Are Children Always a Blessing?

Regardless of how many kids u have, should another be viewed as a blessing from God?


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kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
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.
I'm sorry, but I don't see Tim's statements as so far-fetched when applied to North American Christianity in general (and I DO 'get' it).

We sit there and snipe at each other with exceptions, when the rule tends to be that children are seen as something to regulate, for the first time in millenia. What about pre-pill? The only reason we are having this conversation is because the means exist now to control what was previously unbound. Yes, women died in childbirth with alarming regularity. Yes, there are cases now and previously where women were simply overwrought and killed their children (but this looks more to me like a disfunction in the Body of Christ rather than an issue of too many children). Yes, there are cases of rape and incest where keeping a child seems illogical and almost cruel (but never, never does any crime, no matter how heinous, justify murder).

I think that adopting and using birth control is an odd combination. We did it, for fear that Elizabeth would get pregnant during the adoption and thereby void the process. But again, it is a bizarre exception - that's what most of this thread seems to be composed of.

EDIT: I think what I'm reading here is that we deny God's blessing of our own womb and then seek another somewhere else, that is the contradiction that he's trying to deal with, as I understand it. We have adopted a few times, and never did I think of them as 'trophies' to be 'bought'. But I do understand the sentiment, as it seems that in some parts of the US, adopting a Chinese orphan is almost 'hip', and thus that charge could be applied to some. Saying that all chidlren adopted while on birth control are merely people exercising a material want and thus perverse, is, I think, a statement taken too far (though again, it may be applicable in some cases).

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
This is a fine opinion but the question is, is it his decision to make?
 
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Montanablue

Puritan Board Doctor
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.
I cannot believe you think this. One of my siblings is adopted and he is definite not a "trophy" that we bought, but a wonderful blessing that God put into our family. I actually don't think I can respond further...I am incredibly disappointed.
 

Grace Alone

Puritan Board Senior
Kevin, yes, I think it is his decision just as it was your decision to temporarily avoid pregnancy during your adoption. How many Christian women who started having babies in their 20's are still having babies well into their 40's? Not many. Most Christian couples make some decisions regarding either the timing or number of children that they ultimately have. I'm not saying that all the reasons are as valid as others, but as I said before, you can't prevent having a child that God has ordained. We may think we are in control of this area, but we most certainly are not!
 

Hunn

Puritan Board Freshman
I voted yes, assuming we are talking about believers here.

As to the second question, I'll risk the shock that I'm sure some of you will have and say that we can avoid having more kids (obviously barring any abortive measures) because we don't want any more. I am also assuming that Christian couples are not avoiding children all together because children are a blessing from the Lord to married couples. But at the same time, as someone else has pointed out in this thread, they are not the only blessings God gives. I see no command in scripture to never avoid having children. We should be thankful for the blessings that God gives us in our children, but I think saying that all of us should continue to have children until it is impossible is taking it too far.

We should examine out hearts as to why we want to stop having children. I have three kids. We are currently preventing, and will most likely, barring God's intervention, be done. My reasons are that I want to homeschool my children and give them the best education possible. Also, I want to be able to spend as much time as possible with my kids (and my wife) and have the time to teach them about the Lord. We are all in different circumstances. Having 10 kids in our society is a lot different than having 10 kids in pre-modern rural societies.

I'll gladly rethink my views if anybody wants to show me from scripture why I shouldn't prevent kids (other than that children are a blessing from the Lord). I agree and am very thankful for my kids.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
Kevin, yes, I think it is his decision just as it was your decision to temporarily avoid pregnancy during your adoption. How many Christian women who started having babies in their 20's are still having babies well into their 40's? Not many. Most Christian couples make some decisions regarding either the timing or number of children that they ultimately have. I'm not saying that all the reasons are as valid as others, but as I said before, you can't prevent having a child that God has ordained. We may think we are in control of this area, but we most certainly are not!
But I think this decision was made on the basis of fear, and not of trust, and the fact that most people make decisions on their fertility does not make it right (far too often the earthly manifestation of our Christian walk comes from what we see in our congregations, not what we see in scripture). Part of the reason that the church is in the state it is in today is that too many women in their 20's decided that they didn't want children past their girl and boy, and so at 24 they were all done with childbirth. No, we can't prevent a child that God has ordained, but why do we test Him in the process? I don't go shooting apples off the heads of my children just to prove that God will protect them either.
 
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Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
TimV,

Thanks, Adam, but that doesn't exclude your wife having kids.
Nor was it meant to. It was meant to point out that children being called a "reward" does not necessarily mean that a couple *must* have biological children if they can. God rewards his servants in the ways he sees fit, not in the ways we think he ought to.

I also thought that PuritanCovenanter's distinction was good. The question is quite vague, and what is meant by "children are a blessing" does need some clarification.

God Bless,
Adam
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
My reasons are that I want to homeschool my children and give them the best education possible. Also, I want to be able to spend as much time as possible with my kids (and my wife) and have the time to teach them about the Lord. We are all in different circumstances. Having 10 kids in our society is a lot different than having 10 kids in pre-modern rural societies.
While I can't give you chapter and verse on why you should most certainly not use birth control, I can say that your reasons given resonate with the effects of modern culture on us. There's always time to teach one or ten or twenty about the Lord, no matter how many. They all sit around the dinner table and all have ears. Sure, sometimes devotions will take an hour and a half, but how is that a bad thing? My wife homeschools our children. Now where is the argument???
 

Hunn

Puritan Board Freshman
My reasons are that I want to homeschool my children and give them the best education possible. Also, I want to be able to spend as much time as possible with my kids (and my wife) and have the time to teach them about the Lord. We are all in different circumstances. Having 10 kids in our society is a lot different than having 10 kids in pre-modern rural societies.
While I can't give you chapter and verse on why you should most certainly not use birth control, I can say that your reasons given resonate with the effects of modern culture on us. There's always time to teach one or ten or twenty about the Lord, no matter how many. They all sit around the dinner table and all have ears. Sure, sometimes devotions will take an hour and a half, but how is that a bad thing? My wife homeschools our children. Now where is the argument???
As I said before, we are all in different circumstances. I just don't think it is necessary to assume that we should all have 11 kids (which I see that you have). It is wonderful that your wife is able to homeschool all of them. I am not in any way saying that it is impossible to teach a bunch of kids about the Lord. All I'm saying is that it seems to be a matter of liberty, seeing as there is no command. How does it reflect modern culture to want to have a lot of time to educate my children in the Lord and serve and romance my wife? I have to say, I wish the culture had such goals.
 

kvanlaan

Puritan Board Doctor
But that's just it, it is indeed about circumstances, and choices, and general geography, etc. But we don't make those choices in a vacuum, we look to God's Word, and that's where I think that our modern culture has created so much white noise in the form of entertainment and general distractions that the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit gets lost in the din. In Canada I have a decent job and get government money just for having these children (and it is a large sum every month) BUT when we lived in China, we did the same on a third of the money.

How does it reflect modern culture to want to have a lot of time to educate my children in the Lord and serve and romance my wife?
These two examples are neither reflections of the culture nor relevant to having many children. But I can say that having more children leaves less time for past-times and distractions and I spend almost all my home time with my wife and children (except for my PB addiction, the monkey on my back!)
 

Grace Alone

Puritan Board Senior
Tim, you have a right to your opinion but you have made offensive posts and insulted several people here tonight.
 

Hunn

Puritan Board Freshman
But that's just it, it is indeed about circumstances, and choices, and general geography, etc. But we don't make those choices in a vacuum, we look to God's Word, and that's where I think that our modern culture has created so much white noise in the form of entertainment and general distractions that the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit gets lost in the din. In Canada I have a decent job and get government money just for having these children (and it is a large sum every month) BUT when we lived in China, we did the same on a third of the money.

How does it reflect modern culture to want to have a lot of time to educate my children in the Lord and serve and romance my wife?
These two examples are neither reflections of the culture nor relevant to having many children. But I can say that having more children leaves less time for past-times and distractions and I spend almost all my home time with my wife and children (except for my PB addiction, the monkey on my back!)
When we look to God's word, I'm not seeing where it is commanded that we shouldn't prevent having children if we so desire. Assuming I grant your point that I'm being influenced by the culture (which I don't :p ), is that necessarily a bad thing if I have searched my heart (wretched thing that it is) and believe without a guilty conscience that I am doing it for reasons that are not sinful. Circumstances do matter. We all have different careers, financial situations, etc. We shouldn't impose a command on everyone.

As a side note, since having my kids all my past times are gone as well and that is only with 3! I can't imagine having 11. Perhaps I would be able to talk the military into paying me more.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
I don't see Tim saying that all adoption is 'trophy buying'. I do see him saying that it is really strange to prevent pregnancy in a marriage and then adopt children instead. I have seen this done simply because the woman didn't want a post pregnancy physique more than once. I have seen it for a whole bunch of reasons. It just seems counter to the normal way that God intended for marriage. Molly and I only have one child. It causes us great pain that we have not been able to conceive any others. We have sought to adopt several times and every time the door slams shut. It seems maddening to me for a husband and wife not to have their own natural children if it medically possible.
 

Grimmson

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: http://www.puritanboard.com/f15/preventing-natural-blessing-65324/. I feel that the vagueness of my question in the previous thread is a little confusing, so I decided to be very specific.
Should children be considered a blessing from God? Yes, but there are two issues that should be considered. The first is whether or not having as many natural children is wise when considering resources at hand (time, money, other commitments to outside parties and to your local church and so on). Is it appropriate for a husband to purposely conceive with his wife if he is not managing the resources properly that he has already or is in current economic difficulty whereby he cannot provide properly for his own family? If a man cannot provide for his family then he is worse then a nonbeliever (see 1 Timothy 5:8). Therefore he needs to be balanced and excise wisdom in regards to his already established commitments to his wife, current children, and to the church that he is a member of. Just to say that the Lord will provide has many times been an excuse for laziness for denying means to God’s end and laziness in accepting personal responsibility for judgments/ decisions made. Notice that I am nowhere accepting or permitting the issue of abortion, but instead to try to exercise wisdom prior to the conceiving of human life in the womb. The second issue that I have noticed in large families is that the begetting of large amount of children can turn into a form of idolatry. Whereby the husband and wife may start to look down upon married couples with three or less children. The quality of your family is then seen in proportion to how many kids one has and the desire to have more raises that status. Children in such a state are not in practical terms seen as a blessing, even though the family may confess that they are, but instead objects that they want more of. In a sense controlling God, by forcing his hand by having more children purposely, assuming the family recognizes biological means and actions of what they are doing. If a couple wants more children I would recommend adoption, because these are children who are already have been conceived and equally need to hear the Gospel and can receive much in the way of blessing when being brought up in a Christian home. If any man would condemn such couple for doing so then he has established that only biological children of a couple is a blessing and not adoptive children that need a home. You are purposely specifying who and who is not a blessing from the Lord; therefore communicating that not all children are a blessing. It is God who brings blessings and curses, to strive to receive the blessings from God can turn God into Vending machine of blessings, whereby if you do this that and the other you will receive mechanically a certain blessing as a response. The issue isn’t receiving the blessing, but instead striving after the blessing instead of waiting on the Lord to give blessing in his own time, reminding me of Abraham and Ishmael. Our goal or purpose of believes is not to strive for blessing but to our Lord alone. We are to serve God with all our heart, all our mind, with all our body. Therefore we should not strive after temporal possessions and should instead try to practice godly wisdom; to try to practice godly wisdom is serving God and is moving away from the lustful desires of the flesh. This is not to say that sex with your spouse is wrong, but instead how one does so in wisdom should be considered as long as actual human life is preserved, not a theoretical potential life that may emerge (present vs. potential).

On the issue of conception, as a side and related issue, see the three sections of this post, where Adam, myself, and others contributed:

http://www.puritanboard.com/f32/contraception-bible-61208/
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
My reasons are that I want to homeschool my children and give them the best education possible. Also, I want to be able to spend as much time as possible with my kids (and my wife) and have the time to teach them about the Lord.
At what number of kids can the parent no longer homeschool? And how many kids before one no longer has time to teach them about the Lord?

---------- Post added at 02:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:52 AM ----------

I don't see Tim saying that all adoption is 'trophy buying'. I do see him saying that it is really strange to prevent pregnancy in a marriage and then adopt children instead. I have seen this done simply because the woman didn't want a post pregnancy physique more than once. I have seen it for a whole bunch of reasons. It just seems counter to the normal way that God intended for marriage. Molly and I only have one child. It causes us great pain that we have not been able to conceive any others. We have sought to adopt several times and every time the door slams shut. It seems maddening to me for a husband and wife not to have their own natural children if it medically possible.
:ditto: I have seen many people bash Tim and his comments (which most people took completely out of context), but I have yet to see anyone offer a counter to them. What is the reason that a woman would seek to adopt when she is capable of having children naturally?

---------- Post added at 03:07 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:57 AM ----------

I think the real question that comes into play here is not "should people have more children" but rather, "why wouldn't Christian parents want to have more children"?

When the second question is asked, the answer generally has to do with the family seeing the addition of another child as a burden. They will make some excuse up about finances, when in reality they simply don't want to give up their luxuries. Or they simply don't want to be burdened with the phyical care of another little one. I'm sure every parent on here will attest babies are hard work, but how many people are just too lazy (selfish) to do this hard work. I can think of one valid reason why a woman would specifically prevent pregnancy and that is for health reasons, of both mom and potential child. If there is another valid reason someone can point me too I will of course stand corrected.
 

Grimmson

Puritan Board Sophomore
My reasons are that I want to homeschool my children and give them the best education possible. Also, I want to be able to spend as much time as possible with my kids (and my wife) and have the time to teach them about the Lord.
At what number of kids can the parent no longer homeschool? And how many kids before one no longer has time to teach them about the Lord?

---------- Post added at 02:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:52 AM ----------

I don't see Tim saying that all adoption is 'trophy buying'. I do see him saying that it is really strange to prevent pregnancy in a marriage and then adopt children instead. I have seen this done simply because the woman didn't want a post pregnancy physique more than once. I have seen it for a whole bunch of reasons. It just seems counter to the normal way that God intended for marriage. Molly and I only have one child. It causes us great pain that we have not been able to conceive any others. We have sought to adopt several times and every time the door slams shut. It seems maddening to me for a husband and wife not to have their own natural children if it medically possible.
:ditto: I have seen many people bash Tim and his comments (which most people took completely out of context), but I have yet to see anyone offer a counter to them. What is the reason that a woman would seek to adopt when she is capable of having children naturally?

---------- Post added at 03:07 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:57 AM ----------

I think the real question that comes into play here is not "should people have more children" but rather, "why wouldn't Christian parents want to have more children"?

When the second question is asked, the answer generally has to do with the family seeing the addition of another child as a burden. They will make some excuse up about finances, when in reality they simply don't want to give up their luxuries. Or they simply don't want to be burdened with the phyical care of another little one. I'm sure every parent on here will attest babies are hard work, but how many people are just too lazy (selfish) to do this hard work. I can think of one valid reason why a woman would specifically prevent pregnancy and that is for health reasons, of both mom and potential child. If there is another valid reason someone can point me too I will of course stand corrected.
The reason is simple. Even though a woman can bare a child, such a child is categorically a potential child. There are children right now who need a home, and I cannot think of a better home then a Christian home that communicates the Gospel. These children that can be adopted are not potential children because they have already been born and need a stable environment to be cared for. Many children if they been through an adoptive service for years have plenty of psychological and social problems (hard work equal if not greater then with infants), so it is not like taking care of such children is necessarily a walk in the park. These children need as much love as children that would potentially be born in a Christian home. We should have a concern for the orphans and not necessarily cast them aside because we can bare our own children. A couple adopting in love as a great example of the care and mercy of our Triune God. Why should a couple desire to adopt instead of just begetting their own children, to show the love of our mighty, wonderful, merciful, and kind God. It should not be done to that a woman could keep her figure or fear of labor, but instead reflect the fruits of the Holy Spirit. If a couple desires to adopt rather then have then go through the natural process themselves, which is fine with me considering how great the need is for more Christian parents to adopt. To ignore the adoption process and to only have only natural children could be a form of lifting up their seed or potential seed higher then one that does not come from their flesh that already has been born. Adoptive children should be equal in status with a parent’s natural born child with respect to love and status as a child in the family. I would not condemn a couple that desired to adopt if they wanted kids, now I would find it odd if they didn’t have a child first to spark that desire to begin with. There are many things I find odd in the world, that however does not necessarily make it wrong. We should offer any kind of support and prayer we can to such couples. The support includes any promise that given by the church to help with the nurture and education of a child born with a married couple given also to adoptive children.
 

ChristianTrader

Puritan Board Graduate
I usually do not like the way the preventing pregnancy/blessings question is phrased. I first think of the question of what is the chief end of man? According to Westminster: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever. To speak absolutely against non abortive birth control, one has to say that the only way a married couple can answer the question of how to fulfill their chief end is "to attempt to conceive, birth, and to raise another child". To go from a blessings to one's "Highest Good" is a wide chasm, that I have yet to see many even attempt to bridge.

CT
 

Hunn

Puritan Board Freshman
My reasons are that I want to homeschool my children and give them the best education possible. Also, I want to be able to spend as much time as possible with my kids (and my wife) and have the time to teach them about the Lord.
At what number of kids can the parent no longer homeschool? And how many kids before one no longer has time to teach them about the Lord?

---------- Post added at 02:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:52 AM ----------

I don't see Tim saying that all adoption is 'trophy buying'. I do see him saying that it is really strange to prevent pregnancy in a marriage and then adopt children instead. I have seen this done simply because the woman didn't want a post pregnancy physique more than once. I have seen it for a whole bunch of reasons. It just seems counter to the normal way that God intended for marriage. Molly and I only have one child. It causes us great pain that we have not been able to conceive any others. We have sought to adopt several times and every time the door slams shut. It seems maddening to me for a husband and wife not to have their own natural children if it medically possible.
:ditto: I have seen many people bash Tim and his comments (which most people took completely out of context), but I have yet to see anyone offer a counter to them. What is the reason that a woman would seek to adopt when she is capable of having children naturally?

---------- Post added at 03:07 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:57 AM ----------

I think the real question that comes into play here is not "should people have more children" but rather, "why wouldn't Christian parents want to have more children"?

When the second question is asked, the answer generally has to do with the family seeing the addition of another child as a burden. They will make some excuse up about finances, when in reality they simply don't want to give up their luxuries. Or they simply don't want to be burdened with the phyical care of another little one. I'm sure every parent on here will attest babies are hard work, but how many people are just too lazy (selfish) to do this hard work. I can think of one valid reason why a woman would specifically prevent pregnancy and that is for health reasons, of both mom and potential child. If there is another valid reason someone can point me too I will of course stand corrected.
I would say that depends on the circumstances of the parent homeschooling. You could potentially homeschool as many kids as possible, but I think I could provide a better education for 3 kids than I could for 15.

To ask you a question, "why would people want to have as many kids as possible when there is no command to do so"? I am at a loss as to why there is even a need to say that people are making excuses about finances or being selfish when they don't desire to fulfill the man-made command to procreate indefinitely. Are you honestly saying that women should continue to have children until it is humanly impossible. Should we all have a child every year for our entire 20's and 30's and live off of the welfare roles? If so, why? And who actually does that? Doesn't everybody eventually decide that it is enough? What is the difference in making that decision at three kids instead of at 14, rather than arbitrarily deciding that large families are somehow more holy.
 

Grace Alone

Puritan Board Senior
I don't see Tim saying that all adoption is 'trophy buying'. I do see him saying that it is really strange to prevent pregnancy in a marriage and then adopt children instead. I have seen this done simply because the woman didn't want a post pregnancy physique more than once. I have seen it for a whole bunch of reasons. It just seems counter to the normal way that God intended for marriage. Molly and I only have one child. It causes us great pain that we have not been able to conceive any others. We have sought to adopt several times and every time the door slams shut. It seems maddening to me for a husband and wife not to have their own natural children if it medically possible.
Lawrence, all the people I know who have adopted are Christians, and many, like us, already had biological children when they adopted. 100% of them, as well as those who have posted here, I believe did it out of a love for the Lord and with an earnest and sincere desire to serve Him. He says that religion that is PURE and FAULTLESS is to care for orphans, and we took that verse to heart!!! Our kids were already 10 and 13 when we adopted at age 40 and people thought we were nuts!!! We did it to serve God and NOT because we just wanted more kids!!! That is the reason some of us on this thread are absolutely incredulous that some of these statements against adoption are being made. I can possibly see making those kinds of comments in regard to unbelievers (like wanting to adopt so it wouldn't mess up her figure???!!!!), but I am astounded that Christian brothers would make accusations like that on a conservative Christian board toward other Bible-believing Christians.

I know many Christians who have adopted, and there are hundreds of thousands of babies and young children sitting in orphanages around the world at this moment if you really want to adopt. I'll be happy to connect you with a Christian adoption agency or two, if you seriously want to adopt. I will tell you that I believe sometimes the Lord shuts that door of pregnancy so we will seek the path of adoption. We adore our daughter who is adopted and love her absolutely as much as the others born to us...it is equally a miracle and a great blessing!!!

---------- Post added at 08:16 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:12 AM ----------

And I should add, we believe there are elect children out there in orphanages, and adoption is one way the Lord brings those children into Christian homes so they will hear the gospel and learn of Him. We prayed for an elect child, as strange as that may sound!
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Jesus said about Judas that it would have been better had he NEVER been born. Was Judas thus a blessing to his parents?
 

jpfrench81

Puritan Board Sophomore
The second issue that I have noticed in large families is that the begetting of large amount of children can turn into a form of idolatry.
David,

Thanks for your post and points. One thing I will add as a comment in addition is that I have often gotten the sense that some people in the church also idolize the ability to use birth control. When my wife and I have mentioned to people that we are studying the permissibility of contraception (when people ask if we're studying something or what we're learning), people become strongly defensive, aggressive, and mocking. We are not challenging them on their beliefs, just describing our own current journey, but their response to me seems very telling.

---------- Post added at 07:27 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:24 AM ----------

Jesus said about Judas that it would have been better had he NEVER been born. Was Judas thus a blessing to his parents?
Perg, I'm not sure if that verse has anything to do with the (intent of the original) question. Certainly, the verse is Biblical, but the point is that because Judas is going to be punished eternally in hell, it would have been better to have never been born than to experience the eternal torment that awaits him. The verse isn't a comment on family planning.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
I know many Christians who have adopted, and there are hundreds of thousands of babies and young children sitting in orphanages around the world at this moment if you really want to adopt. I'll be happy to connect you with a Christian adoption agency or two, if you seriously want to adopt.
I'll shoot you a PM.

---------- Post added at 08:52 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:45 AM ----------

At what number of kids can the parent no longer homeschool? And how many kids before one no longer has time to teach them about the Lord?
Actually most in most larger families the parents have more time for discipleship and education. I personally know lots of families with more than nine children. Those moms have a lot better daily schedule than moms with three children.
 

jpfrench81

Puritan Board Sophomore
Are you honestly saying that women should continue to have children until it is humanly impossible. Should we all have a child every year for our entire 20's and 30's and live off of the welfare roles?
Nick, some people do think this (and not necessarily me, but I have read quite a bit from the quiver full movement). Arguing from that viewpoint, since the Lord is the one who opens and closes the womb, there does not need to be a worry about having too many children, not being able to educate them adequately, provide for them, etc. If the Lord opens a woman's womb to conceive for a child, then he will provide a way for that family to care for the child appropriately, otherwise he would not leave be leaving them a way of escape from not sinning. Also, some time the command to be fruitful and multiply as an implicit command to multiply until the Lord takes that ability away. Of course the response might be then that we should do everything we can to conceive as many children as possible (to actively try to multiply) instead of just seeing how long the Lord will continue to bless us with children.

One thing I do have to correct you on is your understanding of biology and fertility. Most people are not going to have 14 children, even if they stopped using birth control altogether. A woman's fertility begins to decrease at age 27. A huge percentage of couples struggle with infertility. Breast feeding is typically an effective form of natural birth control for at least six months after a child is born. With the age that most people get married being pushed back further and further, it becomes increasingly unlikely that a couple will have a large family of 10 or more. Is is possible? Sometimes, yes. But very unlikely. The exception doesn't justify the rule.

Additionally, regarding the welfare comment. 1. How many large families are on the "roles of welfare" as you put it? (Also, I don't consider octomom a good example since she is a non-Christian who is unmarried and intentionally sought to be inseminated with a large number of children to garner media attention). I know of none personally, but perhaps you do. The large families I know of have been blessed by God with enough to provide for their family without going on welfare. 2. Even if a family were on welfare, why would that be immoral? If taking help from the state to help provide for your family is wrong, then none of us should take tax deductions and tax credits since I'm assuming that pretty much everyone subsequently uses the money to support their family. I suppose if they used that savings to support others, then it would be okay, but I doubt that is your practice (though I am certainly willing to be corrected). Both of these points fail to support argumentation for using birth control.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
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: http://www.puritanboard.com/f15/preventing-natural-blessing-65324/. I feel that the vagueness of my question in the previous thread is a little confusing, so I decided to be very specific.
I think the two questions can be answered very similarly to the way 1 Corinthians 7 looks at marriage. Is a marriage (in the Lord) always a blessing? I believe the passage would say yes. Are there good reasons why a christian many not, at certain times, want to get married? Yes, there are.

So I think in a way the two questions are phrased in away that is slightly unfair. You do not need to believe a child is not a blessing (or worst still a curse) to not wish to have another at this time.

And 1 Corinthians 7 gives two possible reasons a christian may want to considering forgoing marriage (for now): because of present distress (v26) and to avoid excessive carefulness in life (v32). By implication these are equally valid reasons to not want another child (at the moment), as childbirth is impossible without marriage. So it does not require a life threatening situation before a christian couple may wish to use contraception.
 

Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
Hey Everyone!

I was thinking. I don't think that one can make parallels to modern culture, and then somehow say that something is wrong just because there are parallels to modern culture. We have to keep in mind that God has given common grace to all men, and thus, although they will never have a mind that is totally free from sin, they are at least able to discern some truth.

For example, I thought that ChristianTrader made a very good point when he said that the chief end of man is to glorify God [1 Corinthians 10:31]. I believe that it is an act of common grace that the world recognizes that there are things more important than family and children. That is *not* to say that family and children are unimportant, just that there are things in this life that are more important than family and children. The issue is *what* the world believes is more important than marriage and children [their materialism, their comfort, their selfishness, etc.]. To the Christian whose chief end is to glorify God, the glory of God is placed as more important than family and children.

Thus, whether or not we have children is not really the issue. The issue is whether or not we glorify God in the way we are living our lives, and whether we are serving God or ourselves in how we live.

God Bless,
Adam
 

Rich Koster

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
:2cents: I have been married 26 years. We have no children of our own. We have no adopted children. I have been hammered by some people (not on this forum) that we must adopt, but I have never been compelled in my spirit by their zeal. After reading this thread, my mind is really troubled by some of the stuff said.......WOW. I know I get opinionated at times, but WOW.
 

Hebrew Student

Puritan Board Freshman
jpfrench81,

Nick, some people do think this (and not necessarily me, but I have read quite a bit from the quiver full movement). Arguing from that viewpoint, since the Lord is the one who opens and closes the womb, there does not need to be a worry about having too many children, not being able to educate them adequately, provide for them, etc. If the Lord opens a woman's womb to conceive for a child, then he will provide a way for that family to care for the child appropriately, otherwise he would not leave be leaving them a way of escape from not sinning. Also, some time the command to be fruitful and multiply as an implicit command to multiply until the Lord takes that ability away. Of course the response might be then that we should do everything we can to conceive as many children as possible (to actively try to multiply) instead of just seeing how long the Lord will continue to bless us with children.
Yes, I have run into these ideas many times. It is true that it is God who opens and closes the womb, but, just as with every act of providence, God uses means. There are even certain foods and environments that can cause people to become infertile. The fact that God uses these things as well as contraception should not concern us too much. In fact, how many couples have gotten pregnant while using birth control? God can open the womb at any time he wants, even if you use birth control.

The question is sorta like asking why it is we should evangelize if God has already predestined who is going to be saved. The simple answer is that God uses means. In the same way, why should we be careful to control the number of children we have when God is the one who opens and closes the womb? Because God uses means [birth control] to close the womb.

Also, I would ask that you go back and look at the command "Be Fruitful and Multiply" again. That interpretation is absolutely impossible to sustain. The very next phrase says, "fill the earth." If you take "be fruitful and multiply" to be a command that an individual couple must obey, then you cannot say that they must obey it until that ability is taken away, since the phrase "fill the earth" would mean that this couple has to keep having children until they have twenty trillion children so that they fill the earth.

This is actually a passage [Genesis 1:26-28] where I think the New NIV does a very good job in translating:

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
The NIV I believe accurately translates אדם here as "mankind," since it is the antecedent of plural suffixes and verbal forms. Thus, it is probably being used in a collective sense. When אדם is used as a collective noun, it generally takes on the meaning "mankind." Thus, it is *mankind,* not an individual couple, who is commanded to "Be fruitful and multiply."

God Bless,
Adam
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
While I realize that the focus is on birth itself, and the opportunity afforded in the fruit God provides, there is much more to this than the birth of a child. The words "children are a blessing" are not found in Scripture. The womb is blessed. We see where men are blessed with many children. Much of this has to do with the fact that many hands make light work... or more productive work. And, more importantly, children are a blessing in so far as they bless their parents. We make a terrible mistake in assuming that children are inherent blessings in simply being born. No, they're a heritage. They're an opportunity. For someone who loves Christ this means they are a blessing because they are someone we can pass down a godly heritage and legacy to and through. But a rebellious child is not a blessing. Obedient children are a blessing. Disobedient children are a curse.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21
“If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, to the gate of his city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.​

May our children truly be a blessing to us and all who know them.




Proverbs 30:11-17

There is a generation that curses its father,
And does not bless its mother.
There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes,
Yet is not washed from its filthiness.
There is a generation—oh, how lofty are their eyes!
And their eyelids are lifted up.
There is a generation whose teeth are like swords,
And whose fangs are like knives,
To devour the poor from off the earth,
And the needy from among men.
The leech has two daughters—
Give and Give!
There are three things that are never satisfied,
Four never say, “Enough!”:
The grave,
The barren womb,
The earth that is not satisfied with water—
And the fire never says, “Enough!”
The eye that mocks his father,
And scorns obedience to his mother,
The ravens of the valley will pick it out,
And the young eagles will eat it.
 

jpfrench81

Puritan Board Sophomore
Also, I would ask that you go back and look at the command "Be Fruitful and Multiply" again. That interpretation is absolutely impossible to sustain.
Thanks for your thoughts Adam. I agree that it is a difficult interpretation to sustain because I believe it proves more than most quiver full people would like to admit.
 
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