Children: Blessing or Curse?
By Jeff Klick
"Why did we have to have all these kids anyway," asks the frustrated dad? "Do you know how much it costs to raise just one, and we have half a dozen?'1 "you look so haggard dear, why don't you quit having children for a while," says the well-meaning relative. "They make pills for that you know." "Don't you know what causes that?" "Stay away from the drinking fountain!" The one-liners and strange looks out in public go on and on. While large families are not in God's will for everyone, they are for some. We in the Church need to be in agreement with God's Word and not in tune with the world system. The world has "changed all the price tags" on what is important. Money, recreation, free time, self worth, pleasure, are all high priced items today. Old values like large families, hard work, discipline, savings, sacrifice, and holiness are devalued as much as the dollar. The church is right in step with the world system in this deception. Getting ahead, making money, thinking about self, and satisfying our desires, are often first and foremost in our minds. While this is true and obvious in many areas, the one that stands out the most to me is in the area of the family.
"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate." (Psalm 127:3-5) Children are a heritage (inheritance) from the Lord. God gives us children as a generational gift. We get to impart and train into our children the truths of God that we have learned. Many revivals died out because the parents were not looking to the next generation. In our day, many have been looking for the rapture, and not to train their children to be leaders. Children are a reward from Him...God wants to give us rewards and we complain about them! When God wants to give us a reward He thinks in children, often we tend to think in temporal things. Many people in the Bible sought God, fasted, prayed, and begged for children; we tend to beg God not to give us any! Like arrows... "You don't understand Jeff, I have the economy quiver it only holds 1 or 2 arrows.' Any warrior who wants to be around awhile, would like to have as many arrows in battle as he can carry, not just 1 or 2, or it will be a very short battle! Blessed is the man... The world (and church) says cursed is the man. "Oh no I'm pregnant" instead of "Oh boy, I'm blessed, here comes another reward!" Money, pleasure, and temporal items last for a season. Family is for a lifetime. God only gives good gifts to His children. Our children also give us the right to contend with our enemies in the gate, which is always used to mean the place of governing. How we raise and train our children will open or close doors with authorities and leaders. In many ways, how we deal with our families will determine how far we go and how effective we are in ministry. It is one of the key items in the qualification for church leadership according to Paul the apostle.
I'm not telling you how many children to have. What I am suggesting is that we reevaluate our thinking about children and the importance God places on them. They are not a bother, but a gift. They are not a curse, but a reward and inheritance from the Lord. The next time someone says they are pregnant, rejoice with them. You may be the only one who does!
If you are not able to have children, ask God what He would have you to do. Maybe God wants you to adopt or be a foster parent. Maybe God wants you to help another family that is having children. You could give money, time, baby-sitting, prayer covering, or other creative support. Maybe God just wants you to have a good attitude and encourage others in being blessed by having children.
God hates divorce. Why? Malachi 2:15 gives part of the answer: "Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring."At least one big reason for marriage is to produce godly offspring. Divorce seriously damages the potential for the children. God gives the parents the opportunity to disciple a child for many years. Most churches have a hard time getting a new convert to commit to a six-week training course in the basics of Christianity. The home can provides twenty years or more of intense training! The devil knows this truth and tries to destroy it at any cost. Break up the home and you limit the effectiveness of the discipleship. If you can't break it up, at least limit the number of children they will affect.
God's plan is to bless parents with little disciples that can be trained and sent out to make other disciples. May we do it well...