I find a stark resemblance between Adam and Eve’s decision to manipulate their fruitfulness with the modern couple’s attempt to control their own. The story of the fall of mankind is a tragic reflection of Everyman. The story comes from Chapter 3 of Genesis where Satan, the serpent, convinces Eve that death will not result if she ate from the forbidden fruit.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Every young couple staring down the barrel of reproduction is tempted with this question: “Did God really say, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number’?” Notice how Satan deceived Eve by focusing on the forbidden rather than the blessing. The entire garden was allowed to Eve, but Satan wanted Eve to focus on the one fruit that was not allowed.
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”
The fruitfulness of many children is a difficult reflection for large families. Amidst miss-made socks and piling laundry, school activities and homework, limited hot water on a Sunday morning, squabbles and fights, bruises and scraped knees it is difficult to reflect on the blessings of many children. However, reflecting on the deception of Satan to Eve, is my focus on the wrong things? Am I being cooed by a fallen cultural persuasion similar to the first deception of mankind?
“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Surely God understands that I am not able to handle more than a couple kids. Surely God has given me the power to control my reproduction, so surely I should do so. My wife is fragile, my finances are limited, my mental health can be stretched only so far, my neighbors think I’m nuts, etc., etc., etc.
Soak this meditation in. We have all fallen for the worldly lie that substitutes God’s plan (be fruitful and increase in number) with our plan (birth control). We don’t die from breaking from God’s plan, but our lives are much less fruitful. I have yet to meet the large family who willingly followed God’s conviction to be fruitful and multiply come back many years later with regret. Sure, wise parents will reflect on what they would have done differently in raising their many children, but do they ever say, “I wish I had fewer children” or “I wish I was not blessed with so many kids”? I suppose I will meet a parent like this someday, but I can’t imagine such reasoning to be that of a sane person. The parent who wishes they had never had their children is demented, dysfunctional and cruel.
Why? Isn’t such a twisted, selfish position exactly what is encouraged in life? Aren’t young couples encouraged today to eat of the fruit of careers, travel and entertainment? Why allow the fruit of children to interfere with our plans and our will?
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
I know my meditation here is like coals to some heads. I have been confronted by some who are quite convinced that restricting the blessing of children is fine in fact, it’s responsible and wise. I have listened to their arguments, but I have yet to see how God’s Word supports it. All the empty arguments that go along with the Planned Parenthood lifestyle (overpopulation, responsible living, economics, social drains, blah, blah, blah) are nothing but naked lies. This website exists to expose the naked truth of many of these lies. I almost laugh as some of these arguments.
Wendy’s 12th pregnancy was difficult, and I recall sharing this with a friend of mine. He quickly admonished me for allowing Wendy to have all these kids. “She’s not getting younger, you know!” I love to expose the flaw in this argument with an incredibly convincing proof: my wife looks like a teenager, she’s knock-out beautiful, and she now (just 3 months after delivering twins) weighs less than she did when we were married. You can see why I laugh at some of these arguments.
The “childless by choice” crowd goes to great lengths to show their choice to be intelligent. The more I study God’s Word and the deeper I get into following God’s conviction to be fruitful and increase in number, the more I am convinced that the world’s choices resemble the ridiculousness of Adam and Eve sewing fig leaves together to hide the consequence of their choice.