Children: To Have
Hannah (I Samuel 1:11) would be strangely out of place in the mainstream of contemporary Christian thought because of her strong, longing desire to bear children. Leah (Genesis 29) would likewise be an object of curiosity and the subject of animated discussion if she would have borne six sons and one daughter in modern times. One, or possibly two children is socially "acceptable," but to have three is to step beyond the norm and to have four, five, or more is to invite sharp criticism and rejection.
Humanistic thought, selfishness, and the subtle, blatant, propaganda of those from Planned Parenthood and Zero Population Growth has taken its toll in Christendom. Grey heads of today can well remember the families of many children their grandparents reared before them, but have somehow not stopped to ask why their children do not possess the same Godly desire to "be fruitful and multiply" as their grandparents had.
Our forebearers took the Scripture seriously, and when God said in many and sundry ways that children were a blessing and to be strongly desired, (Genesis 11:30 15:2, Joshua 24:3 Judges 13:2; I Samuel 1:2; II Samuel 6:23; II Kings 4:14; Psalm 113:9; 127:3-5; 128:3; Proverbs 17:6; Isaiah 8:18; Luke 1:7; 20:29, etc.;, they believed Him, and many did just that. Even unsaved, but charactered individuals agreed it was normal, healthy, and right to desire and plan for a large family. Children are not an albatross around the neck of a parent, a curse, a blight! or a punishment from God, but a blessing and an inheritance from a God who only gives good and perfect gifts (James 1:17).
"You cannot afford to have a child today," is the retort of many. May I suggest that if that is what you are waiting for, you will never have children. We could never afford to have any of ours, but in inexplicable, enigmatic, and providential ways, God has met our needs, just as He will for any of His children who seek to obey and please Him.
Pressure has become so strong in encouraging a young couple to limit the size of their family to no children, or one or two, that I am convinced a Satanic conspiracy is involved. Whatever God commands and promotes as a blessing Satan will attempt to confuse, distort, oppose, and prevent. Since an honest reader of the Scriptures cannot draw any conclusion but that God is in favor of large families (even our Saviour came from a family of at least seven children - Matthew 13:55-56), should not the average believer ask why most Christians are choosing to limit the size of their family or even have none at all?
Doing a little simple computation enables one to see why Satan is desperately trying to convince committed believers in any way he can to either have no children, or to severely limit the size of their family. If we were to assume a godly believer had seven children (after the example of Jesus' family). and that each of his children would have seven children in each generation, at the end of three generations, he would have 346 godly descendants. At the end of five generations, he would have 16,954 descendants to be soldiers of the cross. At the end of eight generations, he would have the incredible number of 5,815,222 "arrows" fighting for God against Satan's kingdom! Does this little mathematical model show you why Satan is pleased with the efforts of Planned Parenthood and the Zero Population Growth people and why he would bring any pressure to bear he can on believers to limit their child-bearing?
Believing parents of today have been so carried away with this dissimulation to the extent of even seeking tubal ligations, vasectomies, and other surgical intervention rather than run the risk of conceiving. These medical procedures are not implicitly sinful, but a believer must honestly ask before God, "What is my motive for seeking sterilization?"
Some believers have sought my counsel after having been surgically sterilized and have finally seen they were deceived by worldly philosophies, selfishness, or some other wrong notion. A growing number of successes have been documented where these procedures have been reversed in both men and women. Where this is not possible and where the procedure was not performed under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, confession of sin is the answer to the nagging guilt (Prov. 28:13).
It has been successfully shown that the entire population of the world can be comfortably placed with standing room within the city limits of Jacksonville, Florida. Also, the entire population of the globe could be placed in Texas and have 2,000 square feet for every individual! Planet Earth is not overpopulated despite the strident claims of Planned Parenthood and their ilk. In fact. a large population can be a distinct blessing and advantage to a nation that follows the Lord and His Word. Witness the continual admonition of the Lord to Israel to bear children in the Old Testament even in Babylonian captivity!
Of course, there is disease, poverty and even starvation in certain nations of the world. But demographers are wrong to lay the blame on "overpopulation.' A careful review of each of these sad situations reveals nations that have rejected God or have fallen under the domination of a false religion such as the Roman Church, Muhammedanism, Hinduism, etc. Certain nations for example, could feed themselves if they would reject the unscriptural notions of reincarnation and eat the available meat-producing animals and institute rodent controls.
Tragically, many believers fail to see the error of their personal decisions to not bear children until it is too late to reverse their actions. Many will never personally know the joy of the statement, "the crown of older men is children's children" (Proverbs 17:6), because even though they received Christ as their Saviour, they lived and believed humanistic doctrine, and never bore children who in turn would produce grandchildren.
Original life from God and the image of God is passed on in the son (Genesis 5:3, 9:6), and a man achieves social continuance through his son (Deuteronomy 25:6). A woman finds great fulfillment in childbearing, nursing, and mothering (Psalm 113:9). because it is natural, normal, and expected by God for married women.
Attacks against the family in general and childbearing in particular are growing in scope and ferocity. Some are sinister. Witness the growing number of caesarean sections in childbirth. An adjunct problem with this medical phenomenon of the late 20th century is that women who have had this procedure, automatically must limit the size of their family, although some mothers have successfully delivered other children by natural birth even after a caesarean section.
Liberal lawmakers have even proposed legislation penalizing families through the tax codes and other penalties for those who have more than "acceptable" numbers of children. Child restraint laws in many states are formulated with a small family in mind. A godly family having a goodly number of children must either break the law because there is not room enough in their vehicle for all of the car seats. etc, or must purchase a very large vehicle!
This is not to mention the growing social stigma of bearing children in society at large. and sadly even among God's people.
Praise God there was no Planned Parenthood or Zero Population Growth counselor around when Joseph and Mary discovered she was pregnant with our Saviour. In fact, by today's standards the parents of our Saviour would have been considered eccentric or irresponsible or both for bearing at least seven children. If Planned Parenthood could have had its way, there would have been no tribes of Israel, or perhaps one, or two at the most, but certainly not twelve!
It is certainly no sin to be physically unable to bear children, but many believers who could have done so, but for reasons of selfishness, being duped by humanistic teachings. etc., chose not to, will be in for a difficult experience at the Judgment Seat of Christ (II Colinthians 5:10).
The reward and blessing of children may come through adoption which is a wonderful legal transaction cherished by every member of the family of God who has been adopted by God the Father (Romans 8:15, 17. Galatians 1:1-5). Jacob, for example, adopted Ephraim and Manasseh. However if one is for some reason (infertility, being single, no adoptive babies available, etc.) unable to adopt a child, you may be given spiritual children to adopt. Paul the Apostle illustrates this truth and the blessing of it for him and his 'spiritual sons" (he called Timothy and Titus his sons in the faith).
Whether or not you space your children through mechanical means of birth control, rhythm method, etc., is between you and the Lord. l personally cannot demonstrate from Scripture that it is sinful to attempt spacing of children. God will guide you on this as a couple. But would you allow the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit to speak to you about the blessings of childbearing, and having numbers of righteous seed?
New Testament Christians do not get their guidance from the Gallup Poll, friends, relatives, or social pressures, mores and customs, but from Scripture. There never has been a traffic jam on the straight and narrow way, but there are many who are following after a multitude to do evil. Just because most have bought the lie that the world is overpopulated or that we should not bring a child into such an evil world of sorrow, does not mean you have to. Remember, God commanded His people to bear children under the abject slavery conditions of a Babylonian captivity and Egyptian bondage. Remember also it was a Godless and Satanic Egyptian government that tried to practice the barbaric population control measure of infanticide.
To be more specific, having children would keep Mom home instead of being a social butterfly or putting in her forty hours down at the office. Others could not be as involved as they would desire in church activities, missions, hobbies, or other interests if they became parents of several children. My friends, have we not lost sight of the fact that raising up strong stable homes with numbers of righteous children -- like arrows in the hand of a mighty man - Psalm 127) is a far more basic. noble, and higher calling than other pursuits, no matter how holy. l am obviously speaking to married folks since the Lord clearly said there are some single persons called to be eunuchs for the Kingdom's sake. There are many who seek frenetic, possessing involvements in church, Sunday School, calling programs, etc., that are right and good in their place, at the expense of their more basic calling; their family. It is not enough for me to succeed in my vocation, hobby or charitable works if I do not succeed at home. God called Abraham a faithful friend not because of his worldly success or erudite theological insights, but because he would raise a godly Isaac (Genesis 18:19). Deuteronomy 6 is a classic admonition to fathers for their families. Psalm 78:1-8 continues this theme of strengthening families and raising godly children being a basic responsibility. Our churches, communities, states, and nations will only be as strong and charactered as our families and the children raised in them.
Children are called Arrows (Psalm 127:4, 5) in the Bible. Arrows are used to defend yourself and offend the enemy. All arrows start as twigs and sticks and must painstakingly be fashioned with great care into a serviceable arrow. Straight arrows will be enabled to hit the mark of God's glory, whereas crooked, or bent arrows will miss the mark and may even hit the parent (Cain, Hophni, Phineas, Absalom, Adonijah, etc.). In other words, all arrows go in the way they are made and aimed.
Children from large families are less likely to be self-oriented, selfish individuals because by virtue of living with several siblings, they have had to learn sharing; whereas an only child or a child from a small family has often been the center of attention, and has never learned the valuable lessons of sharing that are part and parcel of a large family. In my experience, being a part of a large family is no guarantee of being well adjusted, but is a decided and marked advantage.
Better than any "Social Security Plan" or retirement program is having a large number of God-fearing responsible sons and daughters who were raised to love and honor their parents and who willingly care for their needs when they become aged and infirm.
Older children in large families of necessity learn household and domestic duties and responsibilities and develop all-important character. There is simply more work and supervision needed than parents can possibly do alone and the older children of necessity learn by doing. This prepares them well for adulthood and coping with future responsibilities.
Mind you, children have to be nurtured, taught, corrected. disciplined, educated, and prepared for a life of serving God. If you are unwilling to do this, then please do not bear children who will break your heart, blaspheme God, and populate prisons. We already have a world teeming with Canaanites and do not need any more. But if you want God's best, He equips many for the seemingly impossible task of not only bearing children, but raising them to His glory. It can be done, ought to be done, and I pray you will do it. I believe if you will lay aside selfish considerations, false philosophies, and social pressures, you will.