Children in a Broken World1
Sam and I have seven children. Because this is an atypically large number, I usually try to present this information right up front to people. It’s not as if I can keep them a secret. A family of nine simply does not sneak around or easily blend into the crowd. As one who prefers anonymity, it has become abundantly clear that it is God’s plan to stretch the limits of my tiny comfort zone by growing our family.
Having a large family opens us up to a variety of friendly inquiries. Typically, we are asked how big our house is, where all of the kids sleep, what kind of vehicle we drive, whether we are going to have more, and sometimes –
“Aren’t you afraid to bring more children into this broken world?”
Honestly, despite my inclination to worry unnecessarily, this particular concern is not on the list.
If the Bible were our only history book, we could see that this world has had a brokenness problem since the beginning of mankind. Since the serpent asked Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” we have been under the curse of sin. One must look no further than Genesis to find accounts of deception, murder, natural disasters, marital infidelity, famine, slavery, genocide, plagues, and war to name only a few. The thousands of years following the first encounter in the garden have been a repeating loop of consequences from living in a sinful world. Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 1:9: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” We should not be surprised that sin and evil exist in our world. God, though surely grieved by it, is also not surprised. The good news is that He does not leave us without hope.
The good news is that as a follower of Christ, I have been given power through the Holy Spirit to combat the sinfulness of this world. I have been given God’s Word as a weapon, a sword of the Spirit. When all else feels bleak and dark, I have God’s Word as a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. If I teach these words diligently to my children, if they write God’s Words onto their hearts, they will be ready to face whatever this world can hurl at them. It is my privilege to be raising arrows ready to launch into this world, as speakers of truth. It is my job to equip them to fight the battle by pointing them to the Word.
Worrying about the world our children face is evidence of a lack of faith and an indication that we do not trust that God is in control. I choose to trust God with the future of my children, and the future of our country and world. I will make it my primary goal to point my children to Jesus at every turn, to teach them that in spite of our sin and because of His grace, we have every hope in Christ. During this season of life, my primary mission field is my family, and I pray that God would multiply His kingdom through us. I pray that in the uncertain future that God holds in His hands, He would use each of my children in mighty ways to bring glory and souls to Him.
So, to answer the question, no. I’m not afraid to bring children into this broken world. Quite the opposite, I’m honored to have the huge privilege and responsibility to raise kingdom warriors. I think that is precisely what this world needs.