If you are just coming on here - first part to this is in previous post.
Here are some frequently asked questions I've been asked and some things to take into great consideration when reading the verses that people use to teach the "quiverfull" movement:
(Please remember that I am not posting this to persuade those who would disagree with me, but rather to answer frequent questions I receive in regards to what I believe on the issue of child-bearing, and why I do not follow or encourage the quiverfull movement/false interpretation of Scripture. I hope it will be helpful to those who are desiring to seek God on this issue within their own marriage, or upcoming marriage.)
In the messages sent, I've had several asking in regards to family size:
"But what about the verse, "Be fruitful and multiply"?"
Let's take a look at the verses in the Old Testament that contain these words. Stick with me, it won't take long.
"God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Gen. 1:28
“Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” Gen. 8:17
We must ask - are we to think that God was making a universal command to all of creation through Noah? No, rather it is the nature of all living flesh to be fruitful and multiply. It would be inconsistent to interpret either of these verses as a mandate for allowing God to determine the size of the family or to not use any type of birth control.
Here we find the words again. . .
"And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth." Gen. 9:1
“As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” Gen. 9:7
God also said to him, “I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you. Gen. 35:11
Now, let's stop and consider some very important things in regards to this "Be fruitful and multiply."
1. Context is king: The context of the Old Testament is the nation of Israel and the bringing forth of the Messiah. Everything has to be considered in context because the primary promise of God was that He would provide a Messiah, a Savior (Yeah!), who would overcome sin and death through Abraham and his seed!
Therefore, all of the laws of the Old Testament are given for the preservation of the nation until Jesus was born. The societal laws should not be considered binding on all of mankind throughout all of history, especially if they are not affirmed in the New Testament. They do give the mind of God to those people during that period of time and in that middle eastern culture. Having many children (especially sons) was imperative to the survival of the nation because it was a sign of blessing and wealth in that culture. Furthermore the number of sons a tribe had was his bargaining tool when he talked with his enemies in the gates.
2. It is interesting that Jesus Never affirmed this command as a kingdom command in the New Testament. He also challenged his followers to love Him and the kingdom of God more than family. If being fruitful and multiplying was such a universal and important command that Jesus wanted to be sure that the new church have as its guiding principle in family size, then his disciples failed miserably. As best we know only Peter was married and we don't know of any children born to any of them. Furthermore, none of them taught this in any of their writings. They either badly misunderstood the Scriptures and Jesus' teaching, or Jesus didn't teach on it, and/or it was a matter for the Holy Spirit to guide each person.
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:26
We should consider if our motive for not allowing the Holy Spirit to guide each couple - and the belief that the Bible gives command to have as many children as the womb can have - could possibly be rooted in idolatry towards family/having children? Ah, or maybe even something so simple as lack of self-control, or other fruits of the spirit - one which is love to others above our own desires and self?
“And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life." Matt. 19:29
Jesus never put the emphasis on how many children one was to have. In fact, he made emphasis on putting God before family.
On a side note. . . I have a tendency to question "movements." And I should. Because unless the movement is one with the gospel as THE emphasis - as humans we have a tendency, a weakness, in our humanness, in our pride and sin to quickly replace God as God - with some issue, idea, belief - just name it. It might even be good things, blessings! such as children - becoming an idol in our lives.
Here are some other considerations:
1. The idea that having as many children as one can have for the sake of the kingdom as a universal command to mankind. . . flies in the face of the call of Christ to the kingdom.
2. At what point can one say he/she is being fruitful to the point of pleasing God??? What about those whom God does not give children?
How many children did Samuel have? We don't know.
How about Ezekiel? Daniel? Jeremiah? Isaiah?
Or any of the prophets?
The point is that God was certainly pleased with His prophets more than the general population of the nation, and they did not have as many children as they could have, so that would lead one to believe even the prophets of God did not take Gen. 1:28 to mean what the quiverfull movement has taken it to mean and teaches.
3. How many children did it take to fulfill the command "to multiply" that was given to the nation of Israel?
Begin with 2 - the husband and wife. If you multiply you have at least 2 which now makes a total of 4. Pretty simple math.
As best we know from the biblical account, Adam and Eve had three and then "other sons and daughters". No number is given.
So at most, maybe he had at least two more sons and two more daughters (but then he lived 930 years!!!)? We just don't know. Interesting to me that it wasn't recorded.
If you are to multiply greatly, then perhaps a couple would have to have 4 or 8? The point is that when God commands something it is verifiable such as "obey your parents" - we see this about obeying parents again in the New Testament. . .To take a command that is not clearly stated as to when it is fulfilled and suggest that it is a universal unlimited command is to import one's own interpretation into the verses. That is making ourselves higher than God. Which makes us god in our lives instead of God. Which would lead us to say and do things that are not God's will and way.
We must also consider kingdom when we look at these Old Testament verses:
4. Which kingdom are we living for? The nation of Israel was focused on a physical, geographical kingdom where numbers is the sign of strength and wealth. The kingdom of God is focused on a spiritual, heavenly kingdom where numbers are not the sign of strength and wealth, rather spiritual life and spiritual reproduction. So which kingdom are we living for?
The only words of Christ about fruitfulness are in the following verses. The fruit of which He spoke certainly cannot be construed to mean have as many children as you can. Instead, it is clearly about spiritual fruit in the kingdom of God.
Verses on fruit in New Testament:
“And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” Mark 4:20
“But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance." Luke 8:15
“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit." John 15:2
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me." John 15:4
“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples." John 15:8
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you." John 15:16
"Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God." Rom. 7:4
So. . .
This begs the question with regard to children:
"How many children can my wife/husband and I, by the grace of God, disciple and love so that they can bear much fruit for God? (again, not bear much fruit for US as a couple, but for GOD.)
This begs me to see that I am in need of God, not some movement, method, person who tells me how many I should or shouldn't have. I am in need of a real, genuine relationship with God.
Next time up ~ one of my favorite verses in regards to children.
The frequently asked,
"But what about Ps. 127:3-5?"
"Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate." Psa. 127:3-5
I love children so much!! Especially of course my own :) What gets me excited about these verses though that we are looking at isn't so much children though, it's the gospel! Instead of getting hung up on the issue of how many kids to have/quiverfull or whatever - look how these verses are really about the Messiah coming in the Old Testament - and those in the New, the kingdom of God and the fruit for His kingdom!