God designed couples to get married, and to start a family (children). Now, I understand that not all couples have the ability to have children. However, it is still how God designed them – they want to have children. I know of couples that were unable to have children, and so they adopted. I also know a few couples that do not want children. That is an aberration from what is normal, and from how God designed us as people.
A man (male) and a woman (female) were created to come together (uniquely designed) for procreation. God designed you to become parents. He designed you to produce offspring! And contrary to what we hear in society this is God’s blueprint for humanity.
In this message I want to walk through the Bible with you and look at what the Scripture teaches us about becoming parents and producing children. How can a couple start a family and maintain an oneness in their marriage?
Key: Do it God’s way.
I. Be fruitful and multiply
In Genesis 1:28, “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
Who spoke those words? God did! If you don’t like those words, take it up with God. If you family and friends don’t like those words let them take it up with God.
Here is how it has played out since creation. A man meets a girl, they grow in love and friendship, they plan a date to get married, they enjoy each other physically, and then they get pregnant. They start a family.
Husbands and wives throughout time and memorial have always enjoyed combining their DNA and creating a miniature version of themselves. I mean don’t most of us look at a baby and say things like:
- She looks just like you.
- Wow, look at the hair. Just like Dad.
- She has her mother’s eyes.
- He has his daddy nose.
- I see both of you in your baby.
There are a lot of people that have decided NOT to have children. I want to say this as gently as possible, and my intent is not to rub you the wrong way. Your plans are NOT God’s plans. And are you aware that there are a lot of people that would love to have your ability to create a child.
God commanded humanity to be fruitful and multiply. To choose to say NO to God’s command is outright disobedience.
II. Let God determine your family size
What about the first couple on the planet? That would be Mr. Adam and Mrs. Eve. How many children did they have? As we study the early chapters of the book of Genesis we discover the following. They produced:
- Cain – Gen. 4:1
- Abel – Gen. 4:2 (Murdered by Cain)
- Seth – Gen. 4:25
- Sons and daughters – Gen. 5:4
We are not told how many other sons and daughters they had. Daughters were not actually reported in the Bible.
What about Noah and his wife? The Bible tells us that they had three sons! Shem, Ham, and Japheth (Gen. 6:10). We also know that each of their boys had a wife, and they produced a lot of children. Check out Genesis 10, and you get what is called: The Table of Nations. From Shem, Ham, and Japheth and their wives we have the various nations of the world.
People in the Old Testament considered themselves wealthy based on the number of children they had. They didn’t base their wealth on how much land or animals they owned, No, a man was considered wealthy by the number of children they had in their household.
As you read through the book of Job you discovered that he and his wife had many sons and daughters that were killed, perhaps by a tornado (Job 1:18-19), and as the book concludes God blessed Job and his wife with seven additional sons, and three daughters (Job 42:13). It is possible that he and his wife had upwards to 20 children. I am not saying that Job has to be our example, but please STOP this thinking today that a large family is two children. That’s absurd!
Debbie’s dad was one of twelve children! Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley had nineteen (19) children. And she herself was the twenty-fifth (25) child born to her mother.
In Psalm 127:3-5, “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”
What a wonderful picture! Children are not a burden – they are a blessing! Look at what that verse tells us,
“Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.”
I have read that a Jewish quiver held five arrows!
I’m not telling you that you need to have five children. I’m just telling you historically what a Jewish quiver held. I’m just saying!
III. Trust God for your children.
If God told you to have “X” number of children, then don’t you believe that God will also provide for those children? Remember what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount? He said,
“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matt. 6:25)
What it Cost to Raise a Child
Recently I read that to raise a child to the age of 18 will cost you $ 245,000 dollars (and that doesn’t include college). Now we all agree that that is a lot of money (1/4 of a million dollars), but you do know that that figure is spread out over 18 years, which equals to $ 13,611 dollars a year.
I want to be very honest with you. Children will cost you more money than you will make if you have to give them the BRAND (the best and high end of everything). If you have to buy your children the BRAND, then you are right, you can’t afford children.
Can I remind you that most of the time children live in hand-me-downs for the first several years of their lives! There is nothing wrong with hand-me-downs, or second-time-around clothes. Nor is there anything wrong with buying clothes at a Ross or TJ Maxx at a fraction of the cost. Stop thinking that your children have to walk around in $ 100.00 jeans, and $ 100.00 sneakers.
If you provide the essentials – food, shelter, and clothing for your children, then you can afford them – so have yourself a family.
“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
IV. Share the responsibility of children.
Children bring an entirely new dimension into your home life. Your world will be rocked when you have your first child. You will also have additional responsibilities. Here is my short list:
- Changing diapers
- Putting baby to bed
- Getting up at night with baby
- Caring for baby when crying
That’s responsibility with a capital “R”.
All those things will require work on the part of both parents. This is what parenting is all about. It is laboring together to raise a family for the glory of God. A couple is to pull together and share the load of responsibility.
When children enter the equation couples have additional work. But it’s NOT unbearable, and it doesn’t always remain the same. Children are constantly changing, and so do the responsibilities for raising your children.
Get this down – It is to be a SHARED responsibility. A family by God’s design is: Mom, Dad, and Children. Society has devastated God’s original plan for the family, and its not working well. Suggestion – let us go back to God’s blueprint for the family!
There is a verse in Ephesians that speaks of the responsibility of the church body sharing the load together, but I want to borrow that verse right now for parenting. We read,
“from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)
Underline the words, “by which every part does it share,” That’s true of the church, and that is true in parenting.
V. Develop a plan for your children.
It is vital that parents come together and have a meeting of the minds. You have got to be on the same song sheet when raising children, or else you will have discord in your home. Children have the unique ability to know whether parents are unified or if disunity exists among them.
I would encourage you to come together and talk about how you are going to deal with the following issues in child raising. Have a well laid out plan. Allow it to be fluid and flexible, but have a plan.
- Discipline – How will you discipline your children? Time out chair, or the rod of reproof?
- Rebellion/Strong will – Its not a matter if, it’s a matter when. We are all born with a rebellious nature. How will the two of you deal with outright rebellion?
- Chores – What are you going to assign your children to be doing in your home? Make it age appropriate. It will change through the years. Agree now as to what responsibilities you will give to your children.
- Character development – integrity, honesty, compassion, and humility.
Paul penned the following words,
“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4)
Make a plan for bringing your children up.
Five Reasons for having Children
- To grow up. Children force you mature.
- To learn what it means to be responsible. You have others to think about.
- To become a godly example.
- To offer society healthier citizens.
- To leave a lasting legacy.
All of us as parents need to have a plan for reaching our goals. And this brings us to our last point:
VI. Set your Goals early as Parents.
It has been said, “If you aim for nothing you’ll be sure to hit it.”
My goal as a parent was based on Psalm 127:4,
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth.”
Our goal for children: To shoot arrows from our home that would impact the world.
- Culturally different
- Doctrinally sound
- Biblically relevant
- Lovingly sensitive
- Holy Spirit guided
Only time will tell how well of a job we did as parents. Four out of five of our children are actively serving in a local church. (I’m praying for five out of five). They appear to impact the people their lives come in contact with. People notice the difference Jesus makes in their lives. That’s what we wanted! That was our goal.
1. Help them achieve their Dreams
Another goal we had was to see what interests our children had and to help them develop their interest. Personally, I would have loved having a son that followed my footsteps into the full-time Christian ministry. It would be great to have a son preaching from this pulpit. So far, that hasn’t been their interest. I’m okay with that.
Debbie and I saw our children’s bent, and we encouraged them to pursue their dream with excellence. We remind them often that their # 1 ought to be God. God above all else!
2. Prepare you Kids for Life
Prepare your kids for life! They live in a real world, and our world is complicated. Teach them how to walk careful in this world (Eph. 5:15-16). We are to live in this world, but we are not of this world (John 17:14-19). Teach your children how to conduct (behave) themselves in this world.
Here is a secret – Let your kids see Jesus in you. You can tell them many things, but they need a living illustration of a Jesus before them.
Living for Jesus a life that is true,
Striving to please Him in all that I do;
Yielding allegiance, glad-hearted and free,
This is the pathway of blessing for me.
- Parents, set goals for your children.
- Parents, develop the bent of your children.
- Parents, prepare your children for life.
VII. Give your family to Jesus.
I cannot overly stress the importance of giving all of your children over to God. As soon as it is feasible dedicate your children back to the Lord, and do it publicly.
- Hannah brought Samuel to the temple and dedicated him back to God – I Samuel 2.
- Mary brought Jesus to the temple. Had him circumcised, and dedicated to God – Luke 2
Debbie and I dedicated all five of our children back to God. What does that mean? It means that we understand that our children are on loan to us. We understand that they belong to God, and that we are only stewards of His wonderful resources! And may I add – WHAT GREAT RESOURCES! I love being a dad, and now I love being a grandfather!
We only have our children for a very short time!
I want challenge all of us to steward our children well. We all only have one shot (going back to my arrow analogy), so shoot your arrows out into the world to make a lasting impact on their world for the glory of God.
Conclusion: Two Becoming One with Children can only happen when you:
- Take God at His word and you become fruitful and multiply. Couples were meant to become parents.
- Let God speak to you about the size of your family. Obey His voice.
- Trust God for our children. Where God leads He provides.
- Share the load of responsibility as a couple. You determine to raise your children together. Both fully invested.
- Develop a plan for raising your children. You work from the same song sheet. That’s when there is sweet harmony in the home.
- Set goals for your children. Set your aim well.
- Dedicate your children back to God. Recognize that they are on loan to you.
I close with these words: Become the very best parent you possible can become.