sex after kids

I just got an e-mail from a woman who loved Is That All He Thinks About? but wanted to let me know she was disappointed in the entire section about sex after having kids. She reads my blog, so she realizes that I love my girls but feels that the book portrays children as a burden. She has 3 under 3 with 1 on the way and has never been as exhausted as I claim to be in the book. She doesn’t believe in birth control and feels that many women are selfish when it comes to motherhood. She loved the book and laughed until she cried but won’t be able to recommend it to her friends since they share her opinion on birth control and children.

I share this because I’m sure that there are other women out there who feel as she does. And I deeply respect her opinion and feelings. I’m going to post my response to her so that anyone else struggling with this chapter might gain more insight into where I’m coming from.

Thank you for sharing from your heart. I so appreciate your honesty. I’m sorry that the “kids” section of my book offended you. I respect and admire your decision to have as many children as God blesses you with. I understand that you feel every couple should do the same, but I have to respectfully disagree. I believe with all my heart that God wanted my husband and me to have three children. I am completely open to adoption in the future (if God should so lead), but I know this is what He wants for us for now.

I do love my little girls with everything in me. They are not a burden to me. It only feels that way when I’m being selfish, wanting to do what I want. However, I do find motherhood exhausting sometimes. And I know that a majority of my readers do, too. Those chapters were written for them (us) in mind, not for women like you. You’re so right about the world looking at children as a burden. It’s so common these days for people to have just one child, because they don’t want their lives disrupted any more than that. I imagine that you probably look at me, mother of three, the same way I view women who choose to have just one child so they can get on with their lives. But I believe there can even be God-honoring reasons for having just one child.

I still stand by my 2 keys for determining how many kids to have. 1.) Have only as many as you can handle while still meeting your husband’s needs and 2.) Don’t have more than your husband wants to have. Submitting to your husband and meeting his needs are biblical commands. Having 10 children is not. It sounds like you and your husband are in agreement about having many children, and that his needs are still getting met. Good for you!! I know you disagree, but I honestly believe God-honoring couples can stop having children while they still have fertility left in them.

Thank you for your comment, “I see your blog and that you love your little ones.” I do. And you have inspired me to always see them as the gift they are. I am blessed beyond measure.

Thank you, too, for your kind words about the book. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Maybe you could rip out the section you didn’t like and then share the book with your friends. My next book has nothing to do with marriage or children, but I have a couple projects in the works that deal with the blessings of children. I can’t promise that there won’t be any talk of exhaustion. I’m not sure how you do it with 4 under 4 without getting tired! Maybe you could write a book about that–seriously.


I know, as a writer, that I can’t please everyone who reads my books. And with book #3, I’m already preparing myself for the e-mails I know I’ll get. Thankfully, I’ve only had one other negative comment about Is That All? I won’t be blogging about that one, because it’s more of an issue the reader herself had than anything that was in the book.

My prayer is that my heart will always be right before God, that I will truly seek His will and wisdom for my life and my writing, and that I will never write anything that doesn’t line up with His Word. If God ever brings me to your mind, and you want to pray for me, please pray that.

My three sweet blessings are at their grandma and papaw’s right now. I miss them, but I know they’re having the time of their lives. And I am being refreshed in so many ways. Thank You, Father, the Giver of every good gift!

14 thoughts on “sex after kids

  1. rocknnell

    Rom. 14: 4

    “WHO ARE YOU……. to judge someone elses servants ?”

    I read your blog… then thot…shouldn’t comment… then thot this is the body of CHRIST… then I went back to mine…then I thot… ” guess God really wants us to hear this…..WE ARE HIS – who are we to tell someone else – only God has the right…and we have the HOLY SPIRIT inside us…to convict each one of us…..our individualness  (sp)…is so that we go to HIM…Salvation is = black and white… Rom. 14…  deals with this completely …. what we have the RIGHT to tell others…….maybe the readers of your books , maybe the bloggers…maybe I better take it to heart…. HIS WORD… smile…..

  2. Marketer319

    It sounds like both you and your reader did a great job discussing your difference of opinion.  I’m sure it’s so hard to receive feedback that indicates someone disagrees with you.  It’s so important that we respect each others’ right to differ in our opinions and it seems that you both did that!

  3. OkinawaAna

    Great response!  I think that chapter of your book dealt with the demands of a wife/mother realistically and not in a way that portrays children as anything less than the blessings they are.  I’m not sure how big our family will end up being, but I’m challenged to remember that the most godly thing I could for our girls is to be an amazing wife to their father.  Your book was really encouraging and very challenging!  Thanks for writing so honestly and candidly on the tougher subjects.  I wish our women’s group here could have you come and speak.  But we’re a little farther away than your sixty mile limit!  🙂

  4. faithchick

    HI. 🙂 are you having fun???? 😉
    im typing 1-handed 😀 😀

    just wanted to say that you were on that 1st picture list. im not sure why it didn’t work for you. im glad kim came through for you though!!

    i think its totally hilarious that you talked to Nana. 🙂

  5. Hoffmom

    Marla, being a homeschooling mom and more quiverful minded than most of my friends….I definitely have some understanding of the woman’s beliefs. I am somewhere in the middle of the quiverful spectrum….we only use natural planning or the occasional barrier method, and don’t feel that we’ll ever be able to presume for certain that we are done. Even though we currently feel that our family is complete, we’ve also felt convicted about staying open to the Lord’s leading in many areas of our lives, and not looking too far down the road. We’ve always wanted to leave the Lord as much room to work in our future as possible! But, we are the oddballs…every one of our dear, Christian friends have been “snipped”. And that really doesn’t bother us, b/c it’s btw. them and God. And, it’s not a black and white Biblical mandate. Plus, we do not take it to the very extreme in believing that we have no responsibility or stewardship in planning our families. We believe God set things up biologically to work, and we should always expect them to do so! There are many children conceived outside of God’s will…was He not in control of those wombs? Or is there stewardship involved? We’ve always felt that as long as we are truly open to His leading, that we can do our best to be responsible inside that framework. But my family is unique to any other, and the Lord is personally involved and working with each one of us. He will be faithful to guide us if we seek Him, and it may not be exactly the same path as others.

    I do find it strange that she’d enjoy things about your book and not trust that her friends might enjoy the same things and gain something despite the difference in opinion in that one area. We can always take the good and disregard the things we disagree with! But, I really wanted to say that I thought your response was very gracious and effective. And I definitely think you are right about following your hubby’s lead on children, and I suspect she’d agree with you on that one.

  6. kkakwright

    That chapter in the book was one I really needed to read.  That chapter didn’t just speak to me, it screamed to me.  It is easy for me to get worn out and put hubby on the back burner (especially now that I’m 89 weeks pregnant).  I am a wife before I am a mother.  Your book helped me to gain perspective on that and give me fresh ideas for making it happen. 

    Bottom line, this is a personal decision that each one of us may be convicted of differently.  What is right for you may not be right for me and vice versa.  If you and your husband feel you shouldn’t be on birth control then you shouldn’t be on it.  If my husband and I feel we should be on birth control then we should.  I think it is a personal decision that must be made within each individual home. 

    Don’t let this get you down Marla.  WE LOVE YOU and all of your books! 

  7. angntug

    I can see where she’s coming from with the birth control situation. I am sure 100 years ago it was much easier to have as many kids as what God blessed a woman with. Birth control has only been around for about 40 years. So yeah,  women over the past several years have grown to be selfish. It’s not that we couldn’t take care of the kids he’s given, but can’t because life has gotten so demanding and filled to the brim with schedules. I know I am one to talk, with Tug just getting “fixed”.

    But I think God created our bodies to produce and build His army for Him on earth. To have our prayer warriors and raise our kids to spread the word. Having kids was not completely to satisfy us, but to birth children to love Him. Birth control has put a “limit” on His army. Now, am I part of the statistic to have as many kids as what God gives? No. If Tug would’ve said he wanted 2 more, I would’ve had 2 more. If I lived out in the hills away from the busy life, or if that busy life didn’t exist, yeah, I would’ve had as many kids as what God would’ve given.

     I have to agree, just going from 2 to 3 has been exhausting at times. Nobody is “superwoman” and I sure don’t claim to be. But unfortunately we don’t live in that “Little House on the Prairie” lifestyle anymore, and honestly, I wish we did, because it makes me sad to think I’m done having kids. But, it does excite me to work along side Tug in the ministry He’s given us, and with our youth kids, He has given us more “Kids” and building an army through them. 

    No, I don’t think birth control has ever been God’s design, and with Tug going through the surgery, it was in the forefront of my mind the whole time. Yeah, we’re selfish for getting it done, but there are other positives to come out of it, like you said, I can now focus more on my husband and his needs and not 12 kids and its doing the best we can with what God has given us.  And I personally agree that me and you are completely blessed wtih everyone (and everything) God has provided. Who knows….we could’ve said we’d have as many kids as what God wanted us to have and never end up getting pregnant again……or had 12 kids a piece and put 4-5 kids in each bedrooms….that’s not fair either (lol…)

    So, (just some questions) when you are submitting to the number of kids that your husband wants, is it also submitting to Gods will with allowing life to happen when He is Life? And sometimes I wonder if we will be responsible for not allowing a pregnancy to happen or at least allowing God to do what He wants in the situation. My personal opinion, I think God does want life to happen and I do think we will be responsible, but Tug and I chose the “easier” road. And yeah, I enjoy my kids to the fullest when I am not being selfish, and put others’ needs in front of my own. But there are so many times I’ve had a lack of sleep or have gone non-stop all day and I just need “me” time. I don’t always get it, but when I do (like this weekend) I’m so thankful.

    Bottom line: No, I wouldn’t do anything different, and kids are exhausting sometimes, but, my life is so blessed! And the decisions I make I will have to be responsible for. And besides, if you’re going to use any form of birth control such as the pill or condom to stop from getting pregnant, why not just get “fixed”? No matter how it’s looked at, it’s all the same…I want to enjoy sex with Tug knowing it won’t lead to another pregnancy and be able to focus solely on him….that’s what makes it fun and all worth it!

    a little long….I’ll go now…

    See you tomorrow!

  8. ctorlone

    I’m learning more about the verse, “My grace is sufficient for you…”  There are times that I think, There is no way I could handle that situation with as much grace and patience…”  But, God gives us the measure of grace needed for the situation we are in at that moment.  I truly think that women (mommies in general) can be very critical and judgmental in trying to prove that their mothering ways are the “best” and most “godly”.  I applaud your approach Marla…you aren’t presenting anything unbiblical, nor saying that your “preferences” are the most spiritual.  I think you handled the comments with a great measure of grace.  I appreciate your openness and honestly about your experiences without pushing those views as “the way to go”.  It makes you approachable and someone people like to be around.  Disagreements aren’t wrong, but they can get “yucky” when the other person starts to judge others that are called to something different.  I think you are GREAT!!!

  9. ladyjabez

    I really appreciated that chapter in the book.  My feeling is, sure you can have a ton of kids.. but if your marriage is deteriorating because you can’t meet your husbands needs in the mist of the kiddos its not a good idea to have any more kids!  I thought the chapter (and the book!) were brilliant.

  10. jessmariecarpenter

    Hey Marla-I really respect and encourage you for your comments. Wow! Wisdom from God. Peace and calm at being criticized. God has really given you a gift! I say this all to you not to puff you up b/c I’m not worried about that; but because I do feel that he very strategically put me back in contact with your Milly to get in contact with you also and be a part of watching God work through all of this! Hugging and loving you this morning! To God be the glory!

  11. jessmariecarpenter

    Hey Marla, Bookstore here in N.Charleston at the Tanger Outlet malls ordered your books from Harvest. They said something about Harvest giving them an agreement and it might take awhile or something; but I was so excited when I went back in THIS week and was there LAST week and they had my note taped up w/ the name of your book, etc. Of course, I took the postcards and couldn’t find them b/c I was with my Milly and Filly and baby and it was raining, etc! I’m also working on getting them in our bookstores at Seacoast. I’ll email our other campuses— columbia and irmo, sc by your sister, and see if they can get it in their bookstores, etc. I’m only on chapter 2 b/c I decide I wasn’t speed reading and was WAY too convicted off the bat!

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