Two weeks ago, we discovered what the first calling was that God gave to women, that of being a helper to man. It is now time for us to discover another one of the high and glorious callings God has given uniquely and solely to women.
... a mother.
Before we proceed with our study of this high and glorious calling, I want to make it clear that I do not believe all women are called to be mothers. Nor are some women sinning by not having children. God has sovereignly chosen to call some women to a life of remaining unmarried, while others are married but are barren. However, this is the exception to the rule, and unless you are given the gift of singleness or are barren, it is highly likely that you are called to be a mother.
The very first command the man and woman were jointly given in the Garden of Eden after the creation of Eve was to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth" (Gen. 1:28a). I believe the fact that this is the first command they were given jointly-and the first command Eve ever received-proves rather clearly its weightiness and the importance of this subject to the heart of God! The Lord later issued forth many other commands, but this was the very first one ever heard by the ears of man and woman together. Isn't that amazing? The Lord, now that the first couple was finally together, could have given them any number of commands. He chose, however, that the very first one would be that they were to have children and thus multiply greatly.
Not only is this command the first one issued to the couple in the Garden, it is also important to note what commands follow this one. After being commanded to have many descendants, God tells Adam and Eve that they are to: "subdue it [the earth]: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." We noted in part 1 of this article that the Dominion Mandate is linked closely with the Great Commission. Both commands make it clear that men and women are God's ambassadors on this earth and as such, are to take dominion of it for Jesus Christ. However, would this have been possible if Adam and Eve had never procreated? Or, let's say they did have numerous descendants, but that the members of the early church did not. Would dominion in the name of Christ have continued? It's highly unlikely. God could have saved other Jews at the time of Christ, and thus carried on His Christian dominion for a short time, but if these Christians didn't multiply, either, the ambassadors of Christ on the earth would quickly die out again. God has so ordered His creation that the way mankind is to succeed in taking dominion over the earth and spreading the light of Christ's gospel over the face of it, is by having children. This may seem surprising to some, but it is nonetheless the way God has ordained matters. We see this beautifully laid out in Psalm 127:5 which says, "Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them [children]: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." The phrase "speak with the enemies in the gate" literally means, "subdue or destroy the enemies". Christians are called to be fruitful so that their dominion in the name of Christ can continue on mightily, and so that they might destroy the dominion work of Christ's enemies. One Christian couple can only accomplish so much dominion work themselves and can only crush and thwart so much enemy dominion. But if they have many children and grandchildren-which the Bible refers to as blessings from God-just think of the dominion work a godly family can accomplish by God's strength and grace!
I know I'm likely going to open up a can of worms with what I'm about to say next, but I believe it to be Biblical truth and therefore feel that I must share it with you. The man and woman were not just told to have children. Rather, they were told to be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth! In other words, they were commanded to have many children, a command which is reissued time and time again throughout the Scriptures. But why? Why is it so important to the Lord that husbands and wives have large families? Because this is how a couple's Christian impact in the world is continued and built upon down through the centuries. As noted above, we alone would not be able to have nearly the impact of dominion and evangelism. But when we have progeny, then we, by training them up in the ways of God, are able to continue and further the work of Christ down through the generations, as children and grandchildren accomplish far more for Christ's kingdom than their ancestors did. Nancy Campbell articulated this fact clearly when she wrote, "One of the biggest threats to the devil is husbands and wives who understand God's revelation for marriage and who will bring forth godly offspring for His glory. The devil is frightened of the godly seed, for it is they who will destroy his works in this world. The enemy knew that God would need an army in this hour to fulfill His great purposes. He knew that if he could diminish God's army, he could thwart God's plans. It is the strategy of Satan to minimize the holy seed. The sad thing is that the Christian church has unconsciously fallen into this trap. As Christians in the last few decades have decided to have fewer children, they have limited the power of God on earth. God's plan is to fill the earth with His glory. God calls the increase of children our 'glory' (Hos. 9:11)."1.
Satan understands well the importance of Christians being fruitful, and I believe this is the reason so many today-even many Christians-have bought into the lie that a family should have no more than 2 or 3 children-if that. Satan has successfully whispered the lies, not only to the world but to Christians as well, that children are too expensive, the earth is overpopulated, we were never supposed to have large families, it's unhealthy to have many children, etc. These are vicious, child-hating lies which the enemies of God have spoon-fed to us for far too long! Christians, rather than seeing through these falsehoods and obeying the Word of God, have fallen prey to the wiles of the Adversary. Consider with me where this kind of thinking has gotten us. Church attendance is dropping dramatically and families are falling apart. I won't go into all the destruction we are now seeing, as I have referred to that already in part 1. However, suffice it to say that this once Christian nation is falling ever faster into the abyss of sin and damnation. I believe this can be directly linked to the lack of on-going Christian dominion, which can in turn be linked back to the lack of large Christian families dedicated to the work of Christ. I understand that some couples are barren, while some have health conditions that may have followed the birth of previous children which keep them from being able to have more. The Lord, for some reason or other, has simply chosen to only bless some couples with 2 or 3 children. However, what we see in many Christian circles today-the lack of large families-is not due largely to health conditions or infertility. Rather, it is linked directly to people cutting off their seed. While many wouldn't admit this, it shows a disdain for children when one cuts off the ability to reproduce. Some may ask what right we have to tell fellow Christians that they are commanded by God to have large families. I understand this notion, but Christians are commanded to proclaim God's Word to the lost as well as to their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. If Christians do not step up to the plate and lovingly show fellow Christians the heart of God when it comes to the subject of having children, then we will be guilty of lessening the dominion work of Christ on this earth. Thanks to a disdain for children and the lack of surrendering every aspect of our lives to God-including the number of children we have-Christianity is not having the impact it is called on to have. Instead, Islam is taking its place. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world. According to one website, "Islam is growing about 2.9% per year. This is faster than the total world population which increases about 2.3% annually. It is thus attracting a progressively larger percentage of the world's population."2. (emphasis my own)
Mr. Voddie Baucham, a nationally known pastor, conference speaker and author (and the father of my dear friend Jasmine!) has conducted extensive research on this very topic. He writes, "With a birth rate hovering around two children per family, a biblical worldview rate below 10 percent, and about 75 percent of our teens leaving the church by the end of their freshman year in college (using the more optimistic estimates from Chapter 1), it currently takes two Christian families in one generation to get a single Christian into the next generation"3. This should astound us! Compare this information with the fact that, "The birth rate a society needs to break even and not start to disappear is 2.1 babies per woman. Anything less than that, the culture disappears in a matter of three generations or more. The math can’t be argued. No culture has ever survived once it reached the breaking point 1.3 babies per woman. Now let’s take a look at this globally. United States birth rate is 2.1, New Zealand 1.9, Canada 1.5, Germany and Austria 1.3, Russia and Italy 1.2, Spain 1.1. Now let’s take a look at some Muslims countries. Afghanistan 47.02 per 1000 people, Albania 15.08 per 1000 people, Niger 7.46, Mali 7.42, Somalia 6.76, Afghanistan 6.69,Yemen 6.58. I think you can start to get the idea here. Muslim populations are filling up the birth shortfalls all throughout Europe and have already started taking over the European culture. They are imposing Sharia Law on old Europe already and very soon, the Europe we know will be gone. The thing about this is the Muslim culture does not assimilate themselves to whatever country they live in. They change the culture of the host country. We’ve already seen this."4. This should wake us up indeed, and prove just how far we've fallen from God's standard of Christian dominion. This is due (in large part) to our disdain for large families and our rejection of the command to "be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth." It is time we fall on our knees before God, asking His forgiveness for our rejection of what He refers to as a reward and "a heritage" (Ps. 127:3).
Before continuing, I want to make it clear that if you have been guilty of the sin of rejecting children or having a disdain for them, there is great forgiveness in Christ! This article is not meant to judge you, but rather to proclaim the glorious, joy-filled truths of God's Word to you. As an example of His forgiveness, I would like to share with you the testimony of my own family. I was born 3 years after my parents were married. My mother had been on the birth control pill until they felt the time was right to have a baby. Shortly after I was born, my father underwent a procedure so as to cut off the chances of my parents having any more children. Around the time I was 5, my parents began to desire another baby. My father went in to have his surgery reversed, and they were soon blessed with my precious brother, Andrew. After his birth, my father returned to the doctor to have the procedure done again, so as to prevent any more children from coming. My parents went on like this for years, thinking nothing of it. They were content with their son and daughter. However, during the end of 2006/beginning of 2007, the Lord began convicting my parents of their sin of rejecting God's blessings. In May of 2007, my father went to have his surgery reversed yet again. In the past two years, my parents have not been blessed with more "arrows" (Ps. 127:4). They may never be. But they now have a peace in their hearts. They know that they have repented and are now living in obedience to God and His Word. I am very proud of my parents and their willingness to make things right in the midst of a culture which disdains such actions. So, take heart! God will forgive you just as He graciously and lovingly forgave my own dear parents!
In closing, I would like to share with you the following beautiful words of wisdom:
1. Nancy Campbell, Be Fruitful and Multiply: What the Bible Says About Having Children, pgs. 37-38 (Vision Forum Ministries, 2003)
2. http://www.religioustolerance.org/isl_numb.htm (Use Christian discretion when viewing this site!)
3. Voddie Baucham, Family Driven Faith, pg. 174 (Crossway Books, 2007)
4. http://americaspeaksink.com/2009/01/muslim-birth-rate-taking-over-the-world/ ( I am not familiar with this gentleman, so please use Christian discretion when reading his other material. He is dedicated to conservative values it appears, but be careful nonetheless!)
5. Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me be a Woman, pg. 53 (Tyndale House Publishers, 1976)
*For further reading on this topic, I highly recommend two wonderful and in-depth books by Mrs. Nancy Campbell: Be Fruitful and Multiply: What the Bible Says About Having Children and The Power of Motherhood: What the Bible Says About Mothers