Many are saying it's too soon, after their wedding only two months ago, to be announcing a pregnancy. Many others are saying things I won't repeat. Lots of well-meaning Christian-folk are saying, "Well, I'm happy for them, but it's too bad they couldn't enjoy being married first."
Ah, yes. Because once the babies start coming, your marriage is never the same again. They change everything. No more freedom. No more sleeping in late or romantic dinner dates. No more "just the two of us".
Jamie and I heard these exact same sentiments when we discussed having a family right after our wedding. Thank God we didn't listen to the haters. If we had, there's no way we'd be married right now and what's more, we probably wouldn't have the slightest interest in serving the Lord, either.
Our society is so turned around from what God intended, that we're accusing the very things that were meant to keep us together of being the things that are tearing us apart. Children are meant to seal a man and woman together as a family. They're the one flesh that is created when the two become one. They bring a married couple hope. They solidify their future. They give us a reason to stay together when all we want to do is run.
When I was 11 or 12 and my parents were talking about divorcing, I remember the topic of "staying together for the kids" was a big one. I used to think that was so pointless. If you can't work it out, then what's the point of staying together just for us, I'd think. Now I think differently. Sometimes we're so caught up in our own pride, selfishness, and frustration, that the kids are the only reason we're not walking out the door---and that's totally ok.
Jamie and I married young---even younger than the Dillards. He was barely 19 and I was still 18. We didn't know much about keeping a marriage together, we didn't know how to communicate, we didn't understand traditional roles, we didn't comprehend how big of a part God should play in a marriage. All we knew was that we desperately wanted to do things differently than our divorced parents had. We wanted this marriage thing to work.
Everything was peachy until Lynzie showed up four months after my twentieth birthday. Suddenly, I was faced with something massive that neither I, nor anyone close to me, understood: post-partum depression. After that, Jamie and I went through trial after trial. I'll save you the details, but I'm bringing it up to make this point:
- The thing that saved me from cheating on Jamie with an old boyfriend? Baby Lynzie.
- The thing that brought me home after drinking all night with friends? Baby Lynzie.
- The thing that made me stop being physically abusive to my family? Baby Lynzie.
- The thing that pulled me off the train tracks on a particularly bad night? Baby Michael.
- The thing that caused me to quit working and focus my attention at home? Baby Elisha.
- The thing that helped me realize it was ok to be a feminine lady? Baby Selah.
- The thing that completely turned this whole mothering thing around? Baby Hope in Heaven.
- The thing that taught me my ministry was not what the church's Women's Ministry was pushing? Baby Hope in Heaven.
- The thing that taught me that God really does bring the dead back to life? Baby Liam.
- The thing that is teaching me not to take this "baby a year" thing for granted? Baby Brenna.
As a large, homeschooling family living in Northwest Arkansas, we and the Duggars have several mutual friends and acquaintances. We were at a party earlier this summer and the Duggars and Dillards were also in attendance. Like most monthly-weds, Jill and Derrick were receiving lots of congratulatory hugs and smiles. Like most monthly-weds, they had that starry-eyed look that so many people think goes away after time.
Critics, well-meaning or not, think the Dillards, and other families like them, are losing something by having children right away. Oh, how very wrong they are! Derick and Jill have everything to gain by solidifying their marriage with children. Children bring a Christian marriage stability, focus, and direction like nothing else can.
Because, even one of America's supposedly "perfect" children is going to have days when all she wants to do is punch him.
Sunday Showcase Party@Under the Table and Dreaming
Seasonal Sundays @ The Tablescaper
One More Time
Link It Or Lump It
The Chicken Chick Blog Hop
Weekend Bloggy Reading
Think Pink Sunday
Nifty Thrifty Sunday
Bouquet of Talent
It's Party Time
Make Bake Create @ Hope In Every Season
Cottage Style Party @ Lavender Garden Cottage
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk in His Grace
Whole-Hearted Home Wednesdays
Wake Up Wednesday
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Homemaking Link Up @ Raising Homemakers
What's It Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants
Wednesday Link up at Adorned from Above
Quitting Thursday Linkup
Hearts for Home