How do two people who were raised Protestant end up with eight children?
Only by the grace of God. In His mercy the Lord reached out of Heaven and freed us from the reasoning that was holding our generation in bondage. Now our prayer is that we can help to free a new generation. We offer our story as a living testimony of what God can do in regular people’s lives and the reason why I wrote
Birthing God’s Mighty Warriors.
My husband Christopher and I met in High School at our church youth group. He says that it was love at first sight, and I agree. We have been married for nearly 30 years, and we have a wonderful marriage. We both received Christ as our Savior when we were very young, and grew up knowing and loving the Lord.
Even though our parents brought us up in Bible believing churches neither of us can recall ever hearing any teachings on “God’s plan for the family.” Unfortunately we were both born and raised in a generation that X-out children (1961-2001) this may have been why we were often told by our ministry leaders that birthing children was “a personal choice” in which we must always act as careful and responsible believers. It never occurred to us to question what we had been taught until after one night when my husband had a dramatic encounter with an angel…
In 1980, when we were first married we agreed that neither one of us wanted a large family. In fact we were pretty positive that we may not want any children at all. I would tell people, “I don’t want anyone calling me mommy.” But every once in a while we would discuss the possibility of children. We were certain that since I was from a family of three children and my husband was from a family of five children, that if we ever did have children, two would be more than enough children for us. We both felt that any more kids would be expensive
and require a lot of work. Neither of us wanted to interrupt our lives.
We wanted the freedom to do other things and feared the burden that we saw so many families under. Since we had never heard a sermon on the subject of family planning we did not understand the true meaning of family nor could we see the purpose in having a large family. Our beliefs and attitudes came from TV and movies, comments in our Sunday School classes and from the other couples that we met through our church, workplace and neighborhood. We had no idea God’s plan for the FAMILY even existed!
Yet we were consistent church goers. We never missed a Sunday! At every church we attended, we always joined a couples class and got involved. It seemed we often knew of couples who were getting sterilized. After we were in our mid thirties we noticed increasing numbers of sterilizations. People were not shy about their behavior. The wife might make a comment about how her husband was feeling because he had just been “fixed.” She would laugh and joke about him not being “quite up to snuff,” or the husband would share how
his wife had just gotten her tubes tied after the delivery of their last baby and how happy he was now that he would not have to worry about any more children coming. Couples often shared their stories and talked about their upcoming operations. Some were even so bold as to ask for prayer about their upcoming sterilization
operations in Sunday school classes!
Every time I heard a professing believer share I would ask Christopher if he was bothered in any way about the female’s tubal ligation or the male’s vasectomy. He would tell me, “They have a right to do what they want and besides children cost a lot of money and they don’t want that burden.” I understood Christopher’s perspective but each time something inside me would cringe. My spirit would let out a heartfelt cry. I knew these people were believers, but something was not right. My heart was aching for them. I was mourning their loss but I really did not know why, nor could I understand why I cared. After all, it really was none of my business. This nagging feeling always occurred whenever the subject was discussed. I just knew that something was not quite right and that the spirit of God was trying to tell me something.
When I was growing up in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, it was becoming increasingly popular for women to be on the pill and to get sterilized by getting their tubes tied. Even though my mother used birth control herself she was against this new trend. She thought tubal sterilizations were a bad idea because they were permanent.
She often brought this point up when her girlfriends broad casted their upcoming sterilization operation, but most often their minds were already made up and they didn’t consider her wisdom. Most often it fell on deaf ears. But the sad fact is that as the years passed my mother’s friends admitted their struggle with emotional or
physical pain due to their decision to become barren. My mom then shared their comments with me and I guess it caused me to develop my own ideas. I had not really thought it out but I was leery of sterilization not because of anything I believed could be in the Bible but simply based on these other woman’s misfortune. I was pretty sure I would never want my tubes tied, but Christopher felt differently about male sterilization.
As Christopher states, “I was raised in a church-going family with five children, and we did not have the luxuries that many families enjoy today. Once we began to have children, the financial lack that I had grown up with caused me to want a small family so that I could give them the things that I had never enjoyed. After we had our son in 1983 (when Rachel was 21 years old and I was 24 years old), I was content to never have any more children. But after a few years, our son kept asking for a sibling and I think it wore Rachel down and
she started yearning for a daughter to make our family feel more complete. Rachel finally convinced me that she would be unfulfilled if we did not at least try to have a little girl. I finally agreed but the cost of another child weighed heavily in my mind. I didn’t want the burden of a large family and to me a family of two children was very large!”
When our son was five years old, we had a daughter. We both felt that our family was now complete. Since we were still under thirty neither of us wanted sterilization yet, but in our minds, we were done!
Christopher and I always feared pregnancy, so we were extremely careful to use a contraceptive every single time that we made love. We were never careless and were very confident that we were being very responsible. We had control of our situation. But three years after our second child was born we had an unexpected conception. I remember Christopher kept questioning, “How did this happen? How did this happen?” Neither one of us wanted more children and felt that God had let us down.
We were so entrapped with the mindset that kids were supposed to be “our choice” that we were blinded to the blessing of this child.
From the moment our third child Heather was born, I absolutely loved her! She was beautiful and when Christopher held her for the first time I joked, “You’re sure that you don’t want to send her back?” and Christopher said,“She’s a keeper!” I think at that moment we both knew something far greater was at work in our lives because we had tried very hard to make sure this third child did not get here. However God had over ruled us and He gave us this precious child to prove it!
Christopher loved our new daughter but he continued to be upset about our family finances and the growing cost of our children’s needs. Christopher feelings were mixed, “I was a builder and was running my own business at the time, and the nature of my business made our finances very unpredictable. When we were experiencing our leaner months, I was afraid that I was raising children that I could not afford. I did not want to see my children miss the same things that I had missed. The reality that this could happen to them upset me
greatly. God was watching over us faithfully, but it was not easy.
Looking back we managed somehow but both Rachel and I had to work very hard to make ends meet. There was a great fear that even though Rachel always had a part time job, if something ever happened to me our finances would sink.”
We continued to be religiously diligent in our contraceptive use but three years later we experienced another birth control failure. This time we were both extremely upset and not thinking of the great joy that another child could bring us. Christopher was deeply distressed. “I could not understand why God was bringing added responsibility to me and why my children might not be able to have all of the things that I had envisioned for them. I wanted them to go to private school, be able to join sports teams, take after school lessons and have
opportunities to travel. With finances as tight as they were and now another child on the way I saw myself slipping deeper and deeper into a hole that I would never come out of.” During this pregnancy Christopher began to talk about getting a vasectomy. “I wanted an end to the possibility of any more pregnancies!” It was not that Christopher did not love our children; in fact, he was and is a very caring and loving father. It was the financial responsibility of supporting them and their future lives that concerned him so much.
But the more he talked about getting a vasectomy the more upset I became. I did not believe in sterilization and because of how I always felt when other people talked about it I knew somehow that it was not the right thing to do. But Christopher wanted to get a vasectomy, and I simply could not agree, besides I was very
concerned about how it might effect his health. I was pregnant and emotional and was not sure if I wanted this child to be my last one. Every time that we talked about it he became very angry with me and we always had a big fight. Deep down I just knew that God was doing something with us but I could not put my feelings into words.
In fact I did not even understand my feelings; I just knew that they were there. During this pregnancy our finances hit a big slump even though Christopher worked harder than ever. Christopher recalls, “As I felt the unbearable financial pressures closing in on me, it seemed like Rachel didn’t care. I had to do something and take charge of our situation before it was too late. We were living in a southern city that was saturated with billboards advertising a ‘no-scalpel vasectomy with quick results. I called the clinic to price the surgery.”
Since we could not agree and did not have any scripture to guide us, after the birth of our 4th child Christopher decided to seek counsel from our pastor. Our pastor believed in vasectomies but cautioned
Christopher that if he wanted one we needed to be in agreement. After Christopher saw our pastor he came home and told me what he had said. Again I could not agree so we had another big fight about it. I was struggling with letting go of something stirring in my heart and I also did not like the idea of breaking a body part that is functioning properly. Even when vasectomies were being advertised as completely safe and healthy I was not convinced that there would not be consequences to his long term health. Our disagreement left
us at a serious stalemate waiting for one of us to change our minds; this was when God supernaturally stepped in.
My husband Christopher walks with God and God had often communicated to him in unusual ways. It was not out of the ordinary for him to have a vision, a miraculous sign from God or a dream. One night Christopher had a dream.
“First I saw a huge warrior angel of the Lord appear before me. The angel was as big as the sky. I then saw that he was holding a very large flaming sword. The angel then raised the sword up high into the air. It looked as if he was going to war with the sword. He then turned the sword toward me and aimed the flaming tip directly (as if touching) my male genitalia and the angel said, ‘DO NOT ABORT THE PLAN OF THE LORD!’ I was very scared and immediately I awakened. I was freaked out and in shock. I woke Rachel and she says that I was the color of death, We both remember that I could barely breathe. She grabbed the phone to call 911 thinking that I was having a heart attack. I stopped her and when I could finally talk told her what the angel had said. We were both perplexed about the true meaning of the dream and it troubled us greatly.
Christopher decided to cancel the vasectomy but he was still very concerned about how we were going to afford our four children. Without anywhere to turn for answers I turned to God’s Word and this was when the Holy Spirit began to minister to us and open both of our eyes to the truths in the Bible concerning children and family. Our finances were slowly recovering as the Lord was working on our hearts.
After that dream, Christopher would say that he would not mind another child if we at least had the money for that child. He began to be more open to God and began to believe that He had a scriptural plan for our family that we knew little about. He switched careers and the Lord began to bless him in his new job. The more open he became to allowing God to show him His plan for our fertility, the more the Lord blessed us financially. By this time, we both had began to research scripture for answers to what God was trying to tell us. I wanted to find out what God said about children and Christopher wanted to see if there were any references in scripture
about vasectomies. As the Lord revealed His Scriptural truths with us and we began to share them with each other, our growing agreement led God to show us His hand at work over our family in a
way that we had never imagined before.
After the angel dream, we still continued to used birth control but we were growing in our faith. It took almost four years after the dream for us to clearly understand that children were a gift from God and that God wants to give them to people and especially to His people. Once we both understood God’s plan we agreed to stop using birth control so that we could possibly have a fifth child. When I did get pregnant, Christopher was no longer upset at the thought of another child; in fact, he was thrilled!
This was a true testimony of how God had changed his heart and mine. During the fifth pregnancy Christopher said, “I liked telling people that my wife was pregnant with our fifth child, just to see their reaction. Especially at church where we had already been persecuted for having what was appearing to be a very large family
in Protestant circles. It did not bother me when the rudest remarks were made by church goers who almost always gave me a negative response. I no longer cared much about what others thought. Somehow Rachel and I both knew that this child was going to be a very special blessing and that God had chosen to do something
very special through us.”
After our fifth child was born, the Lord began to convict our hearts further about trying to control everything. The Lord placed a deep desire in both of us to give our fertility completely over to Him. Trusting God with this area of our lives could mean many, many more children.
We had three children after our fifth and currently have eight and one grandchild as well. We often wonder what we would be doing if the Lord had not blessed us with this many kids. If it had been left up to us, we would have only had the first two.
If this had happened we would probably both be working full-time jobs. Christopher says maybe we would have taken a few more vacations or bought our children a few more luxuries. Surely there would have been more money to spoil our (two) kids with. But somehow we don’t seem to miss those things as much as we would have missed the noise of the younger siblings opening presents on the holidays or the cheers that came as our entire family cheered our older children when they graduated High School and college or the laughter every night around the dinner table. A few more material items would have been as cheap trinkets compared to the joy that my older children have received from their younger counter parts. Their friends constantly tell them how lucky they are to be in a large family and how much they wish they had younger siblings! God is an awesome God, rich in blessings and willing to give us more than we could ever ask for or imagine! May His name be forever praised!
We are not sharing the story of our family to tell you that we are anything out of the ordinary. This book you are about to read is a labor of love. It took me over seven years to write. As you read the pages of Birthing God’s Mighty Warriors I pray that the Lord will help you see that family planning is something that our loving Heavenly Father cares greatly about. I believe that God will speak something special to each person who reads this great message. These are exciting times to be living in as we participate with the Lord to bring the mighty warriors here who will play a role in the final events of history. What an exciting and awesome privilege we have to be parents living in the last days.