Shows Main Idea – Is it right to bring a baby into our evil world? Where is the line between God’s sovereignty and personal responsibility? The world is broken and full of evil. Every future parent knows that when they bring a baby into the world, the child will be broken and fallen while tempted and affected by our corrupted world. Where is the balance? How are we to think about these things?
Listen to the podcast
I have a desire to have children one day but, in light of suffering, it almost seems selfish to want a child knowing that it will suffer. In my case, it could inherit a genetic health condition that could compromise its abilities to some extent. But even with that aside, life is full of trouble and suffering.
If the child never becomes a believer in Christ, he’ll suffer in this life and for eternity. If the child becomes a believer, suffering is seen as a mark of God’s grace by disciplining and drawing that child closer to Himself. (so while it does at least have a good purpose at that point – it’s still suffering). Whereas if the child never exists, it knows nothing of suffering or anything – it won’t miss out on God’s favor either because it just won’t exist at all.
Obviously, I realize that, if followed through, this line of thinking could quickly diminish the population and goes against God’s command to be fruitful and multiply and to consider children a blessing. I want children and I love the idea of discipling them and having fun with them but with the kind of suffering that some of us have been through, or are going through, (and especially in the context of those who have challenging marriages) it seems almost cruel and selfish to have a child knowing it’s destined to suffer!
- When what we long for is heaven and earth holds little attraction anymore, why subject a child to this life?
- How do you find the biblical balance on this because I can see that my recent line of thinking is severely clouded by my current sufferings?
- To answer your first question, though heaven is the goal, the path to heaven is carved through this world.
- No third party can or should answer this question for you.
- Be careful as you listen to people’s personal experiences with how they handled this question and the results of their decisions.
- As you noted, there is a temptation to map your experience over this decision, to the degree that your experience becomes the interpretive filter for how you proceed. Let the Bible speak louder than any other voice.
- Faith is trusting God not future outcomes. If knowing the future outcomes is the only way for you to proceed, then your faith would be in knowing the outcome rather than knowing God who allows, manages, and controls all future outcomes.
- Guard against self-reliance: controlling future outcomes. If self-reliance is a tendency with you, then examine why that is so. It will work out in other areas of your life too, not just when thinking about having a child. Possible triggers that interrupt your faith in God: (1) fear, (2) anger, (3) ignorance. (Read my article, Mind Mapping: A detailed study in self-reliance.)
- What does your husband think about this?
- Ask God, your husband, yourself, and a few trusted, competent friends who are not afraid to say what they believe rather than what they think you want to hear.
- Are you guys “in faith” to proceed (Romans 14:23)? I’m not asking about perfect faith but are you more sure, hope-filled, convinced, or believe in the direction you should go? (Read my article, A simple guide on how to make a decision about anything.
- Are you a fear-based person? Are you mostly characterized by faith or fear?
- This is a unique-to-you-guys story. Illustration: Every Christian should not home school because some families are not able to provide that kind of education for their children.
- Consider adoption or foster care (or whatever they call it in your country).
- All babies are born fallen, broken, depraved, and in need of physical and spiritual restoration. Be sobered by this, as well as motivated to bring change to those within your sphere of influence. Despair, defeat, and passivity should not be what controls you.
- Don’t presume on God’s grace: I can do what I want to because God will take care of it (Psalm 19:13)? Some couples keep having babies to the detriment of the wife’s health and/or to the detriment of the child because the parents are no longer physically, spiritually, or economically able to provide for the children.
Your question lodges somewhere between God’s sovereign control and management of all things and His call on our lives to cooperate with Him in the redemptive narrative He is writing. The doctrinal teaching is primary and secondary causes. See Genesis 50:20; Philippians 2:12-13.
Personal story: My last child was born when I was 46 years old. That means I will be about 65 before her assumed nest-leaving time. Of course, that does not factor in my ongoing care, training, and relational engagement with her after she becomes an adult, which I hope to be able to do when she’s thirty and forty years old.
When you have a child, you add twenty years to your life as you think about what it could be like when your child is twenty years old. This is not a pessimistic view of life or a view that is trying to control outcomes, but a realistic view, as much as a finite person is supposed to make plans (Proverbs 16:9). Because of these things, I chose not to have any more children.
I do not know what disease you have or the chances of that affecting the quality of life of your future child. I do recommend factoring your disabilities into your decision making, just as I have factored my age and future ability to provide a Christlike physical and spiritual environment for my child.
It is not wrong to think about these things. It’s humble and wise. It’s trying to cooperate with God’s redemptive story rather than not thinking, praying, or asking about one of the most important decisions you and your husband will ever make. Having a baby is one of the big five: birth, marriage, children, death, and eternity.