Does the Bible tell me to have children?

april-and-lukeAuthor: April Witkowski  

How do you decide when or if to have children? If you have a child, how do you decide whether or not to have more?

It’s a basic question. If you are young and married I’m sure people ask you some form of a child question on a regular basis. It might be asked by family members, friends at church or a stranger in Wal-mart. People are curious about this basic idea of family and everyone has their version of an opinion.

So is it really just a question that each couple comes to an answer on their own? Are there guidelines to help us? Wisdom that culture provides that must not be disputed?

It seems the prevailing advise I hear around has to do with being “prepared.” “Don’t have kids right away, enjoy just being married first.” “Save up some money and buy a house, car, etc. before bringing children into the picture.” “Parenting is hard work, make sure you are ready for it!” And then there are the awful stories told designed to scare mostly women of the horrors of childbirth and motherhood.

On top of the prevailing wisdom of our time, we have our own internal thoughts about the subject of family planning. I will speak only to the woman side of things since I understand that better. We like to think. And we have a host of ideas about whether we are willing to risk our bodies for the sake of bringing one or more babies into the world. What about the weight gain, the labor pain, the postpartum depression? What about my job? What if I’m a terrible mother? The list goes on.

I get it! I’ve thought through many of these angles.

Why have children? I mean, really, why? Is there a way to know?

Let me ask you a question… Have you ever prayed about whether or not to have kids? Have you ever opened your Bible to help you make this decision?

3 Questions To Consider

1. Are we willing to submit to God and His will for our life, and not be selfish?

Most of the reasons we have for delaying or not having children are ultimately selfish. And most of that comes from the fact that we aren’t interested in asking God about the decision before we make it. It’s all about heart attitudes.

brothers-457234_1920I committed my life to the Lord Jesus Christ over two decades ago. I’m still finding sin in my life that needs to be repented of. I’m not perfect so I know I need to continually submit myself to the Lordship of Christ. It is through the Bible that we grow in knowledge about God. So for any and all life decisions I need to first and foremost look to His Word to guide me.

I don’t think the Bible says you should have as many children as you can possibly have. The more children you have does not mean the holier you are. But the Bible does have a lot to say about what our families should be like.

Are we willing to look to the Bible for answers and obey them if we find them?


2. Are we going to value what God values? He loves children.

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. – Genesis 1:28

Ok, so whether you think this command to be fruitful and multiply is still in effect or not, you at least have to agree that God values children. The next generation is always important to Him.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. – Psalm 127:3-5

Some people say we don’t need a lot of kids today because we aren’t farming and need the extra help that seven plus children bring. But I don’t see where farming or any economic incentive has a place here. God just says children are a blessing, i.e. kids are good. Period.

but Jesus said,

Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away. – Matthew 19:14-15

Jesus took time to hug on children. When others thought they were a bother, He took time out of His schedule to talk to them. If Jesus made it a point to teach His disciples the importance of children, then shouldn’t His followers today make it a point to be known for loving children?

Search the Bible and see that children are always equated with blessings and good things. Maybe the smartest most mature decision isn’t to “wait of few years” to have kids after all. But you search the scriptures and decide.


3. Are we committed to trusting God to provide for all our needs (physical, financial, emotional)?

Physical Needs

To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. – Genesis 3:16

The physical demands of pregnancy and motherhood are real and ugly. They have to be because they are cursed. Cursed things are not all nice and rosy. But God has promised to provide grace to believing women who have children.

Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. – 1 Timothy 2:15

Here Paul writes that Christian women will be “saved” or delivered from the curse of childbirth. Is it hard? Yes, definitely yes. But God has not forgotten women. He walks with His daughters through the pain. So as we continue in the faith (and love and holiness with self-control) God helps us endure labor and delivery. He is with us through the depression and weight struggles. We can trust our awesome God and not let fear talk us out of having girl-1250679_1920children.


Financial Needs

We are on a take-a-calculator-to-the-grocery-store-and-put-something-back kinda budget. So believe me when I say I know children take a toll on your income. Children cost money. But Proverbs 10:3 says,

The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry.

And you know what? We haven’t gone without food yet! Things are tight but God continues to provide for all our needs. God knows we only have one income and we still need to buy diapers.

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. – Matthew 6:31-33


Emotional Needs

and so train the young women to love their husbands and children – Titus 2:4

I think the fact that Paul tells older women to train younger women to love their husbands and children means that sometimes they don’t! Sometimes you don’t feel like being a wife and mom and loving your family. Does it help you to realize that the Bible addresses that? It does for me. God knows that motherhood is emotionally taxing. He hasn’t called us to the great task of motherhood to preform some cold duty. His word provides the answers to having joy in the midst of potty training! God even realizes the importance of “girl time” since He says that these older ladies should be coming by to talk to these younger ladies. He knows what we need. Look to His Word and trust God to provide for your emotional needs too.

I don’t know what size family each should have. I don’t think the Bible gives a number or a timetable. But the Bible does give us knowledge about God, wisdom about life and principles to guide us. Will you commit yourself to God and obey what He shows you in His Word?



3 Ways To Reach New Parents


To reach the next generation with the gospel, we have to reach parents. And one of the best ways to reach parents is to value the things they value. The apostle Paul said it this way,

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them (I Corinthians 9:19).

To win people to Christ, we must be willing to serve them and to meet their needs. While our acts do not add anything to the gospel, they make gospel proclamation clear. In other words, the message exists but it needs a strong signal to connect with people. If we want to have a strong signal, we must seek to serve others. We must seek to serve young families. In my experience, young families are looking for three things after determining a church’s love for the gospel: cleanliness, security, and relationship. To reach young families we must have clean facilities, promote safety and value relationships.

1. New parents love the smell of Lysol. It proclaims to the world that your church takes germs seriously. New parents also love seeing fresh paint, clean new toys, and fresh books. When I first came on staff at FBCE, my wife and I visited all the nursery rooms. The new born baby room had an external broken pipes in the ceiling and holes in the wall. We both looked at each other. As our eyes met they quietly screamed, “There is no way, we are leaving a baby in here.” Thankfully FBCE understood this principle. The church now has a brand new facility with a great baby room. But the point still remains. If new parents think your facility is dirty or see that every book in your nursery room is ripped in half, they probably will not come back. We will lose opportunities to share the gospel if we have dirty facilities. Value cleanliness.

2. Most every parents comes to our church doubting our ability to care for their child. This lack of trust is not our fault nor indicative of poor parenting. It is human nature. Parents love their kids and rightfully slow to hand over some of that responsibility to the church. We must win the parents’ trust. We must prove to them that we our facilities and programs take their children’s safety seriously. We must show them that we love their kids from beginning to end. Towards that end, we must run background checks and vet our volunteers. We must have check-in and out procedures that keep track of the kids at all times. We must keep proper ratio’s in place at all times. We must make sure 4th graders are not playing dodge ball in the room while babies crawl on the floor. If parents do not think our church is safe, they will not return. Value safety.

3. Young parents value relationships. They want to feel connected. They want to be part of the church. If we want new families to come to our church, we must be ready for them. We need to great them with a smile, help them get acclimated to our church, and walk them to their kids’ rooms. And while we teach and watch their kids, we need to take the time to get to know the kids, asking questions about their hobbies, school, and family. We also need to respect the parents’ wishes if possible. If they want you to get them after little Johnny has cried for 10 seconds, then we go ahead and page them. When the parents come back, we need to tell the parents how much we enjoyed meeting their child mentioning specific details about the child’s day and/or lesson. And it would not hurt for us to ask them to lunch! Value relationships.

All three of these things are ongoing. We are always cleaning, improving safety and building relationships. You never “arrive” in kids’ ministry. But if we spend time, money, and energy cleaning, protecting, and building relationships, we will have more and more chances to share Christ. Are you ready for new families?

3 Steps Towards Developing A Great Kids’ Ministry

3 steps to essential kids ministry blogI’ve talked with children’s workers all over the South. Regardless of the size of their church, we all have the same passion for reaching kids with the gospel. But to do so effectively, we must be prepared for the children we will interact with. We must create times, spaces, and lessons that facilitate the proclamation of Christ crucified. After 15 plus years in kids’ ministry, I have can point to three things that keep kids’ ministries thriving:

1. Get Organized: Whether we are teaching 3 kids or 300 hundred, we must be organized. We should plan activities and lesson in advance. Each teacher needs to know what their roll is and how to fulfill it. The teacher lecturing needs to have his lesson prepared, including analogies, stories, and activities to engage the kids. The teacher leading the craft needs to have all the supplies in the room before the kids arrive. And remember, our classes begin when the first child arrives and end when the last child leaves.  When we host lock-in at FBCE, we have the kids watch a movie both as they arrive and about 10 minutes before they leave. This way kids who arrive 30 minutes early and those who leave 45 minutes late have something to do.

2. Get Your Building Ready: One of the biggest turn off for new parents is dirty, old
facilities. If the paint is peeling off the ceiling, if there is a hole in the wall, or if the playground backs up to a blog lego manfreeway, parents aren’t going to trust you with their kids. I don’t care if your kids’ director is Charles Spurgeon. New families will not stay. You wouldn’t house a corvette in an old barn. Don’t put your kids, the future of your church, in a dark, dirty basement fit for child-molesters. I’m not saying you have to spend a million dollars on constructing an indoor playground to reach kids. But, you may need to spend some money here or there to clean things up, to make things healthy. To reach young families, we need facilities that look clean and that smell like Lysol.

3. Prioritizes Safety: Run background checks on all your workers; maintain worker to kid ratios; and, regularly sanitize your toys. But most of all keep your program orderly. If parent’s fear that their kid’s glasses will get broken when they attend your church, they won’t come. (I can speak from experience on this one.) I like to joke that as long as drop-off and pick-up look orderly, it doesn’t matter what you do the rest of the time. And while touch overstated, the sentiment is true. If parents sense that things are chaotic they will not leave their kids. Fight to keep things orderly and safe. Workers will buck you on safety issues and kids will not always like having to follow the rules. But the success of your kids’ ministry depends on you keeping everyone safe. Don’t give up!

Admittedly organization, good facilities, and safety doesn’t produce salvation. But they do open the door for gospel proclamation. If we don’t do these things, we limit our opportunities to minister to parents and to reach kids. And here is the sad thing. Parents and kids who find your church scary, don’t necessarily move on to the next church. They may simply just dropout because their relationships, their connections are to you and your church. Maximize your opportunities to reach the world for Christ. Get prepared to minister to the next generation!

What steps have you taken to reach faithfully reach the kids in your community?