“I think women are afraid to say that they don’t want children because they’re going to get shunned. But I think that’s changing too now. I have more girlfriends who don’t have kids than those that do. And honestly? We don’t need any more kids. We have plenty of people on this planet.”
– Cameron Diaz told the June 2009 issue of Cosmo
When I first read this quote, I was in shock. We don’t need any more kids?! We don’t need any more innocent, shining faces and inquisitive minds that grow our world and give us a whole new perspective on life? How can anyone believe this? As ridiculous as Cameron Diaz’ statement seems, unfortunately many in our world today do believe exactly that. They think our world is overpopulated and children are an inconvenient hassle.
The World’s View of Children?
What are the images we see as women in today’s culture? We see women in shows like “Sex and the City” that are all about their own pleasures and careers. If you do have a child, there goes your whole existence, your life is over. And let’s not even begin to discuss the loss of your figure. We are told to get our careers going and have our own lives as long as possible so we don’t have to give up anything for children. Even when you do have children, keep your career because you need to have your own life and time. Children don’t need you at home that much anyways. According to the world, children are a burden not a blessing. We are even told how many children to have so we can have as much “me time” as possible. They say, “Have only 1 or 2 because any more than that costs too much money and takes up too much time.” These are the types of messages women are being fed from the time we are young.
What Are the Effects of the World’s Viewpoint?
Our society has become more and more selfish as time has gone on. We are now starting to see the effects of our selfish way of thinking about family and children. Demographic Winter.com states,
1. Worldwide, birthrates have declined by more than 50% in the past 30 years (since 1979).
2. 59 nations, with 44% of the world’s population, have below-replacement fertility.”
Yes, in third world countries the populations are tremendous but what about other parts of the world? Russia is losing three-quarters-of-a-million people a year. Its population (currently 145 million) is expected to fall by one-third by 2050. In Europe, the number of children under 5 has declined by 36% since 1960. If present trends continue, the United Nations estimates that by 2050 there will be 248 million fewer children in the world then there are now (www.demographicwinter.com). If we have enough people on this planet, why are populations diminishing and the wealthy, developed nations dying out? Can the world be overpopulated when we are not having enough children to even replace ourselves?
What Does the Bible Say About Children?
One thing that is seen throughout the Bible is that barrenness was a cause of mourning to women and that children were a blessing. Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah were all barren for a time and it was a point of grief for them and their husbands. It wasn’t because they just needed children to work the land for them. They were overjoyed when the Lord finally gave them children because they were a blessing from the Lord. Gen. 30 and 1 Sam. 1-2 tell of Rachel and Hannah’s barrenness and the joy they expressed to the Lord when He gave them children.
-Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. ~ Psalm 127:3-5
-A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.~ John 16:21
God’s Heart & Plan for Children
It is evident that God puts so much care into every child. He picks exactly what we are going to be like, from our eye color and gender, to how we will react to puppies and booboos. God values and treasures children and so should we. From the time we are conceived, we have a need for a purpose, care, and to be seen as valuable. The more we devalue children, the more we stop the world from growing, from bringing the next theologians, scientists, Disciples of Christ, and world leaders into the world. The more we devalue children the less we value life itself. Our children are the next generation of Pastors, Sunday School Teachers and Missionaries. If we believe Satan’s lie and refuse to have children, who will stand for truth in the next generation? Without children, who will stand in the gap for the gospel of Jesus Christ?!
– For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.~ Psalm 139:13-16
– The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”~ Jeremiah 1:4-5
What Are the Effects of a Biblical Viewpoint?
Now I know that there are some couples that would love to have children but the Lord has prevented that from happening at this time and my heart goes out to them. God has a plan through it all and His plan is perfect even though sometimes it hurts or is confusing. Though not every married couple will have children, many will be gifted by God with children and must be obedient to that plan.
There are men and women out there whom the Lord intends to be childless, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have an impact on the young ones around you. I know of several couples who are unable to have biological children, but they have taken the children around them and helped mentor them into godly men and women. That could be God’s plan for you. There are also many children out there who need homes. We should not forget about the orphans of the world. They are precious in God’s sight and we are commanded to take care of them, as well.
– Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.~Ps.82:3
– Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ~ Ja. 1:27
It is when we decide to go against God’s plan and follow our own selfish desires that we prevent the training of more disciples for Christ. When you decide you don’t want children because you want to keep making a certain amount of money, or don’t want to give up your own personal time, you prevent yourself from helping bring one more possible soul into the kingdom of God. As Christians, we are supposed to raise children in the Law of the Lord so that they will then go out and make more disciples and, as tools, bring more people to the knowledge of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
– …so they can listen and learn to fear the LORD your God and follow carefully all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who do not know this law, must hear it and learn to fear the LORD your God as long as you live in the land……~ Deut. 31:12-13
-Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.~Prov.22:6
Ultimately, our desires are not important. Our lives are to be solely for His glory and we must trust and be obedient to His plan for us, whether it includes children or not. We, as Christians, are to be about God’s business, not our own comfort, wealth or figure. Was Diaz right in saying, “We don’t need any more kids. We have plenty of people on this planet.”? Is this your attitude? Is your heart open to whatever God’s plan might be for you? Whatever your situation may be let this verse be our heart’s cry.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
~ Ps. 139:23-24