“If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
~ 1 Timothy 5:8
A comment we got last week referenced this verse. Here it is:
“You shouldn’t have more kids than you can possibly afford. The Bible also says those who cant take care of their own are no better than infidels. Many smaller families are in this situation too but they saw fit to stop the baby machine. My problem isnt with large families but those who continue to have them but know they cant afford it and rely on others.” – RM
A little snarky, but RM brings up a point worth addressing. The verse should — like all Scripture — help guide your steps through life. If you feel a conviction to have and love another child, we say go for it. But what if financial burdens are in your lap, also?
Finances — or the lack of them — is probably the biggest reason people give for avoiding another child. We spend an entire chapter in our new book Love Another Child on this. From Chapter 3 “Financially Speaking”:
Should parents restrict having children if that provision seems to be threatened? You’ll have a difficult time finding a verse to justify that position. Nowhere in Scripture are children seen as burdens. Children are reinforced as blessings throughout.
So, when times are tough, what are parents to do? The rest of the chapter goes into some creative ideas. These are ideas we have come up with over the years because we’ve always struggled financially. Yet, we have kept welcoming children, refusing to mix the pressures of money with the inherent blessing of children. We’ve persuaded many other couples along the way, and none have come back saying, “Gee, I would have opted for a bit more money than this child God blessed me with.” Never.
We don’t think there is much persuading RM, but to those couples who genuinely struggle with financial burden that presses against their desire to have another child, don’t be so quick to throw in the towel. Certainly don’t cling to 1 Timothy 5:8 as justification. It’s a misuse of Scripture to justify a position that most of Scripture contradicts. Seek God’s guidance and you, we hope, will find creative solutions to managing your finances and affording another child.
What we challenge couples to consider is simply this: Change the view of children from being hinderances to being blessings. They are. Always.