I’m a father of two young daughters. Never in my life did I imagine that being a dad would be so much work. Stinky diapers, sleepless nights, constant crying, and messy meal times.
Yes, being a parent is a lot of work. But never in my life has anything rewarded me more than being a father. Having children is an abundant blessing that will bring forth joy, laughter, and a sense of deep fulfillment that no career can truly satisfy.
We live in a day and age with fertility rates at record lows, where increasing numbers of people feel that having children is not only a burden upon their jobs, but upon the health and well being of society. According to a study done by the Urban Institute Millennial, women are having children at the lowest rate of any generation in American history.
Mothers are pressured not to have kids until they have secure jobs. Fathers are discouraged to sacrifice their personal ambitions to help raise children.
Despite the voices we hear, we need to consider what God says about the purpose of children.
Children are a Command from God
In Genesis 1:28 God commanded humanity to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”
The adversary would prefer that Christians reject the call to have children in favor of living selfish lives. It is not uncommon to hear parents claim they have no desire to raise children in this world because it is over crowded and doesn’t need more humans. Many of these feelings comes out of a spirit of fear and condemnation but The Lord has commanded us to occupy our time here, and multiply the talents he has given us. If biologically possible, this includes having children.
Children are a Gift from God
In Psalm 127:3-5, Scripture tells us that children are a heritage and a reward from the lord
When we begin to see children as a gift, and not a burden from God, we think differently about parenthood. A gift is something special to be treasured and enjoyed. A gift from the father is not the source of our misery and anger. It is a source of our joy and multiplied love.
There are many couples out there who suffer infertility and would do anything for children. God has a special place and purpose for them in his kingdom. For those of us who are able to have children, we need to recognize the privilege that God has given us.
Raising Children means Discipleship and Evangelism
Moreover, in Psalm 127:3-5, children are said to be like arrows in the hands of a warrior. Not only are children a gift, but they are like arrows in the hands of a warrior.
Recently Pew Research released a study projecting that Muslim births will outnumber Christian parent births by the year 2035. The impact this will have on the future political and cultural landscape of the world is hard to predict, but as the people of God, we must remember that what we instill in our children will have an impact on the course of history itself. One of the most effective forms of evangelism is the raising of Godly offspring. Our children are arrows in the hand of a warrior.
When Christian parents highly value the role of parenthood, we begin to recognize that having children is more than simply passing on a genetic or cultural lineage. We are producing a generation of trained, Spirit-filled warriors.
Our offspring aren’t meant to wage warfare in the natural sense. Their mission is to tear down spiritual strongholds of the enemy that have captured the minds of our generation, and future generations to come.
We should pray that our children, and their children will be shot out like arrows into the strongholds of the Devil. We should pray that our children will fight human trafficking, seek justice, and fight for the dignity of human life. Most importantly, it should be our prayer that our children proclaim the gospel message through their actions and words. In having and raising children, we are raising warriors!
God uses Parenting to Make Us Like Him
Human beings are made in the image of God. Human ethical, and moral standards are grounded in the fact that we are created in the image of God. As image bearers it is our unique privilege and calling to cultivate, create, and fill the earth with our offspring, in order that the image of God will be reflected throughout the world.
Jesus Christ is our standard, and we are to be conformed to his image. In having children, not only do we pass on our spiritual lineage but we also become more like Christ and demonstrate the Kingdom of God to all humanity, in every sphere of influence – This is one of the most important aspects of raising children.
Since I have become a father of two young girls, I have been tested in my patience, endurance, and love. Many times, they do not listen to my directions. Many times, they need me to hold and comfort them. Many more times, they need me to wake up in the middle of the night to soothe their endless cries.
Nothing has taught me more about the character and love of Christ than having children.
As a parent you have to make a choice to become more like Christ. Children do not immediately understand the full consequences of their actions. This simple truth gives parents a special insight into the Father’s love for humanity.
We serve a God who is long-suffering: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” –2 Peter 3:9
If we allow the Father to mold us into his image, having children can cultivate in us the fruit of the Spirit. Christ loved us so much that he gave his life for us. Having children, like marriage, is one of the ways we learn a greater appreciation of, and participate in, this extraordinary love.
As you read this, I pray that you continue to express the love of Christ and his example of sacrifice by raising your children in a Godly manner. If physically possible, be fruitful and multiply.
Have more children. If you can and do, your children’s children will become a crown to you as you age, and a blessing to future generations.
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