Is having many Children a blessing or not?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Su Wei, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. Su Wei

    Su Wei
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    Having read other's thoughts on this question, I gather that having many children is a blessing only if you can financially handle it.

    I wrote in another thread that there are many verses that makes a connection between God's blessings and God multiplying the family.

    To which i've had a response that

    ..... to which i'd agree to a certain extent. It's interesting that the one who God promised to bless and to multiply (Abraham, the father of many nations) had only two sons. Discounting one, it looks like for God, one good arrow is good enough to do the job...

    (BUT, a qualifier here, Abraham did NOT practice birth control!!!)

    So the promise of "multiplying" came not in the immediate next generation, but over the generations.....

    However, I submit that the (married)man who prays,"God bless me! GOd bless my life! God bless my Family! Don't give me more than two children!!!" doesn't know the mind of God or what He thinks a blessing is.
     
  2. Su Wei

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    This actually is my point. In the 20th Century, its a totally different matter from Abraham's time, I would argue it has been different since about the 1st Century.

    In the OT economy, the blessings were also tied to the land, yet we don't view the spiritual blessings of God as a literal promised land for the Church? There are many things listed as blessings to the OT saints, and as promises that were specifically given to those who were promised.

    The Bible does have literal historical context that you have to embrace to determine the principle taught in a passage, and most narratives are just that, narrative, a description of what happened.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Just as I was saying, even if we don't believe this was a promise given to all believers that God will multiply their seed, we can still understand the nature of God and what He thinks is "blessing" His beloved ones.

    That's all I'm saying... [​IMG]

    But no, as to the part about us living in a different time than Abraham, then I say that's not right. That's going by sight, not faith.

    here's my reasoning:

    1) I believe the number of children is determined by He who opens the womb and He who closes it, according to His will.

    Genesis 29:31 And when the LORD saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel was barren.

    Genesis 30:22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb.

    1 Samuel 1:5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

    Children do not come by some kind of cosmic chance. Each one is allowed by God.

    And He ought to be the One to determine if you have two or twenty children, not us doing our methods of birth control, which aren't fool proof anyway :rolleyes: . The bottom line is, as I see it, how much do you trust God?

    2) Since God has entrusted (the believer) with a new life, He knows that he is able to care and provide for it.
    He will not tempt us beyond what we are able (to endure).

    (I speak as one who has fears to conquer on this issue, though, so pray for me.)

    ----------------------------

    How many of our spiritual decisions are made by taking into account the balance in our bank accounts?
    (Doing a two year deputation to make sure you meet a certain salary bracket before going into the mission field?)

    Just thinking about George Muller who opened many orphanages than he could provide for but trusted in God to do the providing! What would it be if he had waited till he got enough sponsors before opening another orphanage? No! He went by faith. He trusted in Jehovah Jireh. And He never failed Geoge Muller, history can attest to that.
     
  3. TexasSky

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    Su Wei,

    Given your location, I understand your fears.
    I hope everyone this board will pray that God sends angels to watch over you as you step out in faith on His word.
     
  4. Su Wei

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    Texasky, thank you for your words of kindness, i am terribly grateful. [​IMG]

    However, my fears really have nothing to do with my location. In Singapore, we can have as many children as we "like". (In fact, due to the falling birth rates, our government is encouraging us to have more babies... :D )

    I have three and am expecting a fourth in Jan. At the rate i seem to be going, everything being constant, by the time i hit menopause, i'll be having at least 8 children... :eek: At this point it's a fear and I know, being honest with myself, it's a selfish one.

    (And I can almost hear God chuckling to Himself,"O foolish child....")

    So, whilst I've typed all the above, and I do believe the Word of God, I need to do more of prov. 3: 5-7.

    Proverbs 3:5-7 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

    Blessings to everyone! :D :D :D
     
  5. Petrel

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    So do you think that not using contraception but using periodic abstinence is wrong?
     
  6. Helen

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    Children are a blessing from the Lord. Period. It has nothing to do with the economy or the state of your bank balance. Don't you think the Lord knows how to handle those, too?

    I am not speaking from ignorance. I had one and we adopted five. Then my husband of 20 years walked out on me, when the oldest was 17 and the youngest, a profoundly retarded child (it happened after we got him -- encephalitis) was six. Because I was able to keep our mortgage-free house, I got a total of $675 a month child support for five years and then that was it. I had a trust from my grandfather's estate of $10,000 a year. I had been homeschooling when he left and so opened up my own private school and hired some extra teachers. Sometimes students didn't pay (at all, not just 'on time!').

    I look back on those years and am astounded that we always seemed to have enough money for what we actually needed.

    And we had fun. We grew our own veggies, had chickens for eggs and manure (you can't eat critters you name!), had fruit trees, wore second-hands and hand-me downs.

    And had fun. I can't explain it. It was exhausting and sometimes I was a little scared, but when I look back on those nine years, you know what I remember? The laughter. I remember burn piles that we let go down to coals and then got out the old wire coat hangers and marshmallows and treated ourselves to s'mores. I remember popcorn and orange segments as a favorite dessert on winter nights. I remember watching the kids encourage each other and how they learned to laugh again after their daddy left. I remember board games at the kitchen table. I remember giant pots of spaghetti when the kids brought friends over for dinner.

    My mom, who helped out almost none during those years (I had confronted her on her adultery and so I was the religious nut), died a couple of years ago, and the kids are all grown and on their own now, except for Chris, our retarded son, who will be 21 in September. I got some money from my mom's estate and we sold the house in California for an outrageous sum and moved to Oregon. Five years ago I married Barry and so there are the three of us now and enough money and you know something? It's just as hard! We have to be just as careful!

    Open your arms and heart and life to whatever blessings, including children, the Lord gives, and know that He will always love you and them more than you can imagine. And loving means caring for and watching out for and defending and training...

    And you will remember a lot of laughter alongside the harder times. Life's just that way. Bank accounts don't guarantee that things will go well!

    And besides, you can NEVER "afford" a child! There ain't no such thing! You'll always wonder where the money went and, when they are grown, how on earth you actually did it. But you will have done it. The question is, will it have been with faith and love and laughter or will it have been with constant worrying and nagging and arguing?
     
  7. PastorSBC1303

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    Amen!

    Children are a blessing no matter how many.
     
  8. TexasSky

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    Helen,

    I admire what you did, and I admire your faith, but I believe that God intended for us to be good stewards in all ways, and I think bringing children into the world if you know that doing so will put those children at risk of starvation is wrong.

    You were not in that situation. You were married and had a duel income for 20 years before you found yourself alone with those children.

    How many did you add to your family after your ex walked out?

    Right now in Niger, West Africa, an estimated 3.6 million people are in critical need of food.

    According to "Nurish the Children" There are 800 million people in the world going to bed hungry tonight, and most of them are children. There are 5 million deaths from starvation every year. Millions more suffer physical or mental deformity due to poor nutrition.

    Last year, experts estimate that over 13 million children in the USA went to bed hungry.

    I would rather limit the size of a family to what I know I can care for, and provide what I can to those who are starving. If God wants me to have more than I planned for, believe me, He can arrange that. [​IMG]

    [ August 01, 2005, 11:55 AM: Message edited by: TexasSky ]
     
  9. Su Wei

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    Thank you so much Helen for that blessing! It was an encouragement.

    Petrel, i'm not sure i understand the phrasing of your question...

    but I think it's not a matter of wrong or right...(unless it's those methods that abort the fertilised egg).... it doesn't work all the time anyway... because God can and will open the womb despite our efforts to shut it... and it's a matter of faith and trusting the Lord. [​IMG]
     
  10. Johnv

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    Is having many Children a blessing or not?

    Yes. Children are a blessing.

    However:

    Children as a blessing does not equate to a scriptural mandate to have as many children as possible.

    The number of children a couple has is between the Husband, the Wife, and teh Lord.

    Children as a blessing is not a scriptural ban on birth control.

    Children as a blessing should not be taken to mean that not having children is a curse.

    Blessings carry a responsibility (to whom much is given, much is required).
     
  11. Petrel

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    What I mean is that it is possible to tell when a woman is ovulating and predict the days that she will be fertile according to that. Some people try to avoid pregnancy by predicting the fertile days and then being abstinent during that time. Would you consider this sinful?

    I wonder because some people who say that you should not try to plan for a certain number of children think that you should not even consider the pattern of fertility. Other people who simply oppose contraception (like Catholics) think that periodic abstinence is all right as long as one has the right attitude about it.
     
  12. Helen

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    We should limit our children on our own intelligence using the excuse of other children starving in the world and being good stewards?

    OK. How many people, who limit the size of their families, send whatever money they would have spent on more children to keep other children from starving?

    And how can you be a good steward if you refuse the Lord's plan for your life?

    Those arguments are liberal pap. They are excuses to have two cars, a large house, a vacation at a resort, nice clothes, a wine cellar, or whatever. They are not godly reasons.

    God knows what He is doing. It is we who don't. Sue won't have any more children after this one if the Lord chooses 'no'. It will not matter how many times they are intimate as husband and wife!

    As far as the other children in the world. I think you will find most of them are starving due to idiot political situations, not because their parents had too many of them! In fact, the parents are starving, too....

    Tex, I did not adopt any more children formally after my husband walked out. But do you want to count the kids who were in our school who came hungry and we fed them? Kids who got some of our hand-me-downs and all the tutoring time they needed? If you want to count other kids I took at least partial responsibility for, add about fifty, OK?

    Wherever you are in life, you help those you can help and follow the Lord where He leads.

    "Trust and obey, for there's no other way..."

    Love that song. It's true, you know.
     
  13. Su Wei

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    Petrel, I think i have answered your question- it's about faith. At this point, i'm unwilling to broad-brush it and say it is a sin because everybody takes time to come to their convictions (based on the Word of God) about things. But i'll say this:

    James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.
     
  14. Su Wei

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    Haha.. this is the scenerio i was picturing when i was picturing God chuckling to Himself, "O foolish child. Why are you worrying about 8 when I intend only 4?"
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] Whatever will be will be, amen?

    Actually, writing from across the globe, I have to say.... nobody (contributing here) is starving in America!!! Please, there was one writing about how they just get by on a weekly basis who also has a computer and an internet account to report so.

    Another humbly stated that they only own two very old cars, as if "we're getting by just getting by fine, no need to pity me, but we manage to provide for the family".

    I'll echo Helen. What really are Americans' view of bottom line poverty? no tv? no fridge? no internet connection??? owning only one car????

    Think about the Cambodian family who all drink from their one darkened, stained, scratched "family" cup. It tells you about what they can or can't afford to buy. And then look at what you (we) have. [​IMG]
     
  15. Johnv

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    No. However, it's perfectly acceptible (and not a scriptural violation) to manage the number of our children to our ability to provide for them, which God has blessed us with.

    Not to bring attention to myself, but I do. I donate time and efforts to local charities that do this in the local community.

    I think it's a falsehood to say that say that managing children is a villation of God's plan.

    Most Christians who manage the numbers of their family have none of those. Sometimes, they have to cars, but unless one wants to be guuilty of unrighteous judgement, two "how many cars does one have" litmus test is rarely an accurate judge of a person's financies, responsibility, or Godliness. In my household, I have a '97 mercury and a '99 saturn. Not exactly luxury vehicles. I suspect most Christians with more than one car are likewise financially responsible.

    BTW, I'm willing to bet your house is consideralbly bigger than mine, even though mine is probably twice as costly, thus disqualifying the "big house" litmus test as well.

    God knows what He is doing when He blesses us with the ability to manage our familiy size. How we choose to do that is between the hubby, the wife, and the Lord.

    Yet, those who say that managing family size is wrong sing "Trust and obey, but it's gotta be my way."
     
  16. TexasSky

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    I can't say how much another child would have cost me, but I can say that even though I'm living from pay check to pay check I help out those in need whenever I possibly can, and yes, I help feed the starving.
     
  17. Johnv

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    Bottom line: No Christian has the scriptural right, duty, or privilege to tell married persons how many children they should or should not have, or how they should go about concieving those children.

    Those here who are doing so are guilty of nothing less that unrighteous judgement and abuse of scripture.
     
  18. Helen

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    It's not a matter of one Christian telling another, John. It's a matter of letting GOD tell you how many children HE wants you to have.

    That's what being a Christian means -- following Christ, who is God.
     
  19. TexasSky

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    Helen,

    And if a couple prays, and asks God for guideance and feels lead to have only one or only two or up to 18 children, who are we to say that they were not listening to God or following God?
     
  20. Johnv

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    And, as I said, that's strictly between the husband, the wife, the Lord, and NOBODY ELSE. But some here are clearly trying to assert themselves into that equation.
     

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