The question of having children, fertility, birth control, which I fear, too few Christians have really wrestled over, is not about combing through Scripture to find all the evidence for or against allowing God to be sovereign over the womb. It’s not about concluding that “God gives us the wisdom to decide” and then breathing a sigh of relief. It’s not even about splitting hairs over choosing if and when to prevent children (sometimes that’s necessary and right).
Children–which are really just people, are so much bigger than that.
“And why did He make them one? Because He desires godly offspring.” (Malachi)
WHY? Because “like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior, so are the children of one’s youth.”
WHY? Because “they shall contend (speak) with the enemies in the gates.” (Which doesn’t denote hand-to-hand combat in a war-like setting, but a contending on an intellectual level and in a living life way, so there’s no need for feeling creepy about the use of the word.)
WHY? Because “thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
And that commandment was not a personal one. It was spoken to a nation, and still is. God’s reign over all creation is preeminent and He uses His people to make known His glory among all nations.
Our problem? We make everything too personal. We don’t understand God’s sovereign purposes as it relates to the BIG picture. We need more big-picture living.
And as it relates specifically to having children, we assess our personal situation, and decide that God couldn’t possibly mean us with all that talk of desiring godly offspring. But it’s so not about whether I can afford to send them to college, or buy them a car, or let them all play sports. We are blinded by temporal, passing circumstances.
And while God is immensely concerned with our personal lives, He is even MORE concerned with fulfilling His Kingdom purposes. And how does He do that?
One way is THROUGH HIS PEOPLE! And practically speaking, through numbers.
We no longer live in the Christian nation that was born here. Why are the enemies of God prevailing? Because the people of God are not raising up warriors to “contend with them at the gates.” God will prevail, despite our obedience to Him. It just may delay the victory and cause unnecessary hardship on His people in the mean time.
Our methodologies are not working. We have more programs, more money, more evangelical tools now than ever before in history. Yet the spiritual temperature of this country continues to decline. Christians decrease (in number and in moxie), and the religions that oppose God increase. We fret and worry, but we don’t trust God at His Word.
It’s about vision. If you have chosen to stop having children, you should be the biggest cheerleader for those who haven’t–believers should be ecstatic to see a mother and father raising up more godly men and women to further the mission of the Gospel. We are one Body, longing for His Kingdom to come, and we have the opportunity to be a joyful part of it. And when we see children as an important part of His purpose in the big picture, we might not be so short-sighted or flippant about our decisions. We might get excited at the prospect of a life fully entrusted to an all-powerful God where we can’t wait to wake up each day and see what He’s going to do.
(And for those who are receiving all their children, it’s not so we can dress them in matching clothes and fit in to our local homeschool group…it’s not about us at all! His glory…His purposes.)
The war is certain; you have no choice about being in it. We need more arrows.
(A post buried in the archives I’ve resurrected and reposted.)