Deepak Reju
Deepak Reju
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15 Wisdom Principles on Deciding When to Stop Having Children

August 3, 2015

15WisdomPrinciplesHavingChildren
Deepak Reju

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Deepak Reju

When our fourth child was a toddler, my wife looked at me and said, “I think we should have one more child.” I thought, “Really? We’re exhausted and maxed out with four children. And you want one more?”

How do parents decide when to finish having children? As a pastor and father of five children, I’ve been asked this question often. What would you say?

Consider 15 wisdom principles and questions on deciding when to stop having children…

  1. It is clear from Scripture that children are loved and cherished by God; and so also, they should be loved and cared for by Christians. The Bible describes kids as a “heritage” and a “reward” (Psalm 127:3). Blessed are those who have many children (Psalm 127:5). One of the many purposes of marriage is to have godly offspring (Malachi 2:15). Jesus welcomed the little children (Mark 10:13-16). He held up children as an example of how to enter the kingdom of God (Mark 10:15). God consistently demonstrates His care for the young, the weak, and vulnerable in society (1 Kings 17:9-24; Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 7:5-7; James 1:17). Is there any doubt that Christians, especially Christian parents, should cherish God’s good gift of children? A godly attitude about children—that they are a blessing—is an important precursor to making the decision to one day stop having kids.
  1. In Genesis 1:28, God says to Adam and Eve: “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.” God commands us to have children. And He does so because it is a good thing. There are many wonderful parts to marriage, one of which is raising kids.

But there are some Christians who take Genesis 1:28 as an absolute or supreme command—they use this verse to override other guiding principles from Scripture. A flat reading of Genesis 1:28 makes some think, “To be obedient, I need to keep having kids.” Regardless of income, or the wife’s health, or space restrictions, or ability to provide for the future, a husband and wife keep having children. This is a poor reading of this text—the verse does not tell us that we need to have children in perpetuity. It doesn’t preclude reasonable limits on our families. And also, this can lead to a very unbiblical notion that somehow a larger family is a mark of godliness, when in fact, for some families, having fewer children might be a wiser thing.

Someone might say to me: “You just don’t have enough faith. Just do what God commands and He’ll take care of you.” I would say in response: “This is not a matter for having enough faith. We need to be careful to know what God has promised, and what He hasn’t.”

God has promised that if we repent and trust in Him, we will find mercy (Proverbs 28:13) peace, love, joy (Romans 8:31-38; Galatians 5:22), and forgiveness (1 John 1:9). He promises that His Son will come back one day (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), that we won’t succumb to the second death (Revelation 2:11; Romans 8:1), and that He will finish off what He began within us (Philippians 1:6).

Based on our limitations spiritually, emotionally, financially, or physically, it might actually be irresponsible for me to have more children. So I can’t presume on God. He does not promise a never-ending supply of food to feed your family or money to pay the bills.

  1. The Bible never encourages deliberate childlessness within marriage. That means a couple should not get married unless they are open to having children. God places a high value on children. None of the principles in this article should ever be used as an excuse to avoid having children.
  1. Every family has to make its own decision about what is right for them. What is good for one family (two kids) will be different from another (four kids) and yet still another (six kids). We should be very careful to not conform all families to one mold, or to make others think what is good for us must also be good for them. There is freedom in Christ to make this decision (Romans 14:5), and we need to resist the pressure that comes from watching other families (Exodus 20:17) or feeling judged by others (Matthew 7:1-5).

A few questions to consider as you try to decide whether or not to have more children…

  1. Can you adequately provide? (Ephesians 4:28; Proverbs 14:23; 21:25; 22:29; 28:19) Maybe you can’t adequately provide for the wife and kids you already have, so why add more? Consider your basic income as a family. If you are struggling to put food on the table, maintain a roof over your head, can’t consistently pay your bills, or can’t pay for the basic costs of raising a child, you should not add more financial burden to your life. One father confessed to me that he wasn’t able to pay all of his bills, “robbing one hand to pay the other,” as he said. Yet he and his wife continue to have children.
  1. Can your wife continue to have children? A husband has a fundamental responsibility to steward the good gift of his wife, and a part of his leadership is deciding when having more children might be too much for her (and for the family as a whole). The easy way to see this is in issues of life and death—if having another biological child will jeopardize the wife’s life then a husband and wife have no choice but to stop having children. Less clear, but also important: has your wife’s health deteriorated such that having more children would be unwisely hard on her? For example, maybe more children would compound her already difficult back problems, and make it harder for her to care for the children you already have.
  1. What is your logistical, emotional, and spiritual capacity as parents? Some parents might have two kids and feel maxed out. Others might have four kids and feel like they are at their limit. Every set of parents has a different capacity for having children. Logistics that my wife and I could get done with two children (cleaning, cooking, finances, etc.) are now much harder to get done with five children. The reality is: bills need to still be paid on time, young kids need to be helped in the morning to get ready, children need to be picked up and dropped off at school or extracurricular activities, your emails need to be answered, and the house needs to be cleaned. Emotionally, having two or three children with temper tantrums might be hard enough. If you can’t handle two or three, it doesn’t seem wise for you to add more emotional freight to your family’s life. Or what about spiritually—if you are not having personal time in God’s Word, or not consistently making it to church, or unable to focus on spiritual things because of your sheer exhaustion of raising children, maybe you should stop so you can get your spiritual life in order? With each child, your capacity to handle the rest of life becomes more difficult, so at some point you need to stop having children so you can stay responsible with everything else in life.
  1. Do you have practical limitations? I’ve known several families who like to do a lot of travel, often because of the husband’s job. Traveling with six kids is much more difficult compared to two or three. Or what about the size of your house? Maybe you can ideally fit two or three kids into bedrooms, but four, five, seven, or nine, would be hard to do. There are often practical limitations that put realistic limits on the size of your family.
  1. Are you being responsible to serve and disciple your spouse and children? In regards to your spouse, are you being responsible to love, serve, and care for him or her (Ephesians 21-33; 1 Peter 3:1-7)? Or is having more children going to inhibit you from investing in your first priority—your marriage? Maybe the Lord has already entrusted you with several children. Are you discipling and investing in them (Deuteronomy 6:4-8)? Maybe you feel you’ve got lots of ways you need to grow as a parent. We all do. But, even with your parenting deficiencies, are you being a good steward of the children the Lord has already given you? Much more than feeding and clothing them—do you disciple your kids? Do you invest in their character? Are you helping them by teaching them Scripture or teaching them about life? Are you doing what you need to survive, or are you doing everything you can to help them thrive? Rather than having more children, maybe you need to invest more in the ones you already have. Be responsible with them first before you add more.

Consider also some things that parents commonly face—maybe a strong-willed or particularly rebellious child, or one who has some special needs or learning disabilities. Maybe you need to have fewer kids in order to faithfully care for your more needy children?

  1. Are you stopping for selfish motives? What I don’t want to do is provide you safe reasons for you to decide to stop having children, only to find out the real reasons you stopped are more selfish (James 3:16)—like you want a really nice vacation, or you want to buy nice things for yourself, or you want to put your career ahead of your family, or you’re afraid that children will hinder your goals and dreams. If your reasons to stop are fundamentally selfish, that’s not a good excuse to stop having children. Your motives matter, so examine them to be sure you are not stopping for selfish reasons. 
  1. Are you stopping because you want to do more for the children you already have? Maybe you want to send your two kids to a great school, but won’t be able to afford it if you have five kids? You want to buy or do certain things with your kids, but you won’t be able to do what you want if you have too large of a family? You want to stop now because you have dreams and hopes for the kids you already have. Providing a certain kind of lifestyle for your current kids matters more than having additional children. Be warned though—this eleventh principle (the desire to provide well for the children you already have) can be misapplied. Maybe your desire as parents is for your kids to be at the high-end private school or to wear certain kinds of clothes or to participate in certain activities—none of which is essential. As parents, distinguish between what your kids need and what you want, so this doesn’t become an excuse for you to have a fancy lifestyle.
  1. Are you being conformed to the world? Are you scared to stand out? It is easy to be conformed to patterns of the world (Romans 12:2). Yet, Christians should not be scared to be distinct (Proverbs 29:25) because what God cherishes is different from the world.

Consider the plight of being a large family in a culture where families are usually small. My wife often gets the comment, “Are these children all yours?” We’re not as big as the Brady bunch, but we do have five kids. Some people are dumbfounded that we would choose to have more than two. The world doesn’t make it easy to have more children—minivans max out at a family of six. A typical restaurant seats mostly tables of four.

Maybe you are in a setting where you are surrounded by large families, and the wise choice for you is to have a smaller family. You should ask yourself, “Am I scared to look different from others?” If so, you are probably being conformed to the pressures of your culture rather than thinking what is wisest for your own family.

  1. Are you willing to stretch yourself? Did you make the decision to stop having kids because your family size will be easier to manage? Or because it would be convenient for you? Or because comfort and convenience matter more than having more children? Or are you willing to stretch yourself to have more?
  1. Is your default position to stop or to have more children? I think our default position should be to have another child. Why?

Because the Bible is enthusiastic about children. God loves, cherishes, protects and honors children. He values children much more than the world.

Because most of us have a natural bias to not having more kids. God has already given you kids, and frankly, you’re overwhelmed many days, or at the very least, exhausted. This applies especially to parents of preschoolers, who day-in-and-day-out are in the midst of constant mental, physical and emotional toil. (The preschool years are clearly the most physically demanding stage, which adds to the mental and emotional toil.) If you can’t get your kid to obey you, or you are constantly dealing with squabbling children or you feel like a chauffeur racing your kids around to their many activities or you feel like you are barely holding things together—why add more? When you have young children, your natural bias is to say “no, I can’t do this anymore.” Maybe you shouldn’t for many of the reasons listed in this article. Or maybe you should despite how hard things are already. Don’t let the difficulties of juggling your current kids make you automatically biased to saying “no” to any more.

I have friends who had two children early in marriage, and when they hit their mid-forties, they found themselves becoming empty nesters. The dad said to me, “I wish we had more. We still have time and energy to parent.” He was in good health, at the peek of his career, and he’d grown in wisdom and godliness. But when their kids were young, it was a lot of work, and they assumed they should stop. Their natural bias was to say “we’re done,” but now he wished they hadn’t. Could that be you twenty years from now?

  1. Are you making this decision in isolation? One of the things that has surprised me the most about being a pastor is how often believers make major life decisions in isolation. The Bible does not ever encourage us to live the Christian life on our own. Individual Christianity is an oxymoron (Proverbs 18:1). There is no such thing. People are more accustomed to making major decisions on their own rather than asking for help. Maybe it is our pride that makes us do this. Maybe it is our sense of personal privacy, i.e., this isn’t anyone’s business apart from my own.

The most important thing you can do as a Christian is be a part of a local church where you can walk side-by-side with other Christians who will help you figure out what it means to follow Christ (Hebrews 10:25; 13:13). And in this context, they can help you sort through important life decisions, so you never have to do this alone.

Deciding when to stop having children is an important decision for every family. Godly wisdom is needed to make this crucial decision. Pray and ask the Lord to give you wisdom, for He very kindly grants wisdom to those who ask (James 1:5-8).


  • Clay

    I am surrounded and disappointed you didn’t mention adoption as a biblical reason to cease procreation. Thoughts?

    • Clay

      Oops… “Surprised” not “surrounded.”

      • mel mariner

        Where in the bible does it say to adopt instead of having children?

  • Pete

    Check your Hebrew on Gen 1:28. It is not a command it is a prayer/blessing. BTW, I have #4 due next week.

    • Laura

      NIV has this: “28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number;fill the earth and subdue it.”

      We’ve increased in number all right – about 7 billion of us now, right? We have filled the earth. Any niche that can support people has got them, including some that are a stretch. And we’ve subdued it to the point that we probably need to back off a bit. I think this is a blessing, not a commandment, and I think it’s been fulfilled.

      • Lynn B.

        Laura, I believe that you are actually deceived about the earth being over populated. Don’t believe everything you hear. Poverty and even starvation in third world countries is not because of over population. When one worships the cow instead of eating the cow they are going to be hungry. When a corrupt government robs the people they will starve, etc., etc.

  • mom

    you never mention how to stop having babies

  • Jean

    Mr. Reju, your article was a providential blessing from the hand of God. My husband and I have four children, two of whom are adopted. In addition, we have an 8 month old foster baby that it seems will need an adoptive family. We would love to adopt him, however I am 50 years old! While we know God’s hand is sovereignly at work in all of this, it’s a bit scary to think about my “mature” age and beginning over again with an infant. (Other kids are ages 9-15). This well-thought out and Biblically sound article was just what I needed to calm some recent anxiety I’ve been having about adopting an infant. Thank you! I would lovingly encourage you to consider, when writing on this matter in the future, to include the idea of adoption when addressing the “when do we stop” question. Now I know that adoption doesn’t fit with some of the Scripture you used (“go forth and mulitiply”), but I think most of what you write about fits nicely and is highly adaptable to the growing of families through adoption as well as birth. God bless your work!

    • Charity

      Jean: I have no idea what plans God may have for you and your husband but I wonder if you are familiar with Voddie and Bridget Baucham? They had two biological children, now adults, and then adopted seven over a number of years. They just moved to Zambia and while home in TX for Christmas their adoption agency contacted them about a soon to be born child. So now they are waiting for he/she to join their family before they return to Africa. Had they been able to sell their house before they relocated they would not have had residency and would not have been able to adopt this child so it surely seems to be unfolding as God intends. They are fiftyish and all of their adopted children are fairly young. I have heard Bridget say, what else would we do with our lives? May God give you wisdom and grace.

      https://www.instagram.com/voddieb/

      http://launchthemove.com/

      http://www.worldmag.com/2015/05/voddie_baucham_s_big_move_to_africa

      • Jean

        Hi Charity,
        Yes, we know exactly who Voddie Baucham is and have been inspired by his and Bridget’s commitment to a growing family through adoption. I haven’t kept up with him in a few years however and had no idea they were up to 7 little ones now, in addition to Trey & Jasmine. That’s so awesome & indeed the Lord is providentially at work blessing many little lives through them. Thank you for encouraging us by reminding us of them. I hope to one day be able to thank them personally for what they do – maybe at conference or something? We also saw the video at one time where they said “what else would we do with our lives,” and were moved to tears b/c that is exactly what hubby and I think… We have united hearts in this journey the Lord has called us to. When we adopted our second child 8 years ago (I was 42 then), folks would ask if we were done. All we could say was that God is in charge & we will welcome children in any way He brings them through our doorway. We said that we could see ourselves being “that couple” that were still adopting children in our 50’s, but would have to see what the Lord had in store. We figured it might be older children however, so the infant thing has been a faith journey for sure! We started the foster care journey only to do foster care – not to adopt, but then this little guy landed in our home and we have not looked back! Raygun posted that we should “give him to a younger couple” before the moderator removed the post. I wanted to ask Raygun if he/she would REALLY propose we break this sweet 13 month old’s secure attachments in our family, having now been here 10 months while the County went through the process to terminate parental rights after he came to us as a 3 month old with 7 broken bones & bruises. He will be here a few more months until a permanency plan can be determined. (And we prayerfully hope to be his permanency plan if it pleases the Lord!) Would it REALLY be best to give him to younger parents (like a puppy that didn’t work out), when we are the only family he knows, just b/c of our ages? And he already suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder due to the terror & trauma he sustained the first three months of his little life. He’s vulnerable and breaking his attachments now would further traumatize him.
        On a related note.. years ago I met a couple who were in their 60’s and in process to adopt their 13th child internationally. They had already raised 8 of their own, and were now spending all of their retirement time, energy, and financial resources adopting special needs babies & toddlers so as to get them from the impoverished 3rd world country and into America so their medical needs could be met. Yes, by that couple should have been the grandparents, not the parents. But the alternative was that those children remain in orphanages in their birth countries, with unmet medical needs.. Those people are my kind of heros!

        • Charity

          Blessings to you and your sweet children. I actually know several couples who have adopted second families in their forties and fifties. It is not for everyone but God has given us so much freedom and we so often try to put one another into a box.

          Voddie and Bridget are soon going to be grandma and grandpa as well as mommy and daddy!

          https://www.instagram.com/jasminelholmes/

  • Diana Johnston

    Mr. Reju –

    I appreciate your good intentions as you write this message. However, I find your message to be quite disappointing. It is God who sovereignly gives children. He may be trusted to do so in His perfect timing.

    If it is truly time for a couple to stop having children, then God will not give them any more. He does not give them by mistake or in error.

    Our family has chosen to trust God to give us children into our family in His perfect timing, and He has done so. We have four and hope to have more, even though I have extremely difficult pregnancies and our finances are stretched. We treasure each blessing that God gives us.

    I am glad to see you encourage families to have more children. However, the right family size can be safely trusted to God. He will not give you a child He does not want you to have.

    Diana

    • Sarah

      I agree with you 100%. God opens and closes the womb- all in his perfect timing. The bible is so clear on that. How would it be “irresponsible” to have another child when God chooses to give conception?? Do we know better than our sovereign, almighty God? Absolutely not.

      • Diana Johnston

        Thank you, Sarah! I appreciate your sweet words. 🙂

    • Cheyne Mclean

      What about the multitude of families who that can’t afford the children they have and are living off of others and the government? Who is to blame there?

      • Lynn B.

        Cheyne: We are speaking of believers here and not unbelievers who do not enjoy the same promises from God. That is not to say there are no believers in financial need, but likely the majority are unbelievers. Either way, people in need are opportunity for believers to give and show the love of Christ. It is actually a western myth that we all should be independent, we should all work as we are able, but we were designed to need one another just as we were designed to need God. The problem with socialized government is that it is trying to do the part of the church not that it is trying to care for the poor.

      • Diana Johnston

        Hi, Cheyne!

        Firstly, I should note that a few years ago, I would have said that anyone in untoward circumstances (especially those in bad financial circumstances) should definitely use birth control. So I have definitely been in that camp.
        But upon examining the underlying theological issues, I came to the following conclusions:

        (1) The Bible says that children are a blessing. This is not a qualified statement – in other words, it doesn’t change based on circumstances. They are always a blessing! New life does not cease to be a blessing because of bad circumstances.

        (2) God still sovereignly creates each child. If He sees fit to bestow a blessing, He may be trusted to do so wisely. To prevent God from blessing us with a child is to say, “God, I know You might want to bless me with a child. But what You do not realize is that I do not want Your blessing. This is not a good time for me. Thus, I am going to make sure that You cannot bless me even if You desire to.”

        If God does not want a child conceived, He will not create that child. If He wants to create a child, He does so in His perfect timing – in wealth or in poverty!

        On a personal note, I should note that the circumstances to which you allude applied to my family this past year. We had a time of horrible financial trouble in which we were dependent upon others (not the government, but family). Had we chosen to reject God’s blessings during that time, we would not now have our precious baby girl, who is smiling up at me as I write this comment. She is absolutely precious, and we wouldn’t trade anything for her.

        My one big regret in life is that we chose to reject God’s blessings for many years when we were first married, believing that we had the responsibility to plan our family around man-made time tables and our financial status rather than trusting God’s sovereignty in creating life. We cannot get back the little lives who would (most likely) have been entrusted to our care had we not wrested that control from the Lord.

        Have a wonderful day!
        Blessings,
        Diana

        • Cheyne Mclean

          A couple of years ago I had the same arguments. I came to realize I was forcing the text to say something that is not. We cannot be so absolute on a topic that scripture is not absolute. I think that is what each one of you are doing and what I used to do. I believe whole heartedly that children are a blessing, I believe God is sovereign, knows best, and is in control of all things, not just the womb. However, the bible never commands (that I’m aware of) to have children without limitations. If you elevate anything to a command like the Pharisees did when God does not, then it is legalism. There is the extreme selfish, individualistic, comfortable lifestyle that keep people from having children which is ungodly but the other extreme is the legalistic lifestyle that elevates it to a command that you must have children no matter what or you are in sin. I think Deepak gave a lot of good thoughts and wisdom to help navigate this road between the two extremes.

  • Michelle

    There are some good points in this article, but I disagree on much of the criteria for couples to decide when to stop having children. Like Diana J. said below, God does not make mistakes when He gives children, whether it’s zero, one, two or ten. I have heard countless stories even of women who risk their health and lives to have more children and are so blessed because of it. (Some even experience healing as a result!!) I think the ONLY reason a couple should stop having children is if both husband and wife feel absolute leading from the Lord NOT to do so, and not because they look at all the what ifs and decide it is no longer “wise” to have more. After all, true wisdom comes from above – James says “If anyone of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God…” He does not say that you should consider all the possible reasons to not have children and weigh your decision based on that. As you said, Reju, our default as a culture is to stop, so we are easily going to find reasons to stop no matter what the situation. Some questions I like to pose to Christian friends who are seeking wisdom on their family size are, 1) do you think you would ever regret having had more children than you currently have, 2) would your decision to stop having children now be affected if all of your current children were tragically killed at some point, and 3) have you sought wisdom from elderly Christian couples/people with varying family sizes because they carry a perspective that those of us with children at home, especially young children, cannot possibly fathom at our stage in life? Of these questions, the 2nd question might be considered extreme, but I do know of countless couples who used medical “wisdom” to prevent pregnancy, making supposedly “simple” even “reversible” semi-permanent physical changes thinking their family was complete, but when they changed their minds a little later in life, they realized with shame and deep regret, that God had closed the womb. This has also happened many times to young couples who wanted to “wait a few years” to have children, thinking they could have a child when they were ready, only to find out that God had closed the womb. If you want to read these real life stories, check out http://aboverubies.org/index.php/articles-stories

  • Michelle

    One final thought I forgot to mention is that ironically, all of the reasons given above for placing a limit on family size are often areas that people are being irresponsible about and as a result, it appears to be “irresponsible” for them to increase family size when the reality is that changes can and need to be made to enable them to welcome more children with joy and not begrudgement. For example, most people, if they really put forth self-discipline and are willing to make sacrifices and changes to their lifestyle, could easily be financially stable enough to support a very large family. Also, many many health issues in our society are a result of stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and just a general disregard in caring for our bodies. So, for the “health of the wife” to be an acceptable reason, I think it first needs to be asked, “is the wife doing everything she can to promote her own good health and stability and is her spouse encouraging her and supporting her in these efforts?” All the reasons given for “practical limitations” seem to be selfishly motivated, ie. why would travel be more important than the opportunity to disciple and bring up many more arrows for the Lord? Also, before house size is considered an issue, one should ask, is it because we have too many things and so life is cluttered, or because we don’t want multiple children to have to share rooms, or because we’ve been financially irresponsible to the point where we can’t afford to get a larger house? All of these seem to be correctable issues. Lastly, when considering the logistical, emotional and spiritual capacity of the parents, one should ask why those things would preclude having a larger family. Is it because the family is too involved in outside activities, or the parents are both working too much, or parents are doing a poor job with discipline/behavior management, or just generally making poor lifestyle decisions which are resulting in high stress? Overall, I think we have to be extremely careful when using ANY of these reasons as legitimate reasons to place a limit on family size because all of them are often correctable issues in most American’s lives! My husband and I have pondered this issue so much and thankfully both of us have been on the same page about wanting to welcome a large family even before we were married. As a result of this attitude, we had to make very intentional decisions about our lifestyle long before any children were on the horizon, knowing that the Lord could potentially bless us with many many children. All along the way, our decisions about house size, finances, cars, diet, exercise, health, work, etc.. have been made with the thought that we need to be prepared for a large family, if the Lord chooses to bless us that way, and He has, and we are grateful and trusting Him to provide, but valiantly striving to make decisions that will honor His direction for our family. Not to say that we haven’t had setbacks and stress or sacrifices, we have, but I think we would’ve had a completely different perspective if we had not planned on allowing the Lord to bless us with as many children as He wants:)

  • Amanda

    My husband and I are infertile due to a medical condition. We knew this before we got married. By the way you make it sound, the only reason for marriage is procreation, and knowing we would never conceive should have prevented our marriage. We did adopt two wonderful children who are the lights of our lives, BUT this requires a lot of added financial and emotional strain to the “childbearing” process. I guess it is just hurtful when you make it seem like people can just pop out as many babies as they want to until God tells them to stop.

    • Nicki Ann

      Amanda: My husband and I were not able to have children nor did our circumstances allow us to adopt. Now I am a widow and I will never be a mother. So in one sense I feel your pain but I do not understand your taking offense at this article. Many people struggle greatly with the question of birth control and having more or less children, this article is written to them and not to you and me. If it is hurtful to you why are you reading, it is clearly titled, “when to stop having children?”

      Additionally, I would encourage you to search your heart before God to see if there is some hidden bitterness there that you were not able to have biological children. Remember that our hearts are deceitful but God will show us our need to repent if we seek Him with a humble and contrite heart.

      • raygun repub

        Nicki Ann, I am so sorry to hear your story. You can be a grandmother. Volunteer in your church or a neighborhood church nursery. They would love the help and you will get out a lot more than you put in.

  • Lynn B.

    I was years ago part of a very legalistic church steeped in Bill Gothard dogma. No birth control was allowed for any reason and those who had reversal surgery were highly esteemed.

    When a young couple with a history of mental illness and drug abuse came to Christ, they were immediately told “no birth control.” The end was tragic for them and for their babies. There are times when some sort of birth control is appropriate at least for a season (but we can never use methods that are at any time abortifacients like the pill).

    But those cases are exceptions and not the rule. Most people choose not to have more children for selfish and materialistic reasons. God does not promise to provide physical stamina, financial means, or grace in advance of the need. Nor does God promise to provide private music lessons, gymnastics, designer jeans, and a host of other things parents today think are a necessity.

    A mother once said to me that her daughter was bouncing from interest in horses to her latest interest whatever it was and that at her daughters age she was cleaning horse stalls to save for her first car and “kids today are not like they were when she was young.” But actually, it is the parents and not the kids who have changed.

    The real question is are we doing all that we do for the glory of God and are we making our decisions about child bearing for the Glory of God.

  • Meg

    Hm… There are a lot of reasons to stop or continue having children. Yes, God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and fill the Earth. Dude… The Earth is full! LOL What if two people love eachother and don’t feel like its good for them to have children? It’s weird to me that you think all married couples should be open to having children. Some people really shouldn’t have children, and that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be married. The primary purpose of marriage is to love eachother… And don’t even get me started on the idea of the husband “discipling” his wife. LOL

  • joanna e

    Sir the bible does promise to provide for our physical needs ad nauseum and in fact Jesus told us not to worry maybe you could sit in on a sunday school class about the 5 loaves and two fish or an outing to consider the lillies and the ravens. Sad thing is many will read this article and not their bibles and miss out on more blessing and ultimately growth that God is desiring to share with their family and by growth I dont mean family size I mean spiritually. To me the question of when to stop having children is equivalent to when to stop your heart from beating or your stomach from digesting it is a natural function of your body. How many theological debates do we have about sneezing? The doubt that has been cast into the minds of generations is so foolish. Think of the many elderly who sit alone with no one to visit them because either they shyed away from spiritual children as paul to timothy or they mutilated their bodies to “stop” having children. Lets keep it simple and stop making everything so complicated yes lets take the word of God at face value! In that lets be blessed yes with children and otherwise!

  • raygun repub

    A family in our town has 7 children and are expecting another next month. They live on pity and handouts. They are a white couple that goes around from church to church with their brood looking pitiful in hopes of a Good Samaratan in the bunch to give them something. I admit to being one. It is hard to know you have something you are not using when there is a need somewhere else and you know it. Then the Lord lays it on your heart and I feel like I should follow my heart. At the same time I am frustrated because neither one of these people finished high school. Dad is “self-employed” but cannot keep one car on the road for them. They get every kind of welfare benefit available. A few of the children are chronically ill/special needs. They live in 3 rooms and the children run around the yard like chickens. None of them go to school but are “home-schooled” although absolutely no violence of any sort is allowed to be mentioned-including all wars and all American history except slavery. I have to walk away because I cannot keep “helping” fill a bottomless bucket. The kids are smart and can read and write. It breaks my heart to see their potential wasted because of misguided ideas. I think I will explode if I hear one more time about how proud they are of their independence and how little they get by on. If they had to be truly independent, they would literally starve or have to send some of the kids off like in the Depression. This a growing dodge among the 30-somethings.

  • me

    Please Christians, stop having children. You are ruining the planet.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Great article, thanks for addressing the topic from a well documented Biblical aspect. My wife and I are about to have our seventh child. We typically take it one child at a time, but we feel that it may be time to say “no more”, but we’ll still leave the door open a crack in case things change down the road.

    One note, your minivan must have captains chairs only, because I can fit 8 people in mine. 🙂

  • Nadia

    We have two kids. I’ve had two cesarean sections. First was an emergency. I have suffered from PND too and we would really like one more but at the same time we think maybe two is all we can safely handle. My second has some health issues and sometimes I think maybe it would be unwise to have one more.