There’s a difference between a calling and a command. “Blessed is the man who has his quiver full,” Psalm 127 stays, referring to the blessing of children. Wendy and I love this verse, and we deduce much of our life calling from this verse. Children are blessings. Always.
Are couples “commanded” to have children? Genesis 9:7 is pretty blunt. We (i.e. every follower of God) were commanded to “be fruitful and multiply.” Fair enough. The Old Testament command hasn’t been removed. Thousands of commands are still in writing, and so many ignored or brushed off by those who profess loyalty to God.
Thousands. The Law is quite massive. What are all the Old Testament commands hinged on? If God ever walked among men, this is one question I would ask. “What is the greatest of all commandments, God?” That’s what I’d ask.
Wait a minute. God did walk among men, and men did ask him this question. Check out Matthew 22:34-36:
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
I sure would have hoped Jesus would have answered, “Have Another Child.” Wendy and I would have it made, a one-way ticket to heaven, front of the line. Instead, Jesus gives this response:
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Love. That’s more challenging, more convicting. Much less of a formula and much more of a foundation. Love is the command, and we are told to build our lives with it.
We’ll continue to deduce the blessing of children from Psalm 127. We love God, and we love his calling for the two of us and our family. God calls us to “be fruitful and multiply,” and what a blessing it is.
However, deducing this blessing without love is no blessing at all. Love is it. Children are welcomed in a house of love, and love is that with which we aspire. Jesus couldn’t have been clearer when he first said it two thousand years ago. And parents (us included) have been trying to figure out how to love ever since.
Take notice: Our newest book is not “Have Another Child.” It is more aptly titled, Love Another Child.