Intro to this series is here.
Before I begin this post I’m going to identify some assumptions that I’m making, for clarity’s sake:
- I’m assuming you are a Christian.
- I’m assuming that you are married or intend to be someday.
- I’m assuming that you are not challenged by infertility issues (Although this post is about an attitude not an "amount" of children, God, in His sovereign and perfect plan for you, "doeth all things well").
- I’m assuming that your life is not put at risk by becoming pregnant.
Several months ago I was in the grocery store with three of my daughters. I do enjoy taking individual children with me on errands, or sometimes a small group at a time. This was one of those days.
I was wearing my baby in a wrap, which works like a grandma magnet. An older woman who looked to be in her late 60’s, stopped me to admire the baby. She peered sweetly into the wrap and expressed her approval. Then she looked up and noticed my two other daughters (who incidentally were looking proud as peacocks because of their new sister). I smiled and introduced my other two daughters to this stranger and at this point she loudly declared,
“Honey, didn’t you KNOW any better?” and then began to laugh loudly (then nervously when I didn’t laugh along with her).
Yes, I refrained from telling her that there were five more children at home. Didn’t want the poor soul to have a coronary.
I Don’t Need More, Thank You
The widespread mind-set about children is that, overall, they exist to fulfill the needs of adults. If you don’t feel a need in your life to have yourself any, then don’t. If you do choose to have them, then you need to stop when you “feel done”. The overall consensus is that when children are no longer fulfilling a need, then they become at best an inconvenience and at worst, a burden. This is a common attitude towards children, even inside the church.
If we were able to get inside the woman's mind that I bumped into in the store, we would probably find that her comment about "not knowing any better" was based on her logic that the other two daughters must have been mistakes because:
a.) No one needs more than one or two children to fill a warm, fuzzy, maternal need in their life. Or
b.) More than one or two is too much work. We live our lives to please Self, therefore what isn't fun, should never be done.
(For the record, I do find pleasure and yes even fun in my children. My point is that this is not the reason to have children.)
Let’s “Use Common Sense!”
Most people, even Believers, determine their own family size based on selfishness, fear and natural, human reason. The process may go something like this:
“How will we ever afford to send that many kids to college?”
“Our house isn’t big enough.”
“I’m too impatient. The two I have drive me crazy.”
“My friends (or parents) will think we’re crazy if we have more than two or three.”
“We can’t possibly let the Lord decide how many kids we should have or we could end up like the Duggars!”
"No thanks, I like my sleep, privacy, freedom, etc."
But God asks us many times to act in faith--not within our current levels of understanding. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death." Prov. 14:12
Burden vs Blessing, Man vs God
The world says, “Children are a burden.” The Bible says, “Children are a blessing.” Yet we look up to heaven and cry, “Oh Lord, no more blessings!” Someone is wrong here and it’s either humans…or God. The creatures or the Creator. Only one of us can be right.
Also? The world tells us, “The purpose of marriage is to make you happy. Then you can also have a few children if that makes you happy.” The Bible tells us marriage is to glorify God and that procreating is one of the vital purposes. (Mal. 2:15)
Finally, the world and our flesh tells us to avoid the difficult and seek the easy path. A path that doesn’t require sacrifice, too many sleepless nights or stretch marks. A path that leaves plenty of time to go to the gym, read a good novel or have a career.
The Bible, on the other hand, says:
Lose your life, you’ll find it (Matt. 10:39).
Be the slave of all (Mark 10:44).
This life is temporary, invest in the eternal (Matt. 6:20).
The War Against Life is a Spiritual One
Many folks never even consider that using birth control could be anything but exercising common sense, but I truly believe it is a spiritual war (Eph. 6:12). Consider that the birth control pill was conceived (no pun intended) in the mind of Margaret Sanger who said, "The most merciful thing that a large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it."
From the dawn of time there has been a war against life. The war didn’t begin with the invention of the birth control pill, it began in the Garden of Eden.
God is the creator, author and giver of life. It shouldn’t surprise us that as the sworn enemy of God, Satan hates life. In the book of Genesis He persuaded Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit that would cause them to die, as God had promised. We see him incite Cain to kill his brother Abel.
Throughout the Old Testament we see God commanding the Israelites to destroy the pagan nations who killed their own children, sacrificing them to idols. Back then people sacrificed their children to idols like Molech. Today we place them on sacrificial altars called freedom, self-indulgence and convenience.
Satan has come to steal, kill and destroy life and that is just what he is doing. Why? "Every child that is born has the potential to thwart his purposes and receive the grace of God and become a subject in the kingdom of God" ~Nancy Leigh DeMoss
How Does He Steal?
He steals life from us when we listen to his lies and prevent the lives that God would create.
How Does He Kill?
He kills through abortifacient methods of birth control such as birth control pills and IUDs as well as by the hands of abortionists.
How Does He Destroy?
He destroys future generations by stopping them before they ever exist.
God is the Creator (1 Peter 4:19), Author (Acts 3:15) and Giver of life (1Tim. 6:13). He sent Jesus that we would have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). Jesus is called the Bread of Life (John 6:48). He is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25) and He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). He brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (2 Tim. 1:10). He has reserved a crown of life for those who are steadfast under trial (James 1:12), and He makes known to us the path of life (Psalm 16:11).
We are so easily squeezed into the world's mold with it's anti-child philosophy. We must see these philosophies for what they are. We must fight this battle for life by bearing children if God will so bless us. We must love children and see them for the potential they hold to take light into the next generation, looking beyond today's spilled milk and tortorous phonics lessons, and instead keep eternity stamped on our eyeballs.