Kathy Petersen’s Blog

Does the Bible say you have to have kids?

Posted in children, Christianity by Kathy on January 24, 2008

It’s kinda neat looking at the blog stats page and seeing what people searched for online to find your blog. This was one of the search terms, and it got me to thinking–what *does* the Bible say about it? I’ve not done extensive research into this question, so most of this is “off the cuff”; besides, I could have biases that blind me to some of the evidence, and I could misinterpret things. Please don’t set this up as your doctrine until you study it out for yourself.

First, the Bible is most clear that sex is to be only between a man and woman who are married to each other. All other forms of sex (premarital, extramarital, homosexual, bestiality) are clearly forbidden in both the Old and the New Testaments. It amazes me that there are people who claim to be Christians and claim to believe the Bible, who have no clue what the Bible says, or find loop-holes and exceptions where there are none, or believe that certain parts of the Bible are not accurate. (That is another subject, and I may take that up in a future post; for now, I encourage you to read Josh McDowell’s book Evidence that Demands a Verdict on the question of the authenticity of the Bible.) Now, on to the Biblical evidence.

In Gen. 1:28, God commands the newly-created man to “be fruitful and multiply.” As my dad used to say, if a man and his wife just have two kids, that’s not multiplication–that’s not even addition–that’s just replacement! (For the sake of honesty, right now, I have two children, ages 3 years and 19 months, and am not planning on more for a while.) As far as I can tell, that command has never been said to be fulfilled and no longer in force. I think the command to have children was in fact repeated to the Israelites when they were on the verge of entering into the land of Canaan to conquer it–to fill the land with their children, basically. Throughout the Old Testament, not having children was considered to be a curse, and having many children was considered to be a blessing (a few Scriptures that spring to mind are a couple of Psalms that allude to this–likening children to many arrows in the quiver, or like many olive shoots around the olive tree). One might argue that we humans have been fruitful and multiplied, and that we have filled the earth, so we don’t need to have lots of children now. Also, we are not an agrarian society, so children are a financial burden for many years more now than they were back in the old days when they might tend sheep or help in the fields.

From what I can remember of the New Testament, there is no positive directive for married couples to have children, but it is more or less understood that that would happen. One should be careful, however, when formulating one’s ideas, to make sure that a command is a command, and liberty is liberty. There are some who think that sex is only for the purpose of procreation; some who think that couples should always be trying to get pregnant; others think that one should never try not to have a child (even by periodic abstinence); and some try to have more control over their own lives. Some of these people take the line that God should be the one in charge of your family size, and to keep from conceiving a child is basically thumbing your nose at the sovereignty of God or something. My basic philosophy is, if you want to have children, go for it. If you don’t, first make sure that your reasons don’t violate commands of Scripture.

One problem I have with the philosophy that you should have no control whatsoever over how many children you have is that God did give us brains for some reason, and I think He wants us to use them. If we’re not allowed to decide how many children we want, are there any other similar decisions that we are sinning if we try to control?–who we marry, when we marry, what job we have, where we live…. The other problem I have with it is that there are some who truly cannot afford to have more children, yet intentionally try to have more (usually for religious reasons). Of course, nobody can really afford to have kids, by some estimates–that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the people who are on government assistance, or barely scraping by without it, perhaps even have declared bankruptcy or are contemplating it–and still planning on having more children. Now, that clearly violates the New Testament command of men providing for their families at the penalty of being “worse than an infidel” if do not.

Where does birth control fit into this? I believe that life starts at conception (numerous Scriptures speak of a woman “conceiving a son” not a blob of tissue that would become a son; also, John the Baptist was referred to as a living being when he “leaped for joy” in his mother’s womb), and therefore an already-conceived baby should be allowed to live if at all possible. I don’t have a problem with contraception (that is, preventing conception from occurring), but I do have a problem with drugs or procedures that can be considered abortifacients. There are a variety of contraceptives (spermicide, condoms and diaphragms; as well as “natural family planning” methods that include periodic abstinence to prevent conception); but everything else that falls under the name of “birth control” may in fact induce an abortion.

Most methods of birth control–hormones such as pills, injections, patches, etc., and IUDs including Mirena–work in one of two ways–blocking conception (by keeping the woman from ovulating, or the sperm from entering the uterus) or by keeping the fertilized egg from implanting. Hormones keep the uterine lining too thin for adequate blood supply for the embryonic placenta, and the IUD tends to “irritate” the uterus, making it slightly contract–not enough for the woman to feel it, but enough to expel an embryo. Still, pregnancy may occur using any method of birth control or contraception (except abstinence works every time it’s tried). If you are uncomfortable with abortion, you may very well need to be uncomfortable with birth control.

I suggest you google terms such as “natural family planning” and other methods of contraception and birth control, to find out what is best for you–after you know all of the benefits and risks of every option.

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45 Responses

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  1. Daniel Downs said, on January 27, 2008 at 2:37 am

    One might argue that we humans have been fruitful and multiplied, and that we have filled the earth, so we don’t need to have lots of children now. Also, we are not an agrarian society, so children are a financial burden for many years more now than they were back in the old days when they might tend sheep or help in the fields.

    This is neglected point in the argument as is having a coherent and definitive philosophy. Genesis speaks to a couple not to a society. In a society of dependents and interdependent rather than independents as in an agrarian societies, the financial issue you speak of is of utmost importance.

    numerous Scriptures speak of a woman “conceiving a son” not a blob of tissue that would become a son; also, John the Baptist was referred to as a living being when he “leaped for joy” in his mother’s womb”

    A great observation.

    • james said, on February 3, 2015 at 10:40 am

      Who wrote the Bible? Was it God actually? We were given free will to choose and not to follow the Bible like a law and like sheep. If we did not have free will what is the point in living in this world? we would be just like animals living and multiplying and be a part of the food chain.

      • Kathy said, on February 3, 2015 at 3:25 pm

        Yes, you have the right to make your own choices, but you do not have the right to be free from the consequences of those choices.

        You have the right not to follow the Bible if you wish (psst, this post was written to those who *do* want to follow the Bible, so feel free to move along), but if the Bible is true, then at the end of your life, you will give an account for your life and how you lived it and what you said (including your above comment) and everything you’ve done. Do you really want to do that on your own merit? Such a thing scares me, when I really consider it. [And, no, I’m not a Christian because I “got scared into it”; I’m a Christian because the Bible has proven to be reliable on all points in which it can be tested, so I trust it on those points in which it cannot be tested.]

        You claim free will, and you want “not to follow the Bible like a law and like sheep”. Do you know that the Bible has a lot to say about sheep? It does liken God’s people to sheep in numerous ways, but if you don’t want to be a sheep, go ahead and be a goat. Leave the Shepherd’s protection and go your own way. God will let you (see Romans 1), but you will still give an answer for every sin you committed, which is for every time you went your own way instead of God’s way.

  2. Wakefield Tolbert said, on February 27, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    I once asked my pastor about this after getting a vasectomy and due to the fact that my wife, after having three boys had declining health AT THE TIME.

    He said yes, we are to be fruitful if we can and yes children are a gift from God. But not all this is to be done by ONE woman (LOL). Putting the joke aside, he reminded me that I need not have this reversd or dig up the things already buried and that my intentions were noble and we might not have been able to handle more kids anyhow in our economic condition.

    Now having said that, I DO agree that lifestyle issues get Christians some scorn sometimes and that luxury and sumptious items are the FAUX reasons given by some Christians for not have any kids at ALL or just one or two. Which statistically is not even replacement level. Julian Simon among other did a masterful job utterly demolishing the notion that kids means poverty per se, and that traditional societies were wrong for wanting more even when it SEEMED disadvantagous in an agrarian society. He reminds us in THE ULTIMATE RESOURCE that long term the environmental and demographic horrors preached by men like Paul Erlich are nonsense.

    There is one place that having fewer kids leads to, more likely in Europe but hints of this going on elsewhere in America: Extinction. The good angle in this is that the world might be a more conservative place. But what KIND of conservatism>?

    Could be radical fundamentalist Islam, not Christians. And without the protections of secular society and yes from liberals too in Western Society, we might all be in danger.

    http://wakepedia.blogspot.com/2006/03/liberals-doomed-to-extinction-darwin.html

    Sites like Blessed Arrows make much of having as many babes as you can, and even provide some truly interesting points to make. We Christians and indeed Western people in general need to have more little ones. Europe is now bribing some women in some cases to move about from the pure hedonist lifestyle of wine and dinner all the time and start making more babies. They have relatively empty maternity wards and very busy old folks homes and demographers are wondering several things here of concern. First only the Muslims are repopluating themselves. And this gives grave concern for Western Societal identity. Second, pension plans, government work, social programs, and retirement benefits are now in jeapordy due to the fact that Western Europeans are simply not replacing themselves. This sumptious lifestyle trend that needs social handouts paid for but refuses to repopulate is coming to Amercia. I know few people with more than one or two children. Gone are the days of the Waltons.

    We better think twice also about Christian identity in a secular world with all its myriad (usually negative) influences.

    Now Blessed Arrows and simliar groups can go overboard in this kind of thinking, I admit. They regard all contraception is inherently evil, and vasectomy as a form of mutilation against God’s will.

    Not so sure about that.

  3. Wakefield Tolbert said, on February 28, 2008 at 5:07 am

    Well Daniel that’s true too. Adam and Eve are spoken to, not all of humanity at this point in time.

    –Wake

  4. enjoybirth said, on February 29, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    I didn’t know you had a personal blog. I am enjoying browsing through it! I had a friend who made that comment about multiplying and after she had 3 she said had multiplied by 1.5. I thought that was cute. She went on to have 3 more kids though.

    I too struggle with this a bit. We feel really good about having 3 right now, but I try to stay open to the Spirit and figure the Lord will let me know if we are supposed to have more. Luckily the scriptures don’t tell us a specific number, it is left up to each couple to determine with prayer. 🙂

  5. Julie said, on March 17, 2008 at 9:10 am

    You write: “God did give us brains for some reason, and I think He wants us to use them.”

    Does that argument hold true for other areas of our lives? Should we use our brains in deciding what job to have, whom to marry, which church to go to, whether to give money to our local church, whether our parents deserve our honor, whether or not lying just this once is wrong, whether or not to steal that loaf of bread because our child is hungry, etc etc. It amazes me that some will preach that we are to submit our lives to God in every area except planning our families. I fail to understand how men can pick and choose which commandments to adhere to, or which parts of their lives to submit to God.

    Either He is Lord of our lives or He isn’t.

  6. womantowomancbe said, on March 17, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Julie,

    Yes, I would say that argument holds true for other areas of our lives. There are Biblical parameters given for most if not all areas of our lives — for instance lying and stealing are given a clear negative in every instance of Scripture (except, perhaps Rahab concealing the presence of the spies in Jericho). Eph. 4:28 says “Let him that stole steal no more, but rather labor….” Likewise, there is no question about whether or not our parents deserve honor nor whether we should give money to the church–there are clear scriptures which speak to that.

    But there is obvious liberty in deciding which job to have — it must be God-honoring and not illegal, such as prostitution, gambling, stripping, organized crime, etc. There are also clear mandates against loving money and “serving mammon”; so there may be some jobs which are legal and perhaps even moral, but some people should not have them because they are serving money and the world by pursuing that particular occupation, rather than serving God. However, men must have jobs in order to fulfill the Scriptural command to provide for their families. Paul wrote in Romans that they had the liberty to eat meat offered to idols, but that if a man could not do so with a clear conscience, then he was bound not to eat. Some men can hold the same job that other men cannot–in good conscience–because for some men it is not a stumbling block, but for others it is.

    In I Cor. 7 he wrote that people were free to get married, but that it was probably better if they didn’t–as long as they could maintain their sexual purity. If there is liberty in whether or not to marry, then there is certainly liberty in whom to marry, as long as that person meets other Biblical qualifications — Christians must marry “in the Lord,” and be not unequally yoked.

    In our day, there are many churches within easy distance to choose, but they are not all true churches — many in fact who call themselves to be Christian are anything but, because they refuse to submit to the clear teaching of Scripture, and allow blatant and unrepentant sinners to remain church members in good standing, and many even allow homosexuals and women to preach. I could not be a member of such a “church.” But if there are two churches in a close range that are similar and preach the truth equally, then there is no clear mandate from Scripture which one I should attend.

    Basically, there is Christian liberty in many areas, but never to sin.

  7. asimplesinner said, on March 21, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    I very much appreciate seeing bloggers point to the correlations between most forms of chemical birth control being abortifacient.

    I commend to you and your readers to consider getting a free copy of “Contraception: Why Not?” by Janet Smith and taking a look at the landmark Papal Encyclical Humanae Vitae by Pope Paul VI who reiterated what all Christians had taught until the Anglicans voted to change their position (a position that had actually re-affirmed just 10 years prior!) at the 1931 Lambeth conference that was a meeting of all the Anglican bishops of the world.

    To hear an interview with Dr. Janet Smith, Fr. Michael J. McGivney Chair of Life Ethics and Professor of Moral Theology from an Australian Radio (May 2, 2006 at 8.30pm)
    on the the topic will be condoms and aids:

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/relrpt/stories/s1629283.htm

    A professor of moral theology, Janet Smith is the author of Humanae Vitae: A Generation Later, editor of Why Humanae Vitae Was Right: A Reader, and Life Issues, Medical Choices.

    Contraception: Why Not? – Part 1

    Contraception: Why Not? – Part 2

    SOURCE: CatholiciPod

  8. asimplesinner said, on March 22, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Another link I had forgotten to include with the above that I think is helpful in considering the traditional Christian view of contraception is:The Bible Against Contraception

    If you highlight those texts in your Bible (I have a copy I use for underlining!) they really begin to jump off the page at you when read in context…

  9. asimplesinner said, on March 25, 2008 at 4:28 am

    The Protest of a Protestant Minister Against Birth Control

    I thought of this blog entry when I found this while doing some research today.

    I wish more people understood the traditional, historic Christian teaching on this which is VERY biblical.

  10. Fr. J. said, on March 25, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    There is ample evidence in the scripture that God’s intention for sex is fertility. Fertility as a value is now being recognized by many evangelicals who are now beginning to shun contraception and have larger families. For some scriptural references as well as references to the early church fathers:
    http://www.scripturecatholic.com/contraception.html

    There are many issues that need to be examined with regard to the contraceptive mentality. When a contraceptive fails, the couple now feeling the right to sex without fertile consequences, is more likely to resort to abortion. One cannot deny the connection between the practice of contraception and abortion. Also, the use of contraception develops a mental separation between sex and pregnancy. Once that happens infidelity becomes more common. Pre-marital sex also becomes more common. Hence the sexual revolution along with all its diseases, divorces and other discontents.

    The dissociation of sex from pregnancy in the popular mind has led to all of the terrible consequences we are seeing in the family. Homosexuality is now on par with heterosexuality precisely because fertility is irrelevant to sex, for example.

    Sex is also for bonding. Couples who were virgins at marriage and have remained faithful have the same divorce rates as the 19th Century–less than 5 percent. Once premarital sex becomes the norm, the ability to bond is severely reduced. For the couples who remained virgins each time they have sex it is a reminder of their wedding night. For those who had previous partners, it is a reminder that you are just my latest.

    Perhaps one may think that he can morally permit contraception in marriage but morally condemn extramarital sex. I dont think so. The rates of fidelity drop significantly for contracepting couples. As we know, infidelity rates are now over 50% in “good” marriages.

    When God’s plan is thwarted we see all the kinds of disorder we are now seeing in society. So, I would encourage faithful Christians of every strip such as yourself to really reconsider and change your minds about contraception.

    God Bless,
    Fr. J.

  11. asimplesinner said, on March 26, 2008 at 3:21 am

    I am sorry – I don’t know if this is Providence, but I keep finding these articles I want to share with you because I think you would appreciate them…

    http://www.cufblog.org/?p=304

    This is a post written on one of my Catholic blogs I read that talks about contraception and the history of the sexual revolution…

    A paragraph that leaped out at me was:

    “The next “prophet” in my chronological list is Anglican Bishop Charles Gore. In the 1920s debate about what the Anglicans rightly called “unnatural forms of birth control,” Bishop Gore led the fight against contraception within the Anglican Communion. He and others pointed out that accepting contraception would open a Pandora’s box of all sorts of other evils that none of them would want to see—including the acceptance of homosexual sodomy. How right he was has been proved by the events within his own ecclesial community.

    Our third “prophet” is an unnamed editorial writer for the Washington Post. Here’s a brief chronology to put things in perspective: On August 14, 1930, the Anglican bishops issued a statement accepting unnatural forms of birth control for hardship cases. On December 31, 1930, Pope Pius XI responded with his encyclical Casti Connubii, in which he strongly reaffirmed the previously unbroken Christian teaching against marital contraception. On March 21, 1931, a committee of the Federal Council of Churches accepted the “careful and restrained use” of contraception. The very next day, an editorial in the Post strongly criticized this action. “Carried to its logical conclusion, the committee’s report, if carried into effect, would sound the death-knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be ‘careful and restrained’ is preposterous.” Prophetic indeed!”

    It is worth reading the whole article if you get a chance.

  12. Kathy said, on April 20, 2008 at 10:24 pm

    Here’s a post somebody else wrote that went into this more deeply, which I thought had some good points.

  13. riddlej said, on June 8, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I agree with your perspective. A command is different from liberty. And God gives us liberty in many, many areas from an individual to a geopolitical scale. It is an un-Christian thing to destroy people’s liberty, per Paul’s remarks throughout his letters. So we need to guard that.

    We also shouldn’t confuse God’s command for Adam and Eve to fill the earth as a personal commandment, although it has personal ramifications. I totally agree that most people’s choice to limit the number of children they have is today based on selfishness rather than faith. And there are compelling arguments about how many children are ideal.

    But while the Bible paints a positive portrait of childbearing throughout, it is certainly clear that Scripture does not COMMAND Christians to have children. That would be interjecting works into the system for sure.

  14. Kristen said, on August 5, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    In Malachi 2:15, the Bible says that one of the purposes of marriage is godly offspring. So yeah, I think that Christian couples need to have a welcoming attitude towards children and to have a different attitude is ungodly.

  15. Sarah said, on June 13, 2009 at 5:01 am

    Hey, thanks for the link to your personal blog. I see we have even more in common than I thought! Thank you for being out there and thank you for your out-of-the-mainstream perspective. It is refreshing!

  16. RN Nurse said, on July 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Wow, you brought up some great points on this issue and I agree with your stance.

    This is something my husband and I struggle with often. On one hand, the bible certainly considers kids a blessing. Yet on the other, we are given an incredible amount of free will/liberties as humans (both within the faith, and whether or not to even follow God at all).

    I have to agree with your points. I think that if Paul said we can choose whether or not to marry (something the bible certainly seems to command we should do in scriptures such as “man shall leave mother and father and cleave to his wife”), then I certainly think we should be able to choose whether we want to have kids once married (and how many, at what time, etc.).

    There are far too many complicated issues that can arise if one stubbornly picks the position that all sex should only lead to children, and all married couples should try to have kids. These issues include: What about people with illness or genetic issues? What about people with far too many kids? What if you can’t provide financially for them? What about Paul clearly saying a man should please his wife, etc.?

    Notice that in the Bible, Abraham and Sarah didn’t even have kids for the majority of their lives, and yet I am sure they had plenty of sex throughout it trying to have them. Jesus himself neither married nor had children.

    I am almost shocked by the couple of people who posted above arguing that all married christians should have kids (or it is a sin). I feel like any woman that is told the child will likely die or inherit a deadly disease, and yet gets pregnant anyway, is almost committing murder.

    By my stance is summarized below:

    1. Children are a blessing.
    2. They should only be formed in a loving union of marriage (but if formed otherwise, shouldn’t be aborted).
    3. They are optional for married couples.
    4. Abortion or other methods of birth control that kill the newly formed fetus is a sin.
    5. Wise family planning, or safe/natural birth control methods are perfectly fine, and all Christian couples should choose an appropriate time to have children so they can be cared for and loved appropriately.

  17. Lovely said, on September 15, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Question: Do you think that God would ever tell a married couple NOT to have children?

    • Kathy said, on September 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      We should be guided by what God says in His Word. While I cannot say that there is or would be a specific command for a married couple not to have children, I could make an argument that there may be instances in which it would be inadvisable and/or perhaps against other biblical principles for a couple to have a child at a specific time. For instance, if the couple is in such deep financial straits as to not be able to afford to feed themselves, then adding another mouth to feed would be inadvisable from a practical standpoint, and may violate the biblical principle that if a man can’t take care of his own family, “he has denied the faith and is worth than an infidel” [although that may be more speaking of a man’s *refusal* to take care of his family when he can, rather than an inability to take care of his family, which is his desire]. There is a Proverb which says that a man is first to make ready his field and afterwards to build his house — that is, he is to get his financial life in order, and have work lined up so as to take care of himself and his family, and once that’s done and his field is growing, then in his spare/free time, he can build a house. [If he builds his house during planting time, then he won’t plant in the right time and therefore won’t get a crop at all, and will end up in a worse situation. If the phrase “build his house” is metaphorical, and refers to growing his family, rather than physically building a physical house in which to live, then that would be even more clear; but I don’t know that it is metaphorical, so will take it as a physical/practical command.] So I think it could be a biblical principle that you are to do things in the proper order, for best results.

      This is not to say that if a couple finds themselves expecting that they should consider it a curse, nor that they should kill the baby through abortion — that would be far worse! However, they should ideally do “first things first,” as the Proverb suggests, and get started with a job/income first (preferably prior to marriage, which itself should come before any baby-making activities!) — to start a family with a strong and stable foundation, and afterward add kids to that foundation, rather than having a dozen or half-dozen children with no way to feed nor clothe them.

      Yes, God is able to “hit a straight lick with a crooked stick,” and He can turn bad things into good, and can make “water come from a rock, and oil from a flinty rock”… but just because God *can* supersede natural circumstances and *can* countermand His own natural laws, doesn’t mean He always will, nor do I think it wise to “tempt God” and do things which His Word declares or demonstrates to be stupid, illogical, a bad idea, etc., in an attempt to force God to show His bountiful nature in rescuing you from your own stupidity. The Devil tempted Jesus by suggesting He cast Himself off a high place, because he knew that God would “send His angels to bear Thee up, lest Thou dash Thy foot against a stone”; but Jesus refused to do that stupid thing, which would have been for His own aggrandizement, and “forced” God the Father to perform a miracle to save Jesus from a rash action, or it would have killed Jesus at a time before His appointed time, so He could not have died on the cross and saved us from our sins.

      So, God has set in place natural consequences to actions, which He has told us about in the Bible, and it is wise to heed those natural laws so that we’re not surprised when we find ourselves on the receiving end of them. It should not surprise us that if we jump off a cliff, that we find ourselves dead or in a mangled heap when we hit bottom, even though God is able to supernaturally protect us from injury. Even so, it should not surprise people who are on the verge of bankruptcy, to find themselves pushed into bankruptcy, when they did not have the financial means to support their family but added more to it, rather than taking steps to get a better job and/or reduce their current expenses.

    • Norman said, on December 29, 2011 at 2:21 am

      I nor any person can speak for God but having said this God helped mankind by helping man develop the Bibles, karans etc. These documents spoke to people whom lived in a time when the human population was underpopulated and the bible appropriatly encouraged people to have children in order to populate the world. I can not imaging God would be instructing mankind to multiply in our modern world that has billions of people with so many starving and only able to hold onto life by a thread. When the oil age arrived populations rose exponentially and it is obvious that this can not continue at it current pace. Moreover, as the world burns through the remaining oil in the next 100 years the world population will correct itself. I can not imagine God wants billions of people starving. This brings us all back to God gave us direction but also brains and that we should use good judgement before deciding to continue mass populating the planet. I don’t write this to offend or scare people but math shows us that humans should be thinking logically before deciding to have large families. We all came from Adam and Eave and we are one big family on Earth and this means we all have billions of kids whether we choose 0 or many.

      • le-drummer said, on April 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm

        God did not “help{ed) mankind by helping man develop the Bibles, karans etc.” God revealed Himself to us through scripture. ‘2Peter 1:20-21 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Timothy 3:15-17:From childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work’.
        God did not have anything to do with any ” karans etc.”, whatever they are. People only starve in this world because the greed of a few leads to the poverty of many. This is purely the result of sin. We live in such a sin-sick world that though enough food is produced to feed everybody on earth, because of the evil wicked state of the world many starve,because of wars, politics, and greed. God does want this situation anymore than do we, but because of the state of the heart of men – Jeremiah 17:9.: “The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?” – these appalling conditions prevail.
        I know of no research that supports the claim that ” When the oil age arrived populations rose exponentially”. And what oil has to do with the issue being discussed is totally facetious. Whether we need oil to live and raise God fearing families is mere speculation at best. Remember Jesus said in Matthew 6:31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ Don’t worry about oil and such other commodities, if we will just be obedient to God’s commands and TRUST Him, He will never fail us. Sometimes we get so focused on the worlds problems and take our eyes off the Saviour, and what He has done for us and what He has in store for us. Just remember His word is true and all His promises also.

  18. Nicola said, on May 26, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    I can quite understand why Children would be a blessing to the Jews in the OT.
    I do believe Children are a blessing today but not in the way they would have been in the OT.
    We have freedom to marry or not in the NT
    God does not have GrandChildren only Children.

    We must each come to God with our own freewill, Christians having Children does not make them Children of God unforunatly.
    For the Jewish Nation in the OT this was different

    • le-drummer said, on October 3, 2011 at 6:10 am

      Why do you dismiss the teaching of the Old Testament so lightly remember 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”, and yes we have freedom to marry or not but if married note Malachi 2:15 “Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth”.
      I have several adult children, all living for God, and if a sinner like me can raise ‘Godly offspring’ it is only by the grace of God and following His ways. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

  19. George said, on September 17, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Eh….the Bible does not command (God did not command) Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply”. God “blessed” them saying “be fruitful and multiply”. You probably need to read your Bible more often. There was NO mention of the word “command”.

    And about we being under a “curse” in the Old Testament, we aren’t under the Old Testament covenant.

    So it does not matter how hard you try and twist it to seem like God said its “replacement” and all that, you’ve started with a flawed argument and so you will keep having to justify birth control and abstinence and everything else.

    You are painfully wrong.

    • Kathy said, on September 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm

      Telling someone to do anything is to command them to do it; perhaps the intention of the writer was that, “be fruitful and multiply” is a blessing rather than a command, but reading it as I did, it appeared that the verse separated the blessing of God from the command to be fruitful and multiply. As I said, I wrote it “off the cuff” and may have misinterpreted that.

      Perhaps you need to read my post again, because the only time I mentioned “curse” was that in OT times, NOT having children was CONSIDERED to be a “curse”, that is, the opposite of a blessing: infertility was a shame and a bad thing.

      The rest of your comment confuses me.

    • Kathy said, on September 19, 2011 at 12:25 am

      Last night, my mind drifted back to this comment, and I have to say that if you’re right about “be fruitful and multiply” is a blessing rather than a command, then that bolsters the idea that infertility might be considered a curse (if fertility is a blessing, surely the reverse of a blessing is a curse, and infertility is the opposite of fertility); also, if it’s a blessing and not a command, then I don’t know that I need to justify any forms of conception avoidance, since God did not command Adam & Eve, Noah’s sons, nor anybody else to have children, so refusing to have children would not be violating a command of God.

    • le-drummer said, on October 3, 2011 at 6:00 am

      We may not be ‘under the Old Testament Covenant’ but remember 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”,
      Oh, and the second sentence in Genesis 1:28 is in the ‘first person imperative’ …. uh, sorrta sounds like a command.

      • Andrea said, on January 25, 2012 at 4:10 pm

        “Have a nice day” is also in first person imperative…I don’t think that’s a “command” to make sure you have a nice day.

        • le-drummer said, on April 27, 2012 at 7:43 am

          Flippancy is disrespectful in light of the Word of God, and the seriousness of the subject under discussion. Does nobody have any shame these days?

  20. temz said, on September 18, 2011 at 8:57 am

    Hello Brothers and Sisters

    1 Corinthians 7: 32 -35

    Paul talks about why he said it is better to ramain unmarried because you are taken from the thing of the lord and focusing on the cares of this world.

    Children are a joy to parents. If we wanted to have children because we wanted the gospel to spread and to teach them, then we could also think about adopting children in poverty who have been abandoned and have no one to care for them but the lord.

    When you ask some people why they don’t adopt and teach that baby/ child the ways of the lord, some people then go on to say they want thier OWN children. This tell me it is more to do about them sometimes and having the joy of saying you have your own child, than teaching and helping the gospel grow.

    we need to look at ways of taking care of the needy and thoes already here on the earth

  21. le-drummer said, on October 3, 2011 at 5:52 am

    “been said to be fulfilled and no longer in force.” What do you mean by ‘no longer in force’? Where did you get that idea from? has God revoked anything He has ever said? Maybe you need to wash and rewrite your cuffs! Strangely this expression came from Jewish culture, having Scripture written on the edges (hems) of the clothing.
    But if Christians would obey the voice of God and His commands, especially in this area, God would hear their prayers on the abortion issue. While Christians remain hypocritical about this God will not answer in the way that we want. Read and study the six questions the Israelites asked God in Malachi and see the correlation to this issue. If we are faithful to God and do what He requires of us, He will hear us when we pray to Him. The main reason most Christians will not stop using contraception is simple really THEY DO NOT TRUST GOD! If they did TRUST then their so called concerns ‘can’t afford another’ ‘won’t be able to cope’ etc. etc., would be in God’s hands and there would be no worries. Remember Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward”. Who, being a servant of the Most High God, would want to cut off rewards from Him? Certainly not me.
    Who do you really serve? God or the world – but if you serve The Lord, He will never fail you or give you rewards that you can’t care for – God is the provider. have you used His provision wisely?

  22. Loosh said, on November 27, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Hello everyone. I have a very earnest request.

    I have read about the whole concept of “being fruitful and multiplying” or “children are blessings and/or arrows in the quiver”, but something doesn’t quite click with me. I hear all the time about how it can be our choice in whether or not we have kids, and that if we do not want them (I DO NOT WANT THEM) we should examine our motives for not wanting them. But that is where it stops.

    No one actually says what i should do if I do not want kids! I am a God-fearing christian and always have been. I have been saved and am constantly trying to do well in the Lord’s sight and honestly do not know what to do! Granted, I am young and have time to think about it, but what do I do with selfish desires? I cannot simply “wish” them away; my flesh wants what it wants. I truly at this point in my life do not know which course of action down the road would be right in God’s eyes. Do I have kids and stay miserable in the name of the Lord? Do I never marry and not have to make the decision? Do I not have kids and enjoy the perks? (more sex, more money, simpler life, less stress…ect) Do I even have the patience (or will have the patience) to raise a child in this fallen world?

    My bottom line is this. I do not want to have kids, but my motives are mixed, and I want to do right by God and at the same time enjoy my life to its fullest. What do I do? What questions should I be asking myself?

    -Loosh

    • Kathy said, on December 27, 2011 at 2:28 pm

      My suggestion is that you pray. Confess to God these thoughts and this reasoning, and ask Him to change you, or to open up your understanding as to why you don’t want children, if there is a particular reason why it may be better for you not to have children at all. Very likely, you are just being selfish and you need to repent of that, and try to do better with God’s grace and through the strengthening of His Word, but perhaps there is something else going on as well.

      That said, I will relate to you the story of my own husband. He didn’t really want children either — probably for the same reasons you mention above, although he never explicitly said; he also may have feared that he wouldn’t be a good father, or was overwhelmed by the thought of that much responsibility. When we got married and were talking about children, he expressed hesitancy for having children, and wanted to wait several years after we got married to start having children. He would have been childless for life by his choice, I think, except he knew I wanted children. Then I got pregnant only a year after we got married, and he quickly set his mind to the new reality, and refused to have any sort of negative thoughts, and became quite excited during the pregnancy! Since our first child’s birth, he has been a wonderful father, and discovered that he really likes having children, and all his fears either never materialized, or were nothing compared to the joy and benefit of having children.

    • le-drummer said, on April 27, 2012 at 7:32 am

      Where did you get the idea that by not having children you would “enjoy the perks”; (more sex, more money, simpler life, less stress…ect). God is an Sovereign God and all things are in His hands. If (as it sounds you are unmarried) more sex would be fornication, and in my experience of life more money leads to a more complex more stressful life; I am a friend to a multi-millionaire and when he is in my city from time to time he invites me to his hotel to eat dinner with him, because he does not want to eat alone – he no longer sees his riches as a ‘perk’. He says himself “I am a unhappy lonely man” but he still will not accept Gods grace, even though he sees something ‘different’ in me. Therefore make your choices carefully things don’t always work the way we want them to.Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.
      Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

    • Brynn said, on July 2, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Loosh
      No you don’t have to have children although, more sex and more money are not the right reasons.

      Read the comment by Carol Ann Mustin on this page
      http://awordywoman.com/no-children-what-does-the-bible-say-about-having-kids/

      Based on the comment I think she is a great example of someone with no children who SERVES GOD. It seems she has been blessed even though she does not have children.
      My point is I don’t believe god will condemn you for not having children.

      People like Kathy are biased and think that their way of life is the only way and will always try to force it on other people. She has children so everyone must also have them. She probably just can’t fathom how someone could not want a child because they brought HER such joy. And well that’s great for her,really its a blessing for her, But everyone is different and god can bless you in other ways.
      Not having children doesn’t make you any less of a good, god-fearing Christian.

      My advice is to pray and listen the words of god and not of people who will try to condemn you.

      I hope this makes sense(I know I’m not a very good writer sorry)Even though your comment is old I hope what I have said can still help you or anyone else who might feel the same.

      Psalm 37:4
      Delight yourself in the Lord,and he will give you the desires of your heart.

  23. Benaiah said, on January 27, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    This verse should have been stated first. I didn’t see this verse among the comments. However please refer to 1 TImothy 2:15. “But women shall be preserved (saved) through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”

    Have a nice day.

  24. stephanie said, on April 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Just womdering of you could pray for us we already have 3 beautiful girls 16,11,10 and I am 35 y/o and would like to have 1 more I just don’t understand why I have fear about doing this? I also pray it is not a selfish desire to do this. My while family loves the idea of one more and my oldest since we homeschool and is almost 17 wants to be with me at all my classes and in the birth room. I guess I take it very serious I have the best hubby in the world and he is willing to help 100% I just am unsure of Gods will for us.

    stephanie

    I will – Kathy

    • ledrummer said, on April 30, 2012 at 12:32 am

      Certainly I will pray for you. How can you see this desire as selfish? When I come across situations similar to your own I believe that desire such as this is natural. Does not the scripture say “Proverbs 30:15(b) … Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough”: (16) Sheol, the constrained (empty,barren) womb, the land never satisfied with water, and the fire that never says, “Enough.” Psalm 127:3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Why would we not want rewards from the Lord? God is the giver of “James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. (18) Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” If you want to discuss this further privately contact me at dabar@paradise.net.nz.

  25. Sarah said, on June 14, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Hi Everyone, I just saw this post, and I hope you all will still see this. I need someone’s personal view that I don’t know personally. I am currently a college student, and I’m engaged to a wonderful man! 🙂 We both want children. We haven’t talked about specifics like how many or when (not until another couple of years). I’m afraid that I want children for a selfish reasons; for example, I want to give them and show them things that didn’t experience while I was little. Also, I want them to go to a Christian private school. I’m also curious what they would look and act like. I also love the idea of having a baby/kids around, and how pregnancy would be and feel like. And I think being called “Mom” would melt my heart! This is were it gets difficult; I’m nervous about how our current society is, and how it could get worse. I don’t want any of my children to have a difficult life. I have many people telling me I should have children when we are ready, but I have had many people telling me not to have them (I was surprised that many of them are parents!). They believe it’s only going to get tougher for future generations.

    Please tell me what you would do if you were me? Please no rude comments, Thanks!

    • Kathy said, on June 17, 2012 at 6:18 pm

      I don’t think those reasons sound bad at all! In fact, they sound perfectly normal. (At least, I’d hate to think of people who become mothers who *don’t* want to have babies or children around, or who cringe at the thought of being pregnant.)

      I join you with the sentiment you expressed about society getting worse, but I don’t think it’s a valid reason not to have children. After all, if all the people who are concerned about the trend refuse to have children, then the next generation will be made up of people who were raised by parents who like the current trend and/or don’t really care one way or the other. In other words, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. So for that, I say, “trust God; He’s bigger than our problems, and bigger than society’s downward trend”. It may be that one of your children becomes the catalyst for change that this country and this society needs, to turn it back toward the right track.

      Wanting the best for your children is only normal and natural, but there is no way you can guarantee that. You can do your best to be the best wife and mother you can be, and to raise your children right, but you must accept that there are many things that are outside of your control, so in life, you’ve just gotta roll with the punches. You can do everything right, and still have something go wrong (car wreck, disease, etc.). God does not promise that everything will always go right, but He does promise to be there when things go “wrong”. It may be tougher for future generations, but then again, it may not be. I do think you would be wrong to listen to people say you should have no children at all, just because life may be tough. That seems totally the wrong advice, and if anybody said that to me, I would smile and ask them where such advice is given in the Bible?

      There may be specific instances and specific times in the past when singlehood and/or childlessness is temporarily better — for instance, Paul warns in one of his letters that it is better not to be married if you can stand it, because of the trials and tribulations he knew were just around the corner. But since we do not have such a gift of prophecy, we cannot say that such a thing is near; nor does our current generation seem to be nearly as antagonistic towards Christianity as at his time, so I think we have many generations yet before we have such trials that it would make sense to remain childless. But even in such countries where Christians *are* currently being persecuted and even martyred for the faith, if they remain childless, then only the offspring of the ungodly, the atheists, the heathens, their persecutors will increase, while those who are born to Christian families and raised in a Christian environment will decrease. That certainly doesn’t seem right or Biblical.

  26. Kate said, on January 12, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I don’t usually comment on blogs but I am writing this with a heavy heart. My husband and I have been together for 8 years and married for 5. Since the beginning of our relationship we had both expressed an interest to have children, however we did not want them immediately after marriage. In the past year my husband has expressed uncertainty about wanting children. During that time, my desire for a child has greatly increased, while his desire is practically nonexsistent at this point. I feel that we are on completely opposite ends of the fence now. I feel that he has gone ahead and made an important decision about our marriage without asking my opinion. Many of the reasons that he has stated to justify his decision seem selfish and extremely pessimistic to me. He has decided that he isn’t sure he wants the responsibility or to give up “his” time, he’s scared of the unknown, the demise of society and gives me a lot of “what ifs”. I am in my early 30s and he is approaching 35. I feel like I have been lied to because at one time we both shared this desire for a child. It is causing resentment on my end and resenting my husband is the last thing that I want to do. I love him dearly, but I fear that his decision will have negative long term affects on our relationship. I am hurt and disappointed. In a sense, feel like I have wasted these years with a man that doesn’t share the same viewpoint as me. I have unceasingly prayed for understanding and for peace if God’s plan is for us not to have children. I have also prayed that God would give my husband peace if a child is in God’s plan for our lives. This has been going on for months to no avail. If anything my desire has only become stronger. Am I going about this the wrong way? How can I view things in a different light.

    • Kathy said, on January 20, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Lacking in wisdom and personal experience in this area myself, I went to a wise and trusted older man [A. Guy Maligned, the blogger at What Women Never Hear] to ask his opinion. He responds:

      There could be several reasons, and recoverery is pretty much the same for each reason:

      + Perhaps his respect and love of wife have slid downhill. He seeks to avoid throwing out any anchors that might slow whatever he has planned or is just thinking about for his future and perhaps a future without her.

      + He may fear the costs and seeks to avoid new financial demands. Look for it to be likely if they have already substituted pets for babies instead of saving up for baby costs.

      + He may have misled wife earlier.

      + If he’s immature, adolescent-minded, or drifting away from personal responsibility in the home, he’s likely drifting away from whatever their current life is all about. Babies add unsought responsibility.

      + If he doesn’t want to please her anymore, as a matter of personal preference, he won’t want children for the sole purpose that she will be pleased. It’s a good sign of bad things to come.

      I suspect their relationship isn’t too solid. Wife’s recovery should first try to solidity it and follow this pattern:

      + Don’t purposely or accidentally forget to take The Pill. A pregnancy will make their relationship worse.

      + Accept his decision without approval or disapproval. Don’t blame him or try to induce guilt.

      + Drop the idea of having babies for awhile. Leave the subject to indirectness and seed planting that aims to make it his idea to have children, his idea to keep earlier promises, and his idea to please his wife’s primal urge to give birth.

      + Study blog articles about the opposed and competitive natures of men and women and particularly pay attention to earning/winning/keeping/restoring a man’s respect. Wife needs to discover once again the glorious results of admiring who he is and what he does through her actions and not just her words. She has to learn to feel important about herself in other ways than depending on him for feedback. It worked at one time to make him think of marrying her, so she needs to restore herself as if he might be flirting with the idea of leaving. Without, however, letting him know that she feels threatened or hopeful of accomplishing something.

      She’s in a tough situation regardless of the cause. Whatever he or she does will likely instigate competition. If it happens, cooperation goes out the window and the bell rings for round one of their bout to settle differences.

      Guy

      Please read his blog — search for past posts that relate to these concepts (the search bar is at the top of every page), go to the contents page and look for titles that seem interesting to you, pick random posts, or start with post #1 and read them all over the course of time. Of course, not every post will be applicable to your situation (many posts are geared towards unmarried women), but there are gems to be found in every post, and a veritable gold mine in the blog as an entirety.

    • Sammy said, on April 15, 2013 at 7:18 am

      Hi Kate… I have to say, and I hope this does not come out wrong or like I don’t get your point or your feelings, that you shouldn’t allow these feelings against your husband grow and dominate your heart, please guard your heart. As much as having children is a blessing, your marriage is sacred before God. If in your desire to have a child you grew apart/stopped honoring your husband, how would that be pleasing to God? I don’t think that there’s a bad intention on your husband’s behalf either. He is being honest and after all you both agreed on waiting for a while, our emotions tend to change and his present thinking might also mean that after some thinking he was never sure after all. That’s not betrayal, that is being honest and responsible. I also believe though that God listens to us and answers according to His will (see 1 Samuel chapter 1, similar situation to yours). By being loving and patient with your husband you will be rather ready, in a healthy marital situation, when/if God decides to bless you with a child/children. And if he does never change his mind remember that you can always be happy with the person that God blessed you to be with. You are not less or more for having or not having children and over all things and arguments you may find out there God knows your heart and it is preferable to stay faithful to your husband’s love and respect (whom you already have) than letting bitterness to steal your joy as a wife. Feel honored because your husband thinks you’re all he needs, until God places the desire in his heart to be a father someday 🙂


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