Well, Friday marked the end of our Family Conference. It truly was a blessing to hear Bro. Chovan preach this past week! He is a wonderful preacher. One thing I really enjoyed about him is that he doesn't shy away from speaking the truth (in love)... even if the message isn't "popular." There were a few things I didn't really want to hear, but I know I needed to hear them. I'm so thankful for men willing to convey the messages that God has given them and us through the Bible.

The first few services he focused mainly on the marriage relationship -- duties or "job description" for the wife and husband. We've started applying some of the principles, and there is a difference in our lives already! The last few services were on children, their proper rearing (according to Biblical principles), and discipline (again, according to what the Bible teaches).

He opened with the verse in Psalm 127:3 "Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward." God considers placing children in ours homes as an honor and a reward! Who are we to think otherwise? How many parents do you know that think of children as a burden or an "inconvenience"? I know of couples who say they're never having children, because they're not the "having children kind of couple." How sad... they're denying themselves of such a blessing... intentionally!!! What's sadder still is when I say that I would love to have six children (even more if the Lord would allow), people -- even Christians -- look at me as if I'm crazy... several even ask incredulously, "Why?!" Society and the world have really influenced a lot of us in the area of "family planning" -- using birth control pills/shots/patches (which have been medically proven to cause early abortions, but I won't even get started on that point right now, lol), tying tubes, and all of that -- but that is definitely not a scriptural viewpoint.

The Bible says, "Happy [is] the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." (Ps. 127:5) He pointed out that a man can be happy when he has a number of children, because if he has trained and disciplined the children properly, he will not be ashamed of them. He went on to other verses talking of the blessing children can be if we would only see them that way. He also talked of God's sovereignty; if God is truly sovereign (and He is), and you really want Him to have control of your lives (which we should), then who are we to decide "Well, we've got our boy and our girl, so we're done." The message he preached that night certainly was in no way popular, but Nathan and I are glad he preached it, because it was an encouragement to us.

Shortly after we were married, Nathan and I had a very long discussion about all of this. Well actually, the discussion started before we were married. I had done a lot of research on the birth control pill (pretty much any form of chemical "contraceptive"), and after reading through many articles (not Christian-based articles, either), we decided we could never use it because it is known to cause early abortions. We were still discussing using other forms of contraceptives, and after thinking, praying, and reading other things, we decided we would simply let the Lord decide when we would have children, and how many children we would have. We believe God guides in all areas of life -- including that of conception -- so we submitted that over to Him.

Anyway, all that to say, the service truly was a blessing, and if any of you have the chance to have Bro. Randy Chovan over to your church, he would be a great blessing to you, as well! I've babbled on long enough -- though I haven't even begun to relate what all he preached, lol -- and I have to get ready for work now! These will be my last few days up in the elementary... it's gone by so quickly. I do love working with those kids... they tend to grow on you. I could spend hours telling you the things that happen up there, but I just don't have the time! All I can say is that I can't wait to have some of our own!!!!! Someday soon, Lord-willing... I'm sure I'll keep you posted! Hope you all have a wonderful, fantastic, glorious day!


Samantha said...

Jim and I have also decided against any form of birth control. There are some natural methods of birth control, but even that seems silly to me. Having children changes your life completely and I feel so much more secure leaving the timing completely up to God.

Happymama said...

Wow, that's a great post, Arlene. Most people are not inclined to give that area over to the Lord. Bruce and I did years ago. Justin was five months old and I was very convicted about the pill, because like you, I had read how it can cause early abortion. Beside the fact that I had reservations all along about using the pill or any other form of contraceptive.
The Lord blessed us with Justin and then Hannah three years later. Then five years later, I found out I was pregnant with our third little blessing.
My pregnancy was extremely difficult. I was sick for months. Not just morning sickness, but with sinus infections, ear infections, and everything else. I felt something was wrong early on, but every doctor visit was "good." Then around my second trimester I began swelling and feeling really bad. And I don't mean pregnant bad. I mean knocking on death's door bad. My blood pressure began to rise continually, I was swelling terribly. I couldn't wear my shoes for the swelling. I had to have my rings cut off one day. I couldn't even wear my watch. On my last visit to the doctor, I still had six weeks to go. But my BP was so high in the office that they wouldn't even let me sit up to get myself dressed. I had to lay perfectly still in the dark while the nurse dressed me. They put me in a wheel chair and pushed me over to the hospital where they placed me in a small room and hooked me up to monitors while we waited for them to prepare me for a hospital in Charlotte, 45 minutes away.
They would induce labor and my little Harrison would be born 12 hours later. I was on an IV that admistered a medicine to keep me from having strokes. Later, that same medicine caused my face to swell beyond recognition. That eventually went down. But it sure did scare my husband and Pastor. LOL Harrison was in the nursery with all sorts of terrible tubes and IV's in his head and arms and so forth. It was so pitiful.
I had toxemia, but it was not normal. The placenta, which on average weighs 4 pounds, ended up weighing over 16 pounds. It was covered in clots and calcium and the pathologist was stumped. He examined it several times and said in all his years of pathology work he had never seen anything like it and could not explain it. He said Harrison should have died in the womb weeks earlier. I had five different doctors and their five staffs that worked on me that night. Each of those doctors told us to never have another child. I had a light stroke in my sleep a few days before all of this happened which caused my left eye to be permanantly damaged and my eye doctor told me that any strain from another pregnancy would finish that eye. My kidneys were shot. Not completely, but enough to where they wouldn't take one for my Dad's transplant. The Nephrologist said to never have another baby. All this to say, that God knew that Bruce and I would never have stopped having children if only one or two doctors had told us to stop. But when eight doctors told us to stop, we felt that God was telling us something. So even though we have only three children, our quiver is quite full and Bruce is a happy man. I still do not take the pill. Bruce felt that my body had been through enough and took that matter upon himself, if you know what I mean. I get very sad sometimes because we have six chairs around our dining table and only one sits empty. I wonder sometimes what the little blessing that would have occupied that chair would have been like, but God always sends something my way to comfort me. And His comfort usually comes in the form of someone else's child/children.
I can't wait to see how God fills your quiver. I just know you're going to be a great Mom.

Jammy said...

Hi there,
I wonder if he may have any sermons online?

I, too appreciate a bold and fearless (yet loving) preacher.


Arlene said...

Samantha, I agree; it's best to leave things up to the Lord and His timing -- He really does know best! Glad to know we share that belief :)
Kristi, thank you so much for sharing your story! Bro. Chovan was very careful to say that medical reasons are important to consider, and should be prayerfully looked into -- as you and Bruce did. I was in no way trying to say that if your body can't handle another pregnancy, you should ignore what doctors and other health-care professionals are warning you about; I think you understood that I was focusing on those who choose to do what they want with their body and choose not to relinquish control to the Lord, and I'm glad you knew what I was trying to say. :) I appreciate so much what you have said to me (through email and here on blogger), and am glad to have found a kindred spirit and new older sister :P
Jenn, I'm not sure if Bro. Chovan has anything online. I know that for a while after our Family Conference, our pastor had put the sermons up online for people to download and listen to, but they're not up anymore... Bro. Chovan is visiting churches all the time, though, so perhaps another church will do something similar. If you want, I can get a copy of the sermons made for you and send them off. :~) That wouldn't be a problem at all... hope you'll visit again! :P

Anonymous said...

I, too, am surprised at how few Christians believe in letting God determine when and how many! I was thrilled to discover this post!! I've had your blog listed under "favorites" and have just lately gotten to get enough time to poke around a little bit! :) Hope you stop by my blog soon!