Some 10 years ago, I wondered if future generations of children would grow up hating life because of how unbearable it would be.
While growing up, on several occasions – often deep in the night and curled up in tears – I’ve also felt it would have been better if I had not been born. No suffering, no worries, no hurts… I wanted that! I wanted to be non-existent so I wouldn’t have to suffer.
I probably didn’t think that 10 years later, other young adults would be reconsidering having children because of concerns like climate change, trade wars and global terrorism. For many, the future is clouded with worry.
Such ecological concerns form just one branch of anti-natalism, which argues that procreation is morally bad. There’s misanthropic anti-natalism, the view that more humans shouldn’t be brought into existence because they cause harm like environmental damage or suffering to other humans.
And then there’s philanthropic anti-natalism, which some champion as benevolent since it would spare children from pain, suffering and death.
Some look at the struggling planet and raise questions about the ethics of bringing a child into this world. Then there are others who have practicalities in mind.
As I spoke to friends about having children, a lot of the comments centred on fears and doubts about being able to raise a child well. These conversations really got me thinking whether a biblical view of marriage has to involve raising children.
WHY BRING CHILDREN INTO THE WORLD?
As I turned to the Bible, I realised that anti-natalism fundamentally contradicts how God views children.
Isaiah 43:6b-7 tells us: “Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
Human beings are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and for His glory (Isaiah 43:6b-7). Who then are we to decide against the birth of children because it is for their “good”?
Psalm 139 also reminded me about destiny. It tells me that I have one. And that every child has one.
I believe that my days have been ordained, by God Himself, even before my existence came to be.
“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:16)
So while it would be easy on dark days to wish I’d never been born and blame the very people who’d given me life, I don’t go down that road anymore.
WHAT IF WE MESS UP?
If our reluctance to have children stems from fear or doubt that we would be good parents, it would also do us good to look upwards to God. There will be suffering in life, and every parent will make mistakes. But life is a gift from God and every child is precious to Him.
So though we fear not being able to be good parents, God’s grace will be enough as we go to Him for it because He loves our children too.
Raising children for the glory of God means committing to loving them the way God loves them. It means a partnership with their – and our – Heavenly Father. It may potentially be the hardest thing we ever do, but with God in the picture, we can be sure that He will strengthen us for the task.
God’s grace will be enough… He loves our children too.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” (Psalm 127:3-4)
It’s clear that the Psalmist viewed children as a blessing and a gift. A great gift received from the Lord as a reward.
As we think about children, let’s go back to the original call in Genesis 1:28 and receive the words of Malachi 2:15.
“God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Genesis 1:28a)
“Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.” (Malachi 2:15a)
May we be open to raising children if God so entrusts them to us.
Every 1.5 hours, a baby is aborted in Singapore, often because the baby is seen as a burden – financially, medically or socially.
This Children’s Day, the Heartbeat Project is organising LifeFest 2019 to celebrate that every child has a divine destiny worth living. The outdoor carnival is happening on October 5, 2019, Saturday, 10am-8pm.
For more details, visit the Heartbeat Project’s Facebook page.
Listen to what these Pastors have to say! Join us this Children’s Day at our Kingdom-wide Family Day! The churches of Singapore are coming together to celebrate LIFE and that every child matters! There are 3 fun zones and a main stage for the whole family! I AM LOVED – Jump into our mini inflatable park and carnival games that is set up to engage the whole family! I AM GIFTED – Be part of our children’s creative workshops as we unlock the gift of art and poetry in the little ones! I AM BRAVE – Race alongside your children in the obstacle course and help them discover the Lion that’s inside them! Visit our main stage and learn how you can be part of a community of support to single-mums, children-at-risk, families-in-need and the special needs community. See you on Sat, 5th Oct @ St Andrews Cathedral, 10am-8pm. More at www.lifefest.heartbeatproject.sg
Posted by The Heartbeat Project on Monday, September 16, 2019
- Do you want to get married?
- What are your views on having children?
- Would you present your concerns before the Lord and listen to what He has to say?