It used to be called a blessed event.
Now one wonders.
True, children are still born. Our hospitals have “delivery rooms” and the newspapers still report marriages, births, and deaths as usual. Yet, the fact remains that the average size of a household is below three for the first time in American history.
The reason for this are complex. It is not the purpose of this article to analyze the reasons for this. It is obvious that a great deal has to do with the feminist movement, one that reaches women that marriage, bearing children, and being a homemaker detracts from her freedom as a liberated woman. Selfishness abounds in the midst of the world. As a result, “Time” magazine reports in March 5 , 1979 issue, “Of the 50,000 parents who responded to a query by Advice Columnist Ann Landers a while ago, a depressing 70% said that, given the choice again, they would not have children; it wasn’t worth it.” No wonder birth control material is one of the fastest selling items in the pharmaceutical section of the drug store. Even with modern techniques however, abortions still abound. Since the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision legalizing abortion, they have been occurring at a rapidly increasing rate; in 1977 alone, 988,267 abortions were performed or 312 abortions for every 1000 live births. The more aggressive leaders tell women, “Marriage has existed for the benefit of men, and has been a legally sanctioned method of control over women…. the end of the institution of marriage is a necessary condition for the liberation of women. Therefore, it is important for us to encourage women to leave their husbands and not to live individually with men…. we must work to destroy marriage,” quoted from the document, Declaration of Feminism.
Big families are definitely out! Just ask anyone of our mothers who has delivered her sixth, seventh, or eighth child. It gets almost hazardous dealing with doctors, nurses, curious spectators, yes, even at times, fellow members of the church.
Let’s ask the question for ourselves, is giving birth to a child still a blessed event?
Let’s try to separate our thoughts from those of the ungodly, and face this simple question. Might it be that in light of the terrible times in which we live that God’s people should forgo bearing children? Did not our Lord Jesus say in connection with the destruction of Jerusalem, which was a picture of the end of the world, “Woe unto them that are with child and to them that give suck in those days!” Matthew 24:19. Should we bring forth children in this evil and even hostile world?
Just review some of the headlines that appeared in a national magazine or our local newspaper of late:
“Angry attack in America, Khomeini’s tirade spins outbreak of mob hysteria and bloodshed”
“1980 to bring in fewer jobs”
“Global hunger crisis predicted”
“Stampede to tragedy, 11 killed at rock concert”
“Presbyterian schism is seen over women elders and deacons”
“U.S. policy in Middle East failing”
“Quake jolts Iran”
“Cambodian rice shortage expected to worsen famine”
“Ambush at daybreak, Puerto Rican terrorists kill two U.S. sailors”
“Sacrilege in Mecca”
If we place next to these headlines, some of the detail our Lord Jesus Christ gave to us concerning things that must happen in connection with the end of the world and the return of Christ, we see the seriousness of the times in which we live.
Note carefully some of the things recorded in Matthew 24:
vs 6, “Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars”
vs 7, “there shall be famine, pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places”
vs 9, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you and ye shall be hated of all nations for my names sak11, And many false prophets shall rise and shall deceive many”
vs 24, “for there shall arise false Christ’s and false prophets and shall show great signs and wonders insomuch that if it were possible they shall deceive the very elect.”
vs 12, “And because iniquity shall abound the love of many shall wax cold.”
vs 21, “there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be.”
vs 29, “Immediately after the great tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man.”
How is it possible to bring forth children into this world today? Should we? Should we conclude from our evaluation of these critical times that it would be better not to bear children?
Let me interject here one sober thought. You realize, young people, that there is only one reason why the world continues to exist, that is so that the church of Jesus Christ can be gathered. This takes place in two ways, within the covenant by God’s people bringing forth and instructing their children, and from without by mission work in which God is pleased to include strangers. As soon as this church is complete, Christ will come in judgment to destroy this world and cast the wicked into outer darkness of hell and to take His own to glory.
If we really understand this, that the one great work of the Holy Spirit in history is the salvation of the church and that everything else serves this work, then we understand why we have nothing in common with the ungodly world. Their goals are not our goals and their life style is not ours.
This applies to the value and responsibility of bearing children as well.
Let’s consider three things in this connection.
First, we must realize that it is our duty before God to bear children. If young people believe it is God’s will for them to marry and they are joined together as husband and wife in true faith, they should also conclude that if God wills, they should be willing to bear children. It isn’t so that their marriage has no purpose without children, rather, they should consider that the covenant is propagated by means of bearing children. We read in I Timothy 5:14, concerning young widows, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.” God places that responsibility on husbands and wives.
Secondly, God never places a duty upon His children, but that He also provides the strength to bear it. We are reminded of this beautiful truth in I Timothy 2:15 wherein Paul reminds women that they were deceived and in transgression when Eve fell, “Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.” Childbearing will not break down a woman, it will save her. This is the opposite psychology of the world. They tell us a woman will have hardship if she becomes a mother, she is made a slave of men by having a child, she will suffer nervous tension, etc. Yet, God tells us that bearing children will make a godly woman even more godly and will be a means to sanctify her and her husband. True, we live in evil days that cause us to fear, yet, remember young people that if God gives you children in your marriage, He will also give you the strength to instruct and care for them in the midst of this evil world.
Finally, it takes faith to bear children. We think of the explanation given of Sarah in Hebrews 11: 11, “Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.” This has a unique application to Sarah, but the principle is the same. Only through faith will we have strength to conceive seed today. In Sarah’s case it included the miracle upon Abraham’s and Sarah’s sexually dead bodies. Even then it took faith to believe God’s promise. So today, by faith we know the value of children, we understand our duty, we trust in God’s provision, and therefore we marry in the Lord and if God wills it, bear His children.
May God give you covenant young people such faith for these evil days.
Bearing children is still a most blessed event