|By Chrisbwah (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0|
Wow, people think some not so nice things about large families.
I regularly hear smug stories about "those families with big vans" and "a line of stair-step children." I've even been treated to such statements as, "they should sterilize her." These comments are generally delivered with an elitist tone and a judgmental air. They tend to be accompanied by statements that question the ability of the mother to provide proper care and attention to each child. Of course, this questioning is usually advanced by a woman during her workday while her child(ren) is/are in the care of someone else.
I'm not sure how we came to this. I'm not sure when we began to believe that a separate bedroom for each child, expensive gadgets, and freedom from hard work (to allow time to "be a kid) were necessary. Heaven forbid children should have chores and hand-me-downs. Honestly, even pro-life Christians regularly treat me to negative evaluations of families with more than 2.5 children.
Granted, there are families who are irresponsible about the care of their children. This is true of both small and large families. However, I think that somehow the Christian community has lost sight of the fact that "Children are an heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. (Ps. 127:3)" Somewhere between the genesis of the option to (attempt to) block the Lord's creative hand with pills and poisons-- and the development of the idea that woman at home are lazy or unpleasantly "chained to the stove"--we've lost sight of what is good and wholesome. We've also managed to raise a generation of spoiled brats who feel entitled to private university tuition and a subsequest easy helping of the standard of living that their parents worked long and hard to achieve.
Perhaps the pendulum swings? Maybe the shift in values toward Pro-Life beliefs will carry over to an increase in positive attitudes toward children and families in general? Time will tell. In the meantime, those of you who are blessed with the opportunity to build large families for the Lord have my prayers and blessings.
Pax Christi dear ones,
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