Are Children Always a Blessing?

Discussion in 'Family Forum' started by jpfrench81, Jan 4, 2011.

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  1. jpfrench81

    jpfrench81 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Regardless of how many children you have, if you have another, should that be considered a blessing from God? If so, then why would we prevent it?

    Disclaimer: 1. I would answer yes to the first question. 2. I am unsure about what I would say about the second one.

    This is a more specific followup to the question in this thread: I feel that the vagueness of my question in the previous thread is a little confusing, so I decided to be very specific.
  2. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    Joshua: See Rev. Buchanan's post in the thread you mentioned. I think his point about foster children is valid.
  3. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    I think we may not feel blessed by a child, and we may not gratefully accept God's blessings, but I cannot imagine that to be given a child is anything but. I cannot see God cursing someone with a child. I also imagine that not being given a child is also a blessing, though again, one may not feel blessed by that.

    ---------- Post added at 02:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:14 PM ----------

    Oh. the second part:
    I think one would prevent it because he would not feel blessed and he would choose to not seek that specific blessing. Most genuine Christians (hopefully) would still welcome a child and see it as a blessing, even had they not wished for that particular blessing. Most true Christians are not aborting their unwanted blessings, right? So although one may wish to avoid having children, it is still likely that if God gave them one, they'd treat it as a blessing, amidst the fear and other feelings presented with the child. Or so I hope.
  4. Mike Southerland

    Mike Southerland Puritan Board Freshman

    1. Yes.
    2. We should not prevent it.

    Unfortunately most Christians are aborting their children through chemical birth control. More more information on that topic see Randy Alcorn's book on Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortion?

    After seven largely problem free pregnancies and births, the Lord has determined to take us through the trial of four miscarriages in a row. If I were ever to give a good reason for your question #2, it would be that we would prevent conception in order to save us the pain of losing another child. However, if I were to answer that way then it would be my flesh attempting to override God's will. Through this trial I've come to view each of these precious children as an eternal soul that I will meet someday. I also have learned to trust this area of our life to God's will. When I was younger the challenge was trusting Him to give us all He wanted. The challenge now is being open to have Him take all He wants, all the while crying out to Him, that if it is His will, to spare our unborn child.

    Currently not expecting...
  5. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    I don't like the way the question is phrased. By using the term "children" we reference only a small period in the life of a person, and it incidentally is a period that we decent folk think of in endearing, cute and emotionally laden terms.

    To ask the question properly, we simply need to rephrase it to view things more big picture: Are PEOPLE always a blessing?
  6. jpfrench81

    jpfrench81 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks for your honesty, and I'm sorry for your losses. My wife have never used chemical forms of birth control because of the abortifacent aspect of it.

    ---------- Post added at 03:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:58 PM ----------

    I appreciate your thoughts Ben, though in this case, I must disagree with you. My question is motivated by the birth control issue, so I'm not sure the revision would be helpful.
  7. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    You can't read the Bible and not see children as "the heritage and gift of the Lord" as the marriage service says.
    However, it was ordained that Eve should bring them forth "in sorrow", so it's not surprising if at the point of receiving the blessing, the experience is not always uniformly positive even for those that fear the Lord. It may be only when they've passed through the various traumas that some parents are able to see the blessing whole for what it is.
    But - if you'll excuse the Reductio ad Hitlerum, - was he a blessing?
  8. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    Given that a new person - and not just a child - is at stake, I think it is most important to consider the big picture.
  9. Grace Alone

    Grace Alone Puritan Board Senior

    Okay, I am going to take a leap here. I don't think anyone is "at stake". All the people/babies/children ordained to be conceived will be conceived. I don't think we can thwart God's plans by trying to avoid pregnancy.

    But yes, the Bible says children are a blessing from the Lord and I believe that to be true. But I am also not against using the brains we have been given to determine that we may have circumstances that might cause us to avoid too frequent or additional pregnancies.
  10. JennyG

    JennyG Puritan Board Graduate

    Ben's right about that. people can be very blinkered in their grasp of a situation. I recall bringing home to the kids a part of what abortion means by pointing out "I could have prevented you from existing. I would never have know who it was I had killed - but God would have, and it would have been you."

    ---------- Post added at 10:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:42 PM ----------

    yes, that's quite a thought - I see that what I said about abortion (I know that's not the issue here) just may not apply if it 's really a case of preventing conception ,rather than very early killing of what has been conceived.
  11. Grace Alone

    Grace Alone Puritan Board Senior

    I was referring to Joshua's point about avoiding pregnancy, not aborting a child that is conceived...just to be clear. Abstaining from sex during the fertile time does not destroy a life.
  12. jpfrench81

    jpfrench81 Puritan Board Sophomore


    Could you provide some of the circumstances where it would be wise to avoid too frequent or additional pregnancies? (Outside of the mother dying if she were going to give birth to another child? Thanks.)

    ---------- Post added at 03:53 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:52 PM ----------

    What does "blinkered" mean? I apologize for being an ignorant American. :)
  13. Grace Alone

    Grace Alone Puritan Board Senior

    Well, I can give a couple of examples. Let's recall a most horrible case of the Christian mother who was mentally ill after giving birth and drowned all 5 of her children. They had sought treatment for her severe depression and psychosis or whatever it was previously and her husband had been told that it was dangerous for her to have more children. I think that might have been good advice to heed. Other occasions might be when the mother has a serious illness such as cancer and would have to cease treatment if she became pregnant. I have known of such a case. All of these were God's will because they happened, obviously. However, I think if the mother is depressed and having difficulty caring for the children, the husband should use wisdom about her becoming pregnant again at that point. Another instance is when there are multiple children and one or more are handicapped and require an exceptional amount of care. They might want to postpone having more children. Another instance is when the husband loses his job, etc., and is having trouble supporting the family he already has.

    I absolutely agree that many or most people choose to avoid pregnancy for the wrong reasons. But I do think there are valid reasons as well. And the Lord can always overrule men's plans anyway!
  14. jpfrench81

    jpfrench81 Puritan Board Sophomore

    Thanks for the clarification. And here's where the real quandry comes (at least for me). We often use the most extreme circumstances to justify a viewpoint when those are not the circumstances typically used to engage in such behavior (and this isn't directed at your post Janis). e.g., I had a colleague who was strongly supportive of abortion. I was able to contend against her arguments using some techniques learned from Stand to Reason's Making Abortion Unthinkable video. So of course she brought up the rape, incest, mother's life argument. I told her that I would happily vote for a law that made abortion illegal, except in those circumstances. I asked her if she would also agree to that law, and she said that she wouldn't. The reason is because those were not really the reasons she would want to have an abortion. It would be for convenience.

    Christians who argue for the permissibility of birth control may use extreme examples to argue their viewpoint, but in practice the reasons are typically convenience. Should birth control use (among Christians specifically) be an extremely small minority? Proportionally, there are very few people who would fall in the extreme circumstances described above. Is birth control permissible if I'm just tired of sleepless nights from an infant? Or if I'm tired of potty training? Or if I feel cramped in my house and would like a little more space? If I'm comfortable with my present lifestyle and don't want that to change? I would really like to hear an argument for these cases since those are really the common reason people stop having kids (at least from what I've seen).
  15. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

  16. jpfrench81

    jpfrench81 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I think I may have started the last one too! :) The questions just keep abounding and it is a very important topic.
  17. Peairtach

    Peairtach Puritan Board Doctor

    They often involve the mysterious figure of Onan the Barbarian.

    From Strong's:

  18. Grace Alone

    Grace Alone Puritan Board Senior

    I will agree that conservative reformed people disagree on this. Our very conservative elder in his 70's will tell you that after his wife had 4 babies, he decided their quiver was full. He believed that she had all she could manage well...taking good care of the kids and glorifying God in the process. I would have to come down on the side of Christian liberty in this area as opposed to abortion which is extremely clear.
  19. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    I am in a church with over two dozen kids adopted from mostly foreign countries. While some of them happened because of infertility issues, many of them happened because people chose to adopt instead of have another biological baby (or have the sort of medical procedures that might help them conceive). My pastor has four adopted kids and his sister is forty years younger; his parents had her as a foster girl and adopted her! Its kind of funny the way this smiley 13 year old black girl tells a new kid that the pastor is her brother and they give her the usual "yeah right" reaction, and she drags him over to prove it.

    Anyway, once you start to read about the awful situation with foreign orphans, I don't know why anybody would want to have another one of their own if they already have some, instead of rescuing a child. One of my friends had two biological boys and then adopted two girls.

    We had four boys and with the last two I threw sugar over into my urine. Just that put me in the 75% chance bracket of ending up with type 2 diabetes ( I exercise and eat right so right now my blood sugar is good) . I was scared to have another and be a diabetic, several of my relatives are. Eventually we adopted a Romanian girl who is sheer delight, and when I think of how most of them get out at age 18 with zero job prospects and nowhere to go and many end up in brothels, I thank God He saw fit to stop me from having more kids of my womb.

    This is a subject that isn't clear and it is easy to get legalistic about. But when I see people stopping having babies and instead adopting, I think it is great. Nothing wrong with having plenty of your own of course, but at least think about it.
  20. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Adoption is a matter of choice. Birth is not. You can't just decide to make a baby.

    The fruit of the womb is His reward, not however many trophies you can buy. Adopting and using birth control is a sign of decadence and perversion rather than spirituality.
  21. Skyler

    Skyler Puritan Board Graduate

    A reference to "blinkers" or "blinders" on a horse, I think.
  22. Dwimble

    Dwimble Puritan Board Freshman

    Wow. Just, wow. I've never claimed that our decision to adopt our first daughter a few years ago and our second within the next few weeks was a sign of "spirituality." But to call us and all those like us decadent and perverted is about as wrong-headed and hurtful as it gets. Do you know our hearts or the hearts of anyone else like us? Incredible.
  23. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    I think I get what you are saying, but it may have come out wrong. Adopting a sign of decadence and perversion? Not so much. Perhaps somewhere, sometimes, but I doubt that's the rule. I also doubt that's what you really meant?
  24. Grace Alone

    Grace Alone Puritan Board Senior

    Tim, your comments are pretty unreal to me. I hope you will rethink such comments.

    Lynnie, we had two biological children and adopted an orphan from China. I praise God that he blessed us in this way! Adoption is a beautiful image of God's adoption of us, and that is exactly what our pastor preached about on the day she was baptized. God gathers His children in many ways and adoption of orphans by Christians is a beautiful way.

    "27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
  25. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Adoption while taking birth control. The fruit of the womb is His reward. So you stop your womb from bearing because it's either easier or more holy to adopt. I don't get it.
  26. PuritanCovenanter

    PuritanCovenanter Moderator Staff Member

    The question on the poll is rather vague. Are children always a blessing to a parent? I would say they can be rather burdensome and a heart breaker. But as the question truly seems to pertain the sacredness of life, I would say all life is sacred.
  27. earl40

    earl40 Puritan Board Professor

    All things work for good to those that love God. All things are a curse that die in unbelief. Now that is the big picture.
  28. Dwimble

    Dwimble Puritan Board Freshman

    You're right, you don't get it. You pigeon-hole all those adopting who concurrently use birth control into your narrow criteria of believing it is either "easier" to adopt (which is utterly laughable) or "more holy," in addition to your original "decadent" and "perverted" statement. You know nothing about their hearts or motives, what method of birth-control they are using, why they are using it, why exactly they wish to adopt, and so on. The statements are almost farcical, and again potentially hurtful.

    In any case, this topic is far afield from the purpose of the thread, so I'll pass on any further comments about it.
  29. Hebrew Student

    Hebrew Student Puritan Board Freshman


    Look at Psalm 127 again:

    הנה נחלת יהוה בנים שכר פרי הבטן

    Notice, there is no definite article before שכר. The fruit of the womb is a reward. That is, it is only one possible reward from God. God rewards all those that follow him and serve him, but in different ways. God rewards all forms of service to him [adoption, missionary service, or any other means of service], but to demand that he always do it this way is something that is totally unfounded in this text.

    God Bless,
  30. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Thanks, Adam, but that doesn't exclude your wife having kids.
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