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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

How Many Is Too Many?

Justin: I am a sports nut, so when I received my copy of ESPN the Magazine this week I sat right down and read it. About half way through the magazine was an article called “Who’s Crying Now?” The article was an interview with Philip Rivers, quarterback for the San Diego Chargers. Although Philip Rivers is an all-star quarterback, he had a very difficult season in which his team won 7 games and lost 9. Because of the poor performance by the team, Philip has received a lot of criticism. The article presented in big bold print quotes containing criticism from fans to which Philip responded directly.

One criticism from a fan really stuck out to me. It read, “Six kids? Regardless of your profession, it’s impossible to be a good parent to six kids. Not enough hours in the day.”

My first thought was, “What an odd criticism for an article about football!” But then I asked myself, “Why would a man (who from all I know is a very good father) be criticized for having too many children?” What does this say about the way we view children in our country?

Lurking (if even only subconsciously) in the criticism is the notion that children are a burden rather than a blessing, for no one would say, “Six blessings? Regardless of your profession, it is impossible to receive six blessings. Not enough hours in the day.”

While admittedly, I am only a father of one; the past year of parenthood has taught me that children are indeed a blessing. I have moved from a period anxiousness when I found out Sara and I were pregnant to gratitude. Gratitude for both my son and my wife.

Being a father has been more fun than I could have ever imagined. I think it is important to point out that it is indeed fun because my first response to fatherhood was anxiousness. I was worried about all the sacrifices that would be necessary. Were we financially ready? Was I capable of being a dad? But the fear resulted from approaching fatherhood as a burden and focusing only on the sacrifices.

Now when I look at Gus I see a blessing. I see joy.

From time to time, Sara will look at Gus and ask me how many kids I think we will have. I always say, “How ever many we have is what we will have.”

However, this article caused me to take a moment to think a little more deeply. When I watch Gus playing, I simply can’t imagine that I will get to the end of my life thinking that I had too much of Gus or that no matter how many children we have, that it will be too many.