CHILDREN ARE GOD'S GIFT TO MARRIAGE
* Genesis 33:5. "And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which GOD HATH GRACIOUSLY GIVEN thy servant."
* Genesis 48:9. "They are my sons, whom GOD HATH GIVEN ME in this place."
* Joshua 24:3. "I took your father Abraham...and multiplied his seed, and GAVE HIM ISAAC."
* Ruth 4:13b. "The LORD GAVE HER CONCEPTION, and she bare a son."
* 1 Chronicles 25:4-6. "Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, and Jerimoth, Hannaniah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, and Romamti-ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, and Mahazioth: all these were the sons of Heman the king's seer in the words of God, to lift up the horn. And GOD GAVE TO HEMAN fourteen sons and three daughters. All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the Lord, with cymbals, psalteries, and harps, for the service of the house of God, according to the king's order..."
* Psalm 127:3-5, NEB. "Sons are a GIFT from the Lord and children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hand of a fighting man are the sons of a man's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; such men shall not be put to shame when they confront their enemies in court."
* Psalm 127:3, KNOX. "Fatherhood itself is the LORD'S GIFT, the fruitful womb is a reward that COMES FROM HIM."
Martin Luther comments on this verse,
"Genesis 9:1 leads us to believe that children are a gift of God and come solely through the blessing of God, just as Psalm 127:3 shows. The heathen, who have not been instructed by the Word of God, believe that the propagation of the human race happens partly by nature, partly by accident, especially since those who are regarded as most suited for procreation often fail to have children. Therefore the heathen do not thank God for this gift, nor do they receive their children as the gift of God."
* Isaiah 8:18. "Behold, I and the CHILDREN WHOM THE LORD HATH GIVEN ME are for signs and for wonders in Israel FROM THE LORD OF HOSTS, which dwells in mount Zion."
GOD SAYS CHILDREN ARE HIS BEST GIFT!
* The message Bible translation of Psalm 127:3 says, "Don't you see that children are God's BEST gift? the fruit of the womb His generous legacy?"
* The Moffat's translation says, "Sons are a gift from the eternal and children are a BOON from Him."
HOW SHOULD WE RECEIVE A GIFT?
We see from the above scriptures that children are a gift from God. What should we do with a gift, especially a gift from God? Reject it or receive it? How should we receive the gift of children?
Matthew 18:5 says, "Whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receives Me." The word 'receive' that is used here is the Greek word, 'dechomal' which means to 'accept a gift deliberately and readily; to receive heartily; reaching out eagerly to receive something; looking for; waiting with earnest expectation.'
Check also Luke 9:48. It is different from when the word 'lambano' is used which means to receive without necessarily a favorable reception. Matthew 18: 5 tells us that when we receive a little child, we are actually receiving Jesus Himself. To welcome a baby is to welcome Jesus!
Should we receive Jesus with a half-hearted attitude? Some folks are adamant that they don't want to have children at all. Others will say, "Well, if God gives us one, we'll accept, but we're not trying." This scripture says that we are to intentionally desire the gift of children.
Recently, a dear friend of mine had a vision, which had a powerful impact upon her, and also upon me when she shared it with me. She shares, "In this vision I saw God, as a king and a father, busily wrapping all types of presents. All these gifts were different, no two wrapped alike, and all of them were beautifully adorned in all kinds of paper and bows. I came to understand in my spirit as I watched, that all of these 'gifts' were children.
I continued to watch as God went from door to door, home to home, delivering these carefully wrapped packages. My heart began to break as time after time, doors were opened and closed in His face, denying the gift God brought. Some were very nice in their response, explaining that they were too busy right now to receive any gift - maybe later. Others were downright rude, slamming the door in disgust, and some would take the gift, look at it and shake it a little, then throw it out the door.
I watched as God's heart broke and a tear trickled down the face of this kingly Father. He had spent so much time, love, and excited preparation to create and deliver these gifts...and to what avail? There were a few families who embraced the gift He gave them and a few who were overjoyed that He would deliver it to them personally. However, the majority of the people were unreceptive to the gifts from this loving Father."
WHY DOES GOD GIVE US CHILDREN?
1. TO PROCREATE THE EARTH as we have already discussed. (Genesis 1:28)
2. TO HONOR US.
Talking about Heman in 1 Chronicles 25:4-6, The Living Bible says, “God honored him with fourteen sons and three daughters. "exalted" him and gave him more "power" by giving him seventeen children". The NEB says his children were, "given to him through the promises of God for his greater glory." God didn't give Heman children to degrade him, as some would think today, but to exalt him. God gives us children to bless us, honor us, and give us greater glory and power in the earth. The more godly children we have, the more power we have for God in the earth. The more power we have over the enemy. And the more glory we have. Read Jeremiah 30:19. The Berkeley, NIV, GNB, RSV and AMPLIFED versions say that God "
It is noteworthy that God commences the blessing chapter of Deuteronomy 28 with these words, "God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth." He then proceeds to say how He will do this - by pouring out abundant blessings, the greatest being the blessing of the fruit of the womb. God's Word says that the blessing of children will set us on high, not bring us low. It will cause us to be "the head, and not the tail". We will be "above and not beneath."
The world looks upon those who have a large family to be inferior. This is the deception of the enemy, the one who is called the Deceiver and the Liar. This thinking is opposite to the truth of the Word of God, which says that the blessing of family will set us on high.
Check these scriptures also: Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16; Psalm 107:41; Matthew 15:4; Ephesians 6:2,3.
3. TO DO US GOOD.
Deuteronomy 30:5 says, "He will do thee good, and multiply thee." When God wants to do something good for us, He gives us children. Look up these scriptures too:
Genesis 32:12; Deuteronomy 7:13; 13:16; 28:63a; 30:9.
4. TO GIVE US JOY AND DELIGHT.
Luke 1:14-18, TJB says, "Your wife Elizabeth is to bear you a son...he will be your joy and delight...and many will rejoice at his birth." In this scripture God gives two reasons for giving baby John to Zechariah and Elizabeth. First, He says that he will give them JOY AND DELIGHT. God gives us children to bring us great joy, gladness and happiness. Would you like to have more joy and happiness? Then receive the gifts God wants to give you. Psalm 127:5 says, "HAPPY is the man who has his quiver full of children." It doesn't say he'll be ashamed. It doesn't say he'll be miserable. It says he will be HAPPY! Does God lie?
Godly children bring much joy to a marriage. The older you get and the more you mature, the more you realize that every other 'thing' we strive after in this life is fleeting and will pass away. It is only our children that are lasting gifts that we will keep forever. We can take them into eternity with us. Everything else will be left behind. Wise couples will want the gifts that are lasting.
In Ezekiel 24:25, Jerusalem Bible we read what God thinks of our children, "And son of man, on the very day I deprive them of their sons and daughters who are their...
their pride and glory,
the delight of their eyes,
the joy of their hearts..."
In Hosea 9:16 God doesn't just call our children the "fruit of the womb", but the "beloved fruit of the womb" or some translations say, "treasures of the womb."
5. FOR THE SERVICE OF GOD.
Luke 1:15-17 tells us that John was not only given to Zechariah and Elizabeth to give them great joy but for a specific purpose. "He will bring many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God...to turn the hearts of fathers toward their children and the disobedient back to the wisdom of the just, preparing for the Lord a people fit for Him." Every child that God gives to us, comes into the world with a destiny planned by God.
We read in 1 Chronicles 25 that Heman's children gave him more power and blessing. But ultimately these children were given to him to help him in his service for God. "They were all under the direction of their father to sing in the temple of the Lord, for the service of God's temple with cymbals, harps, and lyres." Our children are given to us to train for the service of God. They are given to us to prepare for the specific purpose that God has planned for them.
In Amos 2:11, God says, "I raised up some of your sons for prophets, and some of your young men for Nazarites." God has a purpose for every child.
6. A GIFT TO THE NATIONS.
Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed thee in the womb I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." As I checked the word "ordained" in my concordance I was amazed to notice that the Hebrew word, "nathan" is a primary root word meaning "to give." God planned Jeremiah's future before he was even conceived! And God gave him as a "gift" to the nations.
Every child is a gift to the world! Isn't that exciting? Our children are not only a gift from God to us, but also a gift to others. Each child God has given you is a gift from God to the world. Who knows which one will be another David, or Paul, or Einstein or Billy Graham! Or anointed and faithful builders, teachers, store managers or whatever! And of course, godly mothers and fathers. Praise God, the world will never be the same because of the children that you have brought into the world and will bring into the world.
7. TO DEFEND US, HELP US, AND PROTECT US.
Psalm 127:5 tells us that the man who has his quiver full of arrows will never be defeated when he meets his enemies in the place of judgment. He will have children who will stand up for him and fight for him.
8. TO CARE FOR US WHEN WE ARE OLDER.
Read Proverbs 23:22; Isaiah 58:7,Matthew 15:4-8; Mark 7:9-13; John 19:25-27; 1 Timothy 5:3,4,8,16. As you can see, there are many scriptures about this subject. God's plan is that the younger generation will care for the older generation. This also affects the whole nation. If we do not have the children God has destined for us to have, there will be an imbalance in the population - there will be more older people than younger.
7. FOR GOD HIMSELF.
This is the highest reason. Although God gives us the joy of children for the above reasons, they are really His children. When God spoke to His people about their children, He called them "MY children...", "the sons and daughters whom you have borne unto ME." (Ezekiel 16:20,21). We do not have children, just for ourselves and our own benefit, but for God! We nurture them and train them for Him.
Parenting is the highest calling God has given to mankind. Every other career is subservient to this one. Everything else we do in life serves our highest calling of teaching and training the next generation for God. Finis Jennings Dake, in the 'Dake's Annotated Reference Bible' comments on Psalm 127:
"Each child will in the process of time be a defense, support and propagation of the eternal reproduction of man and fulfillment of the plan of God for man. The more arrows one has, the more enemies he will slay, the more powerful will he be in the earth. The more children born and saved to help God administer the affairs of the eternal plan for man, the more reward God will have."
WE DEPRIVE OURSELVES AND OTHERS
When we refuse to receive the gifts that God has planned to give us, we deprive many people. We deprive:
1. GOD. This is the most serious. We deprive Him of the purposes and plans that He has for the children that He destined to be born.
2. ETERNITY. God wants to fill His house. He not only wants to fill the earth, but He wants to fill His eternal kingdom. We fill eternity with those who are born on earth.
3. OURSELVES. We deprive ourselves of being blessed by God. Every child is another blessing. Once we receive the blessing of a child from God, we wonder how we could ever live without that child. When Onan destroyed his sperm he was deprived of being in the lineage of Jesus. Judah then received this privilege in his place.
4. GRANDPARENTS. We deprive our parents of their "glory and honor" which are grandchildren. Read Proverbs 17:6. The Living Bible translation says, "An old man’s grandchildren are his crowning glory." Why should we deprive our parents of their reward and glory in their older age?
5. OUR CHILDREN. We deprive our present children of more brothers and sisters. Children love to have more children in the family. They love to have another baby brother or sister. I often sadly think of the brothers and sisters that I could have had. More brothers and sisters are always a blessing. If my parents had been willing to have more children, not only would I have been more blessed, but also my children would have more uncles and aunts. If my siblings had trusted God for more children my children would be blessed with more cousins, and I would have had more nieces and nephews. Remember, God wants our families to be "like a flock."
6. THE CHURCH. The church today would be 50 to 100 percent stronger if we, the people of God, had not limited the godly seed. There would be more apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists.
7. THE WORLD. We deprive the world of the blessings of a godly seed. We deprive the world of being illuminated with light. We deprive the world of being 'salted'! We deprive the world of more godly young people and men and women. We deprive the world of more godly mothers and fathers who will build strong families that will build a strong nation.
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