Thinking Cap # 14 - The Question: Just How Many Kids Are Enough?

If you were a product of the 50's and 60's as I was, you were undoubtedly exposed (indoctrinated) to the ZPG (zero population growth) concept. We were told that two kids were sufficient and that having more than that was harmful to mankind. Now, for whatever reasons, we seem to see that "mind-set" still in force. It is even entrenched in the halls of our Christian Schools and the pews of our churches. Are we out of touch with the Bible? Just how many kids is enough? Your responses are welcomed up to the deadline of midnight, Friday, June 2.

I fear that in search for the "good life" and perhaps with a desire to ensure that our kids were not deprived of the "things" we didn't have a kids, we have swallowed a humanist lie regarding family size. I would suggest several points to support that view.

  • The average person in their teens or early twenties would stare at you with disbelief if you suggested a family of five children, let alone twelve as was common as little as seventy years ago. They would state that you, a) can't afford to have more than a couple of kids, b) you can't control more than a couple of kids, c) you can't give more than a couple kids the good life, and d) they wouldn't be able to enjoy their own life with that many kids. All of this tends to focus on the wrong half of Mt. 6:24. We can love, worship, serve, and seek God or "things." We parents of the 90's have a tendency to teach our children to seek "things" as evidenced by our deeds (if not our words).
  • God's command to mankind, which has never been rescinded was to "be fruitful, and multiply" (Gen. 1:28). Considering basic mathematics, if you have two children you are merely replacing yourselves. Three or four children would be adding. Five and up would at least be multiplying.
  • Not withstanding those who are unable to have children due to physical or medical difficulties, historically, it has been a sign of God's blessing to have several children. See Job 42:12-13 ("blessed the latter end of Job more" with ten children), Gen 33:5 ("the children which God hath graciously given"), Dt. 33:24 ("blessed with children"), 1 Sam. 2:5 ("the barren hath born seven"), Ps. 128:1-4 ("Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine..... be blessed"), Ruth 4:13-15 ("which is better to thee than seven sons"), Prov.17:6 ("Children's children are the crown of old men"), and Ps. 113:9 ("the barren woman.... to be a joyful mother of children").
  • Again, not making a statement against those who are unable to have children, but in Old Testament time, barrenness was considered a curse of God. See Gen 16:1, Gen 20:17-18, Gen. 30:1-2, and 1 Sam 1:8-11.
  • Ps. 127:3-5 is an excellent commentary on children. "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."


  • no number is given here, but I don't think I would go into battle with just a couple arrows in my quiver,
  • Children are a reward from God,
  • a man with a full quiver will be happy,
  • it is to be children of a young couple (rather than waiting into your 30's to start a family).
  • It has been my observation, that those families who have just one child, tend to spoil that child and raise a very materialistic and unruly child. Those families with many children tend to have children who understand the value of money, the value of family, individual responsibility, are well behaved and who have a servant's heart.
  • My readings indicate that God is the one who opens and closes the womb. Are we playing God when we chose when to have children and how many? Oops, I didn't mean to get into birth control. That's usually an area we baptists stay clear of because we don't want the Bible messing with our lifestyle.
  • I am not advocating the barefoot mother with a broken down station wagon dragging her dirty brood of kids through the grocery store. But, I am advocating a return to Biblical thinking on when to start a family and how many children to have.

    Pleasant Thinking,
    Kent Haralson


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