My wife and I began to expand our family through childbirth within a few months of our wedding day. We are not radical fundamentalists who believe that every Christian couple must have a dozen or more children, but we do hope the Lord allows us to fill our home with children, either through childbirth or adoption—or hopefully both.
Our thoughts about children waiver far from the current societal understanding of the nuisance of little ones. For some strange reason, we think God delights in children, and since he delights in children, we do too.
The war on children is as old as the garden. From the beginning, a great war on children was pronounced (Gen 3:15), and that war continues to the very end (Rev 12:1-5). Throughout history children have been pushed to the outskirts. Herod committed mass murder against little boys (Matt 2:16), and the disciples tried to keep children from approaching Jesus (Luke 18:15).
Yet Jesus loved children and received them warmly (Luke 18:16). Part of the first man and woman’s mandate was to “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28). Though that command looks forward to the Great Commission, part of our calling to make disciples includes a call to multiply disciples in our own home.
The entire canon reveals God’s heart for children. We believe the psalmist when he says, “children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Ps 127:3). Amazingly, Jesus told his followers that only those who approach him with the dependence of a child would enter the kingdom (Mark 10:15).
Large families do not inherit more righteousness from Christ than small families, and parents of ten children do not necessarily please the Lord more than parents of one or two children. However, many of the thoughts surrounding the decision to have no children seem to point more toward the selfishness of the human heart than a desire for God’s glory to permeate the earth as the waters cover the sea (Hab 2:14).
Children are a blessing to the Lord, but they’re a blessing to their families on earth as well. There are reasons a husband and wife may choose to only have a small family, but these reasons must be scrutinized to make sure they are keeping with the perfect will of God (Rom 12:2). What are your reasons? Do they fit within the ultimate purposes of God to reclaim worshippers for his own glory? If not, earnestly repent, and fill the freedom to give up your materialistic dreams in order to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen 1:28).