Today, I want to write to you about the time that we have been given and whether or not we are evaluating life from the proper perspective. Like a car the designer determines its purpose and ultimately whether or not the “life” of the car was of good value is determined by its owner. I hope this article ministers to those who are young and in the valley of decision. To those who have reached the peak of their youth (in other words no longer a dependent in the eyes of the parents) and are now at the brink of approaching their dip under if you will into the lows of life. I call these the lows of life simply because up until this point your decisions have been directed and guided hopefully by wise parents, but when you reach the plateau in which you now are responsible for your decisions and though your parents can give you guidance you ultimately have to be the driving force behind it. Here is where we usually make the bulk of our mistakes especially if we were raised to be “independent” thinkers. The catch twenty-two of raising your children to be independent is that when they face problems they will assume that they only have themselves to turn to for solutions. In this process we as newly independent thinkers tend to make the most unwise decisions.
Many will make unwise decisions beforehand but that is as a result of parents making unwise decisions. Proverbs 29:15 reveals it this way, “a child left to himself bringeth a mother shame.” The beginning of that verse says the rod and reproof give wisdom, which tells me that Yah intended for mothers to be a part of implementing that rod to divert the possibility of her being shamed. Since wisdom in scripture is usually in the feminine form and since the verse actually connects to the fact that it will be the mother brought to shame if a child is left alone, it is fair to conclude that mother’s were expected to be the ones primarily with the children. This makes sense, since scripture doesn’t count women and men able to go to war, but rather men, clearly identifying who was to stay and who was to go. Proverbs 29 explains why so many single parents find themselves in a vicious cycle of producing children who follow in their parents mistakes.
The single parent and the married couple both contend with the same issue because the same advice and mode of living is embraced in both instances. The single parent out of necessity the married couple by choice, but the same mode of thinking drives them both. What is this mode of thinking that is seen as a blessing but in reality is a curse. This mode of thinking is the necessity for our children to be independent. Scripture doesn’t teach us to be independent. The motivation behind teaching the word to your children as they wake up in the morning, go about their day, go to bed at night that is instructed in Deuteronomy 6 is so that your children won’t become independent thinkers, but rather they will have the mind of Christ. I say Christ because he is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world, he is the word of God that they were hearing, and because scripture tells us to have the mind of Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16) Deuteronomy 6:4-8 tells us how we get his mind.
If we as parents have the mind of Christ then we will impart it into them, and thus the point in this article concerning re-evaluating life is to point out where does scripture instruct us that we can have too many kids. In my bible children were a part of the list of blessing in Deuteronomy 28, as the arrows in one’s quiver in Psalms 127, as a sign of favor, yet we treat those who embrace this reality as though they are the pariah of the earth. Absorbing more than their fair share of air, they are not preventing anyone else from exercising that right, others are willingly giving it up. But more often than not that is the way we approach them.
Often times we think that just because society has cut off support once a child turns eighteen that we should do the same. Biblically, a man wasn’t even ready to go to war or counted as being a man until he was twenty. If for some reason our son isn’t ready to be a soldier in the kingdom of Yah by then did he fail or we fail? I submit to you that we failed. We failed from conception if we willingly slept with someone who wasn’t our husband and we failed interim if we neglected the important role of being mother in order to compete for the position of being provider. When both parents make the career their priority who is left to raise the children? These decisions have generational consequences because quite naturally our children are going to do and support the same lifestyle because they really don’t have any other example to compare it to. To the degree that we fail to present the proper example before them we are destroying ourselves.
We have trained our children in the way the world goes instead of in the way they should go, causing them to become a burden rather than a blessing. Consider this, listen to the stories of elderly people who lived in the country and enjoyed the presence of ten or more siblings. They don’t have the horror stories of life that we have. My grandmother lost her mother at an early age and during a time when most farming families had ten or more children she was an only child. Her upbringing doesn’t riddle the horrors of molestation, abuse, or neglect, but rather the only regret she had was not having siblings to the whit she made her cousins the sibling she didn’t have and desired as a result herself to have a large family. Yah blessed her with five children of her own. They would grow up to have stories of their upbringing on the farm that was tales of enjoying supper together talking about their day. Using their imagination to make their own fun during a time when video games and the like were not around to rob them of their God given creativity. We have used machines as Nanny’s and children have been left to look to Hollywood as the examples of how husbands should relate to wives and how wives should relate to husbands. How children should relate to parents and how parents should relate to children, and all too often those examples have been destructive in their influence.
The way we raise children it is burdensome, and bondage but this was not the design that Yah placed before us. The things we need to stay encouraged are the things he instructed us to teach our children. We were to put Him before our children day and night, His word was the entertainment of choice, the instructor, the tutor, and the bridge that facilitated healthy dialogue within family. (Deut. 6:4-8) Once you take Him out of the picture you create the curse that your blessing was designed to be.
Though society has decided two kids are enough for a family, I have yet to see the command where Yah said to stop being fruitful and multiply especially for believers. I haven’t seen where he said after having two stop having kids. Rather what I see today in our society is instead of people enjoying the company of their children with far fewer children to enjoy than our ancestors they are overwhelmed by them. How is it possible that we can have fewer children, more conveniences (i.e. dishwashers, washing machines, etc…) than our ancestors, yet our ancestors could enjoy their families of ten or more and we are burned out by our family of four? Somewhere along the path we took a wrong turn and got lost.
I think the greatest shift in our way of thinking came with the push for our children to go to college. Ironically enough it is after experiencing college that our youth begin to question their faith. Statistics states 70-80% of people who accept Christ before college renounces him after. This begs the question scripture asks of us, “What does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
Our ancestors didn’t allow the challenge of covering college expenses to figure into their decision to have children. They had their children, they enjoyed their children, raised them to be useful rather than users, and trusted Yah for the rest. We kill ourselves to provide them with an education from a system which challenges everything we poured into them. So what returns to us are theory oriented children who reject the God of their youth to embrace the god of this world.
The greatest sign that our children have become a curse to us is when we can’t wait for them to get out our house. Not because getting out is best for them, but rather it is motivated by what’s best for us. Think about it, how many people after reaching their financial goal says “Oh I don’t want no more money, that’s enough.” Yet, how many people who have children have said “Oh I don’t want no more kids, ‘x’ is enough.” We then push our views on those who do see their children as blessings and choose to have more than the status quo as though they are the ones with the twisted view. Believers are supposed to produce fruit, much fruit, and fruit that remain. (John 15:16) We are the ones who are supposed to populate the earth. The secular world understands this, and even those in other religions understand this that’s why they continue to have large families. We are causing our children to be educated towards death and no one on their death bed calls their accountant to their room, they call their family to their room.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a married couple in the Lord, choosing not to use an unnatural substance or device to stop conception for the purpose of being fruitful and multiplying as Yah instructed us from the beginning. As long as they plan to raise those children in the Lord, train them in the way they should go, and can provide for their needs this is the life.
Now, let’s define what a need is, because somehow we think not being able to have cable tv, x-boxes, or fancy cars, and tripped out houses is a necessity for life. Therefore, we are going to return to true necessities, dish washers, washing machines, and the like are conveniences, but not necessities. Our ancestors had ten or more children having to hand wash dishes and clothes and none died as a result of having to do so. Electronic games, college education, vacations, these are not needs, the basic needs of life have not changed just as the command to be fruitful and multiply has not changed. Food, water, and shelter these are the things that we need to physically live.
If you can afford to give your children the other stuff then that’s great, but at the point that you begin to view the stuff as a need then you will begin to burden yourself with responsibilities Yah never intended for you. It is no small wonder why children view families as optional and conditional rather than joyful and desirable. We’ve made it too hard. We’ve made the requirements too great, it is truly time to get back to the basics.
It is not the government’s responsibility to train our kids, it is ours and therefore there is no reason for us to look at them neither as the problem nor to them for the solution. It was never in the jurisdiction of scripture for our children to be trained by government, but rather it was our responsibility to do so. Ultimately it will be up to parents and future parents to stop making decisions based on selfish ambition and evaluate decisions based on the will and word of Yah.