by David Crank

From Volume 6 Issue 3 of Unless the Lord ... Magazine


In the Bible we repeatedly hear of large numbers of children as being a special blessing from God. Besides Jacobís 12 children and Jobís 10 followed by 10 more, several relative "unknowns" are pointed out as noteworthy for how God had blessed them with large families (i.e., Obed-edom was blessed by God with 8 sons -1 Chron 26:4-5; we are told that Heman was blessed with 14 sons and 3 daughters - Chron 24:4-5). Most folks today, even among Christian circles, would not view 10, 12 or more children as a special blessing! Isnít it interesting how Godís views on things are often different from ours. Whose viewpoint do you suppose is correct?

The following is just to provide a few details on a couple of unusually large families in our country that have recently been in the news. Perhaps some of you with just 5 or 6 children get a few rude remarks from folks who think you shouldnít have so many children. Just think of some of the rude and unkind things that some probably say about these families! Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed by supporting, caring for, home schooling, etc., your two, four, six or eight children. Just take a little time to look up news articles on the Duggar family for inspiration of how to manage, by Godís grace!

If the Lord blesses you with a large family, donít be embarrassed or ashamed! You ARE truly blessed by God, whether your "large" is 16, 10, 6, or 4! Even one child is a great blessing Ė just ask Abraham & Sarah!


The Jim Bob and Michele Duggar Family

(16th child)

Jim Bob & Michele are reported to have had their 16th child last October, for a total of 10 boys and 6 girls (this includes 2 sets of twins). The oldest is about 17 and the youngest is 3 months. They are a homeschooling family living in northwest Arkansas. Jim Bob is a former state representative and real estate investor. For the last few of years they have been building their own 7,000 sq. ft. all-steel home on 20 acres. They are expected to be moved into the new home about now (well before you will read this!). They have built on a debt free basis, with Jim Bob and the older children doing much of the work. But they have also been blessed with friends who have been a huge help! Up until now they have lived in a 2,400 sq. foot house having 3 bedrooms and 2 baths.

Jim Bob and Michele were married in 1984 at ages 19 and 17 respectively, and put off having children for the first 4 years of their marriage. It wasnít until after their first child was born and a second was miscarried while on the pill, that they decided to give up birth control and welcome as many children as God provided. Michelle is now 39, but is reported as saying she still hopes for and would welcome more children.

Various past news articles on the Internet share some of Michelleís methods of managing her large household, homeschooling and keeping costs down. For example, they use a buddy system with the children, pairing up an older child with each younger child. They maintain a master schedule and checklist of chores to do done by various family members.

To learn more about the Duggars, visit their web site at (It is a little out of date, but what would you expect? These folks have a few higher priorities than maintaining their web site!). You can also just search for their name on the Internet to find various articles and news items about their family.


The Vladimir and Zynaida Chernenko Family

(17th child)

Vladimir and Zynaida Chernenko, of Rancho Cordova, California, had their 17th child this last December. Their children range in age from 22 to new born. All live at home except for their 20 year-old daughter, who is married. The Chernenkos were married when both were 18 years old and have been married for 24 years now.

The Chernenkos immigrated from Ukraine seven years ago to escape religious persecution. Vladimir works as a security guard and maintenance man at a school, while Zynaida cares for the children in their seven room home, with the older children helping with cooking, cleaning and child-care.

Vladimir was quoted saying: "I never thought I would have such a big family." "But I sincerely believe in God, and I believe my children are a gift from the Lord." The Chernenkos may have more children, as they believe that the size of their family is ultimately Godís will, and are not concerned about the prospect of more children.

The Chernenkosí church (Bethany Slavic Missionary Church), is reported to hold them up as an example of familial devotion and unwavering faith in God. V