Hebrews 12:1-2

"..let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." - Hebrews 12:1-2

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Could I Forgive?

I pray that my faith would be reflected in such a way if I were placed into a situation like this...
Simply Amazing.

HT:(Vitamin Z)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Married Without Children

Here is something that I have pondering lately and have discussed with several friends. I have not reached any firm conclusions on this thought, but I set it before you in order to hear any other viewpoints on the matter.

In Genesis 1, God commands Adam and Eve to have children:

28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground." (Genesis 1:28)
As a result of their sin, God tells Eve that she will have more pain in the childbearing process, which seems to indicate that such an action is expected of her:

To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." (Genesis 3:16)
All of this brings me to the question(s) on my mind:
If a Christian couple is married and the wife wants children, is it right for the husband to be against such a possibility? If so, what situations might warrant such a denial of what appears to be a God commanded and natural next step in their relationship?

I realize that this question could be modified to question the use of contraceptives by Christians, and I am not wanting to travel down that path with this post. Instead, I would like to focus on the issue of married Christian couples and the decision to postpone having children resting solely on the husband.

It is my understanding of the Bible that children are something which any married man should desire. Psalms 127 speaks exclusively about the joys and blessings of having a family:
1 Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.
2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.
3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.
(Psalms 127 )
In the above passage, children declared a reward from God. It also appears that there is some sort of emphasis placed on the children that are born while their fathers are relatively young. I cannot speak to whether or not this particular passage is implying that men should have children earlier in life as opposed to later, but it does appear to place some sort of differentiation between children born of an old man and those born of a young man.

God goes even further to take the time to talk directly to fathers and explain to them how they should treat their children in Ephesians 6:
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.
2 "Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."
4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
(Ephesians 6:1-4)
Men are called to train our children using the Bible as our curriculum. This is justifiably a commonly heard passage whenever a discussion turns towards having and managing a family. Is it possible that in our limited view that we see this verse as only being applicable to those who have children and not applicable to those who are married without children? Is there a reason why we do not connect this passage to command given to us Genesis 1:28?

Perhaps my thought process is faulty and I am misunderstanding the Word, which is entirely possible. With that being said, is it also not possible that we have overlooked the first command given to us in the Bible and have written passages such as these off to those couples who are married and already have children?

It is obvious throughout Scripture that children hold a special place in the eyes of God. In fact, God has given children the ability to praise Him in such a way that apparently is beyond that of adults.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your
enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. (Psalms 8:2 )
So, if children are a gift from God, are a blessing to their fathers and have the capacity to bring praise to God in a singular way, is there a reasonable objection that a man might offer to his wife as to why they shouldn’t have children at this point in time? Isn't the wife's desire to have children a natural, God-given desire? If children are a gift and blessing from God, doesn't the wife's desire for children represent a desire to provide a blessing for husband? In rejecting the idea or possibility of having children when our wife desires them, are we as husbands rejecting God in some form or fashion?

Please do not misunderstand me, I am not criticizing any Christian couple who has not had children, whatever the reason. What I am doing here is trying to come to an understanding of how some of my opinions and choices in the past might not have been a true reflection of what the Bible appears to tell me about children and the prospect of having them.

So, in the pursuit of a greater knowledge and understanding of what God tells us about starting families and having families, I ask the following questions again:
If a Christian couple is married and the wife wants children, is it right for the husband to be against such a possibility? If so, what situations might warrant such a denial of what appears to be a God commanded and natural next step in their relationship?

Monday, March 2, 2009

I Made the Radio

I shot an email to Jamie Allman this morning and he ended up reading it on the air on 97.1 within a few minutes, including a shout out to this blog. This was an unexpected response, and I am thankful to him for it. Here is the email I sent him which he read:

I have been listening to you show for the past 6 months or so and I thought I would send you a brief email to thank you for your presence in the St. Louis media. I appreciate your willingness to speak your mind about politics without removing your faith from the discussion. You discussion regarding Jesus Christ and handing out money and food to people this morning was well stated and mirrored a conversation I had with some friends just yesterday. It's not enough for Christians to merely vote for the party or person who will spend inordinate amounts of money to "help people" via social programs. As Christians we are called to feed the hungry, take care of the widows and orphans and love our neighbors, all of which is meant to be done at the personal or local church level.

Thank you for expressing what a lot of Christians feel about this suituation and many others.
Keep the faith!