Go Forth and Multiply

Danny Akin, the president of Southeastern Seminary, recently gave an address that has caused a buzz around the Southern Baptist Convention. The title of the address is "Axioms for a Great Commission Resurgence." Of Akin's twelve axioms, the one I found most fascinating was Axiom #7, which states... "We must covenant to build gospel saturated homes that see children as a gift from God and as our first and primary mission field."

Akin goes on to say "Southern Baptists have been seduced by the sirens of modernity in a very important place. We have been seduced in how we do family and how many we should have in the home." Akin says in this way of thinking, we have come to believe that "children are a burden not a blessing [and] less is best, or at least less is better."

Rachel and I can attest to this, as we have received a number of shocked looks from people who can't believe we are pregnant with our fourth child. Four children today is seen as a huge family, but not too long ago it was quite normal. For example, our parents (mine and Rachel's) come from families of 4 kids, 4 kids, 5 kids, and 6 kids respectively!

What has changed? Certainly it is harder to support a large family in today's economic climate. But I believe a bigger factor is what Akin asserts... That for most people children are simply too much of an inconvenience on their desired lifestyle.

Akin asserts that a key factor in expanding the Kingdom is Christians having kids... and lots of them! He even goes so far as to imply that Islam is going to overtake Christianity as the predominant religion in America without so much as raising a sword. How?... They are simply going to outnumber us! They are having large families, and we aren't. This trend is already well underway in France, Germany, and other European nations.

Finally, Akin makes the claim that the much lamented decline in baptisms in the SBC can largely be attributed to the lack of children in our churches. Fortunately, Selmore is the exception to this rule. Our church takes the command to "go forth and multiply" very seriously! We are on pace for eight new babies in our church in 2009! Ha!

Bottom line... Children are a blessing. They bring joy and life to a home, and to a church. If there's anyone who needs to be reminded of this, it is me. I have plenty of days that my kids make me want to pull my hair out. But when I start feeling sorry for myself, the Spirit always convicts me of taking my children for granted.

In a culture that increasingly devalues life (and especially young life), may children always be treasured by those who claim the name of Christ. The Scripture is clear they were precious to the Master.