A friend posted in the comments section for No room for people, no room for children, that it seemed to her that I was saying I think we are all called to have a large family. This was not what I was trying to say, so I wrote what is below, to clarify, and thought it would be helpful to share it here rather than in the comments section. I know my friend knows what I write here, but I include it all for clarification about where I am coming from.
Thank you for responding to my post and making sure I clearly understand the context of the verses I quoted from Malachi. Context is very important to me and I would not purposely misconstrue God’s word in order to support my personal opinion. I do not consider myself to have a complete understanding of God’s word, but it is my desire to grow in understanding every day. I have much to learn!
I tried to convey context by including several surrounding verses and also made the comment that this passage was talking about divorce. The context does not change God’s stated purpose for godly marriage: that they would raise up Godly offspring. The Israelites were unable to do this because they were divorcing and marrying foreign wives. But the principle still applies to all of us who have been grafted in to Israel, through the blood of Jesus (Romans 11:17; 15:8-13). This theme begins in Genesis and goes all the way through the Bible, both Old and New testaments, so there is a larger context than only the book of Malachi. I do not think I am misrepresenting God by quoting this verse from Malachi. It is a particularly beautiful verse that shows God’s heart on this matter. Deuteronomy 6: is also a powerful passage that commands parents to raise up children who know and love God. The New Testament carries this on in Ephesians 6:1-4 and other passages. And the first criteria for a widow to be made eligible for support, in 1 Timothy 5:9-10, is that she has brought up children (it is the first in a list of good works she is to be known for). So it is obviously still important to God.
The Old Testament is more than just a history book. Its content still applies to us-though we are no longer under the ceremonial law, because Jesus has died for us once for all. We are obligated to keep the moral law, including the 10 commandments. The greatest commandment is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (And you shall teach them diligently to your children. . .) Deuteronomy 6:5-7. Jesus repeats this in the gospels, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets,” Matthew 22:34-40. In John 14: and 15: Jesus says several times that if we love Him we will keep His commandments. Paul quotes the OT to his Gentile readers over and over again, and even says in 2 Corinthians 7:, “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. This was after he had quoted from the Old Testament concerning being unequally yoked. In 1 Corinthians 10:11, in warning against idolatry, Paul states that the OT history is for our example and instruction.
However, my point was NOT that we should all have the same number of children (16, for example, or even 4 or 6). We are not to be in competition with one another, thinking that whoever has the most children is the godliest. That is only arrogance and pride, which God is opposed to. I said in my post that we are not all called to have the same number of children. I have many godly friends who have 0,1, and 2 children, and others who have 12 and 15, but they are all seeking God and are passionate about His glory (I would include you among those friends). I do not believe, and never said, that we are to strive to have a particular number. God blessed Job and he had 10 children. He blessed Hannah and she had 6. He blessed Rachel and she had 2. God blessed Elizabeth and she had 1. What I am saying is that our purpose in having children needs to match up with God’s purpose. He wants godly offspring He can use for His glory. We have to start with what God wants, rather than with what we want, or think we can handle, or think we can afford. We must not listen to the world’s view that having more than two children is bad for the environment, (since more people produce more carbon dioxide). God made this world, so it is safe to trust that He knows what is best for it. If we seek God, and He leads us to have more children, He always provides the grace and makes provision for those children. So no, I cannot say to you, you must have X number of children, but I will say to you, seek God for His will, as a couple, and He will direct you to the number He wants for your family. And, if you walk in obedience to Him, He will also give you everything you need to fulfill His purpose. He wants us to depend on Him, and He is a faithful God. This has been our experience, and also the experience of many people that we know. God does give each of us wisdom when we ask for it.
Abortion and Birth Control
The other point that I made was that abortion, the pill, and other abortifacient methods of birth control are wrong. I know this is a strong statement, but it is the truth. The murder of babies is always wrong, no matter what the reason. Exodus 20:13 says, “You shall not murder.” Either murder is wrong all the time or it is not wrong at all. All one has to do is go to Planned Parenthood’s website, and read their descriptions of hormonal types of b/c to find that they do cause the death of babies—because they prevent fertilized eggs (babies) from implanting in the uterine lining. I know that many Christians are unaware of this, and it may come as a devastating shock—but once we are made aware of this, we must do something about it. We cannot go on as before. God will hold us responsible for the murder of babies if we knowingly take drugs that are capable of preventing babies from implanting. I know this is hard. I understand the temptation. But we must obey our God. This is not about having a certain number, or just having lots of babies. God will direct us. And there are other ways we can manage family size, as we seek God, that do not involve the murder of children. I do not write this to condemn anyone. Our God is merciful and gracious to us, when we repent of our sin. But we must repent.
May God bless you with wisdom as you seek Him for His will.
I will always be your sister in Christ,