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May 11, 2010

Don't Feel Sorry!

Awhile back I came into the nursery during a church service and overheard a conversation that was very interesting to me. The two mothers were talking about how sorry they felt for the girls from "that" large family that had to help care for their younger siblings. It didn't take me long to realize that the girls they were actually talking about were "our" daughters. Obviously they didn't pick up on the fact that I was "those" girls mom. By now they had my interest, so I continued to listen. They went on to say how "those" girls were being deprived of their freedom in having to take care of children at such a "young" age. They went on to say that "those" girls probably wouldn't want to even become mothers someday because of this burden that their parents had placed on them. Now maybe at this point I should have stepped in and said my piece, but I didn't. I think I was maybe a little dumbfounded, a little shocked. Not because I don't know that people talk about us, I know that they do. But to actually hear someone talk about you while you were in the same room is kind of.....weird!

My question then and still is now...."How can people think this way?" How can you think that by getting your children to help out in the family, that you are ruining them for life? How can you think that by getting your children to work when they are young, that you are putting too much on them? How can you think that because you get your children to help out with younger siblings that they will never want to be parents?

Of course the heart training of our children is the key to teaching them to do their work well. If their heart is bitter, ungrateful, complaining....they may very well regret hard work. As parents it is our job to train them to work with a happy and a willing heart. I tell my children all the time that I am doing them no good if I allow them to do a job with a bad attitude, because when they are grown, if their attitude is bad, they are not going to be useful in any job, be it a spouse, a parent, a missionary, self-emplyed or an employee. Training their heart if KEY.

Here's what I believe. A generation of "spoiled kids" is being raised right now. Yes...I said it.... SPOILED! They are not expected to work for their meals, they are not expected to pitch in with the daily chores of the home, they are not expected to get along with their siblings, let alone take care of them. They are not expected to honor and obey and respect their parents and other authority. They carry around cell phones and talk or text constantly, they play endless video games, they spend hours watching television, they hang out at the malls...when what they really need to be doing is some good ol fashioned work :) (of course when I say 'they" I am not meaning "all")

I have heard the pity that people feel for our children. The children that work so hard and never get to play. I have news....I don't feel sorry for them. I feel that they are very blessed. Blessed to the measure that when they leave home and Lord willing become parents, they will know how to make meals, they will know how to honour their spouse, they will know how to care for children, they will know how to do laundry.....and they will know how TO WORK!

I think I have talked about this before, but I will touch on it again. My heart breaks when I hear young moms with one or two children talk about how stressed out they are and how they need a break. Can I tell you a secret? This is bold, but here it goes....I know that my daughters will NEVER say these things! Do you wonder how I can say this with such confidence? It's because this will not be new stuff to them. They have grown up learning to deal with the hard work and struggles that are involved in raising a family. This will not be news to them! And this is only part of the problems that are beginning to arise with the generation that really doesn't know what hard work is.
A few years ago I might have not been as confidant to say these things simply because I had not yet seen the fruits. But now I see it in our grown son and older daughters. They are capable of raising a family. I have seen it in our daughter-in-law who also cared for her younger siblings while growing up. Truthfully, if anyone would have any right to complain, she would. Things have not been easy for Rebecca as a new mom. Things did not go as she had planned. But I have never seen a bad attitude or seen her to be a complainer in all this. She has never demanded ME time. She has proclaimed the truth that God is in control of their life as a family and she rests in that. This doesn't just happen by chance. Her heart was trained. And this is how I want to train our children's hearts. That they know that whatever path God chooses for them, with His strength, they can remain strong.

I know that if you asked my girls if they regret being born into a large family they would respond with a resounding "NO!" I don't even have to ask them how they would respsond, I know what they would say (and you have my permission to ask them if you would like :) They would answer this way because we have always focused on the positive side of having a large family and many siblings. Do they work hard? Yes, sometimes from sun-up to sun-down. Do they have a ton of "ME" time? No, they don't. Do I feel guilty about that? NO!!!! I wish I had less me time when I was growing up because looking back on it I can see how it fed my selfish desires. LOTS OF ME TIME IS NOT GOOD!
To sum it up...if you have a family, don't shelter your children from work. Don't buy into the lie that they need "ME" time to become healthy adults. Don't listen to the people around you who feel sorry for your children if they have to help out. And most importantly seek God's Word and what He says about work and with what attitude we are required to do it in. Let them be an encouragement to you. Hang them around your home for a constant reminder. As the ol saying goes, "A little work never hurt anybody."
Oh and by the way....if you think of our children and the work involved in running a large family, please......don't feel sorry for them. Instead think of how blessed they are!

Proverbs 29:18

He who tills his land will have plenty of bread,

But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!

Proverbs 10:4-5

He who has a slack hand becomes poor,

But the hand of the diligent makes rich.

He who gathers in summer is a wise son;

He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.


Anonymous said...

Praise God for the Godly families that are still around today! May God bless you for training them right and may you be blessed with more and more wisdom to do the right and righteous thing, which is most times to go against the flow and the norm. I stand behind you and I KNOW and my heart bears witness that every word you wrote is the truth.
May God keep you and your family in His hands, Love Joni
P.S. Did you ever get the email I wrote a week ago?

mommyx12 said...

I've had that same thing thought and said about our family. My 4 older daughters were/are so helpful to me and the younger ones. Now that they are in late teens and early 20's I can see what a blessing them being home all their life and tending to home and family has helped them. I only hope and pray it doesn't hinder them in anyway. My eldest daughter Juli is a wonderful mom to 2 little ones. I can't say more of her mothering and love she gives her family. Her husband is eldest of 16 kids so like us, they still have many little ones. While I don't want to rain on the beauty of older ones helping and tending to little ones I hope (for me) that I haven't caused a rift in the heart of my own girls to not want many children. My daughter Juli and I are very close (she's the oldest) and once in a light hearted conversation we were in concerning having children she made a comment, not in a resentful way by no means, she said, "I feel like I've been taking care of kids my whole life." She is trying to have more but that small sentence has made me ask some questions to myself. I remember though, when she was at home she was always so helpful, kind, loving, and gentle to her siblings and I know she enjoyed that season in her life. I am hoping I suppose that she was having a day in which we all think our hands are full and how can we keep doing this!!!! But it is true for her. Even her many little brothers and sisters "in laws' plus her own siblings can seem overwhelming. She has many, many younger brothers and sisters who look up to from both sides and I s suppose that can seem daunting to some degree. Anyway, great post. But I know for certain, that there are many, many, accusations and judgements wrongly applied to large families and I suppose that won't ever change. Especially since the majority of families today are small.

Have a great week.

Duckygirl said...

clap, clap, clap....AMEN!!!!
I couldn't agree more.


Amy said...

Amen!!! This was very well said and way more experience than me. Our eight children so far range in age of 10 to 8 months. The older ones work "hard" and the little ones are learning. This is the same attitude we have in our home, too. We are not raising up children, instead, we are raising up young men and women to prepare them to be godly husbands, godly fathers, godly wives, and godly mothers who strive to carry out our Lord's commands.

We tell them that we were put here on earth to labor and their play time is a bonus not something that is commanded or required.

Thank you so much for this encouraging post!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed raeding that.

Thank you so much Mrs. Pauls,it was very encouraging.

God Bless You!


By the way nice pictures :)

Coreen Berube said...

Thanks for sharing.....we young moms need to hear things like that more often! I too think your girls are very blessed!

Jeff and Melissa said...

Thank you Rosalie.
That was just brilliant.

God bless you.

Stacey said...

Great post. Makes me think, that's for sure! And maybe, just maybe, they were talking about the Duggars? Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

This is a good reminder to be more positive as a young mom and to remember to teach my kids a good work ethic.
I have to say that I did not come from a very large family-5 kids, of which I was the 2nd oldest. I did have to help to take care of my siblings. I did have to do weekly chores, chores during summer holidays from school. I did a lot of babysitting in my later teens as well as early twenties. I worked hard at jobs that I had once I graduated from high school. I thought that I was prepared to raise a family. But after 5 years of being married and then having our first child, I was not prepared for it at all. It felt overwhelming.
I have come a long way from then but there are still days when I wonder if I will have the energy to get through that day. I do think that it does take leaning on God and believing that He will guide you through it all.

Anonymous said...

Good morning! You have indeed been bold, but it all needed saying! The methods you are using to raise your children, however, can also be used for all the smaller families, indeed, even for a one-child family. I have seen it happen. Good work ethic is so important. I, too, have raised a large family and my older children, some of who are married, and others not, have thanked me so many times over for teaching them to work and to stick with a job even tho' there are unpleasant aspects to every job. Of course, that was learned years ago when they were little! As a result, they meet these challenges with a much better attitude than many of their senior co-workers, many of whom they have been so disappointed in, but alas, that too is a part of reality and a tough thing to accept at times. The kids find it so hard to believe that many adults are acting like children and on top of that don't carry out their responsibilities. On another note...even tho' the older children help out with the younger ones, it is important to intentionally give them time off. I'm sure you do that. I found it hard at times to do this - it just is so handy! Especially since ministry took us out of the home so often. But, imagine my surprise when at the age of 15 my oldest daughter asked me if we please couldn't have 2 more children! When I reminded her of all the babysitting she already was doing and what an increase a few more babies would make, she answered, "But, mom, you're such a good mom and I think you should have even more children." I was so humbled - and thankful for her! And to this day, she is very much "the second mother" whom the younger children admire and go to for advice many times (especially if they feel mom and dad just aren't getting it!) Children truly are a blessing from the Lord! And for those who really don't like the idea of a large family, that's okay! The Lord guides each one of us, nonetheless, and then hugely blesses us as we let him guide us in raising these precious souls. I always do say though...that you need to have at least 3 children - that's when things become more interesting very quickly. You can no longer split everything so evenly... and the dance goes on! Life just naturally takes on a new spin, and you learn SO much! Happy parenting, everyone!

The Pauls' Family said...

Joni: Thanks for the encouragement. And I did get your email....just haven't sat down and responded yet :) Soon I hope!

Tricia: Thank you for your input.

Laura: May the Lord bless you and your family as you continue to serve Hiim!

Amy: "We are not raising up children, instead, we are raising up young men and women to prepare them to be godly husbands, godly fathers, godly wives, and godly mothers who strive to carry out our Lord's commands. " Very well said....so true!

Raechelle: Thank you Raechelle.....The pictures were part of my mother's day gift!

Coreen: You are doing a great job! I love the way you pour yourself into your calling as a wife and mother.

Melissa: Hey! It's been awhile. I don't think I ever did reply to your email....sorry. Hope you and your family are doing well!

Stacey: Thanks for your comment. I know they were talking about our family in the way the conversation went. Sorry, I didn't explain that very well :)

Anonymous: Yes, I agree, every day takes leaning on God and His strength. Without it I would be a wreck. Thanks for commenting.

Anonymous: Absolutely, the methods I talked about can be used for any sized family.
And again, sorry if I gave the impression that our kids never get time off. It's just not something that is planned, if the day allows for it, then it happens, and if it doesn't than none of us stress over it. That's the way life is!
About your comment that everyone should have at least three children (if the Lord allows), I totally agree. I always say you only have 2 hands and once you have 3 children things have to change!
Thanks for sharing your experiences.

The Mayo Family said...

Dear Rosalie,
AMEN! We are so in agreement with the way Mark & you are following out "God's direction in HIS word"!
So well said...Thanks for the up-lifting post! (smile) We are blessed.
Blessings friends~

Chris and Nettie Pauls said...

We have great respect for your family!!

The Coopers said...

Rosalie....Oh you know we've heard this too! Sometimes I open my mouth before I should though...but hear lately I just smile and move on, because one day when I see my Lord I know he will be pleased that we did what he desired of us with our children. There are people who think that our girls don't get to do "enough"...we'll I got to do way too much!! It got me in alot of trouble...my girls desires are to be wives and momma's, we'll the only way to learn how to do that is to be taught at "home"!! Praise the Lord for what your family represents! I am thankful for your friendship and that my girls love to get on your blog and see girls like them! You all keep on keeping on!!!

Because of Calvary
The Coopers

Cinnamon said...

I do enjoy your "bold" posts! Too funny about you accidentally listening in.

Being in a small town we always get a good laugh over rumors spread about us.

Amen to all of it~ Cinnamon

The Munck Family said...

Aw...sorry I missed this post, guess I sould get on the computer more often. Your girls, are ALL very precious to us and we see their hearts! They are growing into just who Christ wants them to be, your training has done them well!
Love you all, Laura

Mrs. Pauls said...

Thankyou for the words of wisdom.
I can always use a little more wisdom. (or a lot) :)