Saturday, 22 November 2008

Multiply and Replenish

My husband and I used to discuss the command to "multiply and replenish." We both agreed that, to us, it meant to replenish by having two children and to multiply by having at least three. Early in our marriage, we thought four sounded like a nice number.

Then we had a baby.

Granted we have only had about seven months to settle into parenthood, but I have definitely been rehashing some of my thoughts about what multiply and replenish means. I am in california right now babysitting my sister's three oldest children. Add my daughter to the mix and I am now playing single mother of four. I have come to realize, since having my daughter, that I really and truly may not be able to emotionally handle as many children as I originally thought-- and that's ok with me. Lately I have been thinking if I could be happy with just two children, and if I think that could fall in line with the "multiply" command. Honestly, I don't think it's important to parse out exact numbers from the command; I know God doesn't require three or more children. But it is an interesting thought. Mormon families tend to be on the big side. Why, exactly? Are we under the impression that to multiply means we must multiply our two by some certain magic, enormous number? How big is your family? How has that influenced how big you want your (current or future) family to be? What does multiply and replenish mean to you?