Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Some Thoughts From S.M. Davis

On a recent family vacation, during our long car rides, we listened to S.M. Davis' talk entitled What God Has to Say About Having Children. (I can't find it anywhere on the Internet. If I could, I would include a link.) It was a wonderful lecture and had many great points. Hoping that this information wouldn't go in one ear and out the other (which seems to happen quite often for me), I jotted down some of my favorite points. The following is a conglomeration of Dr. Davis' points and some commentary by yours truly. I realize it's slightly incoherent and disjointed, but don't throw the baby out with the bath water please. : )

Dr. Davis told a story about a little girl and her pastor:
Pastor: How many kids are there in your family, young lady?
Little girl: Seven.
Pastor: Wow! That must cost a lot!
Little girl: Oh, no! We don't buy them; we raise them!

Of course, this is "cute," and most people would laugh it off without realizing that this little girl's perspective is much more biblical than the pastor's. This pastor is viewing children the same way that the feminists of today view them: as a burden. The little girl, on the other hand, recognizes that children are given to parents to raise for the glory of God!

God says that children are a blessing (Genesis 17:16; 24:60; 49:25), an inheritance, and a reward (Psalm 127:3). The word used for "reward" literally means "wages."

The Bible clearly shows that the Lord gives children and withholds them, according to His will. This area is not under our jurisdiction! One of the many verses addressing this is Psalm 113:9:

He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children [Emphasis added]. Praise ye the Lord.

This is cause to praise God for His blessings, not to mourn because of a perceived burden!

1 Samuel 2:21 - And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters [Emphasis added]. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.

The Lord gave Hannah her children.

Psalm 127:3-5 - Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Dr. Davis brought up an interesting point: Is a man going into battle going to see how many arrows he can take, or how few? Of course he would want to have as many as he could!

In Genesis 1:22, 28; 8:17; 9:1, 7; and 35:11, God tells man to "be fruitful and multiply." He also tells them to "replenish the earth." The word fruitful literally means "full of fruit." Replenish means to "fill up." So we are to be "full of fruit," and to "fill up the earth." If it were God's plan for women to only have 1.8 children, why did He not give her only 3-5 years for childbearing?

Dr. Davis gave lots of statistics on numbers of children which I think are fascinating!

At the time of the founding of our country (1700's), the average family consisted of 8 or more children.

By 1900, the average was 4 children.

Today, the average number of children per family in the United States is 1.8.

On average, American households contain more TV's than children.

In a speech during his presidency, Teddy Roosevelt called women who didn't fulfill their God-given role of having children "criminals against the race." Image someone saying that today!

What are we missing?
Bach was the 8th-born child.
Mozart was 7th.
Beethoven was 5th.
Enrique Caruso, a famous Italian tenor, was the 18th of 21 children. The first 17 children died during or soon after infancy.
Steinway (the piano guy Steinway) was 7th.
George Washington was the 5th of 10.
Pres. Tyler - 6th of 8
Pres. Taylor - 6th of 8
Pres. Pierce - 7th of 8
Pres. Hayes - 5th of 5
Pres. Arthur - 5th of 9
Pres. Cleveland - 5th of 9
Pres. Harrison - 5th of 13
Pres. McKinley - 7th of 9
Pres. Taft - 7th of 10

The average number of children in the presidents' families is 6.3.

Many of the presidents went on to have many children themselves, Tyler ending up with the most: 15.

The mentality that we should have, Dr. Davis boldly declares, is not "I want two, maybe three children," but rather, "I want to have faith to have each child that God gives to me."

The point is not, "I need to have lots and lots of children." Rather, it is "I am open to having however many children God decides to give me, whether it be two or twenty."

Dr. Davis wraps up his talk with the statement:
Think about babies like God things about babies, not like Planned Parenthood thinks about them.

As Christians, we must never forget that every area of life is "religious." That is to say, the Bible speaks to everything! Children are a blessing straight from God. God Himself says so in His holy Word!


Drew said...

Good post, Lauren.

In the game Homeschoolopoly, there's a card that awards you 50 dollars for each child in your family (I only get $200).

Ruthanne said...

Amen to this post, Lauren! We appreciate Dr. Davis, too.

The point is not, "I need to have lots and lots of children." Rather, it is "I am open to having however many children God decides to give me, whether it be two or twenty."

Yes! While I do get excited at the idea of "lots" of children to help further the cause of Christ, the issue is truly far more about TRUSTING the Lord for the number of children HE wants us to have -- like the quote says: whether it be two or twenty. And may each precious family He creates - small, medium or large - bring maximum glory to His name!

John V, Michigan said...

The link to Pastor Davis' message is as follows:

Scroll down for the many messages under his name. There are plenty of sermons for various men of God so take your time.