I responded briefly to Jeana’s post, but after we talked, she said it is okay with her for me to tell my story relating to husband as head of household. (Before I write anything extremely personal, I clear it with her first and with Wick—I don’t want to embarrass them)
Like Jeana, I had some pregnancy related health problems, but still wanted more children—I thought three was the least, and four would be even better, maybe even five. My husband felt otherwise, and decided to have a vasectomy a few months after Jeana was born. I was and am amazed at the peace I felt from God regarding his decision, even though I wanted to get pregnant again. I accepted my husband’s authority, and respected his wishes in this matter.
Of course, I had no idea how thing were going to develop. I continued to have health problems, which got so bad that my doctor sent me to a specialist. After tests and examinations, he asked Wick and me to come to his office for a conference. He said I needed to have a hysterectomy. I was devastated. I was in my mid-twenties, I still in my heart of hearts wanted another baby, and I believed that God could make it possible, if it were His will. The specialist was very kind, but also very honest with us. He said that even if I were somehow to become pregnant again, the odds of carrying the baby to term and delivering a living child were practically zero, and the odds of my surviving were less than 20%. How good God is! He knows our needs before we ask, before we even know that we have a need.
At that period of our lives, my husband was not actively involved with our church, and we shared little of our faith experiences. I suppose I could have said that I shouldn’t have to abide by his wishes, or yield to his authority, because of that situation. But it never occurred to me to question his leadership in our home.
I know that people have widely varying opinions about birth control, as well as many other issues. I would never tell anyone else that our choice is the choice for them. Bearing children is a very private matter between a husband and wife, and should be a subject of many prayers. I know that God created animals with instincts, instead of reasoning power; a dog doesn’t wonder whether to have another litter of puppies; a bird doesn’t choose whether to build a nest in spring. But God created us in His image, with the power to think and reason, and why would He give us these powers if He didn’t expect us to use them? As Jeana said, a person who needs a job probably needs to fill out some applications. Very few people would passively wait at home for someone to knock on the door with a job offer. How much more involved we should be in any decision that involves bringing a new life into the world. We can not be saved by works alone, but faith without work is dead. Involve God in every choice, in every aspect of your life and your marriage; allow God to work through the man to whom He has bound you in marriage, and God will honor that trust.
I believe that it is at least partly due to this choice we made as a couple that God has blessed us so abundantly, so far beyond anything we could have ever asked for, in regard to the mates our children chose. Each of them is a precious addition to our family, and a blessing every day. So instead of three children, now we have six—how generous God is, and how lovingly he answers our prayers in ways we can’t imagine. I am blessed to be mother to six, and didn’t even have to get pregnant again!
God is so good.