We Just Keep On Having Babies While the World Approaches Peak Population

We Just Keep On Having Babies While the World Approaches Peak Population The Garrett Ashley Mullet Show

My wife Lauren and I recently found out we’re expecting again. This news, of course, comes as something of a surprise, but we welcome and celebrate it with a mixture of thankfulness, excitement, and sobriety.

Not for no reason are we expecting our ninth. Ever since we said our vows back in November of 2006, we have resolved to keep Genesis 9:7 and Psalm 127:4 at the fore of our thinking, with regards to how many children we have, when, and how.

First, we have the Dominion Mandate, which was never rescinded:

“And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.

Next, we have the psalmist, who puts family planning into martial terms.

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.”

What does he say after that? Not that a man should try to have as few arrows as possible; nor either does he advise us to spread out the making of children as much as possible; neither does he prescribe waiting until as late in life as possible before starting a family.

On the contrary, the idea is to fill the quiver! Welcome children as a heritage from Yahweh.

We should glean from this, then, that having children early and often is an inherently good thing. Thus the better focus of our energies is not in trying to prevent having them, but is found in endeavoring to be good stewards of the privilege and blessing of however many offspring God grants us.

Possessing the Land

To those who would point out that sometimes it is better to hold off, if it can be helped, given difficult economic circumstances, or social situations, or other considerations, I would point out that we have in God’s Word these little vignettes. Peppered throughout the Biblical text, we may glean a better way from them.

For instance, consider Exodus 1:7.

“But the people of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly; they multiplied and grew exceedingly strong, so that the land was filled with them.”

Remember, this passage comes as we are being brought up to speed on what the situation of the descendants of Jacob is. What have they been up to in Egypt, in over four centuries since Joseph and his generation passed away?

Shortly, Moses will be commissioned by God, to tell Pharaoh to set His people free. For now, they are all still slaves there.

Worse than that, the fruitfulness and multiplication of these Hebrews scares the Egyptians. Therefore, Pharoah has settled on a plan of genocide to remedy their trajectory, and restore what he deems to be the proper balance culturally and economically.

And yet, for all this, nothing whatsoever is to be found in the Biblical text to indicate Israel is being foolish or irresponsible to increase greatly, given these circumstances. Not a single solitary word of chiding can be pointed to about how they ought to have slowed their roll rather than grow exceedingly strong in the midst of their oppressors.

On the contrary, later on in Exodus, after God delivers Israel out of bondage, and brings them into the wilderness, on their way to the Promised Land, God manages their expectations regarding the driving out of the current inhabitants of Canaan. In Exodus 23:30, He tells them He will not drive out the inhabitants of the land quickly, or in one year. Rather, the tendency of Israel to being fruitful and multiplying is put in a localized context as a collaborative solution to the possession of Canaan.

“Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.”

How different might these two stories have been had the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob held off on having children because they were slaves in Egypt, or in the process of possessing the Promised Land, inhabited by hostile giants and foreign peoples?

Increasing in the Land

Yet there is more. After this, the centuries proceed apace. God does give the land of Canaan into the hands of the Israelites, just as He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that He would do. Then God makes Israel into a strong, prosperous people. But in time they rebel, and disobey, and go worshiping the gods of the surrounding nations and peoples.

Thus, after offering them many opportunities to repent, and warning them of impending judgment through prophet after prophet, God finally gives the two kingdoms – Israel and Judah – over to the Babylonians and Assyrians, to be conquered by them. Then comes the Babylonian captivity, where many of the best and brightest of the Jews are hauled away to be slaves, yet again, to a foreign power.

Even here, however, we do not see any giving of slack on the original Dominion Mandate. Almost as an opposite, what does Jeremiah 29:6 say?

Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.”

That is, the Lord God Himself directs the prophet Jeremiah to tell those who will be captives for the foreseeable future that they should increase in the land of Babylon, and not decrease.

But what kind of a time is it to have children, when your people is being told to settle in for hundreds of years of slavery, or multiple generations of captivity to a foreign power that does not fear or worship your God?

The answer to these sorts of questions may be easier to see in hindsight, as we realize that God intended to leverage His people to move and message nations as to His eternal plans and purposes.

The Very Goodness of Having Children

To my way of reasoning, such might be all the more rather than less a time for having children. Consider Philippians 4:8.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

Including this passage in the matrix of pertinent verses of the Bible on the topic of having children, I recall that God’s original Dominion Mandate was good. When He surveyed all that He had made after creating mankind, male and female, in His image, Genesis tells us that it was “very good.”

Thus, the very goodness of being fruitful and multiplying, filling the earth and subduing it, as God’s image-bearers, coincides in our time with difficult circumstances.

We have social strife, political polarization, censorship of conservatives online, a dishonest corporate media, economic uncertainty, confusion about gender and sexuality, neopaganism, and the prospect of either a national divorce or another world war, to name just a few noteworthy items of concern. So also, we have the push for gun control, as well as for DEI and ESG policies, not to mention the embrace of CRT by all manner of organizations, including churches and denominations, as well as the tireless crusading of Climate Change zealots.

In the midst of all this, it can be difficult to know what challenges may be posed to young families trying to provide for and protect children. All that is known for sure is that we will face many challenges.

And yet, on the other hand, when we take the psalmist seriously, we read on to consider that the man who fills his quiver with children in his youth “will not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate.”

Thus, perhaps counterintuitively, and counterculturally to this present age and its sensibilities, having more rather than less children, and younger, can be seen as a way of preparing to face the many challenges which are confronting us, for which we will need human as well as material resources.

Approaching Peak Population

As it turns out, this is a pressing and increasing problem for many developed nations around the world right now, in large part due to those same modern sensibilities we give too much credit to for having created in recent decades so much technological innovation and material wealth.

Japan, for instance, had twice as many deaths as births last year. Their population is in freefall. Europe and the U.S. are not so far behind.

Many young married couples find themselves confronted with fertility issues, brought on by diets filled with processed foods, getting married later in life, or having used birth control pills to prevent pregnancy through their teenage years and twenties.

This is to say almost nothing of the trends in the U.S. since last summer, when our Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which established abortion as a constitutional right of women, and therefore something of “the law of the land” in the minds of many misguided people.

What have young adults in America been doing here? Why, they’ve been getting vasectomies and hysterectomies.

And we haven’t even gotten to the ones caught up in transgenderism, undergoing self-mutilating surgeries to transition from male to female, or from female to male. Will they be having children in the future if they had their sex organs removed, or took puberty blockers? Odds are low.

Outsized Future Influence

Thus I return again to what my wife and I can do, and how the Lord has clearly blessed us with fertility. While there certainly are challenges that accompany having eight children in our household, with a ninth due in November, which we must feed, clothe, house, and train, I do not see either my wife or I regretting having a single one of them.

One of the most important lessons we can teach them, after all, is that they are not here accidentally. Each of them is here on purpose and for a purpose, which only Almighty God knows fully and in detail. Thus, the joy and excitement of life is seeking what the Lord’s good plan and pleasure is for them.

Thus, and just so, our having these children is our testimony, as well as our legacy. So we do not apologize, nor do we feel ashamed. We anticipate that many will balk, slack-jawed, scoffing at how this is hardly the time to be having more children. Yet wisdom is known by her children, and we all should look to the end to see who is proven more correct then.

So we say, “Au contraire!”

Now may just be the perfect time to have more children, and thank God for them, as well as trusting that He will bless and equip us to provide for and protect them, if He has indeed given them to us. Remember, without faith it is impossible to please God, yet we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

In the decades to come, all the more rather than less, God’s people who have children and train them up in the fear and instruction of the Lord will have an outsized influence on the future of this country and world.

And this is why we have children.

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