There are many people who are genuinely concerned about the idea of bringing children into such a broken world. They will even wonder if it is unloving of two people to conceive a child in a world they feel is filled with violence, immorality, and poverty. Some might be concerned about being poor stewards of what God has given mankind by over populating the earth and misusing its resources to sustain our survival.
My concern is that these fearful attitudes have even penetrated the worldview of many Christians. We see statistically that the average age of marriage and having children is slowly being pushed back later and later, and this is true of Christians too. What many Christians don’t realize is that God set up the family structure to be the most effective form of changing the world in a godly way. Although it is extremely important to continue global missions with the purpose of preaching the Gospel and making disciples to be baptized and taught the commands of Jesus, the immediate family is often overlooked as being the primary mission field for parents.
“Now this is the commandment, the statutes and the judgments which the Lord your God has commanded me to teach you, that you might do them in the land where you are going over to possess it, 2 so that you and your son and your grandson might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.” -Deuteronomy 6:1-2
This famous passage is where God is essentially telling the nation of Israel the blessings that will be poured out upon them and their future generations if they remain faithful in observing His commands. If you read the chapter in its entirety, you will see that the responsibility of Israel remaining obedient directly depends on how well they commit themselves to teaching their children to fear God and to keep His commandments.
God has interestingly placed parents in a god-like position over their children. In a child’s life, it is their parents who: loves, forgives, gives good gifts, disciplines, teaches what is right and wrong, shows grace and mercy, gives them life, and protects them.
Parents have a God-given authority over their children that is unique from any other relationship with other people. I think it is no accident that parents also have the greatest God-given influence over their children. As missionaries and church planters struggle day-to-day in preaching the Gospel to strangers, every Christian parent has the opportunity to exercise their God-given authority and influence over their child (which is a gift from God) from the moment they are born into this world.
How we love, discipline, and guide our children is completely up to us. We can be extremely neglectful or we can be overly diligent. By God’s grace, there are many children who are still saved despite the household they grew up in. Regardless of the home, God will use all things for His own glory. However, I would much rather God use my obedience for His glory, instead of my disobedience! I would much rather be identified as an Abraham or Rahab who were justified by their faithful actions, instead of a Pharaoh or Pontius Pilate, whose evil actions were still used for God’s greater purposes.
The multiplying purpose of sex is about so much more than just having children to fill the earth with. God is far more concerned with the stewardship of children than how many there are. God is not pleased by the world being filled with more wickedness and people who do not fear Him, but He is pleased when parents conceive and bear children with the sole purpose of raising up a new generation that fears and loves Him.
When God tells His people to “be fruitful and multiply” going all the way back from Adam, to Noah, and to the nation of Israel; it was with the idea that they would multiply generations that would live to please Him. In the same way, Jesus gave His the disciples the “be fruitful and multiply” command through the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) when He said, “make disciples of all the nations…”
I believe one of the most effective ways to spread the Gospel through our neighborhoods, cities, countries, and the rest of the world is for Christian husbands and wives to be purposeful in evangelizing and discipling their children.
Waiting for the world to change for the better is not how God wants us to spend our best days. Christians are to initiate the change in the world by raising up a generation with the idea that increasing godliness will do a greater good than anything else can possibly do.