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Author Topic: Do GC leaders "encourage" couples to have children?  (Read 2731 times)
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« on: January 28, 2013, 05:35:03 pm »

To me, it seems like many couples in GC follow the same pattern, where there is often less than a year between the start of a relationship and marriage, and often less than a year after marriage before children. I know that there is often some "encouragement" in the area of if, who, and when you should marry. Does the same happen when it comes to the decision to have children? It just seems on average that the time between marriage and children is much lower in a GC church than outside of it, but I've never heard of this happening.
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 09:46:08 pm »

I cannot tell you about today's GC churches, but the parent churches used to teach the following as "doctrine:"

Proverbs "instructs" that a full quiver of children is a blessing, so get as much blessing as you can...
No spiritual person ever asks God for less blessings...
To delay to try for children immediately (say for the sake of saving up for future hospital bills) is to not trust the Lord...
Birth control, while not "outlawed" by the Scriptures demonstrates a heart that does not trust the Lord fully...
Children are your Gideon's army that you can raise and lead as mighty warriors to take up your cause after you...(who wants to lead a small army?)...

Implicitly they saw children as lifelong members that are literally born into and knitted into the group.  Numbers were always very important to GC. 

If you are going to talk about children in the old GC paradigm, you also need to take a look at their teachings on midwives...because "spiritual women" who trust the Lord go to midwives and use "natural child birth."  Much of the midwifery rhetoric seemed to be tied to the fact that many families did not have the means to buy healthcare insurance and could not afford hospitals...but again, that is another story...

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« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 04:09:19 pm »

The families were very poor, when I was part of Solid Rock. The few married couples were very young, and most were just starting to have children. The hardship was that many, if not all, of them were starting families while trying to support themselves on a single, low-wage job (performed by the husband, since moms were supposed to stay home).

One time I overheard a young wife rejoicing that she was anemic while pregnant, because it qualified her for certain food subsidies. I was young and fairly sheltered, so it came as a shock that 1) anyone could celebrate ill health during pregnancy, and 2) she was so casual about accepting benefits she hadn't earned or paid for. Although I was just a college student at the time, I knew how hard my parents both worked to provide for us, so this incident struck me very forcefully as a symptom of something being very wrong within the church--perhaps much more so than it would now that I'm older and have seen more of life's ups and downs. This was probably the first time I felt ashamed of a fellow church member during my time at Solid Rock.

That might sound judgmental, but keep in mind that this wasn't a couple that couldn't work due to some uncontrollable setback. This was a couple who chose to live a low-income lifestyle (which they were certainly free to do) but then expected outsiders to help subsidize it.  But I don't know if that was typical of the couples there. I mostly spent my time with other single sisters, so I never learned much about the inner workings of church marriages.
2xA Ron
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 12:00:18 pm »

Children are your Gideon's army that you can raise and lead as mighty warriors to take up your cause after you...(who wants to lead a small army?)...

Interesting that they would reference Gideon's army.  It was the only army in the Bible that God twice said was too large to be of use to Him (Judges 7:2 & 4).  So if children were to be your "Gideon's army," perhaps you should have the mindset of "less is more," or maybe just expect God to whittle down their numbers?  Wink
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 04:58:36 pm »

When we were just married, many were intrusive about offering advice about when to start, and about how many to have. The pastor as particularly persistent about encouraging us to "not be afraid", and that "children aren't as expensive as you think they are", and the "ideal family is a large family". Families with large numbers of children (5+) would offer uninvited testimonials about how grateful they were that they were not frightened into having fewer, and how God provided for all of them. And yes, we heard about the "quiver". In hindsight, I always felt pressure to defend our decision to limit the size of our family to a number we knew we could provide for and spend time with. Now years later, we see families that are large, and we are very grateful we chose as we did. If, out of pride, we tried to imitate one of the larger families, we would have been in over our heads, and perhaps in serious marital trouble. Instead, we continue to have a very happy marriage and family.

Yet the choice that was right for us, was not right for everyone. Knowing what it feels like to be pushed, we are very careful not to hold it up as THE right choice, and we NEVER offer unsolicited advice!
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2016, 09:24:19 pm »

I wanted to see what it is exactly.

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