We live in a world where people take great pains and lots of pills to prevent babies when they don’t want them, and spare no expense to get them when they do. According to our culture, babies before you want them are an accident, mistake or crisis — a result of a birth control failure. And if you can’t have them naturally when you decide you’re ready, they’re treated like a commodity you have a right to buy, as long as you can afford the price tag. Birth control is no longer a noun, something we use to prevent pregnancy; it’s an adjective describing our whole culture. We live in a birth control culture, the key word being control.
Good Reasons to Ask the Question
Mary’s question, “What makes you think you’ll still be fertile when you decide you’re ready to have babies?” jolted me because it offended my sense of control. I figured I knew best when I’d be ready to be a mom. Even though I wasn’t on the pill, I was very much in the birth-control mindset. I thought this decision was up to Steve and me. We believed we were in control. Her question hit me like a bucket of ice water.
What if we’re not in control? What if by saying no to children now, we miss our window of opportunity? What then? These questions raced through my mind, and later that day, they raced around our family room as we hashed them out with the Morkens. God used them to challenge our assumptions. Steve saved his best counter for last: “But, Dr. Morken, we can’t afford them.” Dr. Morken didn’t waste time looking at our balance sheet or examining our checkbook. He knew we weren’t paupers, but even that wasn’t the issue. (He and Mary had a fraction of what we did when they got married and started their family, as have most human beings for all of recorded history). The point is that it’s not about money. He went to the deeper issue: “Babies are wealth,” he said. “Budget for everything but babies.”
You can’t measure the worth of a baby — a human being made in the image of God — with a spreadsheet or calculator the way you would material things, entertainment, travel or education. People have intrinsic value and worth that is unlike anything else in creation.
The truth is we weren’t living on much of a budget, and we weren’t really being intentional about getting out of debt. We just knew we liked our current life, our freedom to spend our double incomes the way we wanted to, to have maximum control over our schedules and time. Having a baby would certainly spin us out of control. But not like a car wreck. More like a Peter-walking-on-the-water-and-needing-to-keep-looking-at-Jesus-so-he-wouldn’t-drown wreck. This would be bigger than us. And we knew it. We didn’t want to lose control.
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull honestly and thoughtfully.
NLQ Recommended Reading …
‘Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich
‘Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland
‘Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce