Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Big Families = Opportunities to Spread God's Love (and some wit)

A growing phenomenon in our culture is the way in which children are now despised by many. The examples run from the extreme to the tame, but all continue to grow.

One of the examples of this phenomenon is the way in which others respond to big families. As a father of five (and from a family with 5 kids) I have heard comments about large families throughout my life, but they get more frequent every year. What a shame, but what an opportunity!

I thought I would help others who have to deal with this by offering some responses to the most common comments and questions others have, many of them quite rude. But, since not everyone likes to be witty, I will have several kinds of responses:

  1. The gentle soccer-mom response (GSM)
  2. The straight to the point dad response (STTP)
  3. The quick-tongue / snarky response response (QTS)

Regardless of whatever kind of response we have, we should never respond in anger to someone else's ignorance or hate. Even snarky remarks should be done given in charity and with a smile. Not all of the responses are mine, but all have been used by someone.

"How can you afford them all?"
(GSM) With God's help
(STTP) Children are worth more than money OR Money doesn't bring joy like a child does
(QTS) We can't, which is why we had to sell a couple of them. OR Who do you think is paying for Social Security?

"You do know HOW that happens, don't you?"
(GSM) Yes we do.
(STTP) The union of man, wife, and God which creates a unique and unrepeatable human person that will live forever.
(QTS) Yes, and we obviously make sure it happens frequently. OR No, could you tell me all about it? OR Duh! The stork brings them. OR I do, but I don't have time to explain it to you in detail right now. OR Yes, I am fully certified practitioner of it too.

"Why don’t you get a hobby?"
(GSM) I do have several hobbies... OR There is never a boring moment in our house.
(STTP) Hobbies aren't nearly as fulfilling as my children are. When I am old I hope to look back and see my grandkids, not just things.
(QTS) We already have one, isn't it obvious? OR I collect kids. OR

"Are all of them yours"
(GSM) They sure are! OR Yes, we are very blessed.
(STTP) Actually, they are all God's and I am just in charge of them for a while.
(QTS) Nope. I found a couple near a dumpster. OR The rest are in the bus. OR According to my wife they are. OR My wife can't keep her hands off of me.

"What about the environment" or "Ever heard of overpopulation?"
(GSM) We are teaching our kids to be good stewards of all of God's gifts, including the environment.
(STTP) The world was made for humans, not humans for the world. We can have children and be responsible at the same time. OR Overpopulation is a myth. In fact, many Western European countries are facing the crisis of not having enough babies. You should visit www.overpopulationisamyth.com
(QTS) Which one should we get rid of first? OR My car is overpopulated, but not the world.

"Were they all planned"
(GSM) By God.
(STTP) The plan is that God is in charge and we are not. Our fertility is a blessing which we are not afraid of.
(QTS) We certainly planned good times. OR Honestly, who has time to plan anything? OR (Please don't really say this in front of kids) That one over there sure wasn't. We didn't want him.

"You sure have your hands full"
(GSM) And our hearts as well. OR Full of love
(STTP) Certainly kids can make life hectic, but I wouldn't want it any other way. Children are a true blessing to us, not a burden.
(QTS) If you think my hands are full, you should see my minivan. OR Oh, you must not have met the 6 we left behind!

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