There’s a verse in the Bible, something that God told Adam and Eve to do, “Be fruitful and multiply.” (Genesis 1:28)
Is that valid and relevant for today? Does God mean for that statement to be a command for every single woman on the face of the Earth? Maybe just the Christian women? What does God mean exactly by, “Be fruitful and multiply”?
Today, God laid it on my heart to teach about this topic. I tell you the truth, I have no idea WHY He chose me to teach this. It seems so random, but it is indeed what He wants me to teach and so I pray that before I even get started, He alone will give me the words He wants me to speak to you today. I know there are many out there that must need to hear this if He’s asked me to talk about it.
If you’re poor, stop having babies
Let’s start with is this a command of God’s? Because really, it all starts there.
Is, “Be fruitful and multiply” a command to us?
First, before we begin to try to understand our wonderful God more so that we may obey Him, we need to understand His commands. The Bible asks us to write His words on our doorposts, to write them on our hearts, to engrain them so much into us that we can’t HELP BUT obey Him.
But that doesn’t mean that every single statement in the Bible is a command either.
God asked Abraham to kill his son (Genesis 22:2).
Should we then also take that as a command to murder our children? GOSH NO!
You see my point here.
Not every statement, not every verse in the Bible is a command. And not every verse in the Bible is applicable to us today.
In the Bible times, they sacrificed animals.
Are we then, to go buy a goat to sacrifice to God? No.
Because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice. A one-time, once for all atoning, saving grace. He became our sacrifice and so after Jesus’ death, we no longer need to sacrifice.
“Yeah but Sarah, doesn’t that make the Bible hard to understand?”
No. But it makes it more WORK to understand and I think that’s the point.
In the Bible, God said not to throw pearls to swine (Matthew 7:6). He spoke in parables to many people in the Bible so that He was ONLY feeding the ones that would understand them. He wasn’t speaking to everyone.
Christianity, God’s Word, isn’t for everyone. Yes, in a sense, everyone should read it, but a non-Christian reading the Bible won’t understand what it means.
The problem is that many people THINK they are saved and they are not. I fell into that group of people myself. All my life I thought I was saved, only to later realize I wasn’t.
So how does a non-Christian become saved? They shouldn’t read the Bible?
Of course, they should read the Bible, but it’s only if God illuminates their hearts that they become saved. There IS human will, a genuine willingness to listen and there IS election, meaning, God chooses who He wants to be saved. Both are true. Both work hand in hand.
As for the verse God gave Adam and Eve, no, it’s not a COMMAND for us today.
Think about it.
Whatever God commands us to do, He enables us to do it. He doesn’t ask us to do something and not equip us. So how do you explain women who are infertile? Women who can’t get pregnant? If it’s a command, God would enable every woman to be able to give birth to a healthy baby.
But that’s not the case. Many women can’t GET pregnant. So it couldn’t be a command to us.
Likewise, Paul himself says that celibacy is best (1 Corinthians 7:8-9 & 1 Corinthians 7:38). Not ever being physically intimate is best. Not ever having a wife or husband (or kids) is best. Why? Because a wife or husband is something of the world and distracts us from being 100% sold out to God.
Does that mean God doesn’t want us to get married? No.
God wants us to be happy. He’s made provisions for our happiness and knew that man needed a companion, thus the whole reason He made Eve! Women were literally created for the man. To make him happy. To be a companion to him. So it’s not a sin to get married and it’s not a sin to NOT get married.
It’s up to each individual person.
It’s also well known that we should not have sex outside of marriage. So if a person never gets married, like Paul’s belief on the subject, then it stands to reason that person wouldn’t have kids.
God wouldn’t command us to do something and then completely go in the opposite direction when He inspired Paul to write it’s better for a man to not be married. God is always the same. Therefore, it’s not a command to get married and it’s not a command to not get married. It’s up to us.
Just in case that doesn’t convince you, I have an argument that will.
Would you agree with me that Jesus is God’s son? Would you agree with me that Jesus IS God?
If you do, let me ask you a question.
Was Jesus married?
Did Jesus have kids?
Jesus Himself, who is fully man and fully God, did not have kids or a wife while on Earth.
Therefore, it cannot possibly be a command for us to have children if God Himself did not obey His own command. It’s not a command to have kids.
This is a huge relief
For many women out there, they are sighing a huge relief sigh right now. While children ARE indeed a gift from the Lord, while having children IS a blessing, and children ARE a good thing to have, it is NOT required.
Some men put pressure on women to have kids. Some women feel that if they do not have children, their husbands will leave them and so in an attempt to not lose their husbands, they have children.
It’s SUPER important to talk about these things before you get married, to know you are on the same page. Rather than knowing you want/don’t want kids and your spouse is the opposite. It can save a lot of future heartache!
Because when a woman feels pressured like that, it’s an indescribable feeling of pain. They don’t want kids and yet, their husbands make them. The wife wants to keep her husband and so, she has children, even though she doesn’t want to.
Over time, it causes a lot of problems. If the husband would leave because the wife wouldn’t have kids with him, he’d leave anyway. A man should stay no matter what, not looking for an “out” or reason to leave. Having kids isn’t going to keep him any more than anything else would keep him. A man who wants to leave, will. Whether you give him kids or not. If you do, he may still leave for another reason.
You shouldn’t let your husband pressure you into having kids if it’s not what you want to do. If he IS pressuring you, pray about it. A LOT! Ask God to intervene. Ask God to help. Ask God what HIS will is regarding this topic and be sure about what God’s will is for you, specifically YOU, before you have them or decide not to.
Also, be careful. If your husband IS pressuring you to have kids, it’s very easy for him to get you pregnant on purpose. The condom “slips” for example. He’s done it on purpose and you end up pregnant. So be careful. Take your own measures to keep yourself from getting pregnant if it’s not what you want, while you decide what the Lord has planned for your life.
Other women, maybe they are not pressured by their husbands, but maybe they are just not ready. Maybe they don’t want to have them or maybe they can’t have kids because it would pose a physical threat. Such is my case. My doctors (multiple doctors) have said that if I get pregnant again, I have over a 50% chance of dying, because of complications.
I know that when I get married again, I can’t get pregnant. And my future husband has to be okay with that. If he’s not, he’s not the right one for me because he cares more about his own desires than my health. And if he does, that’s okay too, but he can’t be the one for me. I want someone to put me first, ahead of himself, as it is Biblical to do so.
So there are LOTS of situations where having kids may not be a great idea. Maybe you can’t have kids, maybe it’s a health issue, maybe you just don’t want them and that’s okay too! It IS your choice and no one should force you either way.
If you want children and you are married, have them. If you can’t have them, adopt or foster children. Open up a daycare. There are lots of different ways to be around children if that’s what you want. But the point is that it IS your decision and God is not forcing you or commanding you either way.
I have seen many things in my life and one of the biggest heartbreaks is people who are so poor and busting out babies like there’s no tomorrow.
If you’re poor, stop having babies
Since we understand now that having babies is not a command to us. It’s not required we do, we DO have a choice. Then it becomes a choice of responsibility.
I knew a Christian woman years ago in a previous church in another state. She and her husband were on welfare. They lived in welfare housing, their bills were paid by welfare. Her husband didn’t have a stable job. Her husband was on the brink of leaving her.
And yet…she kept getting pregnant.
At the end of when I knew her, she was at 5 kids. Busting them out one right after another and I asked her, “Why do you have so many kids. Can you afford it?” She said to me, “I just like being pregnant”.
Okay. That’s great. I’m happy for you. You like to be pregnant. But you are on welfare, your husband is about to leave you and you keep having kids.
At some point, we have to be honest. Not judgmental toward others, but honest.
If you’re on welfare, it might be a good time to think about not having kids right now. Wait a little bit until your life is more stable. If your husband is about to leave, then definitely DON’T have kids. It’s just not the time.
I’ve seen women on welfare who purposely have kids so they can collect more money. More cash aid, more WIC, more food stamps, more low-income housing and programs.
It’s about the heart. Is the person trying to milk the system? Are they using this statement of “Be fruitful and multiply” as a coverup to hide their sins of trying to take advantage of the state?
Some do, unfortunately.
Listen, God wants us to be happy, but He also wants us to spend our money wisely. It’s not wise to be on welfare and have a ton of kids. That doesn’t glorify God at all.
Does that mean that if you’re on welfare and you deeply, truly desire kids SO bad, you can’t have them? No. It just means you need to pray about it and be willing to wait until God blesses you with the finances.
We are never truly prepared for kids. If we do wait until we’re RICH to have kids, we most likely never will. Either we don’t get rich or because being rich requires we work very hard and then it becomes super hard to balance having kids and working a lot to BE rich. God can, yes, give us the funds for kids and I think if you take it to Him in prayer, tell Him you want kids so bad, and if it is His will you have children, He will bless you with the finances to afford them.
But that’s the thing. If you want to know HIS will about it, in the long run, it’s so much better. You will KNOW your kids are ordained by Him. That it IS His will and what a beautiful thing that can BE! Knowing you are obeying and following the Lord, giving up all YOUR earthly desires for His. It’s a beautiful picture of how we are supposed to live.
Our lives are HIS and His alone. As a Christian, He bought us with His blood. He purchased us. We are His and He loves us so immensely. The ocean will dry up before God’s love for you will ever fail! It is a love that does not end. Go to Him with your requests. Whether you want children or you don’t and just lay the matter in His lap. Let Him take care of it. Let Him lead you and guide you and make you the woman He wants you to be, whether a mom or not.
It’s not always easy, as a matter of fact, it’s usually never easy, but we have to be willing to lay down our desires for Him and trust Him that HE knows what’s best. If you can’t have kids right now, it’s okay. Maybe you can in the future or maybe He’s called you to something else. If you can’t, ask Him to fill that need in you that you have for children. Children are a massive blessing. Ask Him to bless you in other ways. There’s no harm in that.
If you don’t want children, ask Him if that’s the right decision for YOU. Every woman, every couple is different. Maybe you don’t want them now and that’s okay, maybe you will later, or maybe you never will and that’s okay too. Again, there’s no command and no judgment against you. You’re not a bad Christian because you don’t want kids and I feel like there’s a woman out there right now who needs to hear that.
We can bring God glory and honor God with our lives, whether we have children or not.
You’re not any more of a Christian if you have them and you’re not any less of a Christian if you don’t. God loves you the exact same, whether you have them or not. He shows no partiality. It’s only His desire that you follow Him.
I pray that whatever your circumstance is today, that you find comfort in knowing you’re not alone in how you feel. And you’re not condemned either!!!!!!!!!!!!