Summary: 1) God’s plan in creation is for men and women to marry and have children. 2) In this fallen world, marriage is not God’s best for everyone, and having children is not God’s calling on all couples. 3) Focus on Ephesians 6:1-4 (from John Piper)
“Familiarity breeds contempt -- and children." Mark Twain
Must go back to the context here. At the end of Ephesians 5 Paul talks about marriage. He does give the role of the husband and the role of the wife in marriage, but there is so much more. In Ephesians 5 Paul is saying that marriage displays the gospel. Notice the five verbs that describe Christ’s love for his bride: Vs. 25- he loved her, he gave himself for her, Vs. 26- to make her holy, cleansing her, Vs. 29- feeds and cares for her. This also shows how we are to love Christ: “as to the Lord” Vs. 22 (an act of worship), “as Christ loved the church” Vs. 25, (reflect Christ in our love), “as Christ does the church” vs. 29. (Love like Christ). Christ loves his church and His church loves Christ. If the starting point in marriage is me, then I’m starting at the wrong place. Marriage is to be a picture of Christ and his bride. The greatness of marriage is that it displays something unspeakably great, Christ and the church.
God created this world to be populated. At creation, God made them male and female for a that reason. Marriage is for making children- that is, procreation, having babies. This is not the main reason for marriage but it is an important and biblical one. Many are making babies today but Christians are to be making babies so they will grow up to be disciples of Jesus Christ. The purpose of marriage goes beyond just having more humans on this planet. Christians are to increase the number of followers of Jesus on the planet.
Even couples who have issues with infertility can still aim to make children followers of Jesus. God’s purpose in making marriage the place to have children is so that these children will grow up to be Christians and make a difference in this world for the gospel and the Kingdom. An obvious way for marriage to fill the earth with worshipers of the true God is to procreate and bring the children up in the Lord. But there are other ways. When the focus of marriage becomes having children something is missing. We need a more eternal focus that just producing babies, offspring. We all need to be involved in the Great Commission, whether married with children, married without children, or unmarried.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Here’s where we are going.
Thesis: 3 things: 1) God’s plan in creation is for men and women to marry and have children. 2) In this fallen world, marriage is not God’s best for everyone, and having children is not God’s calling on all couples. 3) Focus on Ephesians 6:1-4
God’s plan in creation is for men and women to marry and have children
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over (the animals)” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the (the animals, the earth).”” Genesis 1:26-28
After the flood we find this: “Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” Genesis 9:1, NIV. OT positive about children: “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalms 127:4, 5, NIV.
In the NT no one is more positive about children than Jesus himself. “People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:13, 14, NIV. From beginning to end, the Bible puts a high value on having and raising children. Have a large family, what a blessing! That is a magnificent calling. This is one of the purposes of marriage- to bear and raise children for the glory of God.
To have biological children is not God’s will for every married couple
2 weeks ago talked about those who are single for the glory of God. For some God’s best is to stay unmarried. Interesting that Genesis 2:18 says this: “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”” while 1 Corinthians 7:1 says this: “It is good for a man not to marry.” For most marriage is good, for some marriage is unadvisable. We see here that marriage is not for everyone.