09 February 2012
People cite many reasons for not choosing the big family life. The reason few people are honest enough to cite is what I guess we must call "style" or "popularity" or "anti-loserishness".
Because, let's face it, big family people are dorks. They look like they just came from the last hour of a garage sale on Doublewide Drive, or the super weird ones even dress up like they're Amish or something. They can't shut up about homeschooling and &$*% breastfeeding and #$^&@%#$#$@ homebirth. The wives always end up looking like heaps of hairy blubber and the husbands are just creepy hagbait with giant guts (must be all those kids, ha ha ha ha ha). They have to drive those Baptist church vans to fit all their spawn in, how is that Lutheran, ha ha ha ha ha? It's fine that some people have a lot of kids, but . . . dorks!
It would sound pretty shallow to engineer one's family on the basis of coolness, though, and the myriad other reasons couched in terms of responsibility and stewardship sound downright mature. But the truth is that skinny jeans and makeup and generally not being a loser are a surprisingly big deal to a lot of people who ostensibly left high school a long time ago.
Little children, grow up. We know very well that all that cruel snobbery we can just say was a joke if we get cornered is a spiteful caricature we have based on a few people we didn't like. Coolness is the extremely silly wealth of a too-wealthy people, and our Lord has nothing but warnings for the rich man.
Of course we'd all totally die for Jesus no prob, but of most of us he does not make so straightforward a request. Most of us he asks merely to be despised and rejected even as he was. Which is to say, among other things, uncool; renouncing in large part the clothing, entertainment, demeanor, speech, and camaraderie of the World around us. Would I give up my edgy hipness for a meek and quiet spirit? Would I stop making a point of denouncing badly dressed weirdness to make sure everybody knows I'm not one of those losers even if we do all go to the same church? Would I risk appearing to be allied with (or at least refuse to speak ill of) that annoying hippie and her annoying hippie friends* who happen to be my sisters in Christ? Would I give up the ax I've been grinding so long on the backs of badly dressed weirdos to do right by the husband, the baby, the children, the church, the neighbors God has given or would give me?
I don't like being a weirdo. I have, idiotically, been jealous of the cool people since the time I was old enough to perceive their exclusivity. Although I'm getting pretty old and crusty, there are times when I hate knowing that I, with my six kids and my pragmatically determined appearance and my six-kid-centric lifestyle and my boring hangup on the same, am the loser the cool people are still sneering at. Little child, grow up.
*And this one is really dangerous, as I have been terribly embarrassed to find the hippies much kinder, humbler, and more accepting of others than I am. Organic jerks, making me feel all bad and stuff . . . .