Monday, August 8, 2011

Weddings, having babies, and eternal rewards..

I looked at some pictures of a Mormon wedding today online, and something that really struck me about it was that there were SO many children in the pictures of the extended family. Their family is large and beautiful, and children are clearly welcome. It made me think sober thoughts about how the Enemy has lied to true believers about the importance, the value, the *necessity* of children. Those who have the true Gospel have, unfortunately, bought into his lies. In fact, some of our most respected teachers and preachers actually counsel young couples to hold off having children, and then be careful to "space them out". And those are the couples who are actually planning to have any children at all.

We have forfeited God's long-term blessings in favor of short-term convenience, or so that we can have more luxuries, or the designer "one of each" kind of family. We've lost sight of the eternal, and fixed our eyes (and affections) on the temporal. How far removed we are from the godly men and women of Bible times who begged God to bless them with children, who rejoiced to see them born, who blessed young brides of the next generation with a blessing of fruitfulness!

"Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways... Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table." {Psalm 128:1,3}

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it." {Genesis 1:28}

"And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people." {Genesis 28:3}

"And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase." {Jeremiah 23:3}

"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." {Psalm 127:3-5}

Do we believe that the fruit of the womb is His reward? Really? If we believed that, then would we be counseling young couples to prevent pregnancies? The fact is that Christians today have an unbiblical view on childbirth and family planning. We've accepted the world's philosophy on it, while other groups.. cults.. (not just Mormons) are multiplying and teaching their young their false doctrines, raising up a healthy generation of hell-bound zealots. And we look around us, bewildered at their sheer numbers, wondering how we'll ever be able to win them all to the Lord.

Well, the answer to that dilemma is right in our homes.

The fact is that YOU can't win that many people to the Lord in your lifetime. It's impossible. You will only be able to reach a limited number of people, and that's it. Meanwhile, people continue to be born, grow up without being taught the truth, and will likely, eventually, die lost. Will your influence only extend to the end of your life? Not if you have a whole passel of children, and train them up to walk in the ways of the Lord! I challenge you to do this:

1) Rethink your philosophy about childbearing and family planning. Does it line up with Scripture? Do you see large families as being abundantly blessed, or as unfortunate souls who perhaps haven't figured out "what causes that"?

2) Realize that children really are a blessing from the Lord, and treat them as such. Do not balk at the woman in your church who is "pregnant AGAIN??", and instead bless her with words of affirmation and joy. (Check out Luke 1:42!)

3) Encourage the young mother who is tired, who wonders if it's all worth it, who just had a baby and needs the support of others while she is resting. Give her the support she needs, lest she get discouraged and decide in her heart that this one's the last one, because she can't take anymore.

4) If you are married, of childbearing age, and you are physically able to have children, pray about taking your hands off the controls and allowing God to open and close the womb according to His will.

I have never heard anyone say they regret having a child, but I have heard many regrets from people who wish they would have had more. "Father, give us YOUR heart attitude about children!"

***This post is not intended to hurt those who cannot have children, nor to cause distress to those who could have, did not, and now it is too late. To those brothers and sisters, I say now is your opportunity to encourage the next generation to welcome children, and bless them with your words, your love and support!***