Faith of a Father

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised; – Hebrews 10:23

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How many children should you have?

large family

As I come to the end of this short series, I’d like to make a few comments about verse five of Psalm 127.

 “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.”

As I mentioned earlier on in this series, it is not my place to tell anyone how many children they ought to have, this is a decision between each couple and God.  God knows each circumstance and what is best for each family. It may be two, five, ten or zero.  As a Christian I do believe we should seek God’s will for our family size and not be swayed by the world or even good intentioned but busy-bodied Christians.

Even prior to us being married, my wife to be, Sherry, had repeatedly said over and over again that she wanted a lot of children.  After a difficult delivery with our third child, the doctors told us that it would be too dangerous for Sherry to have any more children and that there was a good probability that Sherry could die from another child’s birth.  Ten months later our fourth child was born and several more years later our fifth child.  In God’s wisdom, additional children are not to be.  So although I respect those who have many more children than even our family, having a large family is not a “competition”.  Nor is it necessarily an indication of a family’s commitment to the Scriptures or a greater love for children but it may just be God’s plan for those particular families.

Having said this, let’s review the beginning of the verse we are discussing:  “Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:” As we know arrows are what is placed into a quiver and the previous verses referred to our children as our arrows.  I like to call them “arrows of faith” because they can be a reflection of our faith as we train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.  The Bible is telling us that it is a joyful thing to have a lot of children.

So here are some benefits of having a full quiver, whatever the Lord’s definition of a full quiver is for your family:

  1.  A full quiver can bring much laughter and fun to a home.  Yes, this can be so with a small family, but imagine a family with a household filled with children varying in personalities and spiritual gifts.  As a family, there are times when many if not all of us just sit in the living room together and laugh with (and sometimes at) each other.  We enjoy each other’s company (usually) and find it hard if on those rare occasions we cannot travel on a vacation together.  Laughing is a part of our family fun.  Although I must say even as the more “reserved” one in the family, I can have an occasional crazy outburst.
  2. Having a full quiver means numerous siblings.  Of course this is obvious.  When there is an only child, best friends must be chosen very carefully from outside the home.  Let me ask, can there be any better best friends then siblings?  I don’t think so.  We live in a transient time and often times families are required to move due to a job or other reasons.  One of the big concerns for parents is how will the move affect the child or children.  When your children are best friends with each other, this definitely can help during the transition of the move. Again, how great is it when our children can have their own siblings as their best friend !
  3. Having a full quiver can bring security in our old age.  As families, God’s design is for the parents to care for their children, and when the parents are old, the children should care for their parents, as much as physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually possible.  While we would all love to grow old and have a perfect relationship with our children, we are all human and at times can get a little cranky and annoying and not always the most pleasant to be around. One parent with a slew of kids said to me, “It’s great having a bunch of kids.  When we get old and need a place to stay, we’ll have many homes to stay at so we won’t be a burden on any one of our kids.” I guess that is what you call retirement planning.
  4. As the world continues to battle against the family, they often will use the idea of over population to encourage smaller sized families.  According to a 2007 Gallup poll, 60% of the thousands polled believe the ideal family size is four or less, two parents and two or less children.  About 33% of those polled believed the number of children per family should be greater than two.  Only 2% indicated that five or more children was a good family size.  I say all this to say, although I have no statistical evidence only anecdotal, it would appear that if the world tends to discourage the idea of having many children, I look at Christians that are having large families as an opportunity to have greater influence in our communities and around the world as our Christian population grows.  The key is not only do we need to rear “Arrows of Faith” and prepare to launch them into the next generation but also to be a godly influence to those around us right now.  America isn’t lost, and I see a great opportunity for us as Christians to be influencers in our nation, but we must first start within our own families and from there spread a godly influence outward.  I have said it before but I’ll say it again here.  It is important to vote godly influencers into political office, but it is not as important who sits in seat of the White House as it is who sits in the seat of our own hearts.

I am sure that other points could be made, but let me end with this:  I like symbolism.  I like the idea of having something tangible that can remind us of some important truth and that is why in the near future I will be launching a new project offering something that can be a visual reminder that our children are “Arrows of Faith” and that as parents it is our responsibility to prepare to launch these arrows into the next generation!

Stay tuned as I fine tune some details and launch this project.