gender selection

Have you ever wondered how God decides which gender of kiddos to give us? I asked that question on twitter and facebook last week and got lots of interesting feedback.

Meet 3-year-old Asias (uh-SY-us), my cousin Camy’s adorable little boy, the one who triggered my curiosity. You’d have to ask Camy, but I think this picture might be one of a handful in existence that aren’t at least a little blurry. He’s a kid on the go, that boy.

I watched him (okay, Nina watched him) on Friday morning for a few hours, and as he tornadoed around the house, I thought, “Wow. I think my life might’ve been a little different if I’d had three boys instead of three girls.” Not that I didn’t know that already. It just kind of struck me at that moment.

I never would’ve thought I’d be a mom to all girls. I just assumed there’d be a boy or two (or six) in there somewhere. So how did God decide to give me all girls? (And please, let’s not turn this into a discussion on letting God determine the size of your family. I’m not averse to talking about it, but today I want to ponder gender.)

When I asked the question on facebook, my neighbor Allison said, “Before having kids I desperately wanted girls, but now I love the boys we have and kinda want the rest (should there be more) to be boys too.”

Joy, a friend from college, said, “A former pastor’s wife once told me she believed God gave her all boys in part because as a young wife she was a terrible example of submission to a husband. She didn’t respect his leadership at all and she believes she would have taught daughters some terrible things about how wives are to relate to their husbands.”

My MIL, mom to two boys, said in response to Joy’s comment, “Sounds fitting to me!”

My cousin Katherine said, “My guess as to why I have two girls then three boys is because I need 2 girls to handle my WILD boys.”

Lots of other moms chimed in, but the comment that gave me goosebumps came from Andrea, a friend of mine from high school. She said, “I often wonder why I got two boys and not a boy and a girl. I LOVE my boys but often wonder if I can be truly happy and not want to try again in hopes for that girl. Praying God gives me that answer in due time.”

Then she read the comments others had already left. She immediately noticed that the first two commenters on my post had the last names of Marshall and Bennett. Nothing unusual about that, right? Not sure why she even took note of it.

Except that Andrea’s adorable little boys? Are named Marshall and Bennett. I. Kid. You. Not.

“I think God just gave me my answer,” she said.

I would have to wholeheartedly agree.

Speaking of the girlies God gave me, thanks for your suggestions (and prayers!) today (Tuesday). We went sledding, made Snow Cream, built a tent (to sleep in), played Dutch Blitz, fought a lot, ice skated in the kitchen… I even let them get out of their tent-bed to watch the rest of American Idol.

I’m not exactly sure why God gave me all girls, but I trust Him. And I’m glad He did. And I’m going to do my best to soak up every minute of being Livi, Ava and Nina’s mom.

So, why do you think God gave you the kiddos He gave you? And if you don’t have kids yet, what kind of kiddos do you envision running/dancing around your home someday?

p.s. If you haven’t already, you have to read this post by my friend Missy: I Don’t Want My Children To Be Happy.

30 thoughts on “gender selection

  1. gretchen

    Not only the gender, but the personalities and typical/non-typicalness lead me to surrender and depend upon Him. I was raised to be SO independent. God sure trimmed those dead wood branches in me as I had children. Love them. Wouldn’t trade them. But nothing has grown me more (sometimes painfully) than being the mother to a “non”typical boy and a “typical” girl. Great question, btw.

  2. Kimberly

    I’m pretty sure he doesn’t have that planned for me, as much as I’ve begged, but I can tell you I’d be thrilled with either! My BILs family has all girls and their first is a girl, so they are pretty sure it just a family thing!

  3. missy @ it's almost naptime

    I think God gave me the kiddos he gave me because it was his divine purpose for them to be born! Regardless of my feelings about it!

    I always wanted girls and didn’t care if I got a boy or not. But my first was a boy and – oh. I love all babies, but I love baby boys more. There. I said it. Baby boys just make me melt in a way that girls don’t. And the opposite is true for my husband.

    Yet, we’re getting a baby girl from Ethiopia. Why? Again…God wants us to. And he da boss.

  4. meghan @ spicy magnolia

    I read that post of Missy’s yesterday, and it was so good!

    I’d always pictured having a girl first and was very surprised (but not really) that Brennan was a boy when he was born (we didn’t find out his gender during my pregnancy). It took me awhile to adjust to having a boy, when I’d envisioned a little girl for so long. But oh, I am sooo glad I have a little boy! And I’d take all boys they’re so wonderful! 🙂

    One reason I’m sure God gave me a little boy was to give me no more excuses in how I related to my in-laws. What I sow, I will reap, and it crushes me to think that my future dil might respond to me in ways that I sometimes respond to my in laws. Crush me! I’ve genuinely prayed for my attitude to change and to love them better, for they are wonderful, and Brennan was an answer to that prayer to help me be a better dil.

  5. Valerie

    Our only wish has been to have a healthy child and we will be absolutely smitten either way. Health is all that matters when push comes to shove and it honestly saddens me when people are upset or disappointed in whatever sex of child they get. Of course thank God not everyone has had the experience of dealing with infertility and losing precious little ones. In a way I’m becoming more thankful that we’ve had the battle we’ve had…. because we’ll always remember our journey and how hard we fought for either our son or daughter…therefore will be so extremely appreciative for our miracle child.

    I can’t wait to see/meet the child God has planned for us.. we are still seriously kicking around the idea of not finding out the gender before birth. However, the verdict is still out on that one….

  6. ConnY

    I also wanted to chime in on the “God wants you to be holy, not necessarily happy.” … our pastor says that a lot – as well as “God cares more about our character than our comfort.”

  7. ConnY

    My oldest is a boy … and I think he is there because it is important in my family to “carry on the Hutch—- name”…I was sure he was a girl though!
    I think I had a girl next because of my mom – she always would say, “YOU JUST WAIT until you have a girl like you …” and sure enough, I have a sweet but independent girl – like me.
    When I had my 3rd – 9 years after my last baby (SURPRISE!!) – I wanted a BOY. Boys are easier & less hormonal & love their mommas & cost less for clothes – and I didn’t want another ME! But I got a girl – and I’m glad I did! At 8 weeks, she is mellow & easy-going – just like MY HUSBAND! 🙂

  8. Kelsie

    I have been blessed with two boys. To answer simply, it is as it should be. I praise God for them, and I know this is His perfect plan. Maybe someday we’ll have a girl. Maybe not. I’m okay with whatever the Lord wills. For right now, I want to be the best Mommy to my energetic busy boys that I can. God is certainly growing me because of these two. I’m very thankful. 🙂

  9. Gail

    I love my three girls like crazy, and I think we’re well-suited to parent girls, but maybe that’s because we’ve grown into parenting what God has given us. Nature vs. Nurture. Discuss amongst yourselves.

    I have thanked God often (OFTEN) in the recent days for giving me a husband who is so well suited to fathering girls. He deals with their drama with more patience and grace than I can ever muster. He is the perfect distract-er and redirect-er for them. I’ve learned a lot about girls from watching this incredible man.

  10. Sarah Montanye

    That link you posted is fantastic! I think I’m going to print it out in fact.

    I have one girl and when I wonder why God gave me a girl rather than boy I just resort back to the phrase I’ve heard often, God is God and I am not. He knows whats best for us.

  11. Crissy

    I’m a mom of 2 boys. I love it! I think that God knew I could handle the rough & tumble world of boys. I also think that God knew my husband could handle boys too. He is a great example for them to follow! Both boys and girls bring different challenges to parenting. I am so glad that God knows exactly what we can handle, and exactly what type of parents our little ones need.

  12. amber

    There’s only room for one princess in my house!!! ME!!!

    Kidding. In all seriousness….

    I really think that God knew I needed humbling. And there is nothing that humbles someone more than a house full of smelly, stinky, dirty boys. I think I would have gone overboard on the girly stuff…overspending on clothes and hairbows and shoes…and God just knew that I needed to not be faced with those temptations. I adore my boys. They’ve changed me. And humbled me. And made me a really good mom.

  13. Rhonda

    God gave me two beautiful daughters which is what I was secretly hoping for. I loved mothering my little girls and still do even though they are now grown. Then He sent me two little boys through adoption and wow mothering them is very different but tons of fun. I’m just so thankful that He has given me the gift of mothering four amazing and wonderful children and that He put us together as a family so perfectly.

  14. Rachelle

    I am learning, through the gifts of my children, that it is a whole lot more about me learning from them than vice-versa. we are blessed with 2 boys, 2 girls. Each one of them holds unique qualities that have sometimes tested and more often blessed me! They refine me.

  15. AKat

    I was the youngest of three girls. so I get girls. I know girls. I understand girls. Philip had two sisters, as well. Somehow when I saw my pregnancy test, I knew my baby was a boy. Daily – sometimes hourly! – I have to ask the Lord for understanding and wisdom. I love my baby boy and am so thankful for him.
    It’s definitely a learning process for me, though!

  16. Tiffani

    This was such a good question the other day and such a fun post. I don’t even know if I answered (because I wanted to) but wasn’t sure if I could describe without sounding a certain way…how wonderful it is to have one of each.

    I say that because SOO many of my family and friends have all girls and to me, there is nothing like a boy. I thought I would have a house FULL of boys. I always favored boys in my classrooms I taught, they’re just easier, in my opinion.

    And, then I had Julia.

    I AM a girl and sometimes I don’t understand “girl” stuff after raising a boy first. But, I feel so incredibly blessed that God is giving the me the chance to experience each of their worlds.

    I wish that EVERY girl mama could experience a boy. And every boy mama could experience a girl!! So, I do sometimes wonder why God chose to give us what He did.

  17. Jen your cousin

    I like what Bethany said about being glad God makes this decision for us, because we would drive ourselves crazy choosing.

    Devin and I want to have a couple kiddos and adopt too. I think it would be fun to have at least one of each gender, but he came from a family of all boys and that worked out just fine too. We figure, if we get all of one gender naturally, we could always just adopt whichever gender we didn’t get. But ultimately, if we already have two boys and God brings another little boy into our lives to take as our own, then there will be no hesitation because he’s not a little girl.

    The blog you linked to is FANTASTIC. It reminds me so much of my family. When my parents adopted my sisters, it wasn’t about if it would make our family “happier.” It was done regardless of if it was what was “best” for us. It was about what was the RIGHT thing to do. As a result, we have been so blessed by a decision that was not supported by many people we love, out of concern for our “happiness.”

    Same with college. My parent’s helped me get through school, but I paid a huge chunk of it myself and ::gasp:: even took out some hefty loans. But I’m grateful, because as I worked hard to pay the debt off early, I learned a very valuable lesson about the importance of staying out of debt from here on out.

    I love what Mis said: I don’t want you to be happy. I want you to be holy and content.

    Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

  18. Kiki

    As a mom of 3 boys and one on the way (unknown gender), I wonder/struggle with this a lot! My prayer has been that if this baby isn’t a girl that my desire for a daughter will be taken away or diminished before we find out. It hasn’t! But I know that doesn’t mean that we’re having a girl. I am nervous for my reaction if it is a 4th boy. And at the same time, if it is a 4th boy, I will be so excited and so proud. I go back and forth all day long. I want this baby to be my daughter, I would love another son. And then I wonder, if I have a daughter would my desire for adoption decrease and maybe God wants me to have a daughter not born of me. And then I wonder why can’t I have both?!

    Apparently, you gave me an opening to spill my guts!

  19. Missy

    I’m a fairly new reader but wanted to chime in on this subject. As a young woman/dreamer, I imagined myself with a houseful of unruly boys. Then, after several years of infertility and three losses, I was so hoping for a child of ANY gender! God blessed me above measure to get to mother first a boy, then a girl and after my heart was full with “one of each,” I was gifted my “Bonus Baby” – another sweet boy.

    Sometimes I long for another girl, so that my daughter may enjoy the sweet relationship of sisterhood as I did with my sister (who is still my best friend). However, as I grow with my children I’m able to witness God’s wisdom in ordering our little family to be just as He wished for the best of each of them.

    One of the greatest joys in my life is seeing the relationships develop among my children. It is precious!


  20. Denise

    I often wonder the same thing – why did God give me a boy. I can remember very clearly when we sorta found out he was a boy. He didn’t cooperate enough at the ultrasound to get a clear picture and when my Dr. said she was 65% sure it was a boy…well I wasn’t happy. I left angry and sad and lost it in the car. Partially because I didn’t see how I could ever love a boy, I didn’t want a boy, I had nothing to give a boy and also because we didn’t know for sure.

    Looking back now, I kinda wish I hadn’t responded that way. And I love my miracle child more than anything. I truly believe God gave me a son to learn patience…lots and lots of patience. And I wouldn’t change one single thing about him…I love him.

    Now I just sit and wonder – why did he have to be born so early. But that’s another post for another day.

  21. Omom

    We have 3 girls. I thought each pregnancy was going to be a boy (I don’t find out) I felt like I needed to prepare myself for a boy. No boy came.
    When I was little I always wanted a little sister. I even had an imaginary one for awhile. I feel like God gave me that desire, with my daughters. Interesting.

  22. Betsy

    Girls, we’re missing something here. Being a grandma now, and looking back at my life 30+ years, I realize more than ever NOW that it fits HIS plans! He gave us MJE so she would marry SAB, and have two little boys. He gave us MCE, so she would marry TRC, and He gave us MTE so he would marry ANP. It’s all in HIS plan, for His glory!

  23. Ali

    I can honestly say I don’t yet know why God has given me one of each. And I have no idea what he’ll give me next if/when there’s a next. And I don’t know why He gave me them so close in age nor why He gave me one so early in my marriage.

    There’s a lot that I don’t know about why. And maybe I’ll never know.

    And that’s okay. Because He’s God. And I’m so, so, so not.

  24. Amanda

    Yesterday while Jackson was at school, I watched my friend’s 22-month-old girl. Annabeth and I had so much fun with her. It was interesting to imagine what life would have been like with two girls – especially so close in age! But I wouldn’t trade my boy for anything. I feel grateful that God let me experience both.

  25. Rachel

    Before I had kids, I think I felt a lot of pressure to have a boy. Was it just the preferences of the guys around me? Was it watching “The Godfather” one too many times? Was it seeing how men are treated in society? I’m not really sure…..

    Why do I think God gave our family a girl and then a boy? I’m sure there are MANY reasons, and can’t wait to hear all of them when I see him face-to-face. I do think that since God knew ours would be so close together (another God-timing thing), he knew that I needed my calm, stay-in-one place child first. One of those “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” things. Same thing with having my colicy baby 1st — I couldn’t imagine doing those sleepless nights with a 21 month old ready to go at 6 AM 🙂

    I think since having my kids, I have realized more the importance of each of us being an individual, formed by God for his glory and purpose. Some of those purposes depend on us being male or female. I am much more confident of mine (and my kids places) in his purpose now that I have been given the gift to carry 2 of his purposes to life.

  26. Becca

    I have one girl, and I really wanted her to be a boy (dont tell her that though) because I was SCARED of a daughter . . . if she was anything like I was, I thought, I would be in big trouble! But God is so wise and in his infinite wisdom, knew I needed to deal with things in my own heart and my daughter has been a perfect vehicle for that! 🙂
    And my best friend has 2 boys and it’s amazing how innately DIFFERENT they are from my little Jayci!

  27. Krysten

    We don’t have kids yet but we plan to have at least two in the next few years. I picutre one boy and one girl. I want the boy first because I always wanted a big brother. I am thankful that God makes that decision for us.

  28. janelle taviano

    They just fit – they just fit who Rock is…who I am…and they tagged and went and did…all the youth group…teaching…coaching…..just what ever… yours fit you guys…they brought out the best in our family. Your zoo trip – it took on the personality of your family…all 5 – that was our life together…God knew what we needed to be complete. It wasn’t 4 or 7 – it was 2 boys.

  29. Bethany

    So far we’ve got just one girl! Ever since she turned 6 months old I’ve been stressing out about spacing and gender! It’s a daily surrender for me! I have in my mind what would be perfect–2 girls and 2 boys all 2 1/2 years apart (not sure of the gender placement though). But would that really be perfect? I don’t know. I’m so glad God determines who will make up our family because I haven’t a clue.

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