Shepherd’s Pie -- By: Tim Bayly

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 03:4 (Winter 1998)
Article: Shepherd’s Pie
Author: Tim Bayly

Shepherd’s Pie

The Place Of Childbirth In Christian Marriage: Raising Up A Godly Seed

Tim Bayly

…if she has brought up children… 1 Timothy 5:10

Pastors, elders, and older women are often asked for counsel concerning birth control and the place of fertility in the Christian home and marriage. Whether in premarital counseling, home visitation, or women’s Bible studies, questions are raised concerning God’s will in the timing and frequency of childbirth. Such questions are spiritual in nature and present church leaders with a wonderful opportunity to lead Christian husbands and wives into a deeper understanding of the Biblical meaning and purpose of womanhood, manhood, sex, and marriage.

Some time ago my wife, Mary Lee, and I had the pleasure of announcing that Mary Lee was “with child” for the fifth time. The little one then nestling in his mother’s womb whom today we know as Taylor Isaiah Bayly was a wonderful gift from God and, along with our other four children, we are grateful to God for His good gift. When we announced this pregnancy, though, undoubtedly there were some who wondered, “Why another one? Aren’t four enough? How many are you going to have?”

Though part of the reason Mary Lee and I have children is that we like children, we also believe raising godly offspring is at the heart of God’s purpose for marriage. Antediluvian as this may sound to late twentieth century ears, Scripture teaches it and we believe it. Mary Lee and I both come from large families; Mary Lee’s mother gave birth to ten children, my mother gave birth to seven. Growing up in a large family is an experience we are each grateful for.

Although the size of our families has certainly made us open to having a large family ourselves, personal experience is not the ultimate reason we continue to have children. The truth we return to again and again is that children are a blessing from the Lord.

When a husband and wife are told the pregnancy test came back positive, they’re not discovering an accident of nature but an act of God.

Scripture teaches that clouds, fields, orchards, and livestock bear fruit only as God wills it. If He desires to discipline men He withholds these gifts. If He desires to bless, His grace takes the form of rain, corn, grapes, calves.

So also in our homes. When an expectant mother feels the gentle jab of her baby’s legs she is feeling a form of God’s grace and love.

Lo, sons are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them! He shall not be put to shame...

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