Swords to Plowshares

Promoting a faith-based love for all creation.

Does God want us to be childless or to bear children?

On the one hand, Paul and Jesus suggest it is better not to be married, which entails not procreating since procreation in a biblical sense is a function of marriage. In 1 Corinthians 7:8 Paul says, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do.” Jesus also suggested in Matthew 19:10-12 that it is good not to marry “for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” On the other hand, the divine command in the beginning was “to be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28). Based on these passages, my reading is that God finds it acceptable to have children or to not have children as long as whichever you do, you do it for God. Adoption can also be a way to glorify God (James 1:27).

Some vegans would suggest it is ecologically better not to have children in this present age, but in my opinion the data is misleading. If you raise your children to suck up all the earth’s resources and to destroy the planet, then yes, their ecological impact is a net negative. But if instead you raise them to live minimally and to plant trees and responsibly “cultivate and take care of” the earth the way God instructed us to do from the beginning (Genesis 2:15), then your children could have a net positive ecological impact. Both paths can be ecologically beneficial and both paths can glorify God.

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