How many children does God want a Christian married couple to have? Of course, I believe the biblical answer to this is not about a certain number, only a specific attitude. The world looks at children like they are an inconvenience, rather than a blessing from God. People use excuses such as economics and population numbers to justify their decision to have an abortion or use birth control. Some Christians might even say they do not want to bring more life into a world of evil, so they choose not to terminate life, only to prevent it. When I compare this mindset to the mindset of the Hebrews, who at one time were in Egyptian bondage, yet considered each child to be a blessing, the difference in attitudes is remarkable. Some would dare to say that Americans are more enlightened than the ancient Hebrews were, and the common modern mindset is more responsible than the outdated view of the Hebrews. To me, it is just another way that people have succumbed to the influence of the world. The world hates babies. Pharaoh tried to have Hebrew children killed. So did Herod. Consider the number of abortions that have occurred in the United States alone. Think about the money that is spent on preventing life in this country through various means of birth control. Some people criticize those who speak against birth control, but they do it out of ignorance, in my opinion. That, and the fact that people try awfully hard to justify their own decisions, whatever they may be.
The size of my family is intentional. That is not to say that we purposed to have 12 children, only that we chose right away to give God control of my wife's womb. How could we say that we trust God, yet choose to do otherwise? We believed the Bible, that the wife and mother is to be a keeper at home, and we trusted God with the size of our family. More than once, Paul instructed Christian mothers to be keepers at home and to bear children. I have been around enough to know that many modern-day women hate to hear that, because they have been brainwashed by a world that despises God’s design. Many modern-day men would not dare say this, for fear of being disciplined by their employer, or because of the political reaction. Even many preachers are afraid of speaking out because they do not want to lose their positions or earn the scorn of their listeners. Though I have held to this biblical view for the entirety of our marriage, I for one wish I would have been more bold in publicly and plainly proclaiming it in times past, regardless of anyone’s possible reaction. Let this be my unapologetic public and plain proclamation of these biblical truths. Christopher Fisher, on his website RealityIsNotOptional.com, stated the following in a post entitled “The Gospel of Babies”:
“….modern Americans tend to hate babies. One or two children are seen as ideal. More than that, people receive glares, ridicule, and negative comments. “Wow, I am glad I am not the mother.” “You do know how babies are made, right?” “You must be Catholic.” The perception of babies is a perception of “users” or “leaches”. Each additional baby is seen as an extra polluter or an extra consumer. Government programs are instituted to control population. Various classes of people are encouraged not to have children. So how, as Christians, do we fight this assault on babies? The first thing Christians must do is fight the stigmatization of children. At all points, encourage people to have children. Explain to people that “waiting to have children” is a terrible strategy that sometimes results in childlessness. If someone has more than three children, offer congratulations and encouraging words. Ask and encourage them to have more. Always point out that no one regrets having a child. In old age, no parent looks back as says “I wish little Susie was never born”. Even unwed mothers never regret having their child. If an unwed mother is talking to you about the struggles of being unmarried with children, ask if they would undo their decision. They will think of their child, and say they cannot imagine life without their baby. They lose their regrets. When they think of their baby and weigh it against what they gave up, they choose the baby.”
God has set the boundaries for child-bearing to be within the context of a husband and wife relationship, and the birth of children within this context should be welcomed and celebrated. But what about the lives that are a result of something outside of this context? I believe Fisher is instructive once again in the same post:
“When you find out someone is a single mother, our first response should be happy approval. In this country it is legally permissible to kill your children. A mother with a child chose life. Our eyes should beam because there is another soul alive on Earth, another human being with their own thoughts, dreams, wishes, and desires. This is a beautiful thing. The events leading up to the baby are in the past. They have resulted in this innocent child. Even if we hold scorn for premarital sex, our love of the child should trump our negativity. Our first questions to unwed mothers should always be about the child. Instead of “how old were you when you got pregnant” ask “how old is your child?”. Focus on the child. What is the baby’s age, gender, name? Women beam with pride when talking about their offspring. We need mothers to feel good about their children.”
Actions outside of God’s boundaries are sinful, but life is not. Choosing life is Godly. As Fisher reminds us, the events leading up to the baby are in the past. So, choose life. Celebrate life. Oppose negativity surrounding child-rearing. Within the context of marriage, I encourage you to give God control of the womb. As God has gone on record saying, children are his heritage, and happy are they who have their quiver full of them.
Is it best for some women to remain single and not bear children? Sure. This post is not meant to ignore that fact, only to point out what the Bible considers to be a normal marriage relationship and what our attitude should be when it comes to childbearing, barring serious health issues.
~Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.
~I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.