For myself, I understand much of this. I was there. Some days, I still am, as birth control seems much easier. I am really happy with six kids. If I hadn’t gotten to know and love the ones I have, I probably would have been happy with three. I still don’t want to have ten. But strangely, as the thought of moving into a 12-passenger van gives me the heebie-geebies, I know my wife was right more than ever. I could tell you all the reasons why, but that is for a future article. But I will tell you this. It is not because I don’t fear a bus full of kids, or the cost or stress they may incur. It is because I am more afraid of what would happen if I turned my back on two millennia of collective church wisdom that is undoubtedly smarter than I am. I can deal with hard. I can deal with inconvenient. I can even deal with repeated screaming and neediness, although as a recent family vacation will attest, I must find my daily silence and reprieve somehow. But what I can’t deal with right now in my life, or at any point for that matter, is the thought that my fear, and my conformity to the culture I reside, resulted in my disobedience to Him whom my faith tells me will make the final decisions of all. This would keep me up at night, and I really need my sleep. And this would separate me from my desire to seek out the Truth, at whatever price it may be.
Jim Schroeder, PhD, is a pediatric psychologist at St. Mary’s Center for Children in Evansville, Indiana. He resides there with his wife, Amy, and their six children. He received a BS from Ball State University and graduated with a PhD in clinical psychology from Saint Louis University in 2005. He completed an internship the University of Louisville School of Medicine / Kosair Children’s Hospital and did his postdoctoral fellowship at St. Louis Children’s Hospital through the Washington University School of Medicine. He also writes a monthly column entitled Just Thinking(www.stmarys.org/articles) designed to inform, educate, and motivate parents and providers in applying pertinent research in meaningful, practical ways.