specifically about about having kids which we have a little bit of experience with. And so we'll dive into that in just a bit. All right, so one thing that we really are excited to share with you guys is that we have a new freebie for all of you.

 

- [Aaron] So everyone has already did the free prayer challenge.

 

- [Jennifer] Right.

 

- [Aaron] They already got the date night conversations.

 

- [Jennifer] You better, we've been sharing about those two for a while. So I begged Aaron, and I was like, "Let's do something new. "We've gotta do something new."

 

- [Aaron] So this one is date night ideas. It's a free download. It's a list of 52 date night ideas which you could do one a week for the whole year.

 

- [Jennifer] So is this something we're committing to? We're gonna go through all of these and do them?

 

- [Aaron] Sure.

 

- [Jennifer] Let's do it.

 

- [Aaron] Let's see how it goes.

 

- [Jennifer] I think that would be so fun.

 

- [Aaron] So if you wanna get this freebie, this download, you just go to datenightideas.com and you can download our free ebook with 52 date night ideas.

 

- [Jennifer] And the goal is one a week but if you can't do one week, do three a week. It's fine--

 

- [Aaron] If you have to do one a day, you know what, you can get done faster--

 

- [Jennifer] Have fun with it.

 

- [Aaron] And just do it all over again.

 

- [Jennifer] Have fun with it. No, but you can use these whenever you want and you can even sift through them and pull from it.

 

- [Aaron] You know what would be fun is if they downloaded this and then found another couple to do a challenge with. How many they can get done in a year?

 

- [Jennifer] Interesting, the other thing you could do is print them out and cut them out and stick them in a jar and pull them out randomly.

 

- [Aaron] Yeah.

 

- [Jennifer] That would be fun.

 

- [Aaron] That's a great idea. Datenightideas.com, one word and it's free. Go get it, so the topic we're talking about, these Q&As, they're all on a similar topic. We polled our followers on Instagram and many of the questions were around children. Having children, children after marriage.

 

- [Jennifer] So we're like let's stick them all in one episode so we can hit them all at once.

 

- [Aaron] And so we're just gonna, some of these we're gonna wing answering. If we don't have good answers, we might say we don't know. We're not afraid to say we don't know.

 

- [Jennifer] And just keep in mind that these are just our positions on these questions. How we would answer them based off of our experience and knowledge and--

 

- [Aaron] And things that we know of the Bible.

 

- [Jennifer] Things that we know of the Bible and what we believe in so--

 

- [Aaron] Take it for what it is.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah and thank you guys again for asking these questions and sharing them with us and we really appreciate that. If you wanna jump on board for the next Q&A, just follow along on Instagram @marriageaftergod.

 

- [Aaron] And you can always send us your questions in a message and we may not answer it in the message but we'll take down the question and potentially answer it in a future Q&A episode. We'd love to get those from you. So why don't we just jump right in to the first question and this is a doozy I feel like 'cause it's controversial, it could be.

 

- [Jennifer] It could be yeah.

 

- [Aaron] And they ask us their question and they said, our view on birth control.

 

- [Jennifer] So what's your view on birth control?

 

- [Aaron] That's a good question.

 

- [Jennifer] It's a big question.

 

- [Aaron] Okay, next question is, no I'm just kidding. Our view on birth control.

 

- [Jennifer] Let me share my point of view first.

 

- [Aaron] Okay, go ahead.

 

- [Jennifer] I'll just be honest. I went on birth control 'cause that's what I heard you do when you get married. And so I went on the month before I got married and I chose to go off of it a month after we were married. So I was on it for a total of two months and I got married at 21, you were 22. And we were so excited married and so excited to--

 

- [Aaron] Be with each other physically.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah, experience what sex was like and it was awful. I'm just gonna be honest. It was very painful for me and so I scrambled, you guys. I tried to figure out why is my body responding this way because it was my body that was keeping us from experiencing--

 

- [Aaron] Physical intimacy.

 

- [Jennifer] Healthy, physical intimacy. And so one of the things that came to my mind was something that was super obvious because over the course of that month of being married, not only were we having these issues but I gained a lot of weight. I got acne.

 

- [Aaron] There was a lot of things going on. There was emotional stuff.

 

- [Jennifer] Emotional ups and downs and mood swings and it was awful and I didn't feel myself. And so the obvious question then is what happened in the last few weeks that has changed me?

 

- [Aaron] Other than getting married.

 

- [Jennifer] I know it's a big transition.

 

- [Aaron] I that that guy you married can make you feel crazy, I get it.

 

- [Jennifer] But we narrowed it down to birth control and so I chose to go off of it and I haven't regretted it.

 

- [Aaron] And it didn't fix everything but it did actually drastically change your mood.

 

- [Jennifer] And some of the physical things that I was--

 

- [Aaron] Some of the physical things you were experiencing.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah.

 

- [Aaron] So that's an experience you had with birth control. We know tons of people use birth control. I also know that there is certain people that say birth control is a sin. I'm not gonna go that far. I'm not gonna make statements like that. What I will say is I'm not an advocate for opting to put a chemical in your body to adjust and manipulate how your body is naturally meant to work. So that's my, you're meant to do a certain thing. Your body has been created to do a certain thing and birth control is meant to stop that thing from happening, to manipulate the way your body responds to certain things and I don't think that's great. We have a lot of stuff going on this world. A lot of sickness, a lot of problems and for us to be healthy and to do something like that to our healthy body, I don't think is very wise, personally.

 

- [Jennifer] So just to clarify for those listening, you're not saying that you won't put anything on or in your body that helps stimulate positive things to happen in your body. You're saying, you wouldn't do something that would stop the natural function of your body.

 

- [Aaron] I'm saying I don't think it's a good idea to put something in our bodies electively to stop the natural.

 

- [Jennifer] That alters the natural.

 

- [Aaron] Yeah 'cause there's, again, I'm not gonna. The question is about all the other things that happen in this life, we know taking things when you're sick.

 

- [Jennifer] I was gonna say there's supplements and there's oils and there's things that are out there.

 

- [Aaron] Right, that's different than I'm gonna take this birth control to stop my ovulation so that we don't get pregnant. I'm not gonna do that. That's just my personal perspective on this. And to be honest, there's most things like medically that I'm a little hesitant on just because I like to stay mostly natural as much as possible. But this is about birth control. I'm just saying that taking a woman's body, putting something in it to stop her from doing what it's naturally meant to do doesn't sound wise to me. Now on the spiritual side of things, we have to always ask ourselves the question of why are we trying to stop ourselves from having kids? Why are we trying to protect against that? And there's tons of worldly wisdom that we receive on why we should wait and what, there's this and that. And don't you wanna travel? Why don't you establish your marriage first? And none of those things line up with the things that we hear about in scripture about children being a blessing. That it's good for women to have children. People prayed when they were barren because they wanted children and all these positive. It's positive, positive, positive but our generation and the last couple of generations has heard the message of negative. Children are a hindrance. Children get in the way. Children are difficult, they're expensive. They're hard, some of these things are all true. Not all of them but some of these things are true but not in the sense of they're not a blessings. Not in the sense of we shouldn't do it. I think we should always be asking ourselves about our heart posture towards children because God's heart posture towards children from the words of Jesus. "Let the children come to me", that's what he said.

 

- [Jennifer] I love that, that's so beautiful.

 

- [Aaron] Don't hinder the children.

 

- [Jennifer] That's really good. I was gonna say that personally, we think that it needs to be thoughtfully considered not just in its physical impact on someone's body but its spiritual impact. And I think you just hit it on the head with being a heart posture.

 

- [Aaron] Absolutely.

 

- [Jennifer] And asking ourselves why.

 

- [Aaron] Yeah and what do we believe about God? Is he good? Does it give us good things? And has he made us a certain way? And yeah those are all true. So we don't believe in birth control, the chemical form. I would say do any form of birth control, and we're about to have our number five so everyone can logically find out, we don't do birth control. We would probably lean towards just what's it called? The rhythm method?

 

- [Jennifer] Natural planning.

 

- [Aaron] Natural planning. And again, that's not even perfect. It's more of to our own abilities, we're just gonna try and plan around this and if God gives us a child, we're gonna be stoked.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah, all right let's move on to number two. Okay number two says, what made you wait to have kids?

 

- [Aaron] Made us is a good word because half of it was physical.

 

- [Jennifer] I was gonna say this is a two parter for us.

 

- [Aaron] We just talked about how we couldn't have sexual intimacy.

 

- [Jennifer] Yup.

 

- [Aaron] So it was not impossible but highly unlikely 'cause it was .

 

- [Jennifer] We weren't doing the thing that makes the babies.

 

- [Aaron] Yeah, the thing that makes the babies wasn't happening so there was no babies being made. And then the second part of that is, and this might have been out of a bitterness because we couldn't be with each other. I have feeling that some of it was from that bitterness but also some of it just straight from our own selfish pride. We would tell people, they would ask us when are you guys gonna have kids? And we'd be like, oh we're not gonna have kids for a while or maybe ever because we're too selfish.

 

- [Jennifer] We like sleeping in.

 

- [Aaron] We like traveling. We like this, we like that. We said these things out loud. This isn't thoughts we had.

 

- [Jennifer] And I would agree. Some of it was probably just to give them an answer 'cause we weren't gonna straight dig into well, we can't have sex. So we found a different way to answer it but I think at the core, we truly believe those things as well. We were selfish.

 

- [Aaron] I remember I would pridefully say it like it was something to boast about.

 

- [Jennifer] Looking back--

 

- [Aaron] You are too selfish.

 

- [Jennifer] Looking back that's so embarrassing.

 

- [Aaron] I know what a fool I was that I would actually say that. God's looking at me at like I know who you are.

 

- [Jennifer] I love you Aaron.

 

- [Aaron] I was like a little child to him and he's patient with me, thank God. But what a fool that I would just boast about my selfishness which is opposed to God, to be selfish. I was literally boasting about my opposition to God.

 

- [Jennifer] I wanted to share a little bit about this question. What came to my mind is well the physical. We couldn't and the selfish but I was also really terrified of having children and I don't remember it being a super affirmed thing growing up. And even though I came from a big family, it wasn't like I had this dream to have a big family myself.

 

- [Aaron] And it wasn't like children are good. Children are a blessing. All you saw was there's all of this chaos at home sometimes.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah, so I remember just being really scared about having children. And so I was actually okay with not having children for a long time if any. I didn't have a hearts desire to have children.

 

- [Aaron] And I actually, now you bring that up. I remember specifically a thought I had and I had it regularly was I didn't want children because we couldn't be together. All I thought I was like yeah that would be so perfect. We'd get pregnant the one time we do come together and then now like we couldn't enjoy each other, and now we have a kid. This totally negative connotation on having children because it was just gonna get in the way of the thing I wanted.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah and I think we talked about that even back then. Something that I didn't talk to you about that I really struggled with was the thought that if in that turmoil, those first three years if we did have a kid how much more it would tie me to you which is really depressing and sad to think about. I just am broken-hearted over those kinds of thoughts now.

 

- [Aaron] But that's when we were in our sinful hearts.

 

- [Jennifer] But that's where I was and I didn't have hope in our marriage. I truly believe that we're coming to the end so it was like I have to make sure even more that I don't get pregnant which was avoiding you.

 

- [Aaron] Which made the whole thing worse.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah, it was a mess, you guys.

 

- [Aaron] The devil is good at what he does. And it's why we have to resist him and it's why we have to put on the full armor of God 'cause these thoughts and things will come if we're not focused right.

 

- [Jennifer] Now I have a part of this question to ask you. It has to do with this question, that's not here but would you have waited if you could have sex?

 

- [Aaron] Back then? Well probably 'cause again I had my selfish heart of I thought tons of horrible things. I was thinking about your body and I was thinking about our sex, and I was thinking about being inconvenience with now I have to raise a child, and we're doing all these things. So absolutely, I think back then, selfishly would have waited. Not because I thought it was wise but because I didn't want to have to deal with it.

 

- [Jennifer] Okay and I was thinking more like answering now having had children.

 

- [Aaron] No, I wished we didn't have waited.

 

- [Jennifer] I like that you're answering really honestly.

 

- [Aaron] No, if I knew what I know now.

 

- [Jennifer] I wouldn't have waited.

 

- [Aaron] We'd have a 13-year-old.

 

- [Jennifer] That's weird to think about.

 

- [Aaron] How incredible would that be? We'd have a teenager.

 

- [Jennifer] Wow, lots more growth opportunities for us.

 

- [Aaron] No, I wouldn't have waited at all but to be honest it's God's sovereignty.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah.

 

- [Aaron] He knew who we were. Our sin kept us away from it and it's probably better back then because we had some maturing to do. Not that I'm telling anyone they should choose to wait. I just think God knew what he was doing and he let us through a lot of stuff to grow us and make us into the men and women he wanted us to be.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah, all right. Number three, do you think numbering your children is necessary?

 

- [Aaron] Yeah, I'd give a 10 to Elliott and then like all if I give--

 

- [Jennifer] What are you talking about?

 

- [Aaron] I'm just kidding. Numbering, I'm thinking like .

 

- [Jennifer] That's not what they're asking.

 

- [Aaron] Numbering, the question is about should we have one, two, three, how many should we have?

 

- [Jennifer] I was gonna change the question to what we usually get is what number do you guys want or what are you looking for? Because we do get asked that.

 

- [Aaron] Yeah and it's usually with this like are you done yet look. Do you realize how many you have? We know exactly how many we have. So the question is do you think numbering your children is necessary? And I'm imagining the heart but it is do you think it's important to consider how many children we're having? Should we only have one or two or three? That's a pretty common thought. Most of the time, it comes in the form of, we only one, two or three. That's where that comes from. So Jennifer, do you think it's necessary. That's how the question is phrased.

 

- [Jennifer] No, I don't think it's necessary. I don't think that we need to have a set number and we personally don't have a set number.

 

- [Aaron] Our answer when someone asks, how many do you want is whatever God wants.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah.

 

- [Aaron] Because to be honest, I don't know.

 

- [Jennifer] To couple with that though, I do think that there's wisdom in every situation and so what I like to say is we take every pregnancy as it comes.

 

- [Aaron] Yeah.

 

- [Jennifer] Submit it to the Lord--

 

- [Aaron] And in between the pregnancies, we submit those to the Lord as well.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah, and you know what, it's a journey of walking with God saying God I trust you and it's not easy but--

 

- [Aaron] And I'll say this.

 

- [Jennifer] He's doing this.

 

- [Aaron] I'm gonna be a little candid here. There was a challenge after we had was it?

 

- [Jennifer] Elliot.

 

- [Aaron] Elliot and we went right back to that place in our hearts of we don't want any more. Elliot was difficult. It was our first child.

 

- [Jennifer] He had colic.

 

- [Aaron] He had colic for a couple months.

 

- [Jennifer] I had nursing issues.

 

- [Aaron] It was really difficult. And we just were like no, we can't do this any more. This is crazy, we are also--

 

- [Jennifer] Honestly--

 

- [Aaron] Publishing a book and we're thinking like how we're gonna do all this stuff and have another baby and everything was coming together.

 

- [Jennifer] When I look back on it too, I don't remember it being a negative feeling. I just remember being okay with it being one.

 

- [Aaron] We're like, we're fine.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah.

 

- [Aaron] But again from all selfish positions. How are we gonna keep doing these things? That was too hard, I don't wanna do that again. And we were challenged by someone really hard and I'm gonna just explain to you what was challenging to us, and I'm gonna leave it at that. And they came to us and we were just sharing our hearts with them. And they very softly and gently said, you know the reasoning that you were coming to with this deciding not to want any more. And he brought up, is like it's usually for Christians, we say things like we want one, some or none. And it's like that sounds great. It sounds wise. One summer night, I'm gonna choose the size of my family. I think that's wise based off of whatever. Then they said that's very similar to the reasoning that pro-choicers have. It's your choice. Christians aren't gonna choose the abortion option right, hopefully. That's where the heart of a Christian shouldn't be that direction at all. We don't do that. But one, some or none is very similar and it's my choice. Pro-choice, I get to choose what I want. And he's explaining this to us and it cut us to the heart, and we realize wow, we're telling God, who's in charge of this area of our life. We want God to be sovereign in every area of our life except for this one. And so when they were explaining to us that we were essentially making decisions very similar to the idea of pro-choice. It's our choice and I want it to be pro-me whatever I want. And it really challenged us and it actually made us go and pray and dig into what we believed about children, and what we believed about our family, what God wants for us.

 

- [Jennifer] I remember shortly after that conversation maybe even walking out of the restaurant, I told you that as I was sitting there listening, I could picture myself holding my hand shut tight and it was me as a Christian telling God, you are sovereign, you have every part of my life. I love you, lead me oh but you can't have this over here.

 

- [Aaron] Don't touch this over here.

 

- [Jennifer] And I was gripping it so tightly and I remember explaining this picture to you and just saying I feel like God wants me to open up my hands and trust Him. And I feel like we got pregnant about a week and a half later.

 

- [Aaron] Yeah really quick.

 

- [Jennifer] Really quick.

 

- [Aaron] And I'll say this. It's easy to say, hard to do. Every single pregnancy we've had to go to God and say God, we need your help. We need to trust you more. We need to know what you have for us because it's difficult. Pregnancy is difficult. Children are difficult. It's just part of life so it's not like all of a sudden everything became rainbows and unicorns. It was like we have to trust God every single time which is what he wants. And then I'll say this as gently as possible 'cause I know the person that asked this question. I'm not trying--

 

- [Jennifer] There's a lot of people out there that asked.

 

- [Aaron] There's a lot of people who have this question. I think the question is irrelevant and here's why I say that. You can say I want three kids and God only give you two. Is God wrong? Nope, I God bad? No.

 

- [Jennifer] You could want two kids and never be able to conceive.

 

- [Aaron] You could want one kid and never be able to conceive. You could want whatever you want. We could desire whatever we want. We can have this picture for our life and it's so perfect that oh if we just had a boy and a girl, you have six girls. I know people like that, okay. You could say lots of things.

 

- [Jennifer] You can say you don't want any kids and then get pregnant.

 

- [Aaron] We know people that are on birth control and I've gotten pregnant. We know people that have been barren for years.

 

- [Jennifer] And have gotten pregnant.

 

- [Aaron] And then have gotten pregnant. We know people that have had their tubes tied and then unfortunately have still gotten pregnant and had to have surgery because of the dangers of that.

 

- [Jennifer] We also know the word of God and in Psalms when it talks about God knitting together a baby, a human inside a mother's womb, we know that's true. So it's from Him.

 

- [Aaron] What we wanna do is we wanna say instead of asking well how many do we want? What's wrong with saying, God how many do you want? What do you want our family to look like? How do you want us to shape our family? You could say you want two children, right? And you have those two children and you stop, and there's no way for you to know that that third child was gonna be another Moses, another David. You don't know what God wants for you. So that's why I think that question is a little irrelevant because you think you have control.

 

- [Jennifer] This is what the question should be. Do we trust what you have for us Lord?

 

- [Aaron] Yeah and if that's a zero, and that doesn't mean that doesn't come with heartbreak but if it's zero, then God gets to choose that. If it's one, then God gets to choose that. Me and Jennifer are on number five and this could literally be our last child. We have no way of knowing. Something would happen. We could just not get pregnant again. Things happen or we could have another five. I don't know. But we want to trust the Lord with everything. I wanna encourage you to do the same. Whether that's zero, one, two, three, five, 10. That's the question we should be asking. Number four, what's the best way to prepare for or not be fearful of having a newborn? This is a good one 'cause we're literally right there.

 

- [Jennifer] Yeah and you know what fear is a natural thing and it always comes with that feeling of I don't know what's on the other side of labor, or delivery, or having a newborn, and I struggled with all those fears. But when I look back and I think about my first baby, holding him in my arms, it's the most beautiful, miraculous thing I can think of.

 

- [Aaron] And you don't necessarily look back and dwell on the pain.

 

- [Jennifer] No.

 

- [Aaron] You know it's there.

 

- [Jennifer] I know it happened.

 

- [Aaron] You look back and we think about those--

 

- [Jennifer] The joy and the love and the incredible miracle that comes with having a child. And I think that we should also just note that this probably whoever asked this question is going to give birth to a baby but I think even for adoption. When you think of the other ways that people build their families. I think there's a lot of fear that comes. A lot of fearful thoughts that could come with the unknowns but we just wanna be an encouragement to you guys that you're not alone. God is with you and do everything in prayer. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing, to pray constantly.

 

- [Aaron] To pray for everything.

 

- [Jennifer] To pray for everything and to be thankful. And so I think the first way that I would respond to this question is pray, and pray with your spouse. Pray together over your family and over every situation.

 

- [Aaron] Present those fears to the Lord and say Lord, here's some things I'm afraid of. Give me peace, give me your peace. That's what he tells us to pray for everything. With thanksgiving, lift your request to Lord.

 

- [Jennifer] And the other thing I would say is meditate on his Word. What does God say about children? What does God say about birth? What does God say about families? Things that comes to my mind is John 16:21 . It says, "When a woman is giving birth, "she has sorrow because her hour has come "but when she has delivered the baby, "she no longer remembers the anguish "for joy that a human being has been born into the world." That's what I remember.

 

- [Aaron] That's an awesome statement by the way. For joy that a human being has been born. That's so cool and it is true because the pain is real. It's a thing you get to experience. You can talk about that in a second about experiencing the pain but you remember the joy of that child, holding the baby, seeing their face for the first time hearing their coos for the first time.

 

- [Jennifer] I know I said this. It's miraculous, it truly is.

 

- [Aaron] Yeah and seeing them grow up is miraculous too. I can't imagine my life without any of these kids.

 

- [Jennifer] I know and I feel so grateful that the Lord trusted me and gave me these gifts. It's so wonderful. Another verse that comes to my mind and something good to dwell on is Psalm 127:3. It says, "Behold children are a heritage from the Lord. "The fruit of the womb, a reward."

 

- [Aaron] So preparing yourself for having a newborn is you're preparing to have a reward and to build a heritage that he's giving you. That's really cool.

 

- [Jennifer] A good resource for becoming new parents, you should check out "Redeeming Childbirth" by Angie Tolpin. It was just a really good book to bring perspective to having children and what that looks like biblically. So if you wanna check that out just go to courageousmom.com. One last thing that I just wanna encourage you guys with, and this you can do prior to having your first baby but you should also be doing it throughout parenting, and that's just talking about those fears with your spouse whenever they come up. And using those opportunities to encourage one another. If the wife is afraid, the husband can go to the word of God and console her and comfort her and encourage her. If the husband has some fears and he's being vulnerable about them, she can encourage him through the word of God and through prayer, and I just think that is so vital for us to be one in the way that we are experiencing the same thing, right parenthood. And another thing you could do is find someone who you admire, who has experience that you can ask questions to. I know as a new mom, I had so many questions. I still have so many questions. And so finding someone who you can be in communication with even if it's just a quick text or if you can get into community with several people who you can have questions too, and really just have that support system. It's really important

 

- [Aaron] Yeah and that actually leads into our last question, number five really well. This person asked us if we can talk about the best ways to invest in our spouse before having kids.

 

- [Jennifer] Okay.

 

- [Aaron] Which is a cool thing because we could have done this.

 

- [Jennifer] I know we did this for, no, we should have been doing this for years. The first thing that comes to my mind is having regular date nights and when you don't have kids and you're married, it can be so easy to just make everything feel like a date because you're with each other but making it significant somehow.

 

- [Aaron] Getting it on the calendar, making it a regular occurrence.

 

- [Jennifer] And doing something out of the norm, right? So like if you guys regularly already do something together, don't consider that your date. Go do something else.

 

- [Aaron] Yeah, and what's good about that is it puts you into a really healthy pattern and habit so that after the kids, you guys will long and be like, hey, we need to get back on track.

 

- [Jennifer] Not after the kids are grown and raised, you mean after having kids.

 

- [Aaron] I'm saying after six weeks of healing and getting better. You guys are like, hey, we need to get back on schedule with our date nights, that's important. And for awhile, you're gonna have the baby with you and then eventually you'll get a baby sitter. But you start that up and it's there. It's existing.

 

- [Jennifer] And just to encourage you guys, we've gone on dates with babies before and it can be done.

 

- [Aaron] Just find those restaurants that--

 

- [Jennifer] Are really loud.

 

- [Aaron] Either really loud or mostly full of older couples 'cause they love seeing young couples with their babies.

 

- [Jennifer] Most of the times.

 

- [Aaron] Most of the times.

 

- [Aaron] Some restaurants don't like it but the experience we've had, we have people come up and be like, oh, your baby's so wonderful. This is so cool seeing a couple with children now. Anyways that's a good tip. For the husband's preparing your spouse before kids just doing what a Ephesians five says, "Washing your wife with the Word." Continually speaking God's truth into her life over her reminding her what the word of God says, reminding of her of who she is, what she's capable of, how God made her and building her up because those are the things that are gonna continually give her confidence. Make her feel like she can be a mom that she can handle pregnancy and labor and that she is going to be a victor in that area. So it's immensely powerful the words that a husband speaks over her life which is why we're commanded to wash our wives with not any words but the Word. With God's Word, reminding her of who she is, what God's doing in her life. That the thing that she's going to do. Having a child is such a powerful and beautiful thing that as she disciples that child, she's literally making world changers. Growing the Kingdom of Heaven within your home. It's a powerful thing.

 

- [Jennifer] That's awesome, I love that. Another thing that I would say and this is something to continually do throughout your marriage, but to get really good at it is practicing transparency. Aaron and I talk about this a lot and it's something that I feel like we were actually pretty good at in our marriage but could have been even better way sooner at, and that's just being transparent and honest with one another when you're struggling with sin. You confess that you repent. When you're wrestling with insecurities or doubt or frustrations, you talk about it and you find a way if you're at conflict with one another, you reconcile. All those really important--

 

- [Aaron] Getting better at those things.

 

- [Jennifer] Communication things.

 

- [Aaron] Which will be huge for your children to see and to benefit from.

 

- [Jennifer] And your parenting because there's gonna be a lot of situational things that come up that you'll have to be transparent with one another in and talk about so that you're on the same page when you parent.

 

- [Aaron] Which leads into the other thing, and this is hugely important. Overcoming sin and bad habits. So for the husbands, if you guys are struggling with pornography, and you think it's just like not a big deal. And you're like, oh it's every once in a while. Just realize what you do, you're gonna teach your children. And I wish I would have known that earlier. I wish I would have recognized the the magnitude of walking in what I saw as hidden sin or things that I was getting a handle on. But it's just every once in awhile, it's not that big of a deal, minimizing those things. Maximize them, take those things in your life and say no, I need to get this out of my life. I'm not gonna smoke any more. I'm not gonna show my kids that habit. The way I eat. The hidden sins of my life, pornography. The way I talk. If you have issue with bad language. Those are things that you're gonna teach your kids and so work on it. Confess them, find freedom from them. Walk in the freedom that Christ has already given us on the cross and walk in it so that you can teach your kids to walk in it. The same freedom.

 

- [Jennifer] Have authority in their lives.

 

- [Aaron] Yeah as a pastor once told me, purity is power. Walking in purity is powerful. Say that last line right there, babe.

 

- [Jennifer] I just put a note on here. Have children, because the question was how do you invest in your spouse before having kids.

 

- [Aaron] Which can be--

 

- [Jennifer] It could be any range of things. It could maybe you're already pregnant and you're just waiting for the baby to come but it could also be we chose not to have kids right now, so what can we be doing? Well I'll tell you what, if there's one thing in Aaron's and I life that has stimulated growth in our relationship--

 

- [Aaron] That God's used to sanctify us in huge ways.

 

- [Jennifer] Absolutely, or to just grow closer to each other in opportunities in ways that we never would have known or experienced, it was through having children. And so I've really appreciated that about our journey and where we've been, and so hopefully that just encourages you guys.

 

- [Aaron] Those are five questions that we received from the community. Again we're not the end-all be-all to these answers but we try the best of our ability to look at the word of God, to look at experience and see how God is trying to change the way we think about things.

 

- [Jennifer] I'll say this, answering the questions is not easy for me. I'm a peacemaker and I don't wanna ruffle anyone's feathers or ever put things out there that make people feel uncomfortable, but at the same time I want you guys to know where Aaron and I are on some of these topics because you're you're listening in, you're following us. And for whatever reason, God has trusted us with an opportunity to share these with you. And so I hope that through our experience and through the things that we have shared with you today, if anything, you get to go back to the table with your own spouse and talk about them, and share your own perspectives, and thoughts behind them. And we just encourage you to, like Aaron said, get in the scriptures and dive into what God has to say about these and let that be the foundation for what you believe and your your viewpoints and your perspectives on some of these topics.

 

- [Aaron] 1 John tells us to test every spirit and to discern. So don't just take what we're saying as pure gold. Go yourself to the word of God and find them out. But if you're not willing to go to the word of God, and you just wanna disagree and have your own opinion, you have to understand something that we're not called to just do that. We're called to trust the word of God. And so I wanna challenge you if you are in that place, go to word of God. Take the things we've said and go dig in. Find out what God thinks about all these questions. What God thinks about children in the womb and raising children. You find out for yourself and come up with your own conclusions based off of what the word of God says, not off of what we say. But we love you, and as always win in prayer so please join us.

 

- [Jennifer] Dear Lord, thank you for the gift and blessing of children. Thank you for creating and designing us with the ability to recreate. What an incredible miracle life truly is. We thank you for the opportunity to build our family and have children. We pray for others to either have not had children yet or are in waiting their first in anticipation. May you lead them in a way you desire them to walk and to grow together. We praise you for all those who have children and we pray also for those who can't have children for whatever reason maybe. You are sovereign and we trust you. We continue to surrender our hearts to you as you lead us in parenting and raising our children to know you. Please help us with our fears and insecurities. Please remind us every day of the purpose we have with our family. May your name be glorified in Jesus' name, amen.

 

- [Aaron] Amen. And guys as always, I just wanna invite you to leave us a review, a star rating. We love those. They're incredibly powerful and effective in spreading the word about the podcast. We love you all and we pray that you guys would just grow closer to God and you chase his will for your life and get his heart on the matter of children. See you next week. Did you enjoy today's show? If you did, it would mean the world to us if you could leave us a review on iTunes. Also if you're interested, you can find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com. And let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.

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Q&A Having Children, Birth Control & how many kids to have and more

Q&A Having Children, Birth Control & how many kids to have and more

Aaron & Jennifer Smith