Who is in Control?
January 8, 2005
Trusting God for His Perfect Plan for Our Lives
Going Against The Flow
21st Century Western culture is continually bombarding Christians with certain ideals in the area of family size. The message of the perfect two-child family has been so engrained into our mindset that we rarely give it a second thought when planning our own families. The propaganda machine started and furthered by many Godless individuals has convinced many through subtle indoctrination. They’ve preached that certain protocols must be followed in regard to the number of children one family should bring into the world. But is this the way God’s people should think? Or have we adopted the world’s mindset in this area and fulfilled the scripture about “even the elect would be deceived” in this particular area of our lives? Let’s examine some of the reasons Christians have chosen to limit their families and some scriptures regarding this matter.
The “Perfect” Family
Where did the concept of the two-child family originate? Throughout history many persons of influence have made statements considering the alleged overpopulation of the world and that couples were irresponsible to bring many children into it. Plato and Aristotle worried about it 500 years BC. Tertullian wrote two centuries after Christ. Jerome thought the world was full in the fourth century. Thomas Malthus came along in 1798 with his Essay on the Principle of Population and set the stage for Margaret Sanger to assert her influence over the past century. She has had the greatest power over the world’s mindset because her organizations were able to provide the technology to carry out their theology. For further information on the destructive influence of these anti-natalists, please read, “What About Children?” When we allow God to plan our families we can rest assured to finish with God’s perfect number, be it two or ten. Could God’s idea of the “perfect family” be the number and spacing He chooses rather than our choice in our limited finite knowledge. What does the Bible say about it?
“Be Fruitful and Multiply…”
This, the first directive that God gave to mankind, has never been rescinded. The rest of the verse instructs man to replenish (fill) the earth and subdue (tread down, conquer) it. People have always been prone to congregate in cities from the creation. This helps everyone share goods and services and work together to make a society. From the standpoint of those living in a city, the earth looks pretty full. But if one was to ask a country dweller enjoying the expanse of open land, he might give a different perspective. It is akin to the two blind men describing the elephant from the part they were in contact with. It is not necessarily the whole truth, but only a portion of it.
The increase of a population is a two-fold blessing. Proverbs 14:28 tells us that “In a multitude of people is a king’s honor, but in the lack of people is the downfall of a prince.” Society as a whole, benefits economically by adding more members to it. New people have new ideas and invent ways to do things more efficiently and cost effectively. God has blessed everyone, even those who do not know Him, with different gifts and talents and abilities to bless others and function in a larger body of society. When Christians multiply, they are raising up children to know Jesus and function in the Body of Christ, blessing others with their individual gifts and talents to further the Kingdom of God. There are many verses where God bestows a blessing upon His people by promising them an increase in numbers and fertility and likewise a cursing for disobedience by taking away their fertility. Deuteronomy: 7:12-16 "Where it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgements, and keep, and do them, that...He will love thee and bless thee, and multiply thee: He will also bless the fruit of thy womb....Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you...."
See also: Deuteronomy 28:1-6, 30:5, 9, Jeremiah 30:19, Hosea 9:11-17.
Are We Pro-Choice or Pro-Life?
Most Christians would answer Pro-Life. By this they mean that they are against terminating a life that has already been conceived through abortion. But are they really Pro-Life? What if God should so desire to bless them with another family member? Usually not. The majority of the church has openly embraced birth control, even though it’s very name clearly implies that someone else is in control other than God. Their bodies, destiny, family size, timing and structure have never been turned over. God’s creed has always been conception, birth and life. The world’s creed has always been birth control, sterilization and abortion. It all accomplishes the same purpose. Life has been stopped. Whose side are we on?
What does God say about children and Who creates Life. “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hands 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." Psalm 127:3-5.
"Then He (Jesus) said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me welcomes the One who sent me. For he who is least among you all- he is the greatest." Luke 9:48. "All these were the sons of Hemen the king’s seer in the words of God, to exalt his horn. For God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters." 1 Chronicles 25:5. "Obed-edom had eight sons "for God blessed him." 1 Chronicles 26:4-5. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him:" Colossians 1:16
"Did not He that made me in the womb make him? And did not One fashion us in the womb?" Job 31:15. "As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all." Ecclesiastes 11:5. "Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the Lord Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion." Isaiah 8:18. "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and He that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself;" Isaiah 44:24
“But God Gave Us Common Sense”
Couples can read these and more verses and agree that it is God who is the Creator of all Life. When asked, however, if they think God alone should ultimately be in control of the number and spacing of their children, the reply is negative. “God gave us common sense, after all,” has been a much used response line. Well, no, the Bible does not say that God gave any such thing. Actually it says the opposite. Isaiah 55:8-9 states, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” And Proverbs 14:12 tells us, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but it’s end is the way of death.” So if we cannot trust in ourselves to make the right decision in this matter, whom can we trust?
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5. We are to seek wisdom, but not the wisdom of the world. “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Isaiah 29:14. “Where is the wise? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?…Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men…But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are mighty…that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.” 1 Corinthians 1:20, 25, 27, 31. Does the Bible actually say anywhere that Christian couples are supposed to be exercising control over the number and spacing of their children? Many have never even thought to look and see and have just gone along with the world’s wisdom without a second thought on the matter.
Money, Money, Whose Got the Money?
The largest stumbling block is usually, “What about the money to feed and raise a lot of children?” Now on the surface this sounds very noble indeed. The verse typically used to support this is, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8. Let’s take a look to see what this verse is sandwiched between. Verses 3-16 are all dealing with how widows should be treated. Verse 8 is not referring to a man providing for his family at all. It is speaking of the children of a widow staying at home to care for her rather than turning over to the care of the church. It could still be inferred that a man should provide for his household, especially since Paul also says “if anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10. So has God given directives to husbands to take control of their family size based on their own perception of finances and provisions? No, in fact what appears to be a good responsible thing is actually sin according to Jesus. “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’ Or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles (non-believers) seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:31-34. The passages before these verses show the Lord teaching His disciples that our Father knows our needs and that we need to be concerning ourselves with the things of God rather than the things of money, food, and clothes. We cannot serve both God and mammon. In Matthew 7, Jesus continues to exhort them that we only need to ask and seek and that our Father is faithful to give good things to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:7-11). Here are some more verses concerning God’s provisions for His children as opposed to man’s worries over the future: “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.” Psalm 34:8-10. "O Lord, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children." Psalms 17:14 "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread." Psalms 37:25 "Then their numbers decreased, and they were humbled by oppression, calamity, and sorrow; he who pours contempt on nobles made them wander in a trackless waste. But he lifted the needy out of their affliction and increased their families like flocks. The upright see and rejoice, but all the wicked shut their mouths." Psalm 107:39-42.
“But I Don’t Have Enough Time to Care for Any More!”
God never promised any of us enough time to do all the things we want to do. Whether it be with our children or any other pursuits in our lives. We tend to live life making our plans and asking God to bless them as an afterthought. In our own strength we will never have enough time, or patience for that matter, to deal with our children, be it two or ten. But Jesus has patience and we get our strength from Him. Sometimes we also tend to become tunnel-visioned on meeting our children’s every whim under the guise of “needs” and feeling guilty if we cannot. We all desire to give each child our very best and plenty of time and love. But we have to face the reality that we cannot physically or mentally be all that they need. Only God can do that.
We need to be continually directing our children to Jesus, telling them that mom & dad will fail them and let them down, but that God is always available and will meet their needs. We should not be purposely denying them a sibling who God might be planning to use to meet a need or needs for them in the future when their parents are not able or no longer around. And who is not to say God won’t use the child born later in our lives to meet some future need of our own. Moms are worried about being overwhelmed or not doing a good job or being tired all the times as they grow more and more outnumbered around the house. Little ones stay little for such a short time, and then they help around the house and take on more responsibility as they grow. You won’t be frazzled forever. God uses children to make us grow and mature and even become organized!
Sometimes there is a health concern for either a parent or a child that causes couples to take birth control matters into their own hands. It is very difficult to put our faith and trust in God under certain circumstances where having another pregnancy or child appears to be the most foolish thing in the world. Only God knows the future; He sees the parade from the blimp in the sky overhead view, discerning the beginning from the end. We only see a limited view, one float passing by at a time. His promises for us for now when we feel stretched on His potter’s wheel are that: “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 “And we know that ALL things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Are We Crazy to Trust Him?
Many excuse this whole matter as a “pet doctrine” of a fanatical few and shouldn’t be regarded since it is not necessary for salvation. When we came to Jesus Christ we asked Him to forgive us of all our sins, past, present and future. We told Him He could have our lives to direct how He pleases. We agreed with Jesus to “take up our cross daily and follow Him.” Luke 9:23. We wanted to be on the “narrow path that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14) that few find. We said we would “die to ourselves daily”. 1 Corinthians 15:31. Paul told us to, "…present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1. But some have forgotten. "What? You know not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. The bottom line is not about how many children one has, but about trusting God with all our hearts, souls and minds in ALL areas of our lives. If we are withholding one area, what other things are we holding back from His control? Jesus has asked us to come to Him with the simple faith of a child and merely put our trust in Him. Has He not shown us over and over that He can be trusted to do us good and not evil? So if we allow God to control our lives, what does He promise us?
“Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD.” Psalm 128:1-4
Posted: January 8, 2005 6:42 PM