On the day that I gave birth to my first child, my beloved mother asked me, “What’s next?” I had no idea what she meant. So, in weakness and tiredness from the strain of labour, I said, “What do you mean?”
Would you believe my mom suggested that I have a TL (tubal ligation)?!
I was 31 years old, married and a Christian. If I wasn’t allowed to procreate then who was?
What was so wrong with having children?
Children are a heritage
The Bible says in Psalm 127:3-4 that children are a heritage and reward from God. “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them.” (Psalm 127:5) I had just had a Singleton and my mom was already telling me to quit.
Now I’m not insisting on persons having more than one child, but I don’t think one child fills a quiver! (Well, I guess it boils down to the size of the quiver in question!)
But I certainly don’t think one child warrants the drastic, virtually irreversible surgical intervention of a tie-off!
Parenting is a blessing
I believe parenting is a blessing. It is an awesome privilege. Besides the joy that children bring with their cute talk and funny footsteps, it is also an opportunity for a Christian couple to sow into the future; to impart godliness and uprightness into another generation.
Whether by birth or if you choose to adopt, (or both! My husband still talks about the idea of adopting even after having our third child!) a Christian parent is a blessed person.
I know there are too many sad news reports and photos and experiences of children suffering in overcrowded, terribly impoverished settings. But the reality of a curse does not nullify the truth of God’s word and His promise.
Can childbearing be a curse?
So how does one explain the evident contrast between the blessing of Psalm 127:3-5 and the seemingly unblessed existence that so many people have? I go to the Bible!
In Deuteronomy 28, we see God outlining blessings and curses for Israel. Blessings were to include a blessing on the fruit of the body and the blessing of being plenteous in the fruit of the body (vv 4 and 11).
Curses would include a curse on the fruit of the body; a curse in which their children would be given to another people and there would be a longing for them; a curse in bearing children but not being allowed to enjoy them because of their captivity; and (painful but true) a curse of actually cannibalizing their own children in famine (vv 18, 32, 41, 53-57).
So it is possible to have children but to have them in a condition that does not match up with Psalm 127. That’s just the reality.
But the curse isn’t my reality and if as Christian couples we walk in alignment with the will of God, the curse will never be our reality.
What matters in childbearing for Christian couples is the will of God and faith that He will take care of whoever comes along from our loins.
When God speaks
For some Christian couples the Lord will give a heads-up about pregnancy. I was one of those blessed few. Four months before I first conceived, a minister gave me a word that my womb was open for a miracle child.
Talk about a shock! My husband and I had not been talking or praying about starting to bear children. In fact, everything around us at that time pointed to the sign saying ‘not now!’
But God stepped in. He took the initiative and four months later I was having mood swings and food craves!
The setup for my second child was similar. An intercessor saw me with my first baby still fresh in motherhood at about five months, and said to me, “The next one is going to be born when she (my first child) is one year and three months.”
My mind could not even wrap itself around such a thought. My husband and I had settled into being the happy parents of one child. Now someone was telling me about another one?! And so close to each other! Well, when our daughter was one year and four months (just one day shy of the three months), our son was delivered.
Truth be told, another prophetess had specifically told me that I would have three children—two girls and one boy. One year after our son was born, we had our quiver full with our third child!
Faith, not fear, in parenting
Not all Christian couples have this kind of testimony. But all our children are still blessings from God whether or not God chose to tell us about them beforehand.
Christian parents are the best people in the world to raise children. Fear about financing them or about the kind of world they are coming into, should never get us panicking at positive pregnancy tests.
Always respond with thanksgiving for your soon-coming little blessing. Believe that because you fear the Lord, your children will be mighty in the land and that they will be blessed (Psalm 112:1-2). That’s certainly what I’m believing for mine!
Yaneke Lewis is a stay-home minister’s wife, a homeschooling mother of three, and an independent podcaster/blogger from Jamaica. You may find more of her work at http://yanekelewis.great-site.net/.