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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Do we have the freedom to decide how many children to bear?

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neemia
Member



Joined: 2011/2/14
Posts: 17
North Carolina, USA

 Do we have the freedom to decide how many children to bear?

As married couples, are we free to decide if we want a certain number of kids? Some Christian argue that it is a sin to limit the number of children one wants to bear.


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Vlad Stepanov

 2012/9/10 13:39Profile
hachi
Member



Joined: 2012/9/10
Posts: 4


 Re: Do we have the freedom to decide how many children to bear?

We have no freedom whatsoever on deciding how many children we have, as that number is totally up to God. When I say this, I mean that although someone may determine to have four children and reach that amount, there are many times when couples were not wanting another child and conceive. I think though that there is a balance between the two extremes of exclusively stopping at the number you decide and in the words of many Christians "leaving it up to God," in the sense that they have as many children as physically possible. We should leave up the amount of children we have up to God, in the sense that although we may desire a certain number, we understand that God is in control of circumstances and whatever He decides is okay. That could mean that God only allows a woman to conceive one child or maybe miscarry many only to have two, when the couple had originally wanted many more. On the extreme side, there is nowhere in Scripture mentioned that one should have as many children as physically possible. On the contrary Scripture would dissuade such beliefs in reference to having child after child when you cannot fully give the time and attention they need, when you cannot provide for them, when you are so drained by the amount of children you neglect God. There are many factors to consider. It is best to be in prayer about God's will for your life concerning children. Never have a set number in your head- be willing to accept God's number. Once again, I do not believe that is the concept of having as many children as physically possible. It is more about accepting God's will is better than your preconceived notions.

 2012/9/10 19:40Profile
DEADn
Member



Joined: 2011/1/12
Posts: 1357
Lakeland FL

 Re:

neemia

Do not be bound by religious tradition such as what you are asking. To do so only leads to troubles down the road for you, then your marriage, then your kids as time goes by. Some people want to have kids as long as they remain fertile while others want no kids. Let it be your choice and let not that choice be dictated by those who say you should have a alot of kids such as those in the quiverfull movement.


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John

 2012/9/10 20:52Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7431
Mississippi

 Re: Do we have the freedom to decide how many children to bear?

QUOTE:
"Do we have the freedom to decide how many children to bear?"

Apparently so because scripture is silent on this issue.

Some folks use the OT as a guide to determine the number a person should have. If you check closely the largest number of children any woman had was six. One was Hannah and the other Keturah. However, this in no way teaches us how many a woman should birth - it just tells us how many a couple woman had.

Scripture does not inform us how many children a woman birthed before the flood. All we know is Noah whose wife apparently had three.

My understanding.

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2012/9/10 21:34Profile
Zionshield
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Joined: 2007/2/13
Posts: 135
Ohio

 Re: Do we have the freedom to decide how many children to bear?

Hi Neemia,

I believe you are trying to be sensitive to the Lord in discovering what He wants in this important matter. While listening to friends and asking others for input may be helpful I don't think you are going to get a satisfactory answer until you and your mate get direction from the Lord through His Spirit that abides in you.

My wife and I handed control of that to the Lord. We believe that is what He wants from us, however, I would not tell anyone else what they should do.

I prayed for you.


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Randy Lambert

 2012/9/11 23:46Profile
Koheleth
Member



Joined: 2005/11/10
Posts: 530
NC

 Re: Do we have the freedom to decide how many children to bear?

Amazing that a discussion like this can happen and no one will mention the very first commandment given to man in the Scriptures: "Be fruitful and multiply."

As far as sin, I don't think there are many issues to send people on a guilt trip on, but when this issue is discussed, notice how often people will tell you what they think or believe without a reference to Scripture. I suggest you begin by considering God's purpose for creating humans and consider the first commandment. God said it was "very good".

 2012/9/12 3:32Profile
savannah
Member



Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1934


 Re: "Be fruitful and multiply."



One poster writes,

"...notice how often people will tell you what they think or believe without a reference to Scripture."

"When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I shall die!" Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, "Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?" Genesis 30:1,2

Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. She conceived and bore a son and said, "God has taken away my reproach." And she called his name Joseph, saying, "May the LORD add to me another son!"
Genesis 30:22-24

But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 1 Samuel 1:5,6

And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat. Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons? So Hannah rose after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drank. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD, and wept bitterly. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thy handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thy handmaid, but wilt give to thy handmaid a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli observed her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said to her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drank neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.
Count not thy handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. And she said, Let thy handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. And they rose in the morning early, and worshiped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time had arrived, after Hannah had conceived, that she bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD. 1 Samuel 1:7-20

Therefore, I would have the young women to marry, to bear children, to rule the house, giving no occasion to the adversary on account of reproach. 1 Timothy 5:14

NOTE: "to bear children" in the above verse, literally translated would be, "to be a child bearer", that is, a parent,a mother.

May God bless all those child-bearers,or mothers, with a fruitful womb according to His purposeful will.

 2012/9/12 8:22Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7431
Mississippi

 Re:

As I understand the original question it was about size of a family - the number of how many children a couple should have. Some posters have taken this a step further and that is commendable - there are more issues at stake then mere numbers.

After I posted I got to thinking about the shift in opinions concerning parenthood.

Others have detailed examples of holy women who took seriously the function of her purpose in life - that is to multiply and be a godly mother. It is this principle that has been discarded in recent years.

When I was a little girl, girls were encouraged to be moms. This instinct was promoted by playing with dolls, playing house with her being the mother. So by the time a girl reached 20 she was eager to get married and have her own family. Nature helped the girl along by maturing the body so she can reproduce. This is the way God made us. And he called it good! :-)

In recent years experts have downplayed the role of a female to birth and nurture and encouraged her instead to get out into the marketplace and hold down a paying job. This placed a terrible burden on the female. Can a woman have it both ways? Some say they can but others will dispute it. But what does the WORD say?

Proverbs 31 teaches us all about the wise woman. Titus 2 teaches us more about her function in the home and society. Combine both and what do you get? A person very capable, very talented who should be encouraged to do what she is capable of doing. There are extremes at both ends of the spectrum which one would do well to avoid. The focus still is to serve the LORD with your body by allowing it to be fruitful and multiply. In doing so there is no reason why a woman can not dabble in real estate or merchandising. But her first priority is to serve the Lord by serving her family - FIRST. This can also include her being very much involved with her husband in his work/business - after all, she is his help-meet. That should come before doing anything independently of her husband's work. Working together for the good of the family is what a woman's goal should be.

Not all females are called to marry and/or to motherhood. When this is the case one does well to not lament her state but be open to see where God would have her serve him. We cannot all do the same thing - we need diversity among us in order for society to function well which is why God gave people differing abilities. To ignore this reality is to shortchange someone somewhere - all to our own peril.

Having said all this, I do look with alarm when I see couples so infatuated with numbers that they are having babies as fast and many as nature will allow. This somehow repulses me. It is not natural at all. Makes one wonder at the motivation of this mindset.

Where am I in all this mix? I am a grandmother to eleven who birthed and raised to adulthood four sons and one daughter. And last week we celebrated 45 years of marriage! :-)

God bless.

ginnyrose


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Sandra Miller

 2012/9/12 11:04Profile
mguldner
Member



Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re: Do we have the freedom to decide how many children to bear?

In the world we live in and economy as bad as it is I would say its wisdom to limit how many kids you have. I have two beautiful babies and they expensive.


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Matthew Guldner

 2012/9/12 11:10Profile
savannah
Member



Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1934


 Re: Do we have the freedom to decide how many children to bear?


To,

neemia the OP...

In accordance with the will and purpose of the life which has been given you by God, and His will and purpose revealed in His Word regarding this subject,I will answer your question,"As married couples, are we free to decide if we want a certain number of kids?", with the Word below, adding to what I wrote in my first post.

May God give you understanding.

"Then to one perceiving how to be doing the good and not doing it, to him it is sin." James 4:17

 2012/9/12 11:33Profile





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