While some went on to barrier methods, for others the shakeup of their preconceived ideas led them to rethink and scrap birth control altogether.

Many who structured their marriages to come off The Pill when they felt ready have been disappointed to find that fertility isn’t something we can turn off and on like a light switch. They struggle with infertility and miscarriages – adding up to much more time than they bargained for waiting for a baby.

Others discovered on their own – sometimes with a nudge from books like The Way Home or A Full Quiver – that God’s plan for their family did not include birth control of any kind. While some ended up with 12- and 15- passenger vans, others barely filled a sedan, discovering that for those who leave family planning up to God, the personal challenge can go either way, including trusting Him through just a few – or even no children at all.

And finally, some – from families large and small – have been called to follow God’s individual plan for adding children through adoption or foster care.

Many couples – after years of following the culture's recommendations on family size – express deep regret at “wasted years,” which prompts them to share their stories.

The bottom line is this:  If as Christians we are called not to be conformed to the pattern of this world (Romans 12:2), shouldn’t we question the worldly assumption that children are burdens rather than blessings? And if we did, wouldn’t it follow that our words would reflect that truth and that families would look different? 

Shouldn’t each Christian couple – before declaring “When we’re ready, we’ll have three” or “Two’s plenty for us!” – take such a weighty matter to the One who knows us better than we know ourselves, who just might have some ideas of His own: 

            “Lord, how many children do You desire for our family?” 

Sometimes it takes the right question to find the right answer.

Originally posted in October 2007.

Barbara Curtis, award-winning author of seven books and 700 articles and columns, lives with husband Tripp and six still-at-home children in Waterford, VA.

In addition to the personal narratives referenced above, she has created a Picasa Web Album titled Quiverfull Families and invites interested families to contribute to this ongoing project.