Total strangers stop and stare. Some even offer their rather rude $.02. But when the harsh remarks are coming from your own family, they sting all the more.
A reader emailed recently asking what to do when family members are very vocal about their disapproval of your family size. She asked for Bible verses to lean on as well as advice about whether or not to distance yourself from family members who do not support you.
First of all, you must be certain of your own feelings toward having more children. Do you see your children as a blessing? (Psalm 127) Are you happy to be welcoming a new baby into the family? Do your children know you cherish them? If you say no to any of these, it might be rather difficult to expect others in your extended family to be thrilled with your new addition.
Once you are certain of your own feelings, the best thing to do is live out your conviction. What I mean by this is if you are fully convinced this child is a blessing from God, then live that way! Enjoy your pregnancy! Relish the time you spend growing this new life! Be happy and don’t let anyone rain on your happiness!
It breaks my heart when I see women living in the shadow of what others think. Children are never mistakes or accidents. Be radiant! Be happy! Your refusal to fall into the trap of believing children are a hassle and a burden will outshine any negativity you may encounter. And the best part of this is that your other children will see grace under pressure and will ultimately realize Mommy is thankful for all her babies. What a blessed testimony!
As for Bible verses, Psalm 127 is my favorite because it speaks of children as blessings and rewards. Psalm 139 is another with its mention of babies being knit together in the womb with care by our Heavenly Father.
A little caution here: It is the Holy Spirit that pierces the hearts of others and not your aptitude for spouting Scripture in the hopes of convicting and condemning. Before you go quoiting Scripture to your skeptical family members, be certain of your motives. Be convinced of what Scripture says and wield it out of a conviction of its truth.
To answer the question of severing relationships with the negative influences of those family members who do not support you, I must admit I am not an advocate of breaking relationships with extended family members when your children are not in physical danger. You should guard them as much as possible, but you will not be able to protect your children from all disparaging remarks (the minute you think you have, the waitress at the restaurant will ask your kids if they ever get tired of having a new baby in the house…and hopefully, your children will do what mine did and look at her like she’s crazy!) It is much more beneficial to show your children how much you love and cherish them while teaching them to give a loving and honest answer to those who are less than charitable with their remarks.
My children know they are loved and I have no need to fall into the trap of arguing and stirring up strife with others. Besides, in the end, who can resist this…