I posted a version of this series of questions on the Boundless Line today (intentionally not linked; it’s a very heated discussion and I wouldn’t recommend wasting your time reading it unless you’re a glutton for punishment). Anyone want to take a shot?
1. What does God say about children?
2. Is God in control of human fertility?
3. If God calls children a blessing to be welcomed and he is in control of fertility, than do I have the right as a believer (whose life is supposed to be conformed to God’s ways) to say (if married), “I don’t want kids,” or “I want to put off children (or marriage and children) because ___”?
You don’t really have to answer them… And I’m sure my answers are painfully obvious. Pondering these questions was what changed my attitude about this whole thing. I realized that I had absorbed the culture’s attitudes toward marriage and children — don’t get married until you’re settled in your career, put off having children as long as possible because they’re a hassle, stuff like that. But throughout the centuries, Christians have always been counter-cultural in how they valued children — the early Church fought against the pagan practices of child sacrifice and abandonment, for example, and Christians led the charge for the illegalization of child labor.
So why is it that now, even among Christians, having a child early in a marriage must have been an accident? And why having a large family (i.e., anything beyond three or four kids) means you must not have figured out how to work those birth control pills? And why Christian parents tell their sons and daughters that they must not get married before they’ve graduated college and settled down into a good career (never mind the tens of thousands in debt it took to get there)?
What do you think is at the heart of the problem?