Preserved Through Childbearing

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Told by: Michelle

Your marriage doesn’t feel like a little piece of heaven? You feel like your  husband is not trying? There are some heavy issues between you that are not getting resolved?  I don’t
doubt that this could be true. I have lived there too. After years of major struggle in my own marriage, I know that we, as a couple, have been asked how we made it to this point in our lives countless times. We have also been asked many, many times how we managed to have eleven children in the process. In the midst of marital issues, people often wonder how to possibly trust the Lord with childbearing.  It seems common knowledge that this would be the most unwise thing that a couple could possibly do.  We as a couple found
that people not only wondered, but could get quite rude about this issue.  It was not uncommon for us to hear that we as a couple had been irresponsible, reckless, crazy….I could go on. The thing is, I can honestly tell you that not only my spiritual life, but also my marriage, was saved through childbearing.
Babies can do wonderful things – like save you from yourself, and save you from making selfish choices.

When I was pregnant with my firstborn, I was fully prepared to abort the pregnancy.  I found it extremely inconvenient to find myself in this position, and I was not at all
interested in changing any of my well laid out plans for my future. I was happily on my way to law school, and I was not interested in sustaining anything longterm with the father of the pregnancy. Miraculously, and only by the hand of God,  I kept the baby, and stayed with the father. The night before the scheduled abortion, I had a sudden and rather logical change of heart.  I felt that there was really no way that I could not manage this child and continue with my plans for my future.  I was having a hard time rationalizing the abortion (of course we know now that it was the Holy Spirit at work c=!). God slowly worked in my heart throughout that pregnancy, softening me first to my baby, and then to the Creator of life – God Himself.  My son’s arrival ushered in several SIGNIFICANT changes in my life, the spiritual change being the most dramatic.  The Lord used my first baby to draw me to Himself, and for the very first time in my life, I started attending church and worshiping God without being coerced by someone.   I was in love with the Lord, truly,  and I sought to live according to His ways for the first time in my adult life. Although I was now walking in faith by grace, that did not mean everything was wonderful. Although I was a new creation, living by new rules, all this change was very hard on my relationship.  We did manage to get married, but those early years….
well, let’s just say that my marriage was a huge shambles.  After all, this was not a marriage made in heaven – or so I thought at the time.  This was a marriage of doing the proper thing, as we were the parents of this beautiful child. At least that is how I saw it in the beginning. Not an ideal start, and many folks around us wondered how we could even have one child, let alone more children, in such an ugly relationship.  How did we end up together? What on earth were we thinking??? Why are we staying together??? Well, I’ll tell

The first thing is, without the children, it would have been far too easy to walk away from the marriage.  The fact of the matter was that what we as a couple really needed desperately was some time to grow, change and learn. Without the children acting as our glue, we would not have had the stamina to perservere through those hard years. And the hard years were hard! The Lord knew that we would come out in love in the end though, and so He blessed us with children along the way as He saw fit. Contrary to what society may say, the children did not create more chaos, they prevented more chaos from happening. We had to focus on their needs, and let go of our selfish desires to have our own ways. Many times we had to get along for the sake of the children.  Without them, why would we bother?  It would have been so simple to walk away, like so many do in our culture.  I had no time to do this though, because if I wasn’t nursing, I was pregnant.  This
occupied so much of my time, that life managed to move forward, and we as a couple managed to move forward also.  Thank God for the children as it would have been so easy to walk away if they hadn’t kept coming. And why did they keep coming?  Well, I’ll tell you that too!

Thankfully for us when it came to  childbearing, we honestly both felt that we were incompetent to decide when or if it was “the right time” to bring in a child – or not. Neither of us wanted that responsibility on our heads.  The LORD makes it very clear
that He opens and closes the womb, and that we as humans have hearts that are deceitful beyond description. We both knew full well that we were completely incapable of  having the wisdom it would take to know when or if a new life should come. So, we never tried to conceive, and we never tried not to. We really left it in God’s hands. Getting to that point in our journey is another story altogether, but for the point of this article just know that we arrived here relatively early in the marriage. Now, when I look at each of my children,
I can honestly say that God timed them, not us, and that He made them according to His plan with no “help” from our feeble hands. For us, there is great comfort in that. We never assisted, or prevented. And His timing is always perfect, and it gives indescribable peace. We really felt, and still do, that He doesn’t need any of our help with our fertility. He gives when His time says to, and doesn’t when His time says not to. Just because you leave your fertility in God’s hands does not mean that you will have baby after baby. It does not typically work that way. We only think it does, but it really doesn’t. However, that thought
does keep us in fear rather than trust I think. We as a couple are very thankful that we trusted God with the whole thing, and are now quite shocked to think that our fertile days are actually numbered, as we are getting older!  We have no regrets at all in this area of our lives.

We both know that I was preserved through childbearing spiritually, and that together, our marriage was preserved through childbearing. So these were just two of the side benefits
of bringing in new life.  The most amazing part, as if the side benefits weren’t enough, is that God will use these lives that He has created for His glory, according to His plan, and we get to watch it unfold.  How thrilling! How exciting is that! We are humbled to partake in this great adventure.  And to have the love of a large family.

Yes, the wisdom of God does seem like foolishness to the world, in more ways than one.  The world may think it is crazy, irresponsible, even downright stupid to not use any form of birth control, but we know better. Where would we be now if we had not let God have control?  We shudder to think!  What peace it brings to know that the responsibility is not on us, as we did not try to manipulate fertility.  We rest knowing that the good and most trustworthy Father reigned, and created our family as He saw fit.  And He kept us together through it all! How perfect! I hope He sees fit to give more!

Michelle Kauenhofen works at Above Rubies, and is
married to Cam, parents to Bryson(18), Jacinda (17),  Dalton (16), Brielle (13),
Logan (11), Havenne (10), Gideon (8), Jilissa (6), Tressa Leigh (4), Drayden
(3), Solana (5 mon).  Sadly, lost 4 babies along the way.

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