Is having more children a blessing or a curse? In Biblical times, it was very common to have plenty of children, but in many cases, the children didn’t make it (that is, they died at birth or illness took them). That doesn’t seem right to me… My concern is: if one has a special needs child, is it selfish to pray for a second child or have many more children when, medically speaking, they too might have a high risk for health-related issues? We are praying and asking for God’s guidance in seeking what a Christian response to this situation might be.
Thanks for asking this extremely important and pertinent question.
First, children are very clearly a blessing from the Lord, and the call to marry and procreate can be found in the first two chapters of Genesis.
While all children are valuable human beings, we must consider our own individual situations. We should trust God to provide for our families, but at the same time we should be responsible stewards. Your income and your time to be with your children etc may factor into how many children you want. Some families have six or eight children and that is the right amount for them, while some may have one child or even no children and that is right for them.
Some families have eight children and that is the right amount for them, while some have one child or even no children and that is right for them
I recommend praying as a couple about how many children you would want and making decisions in life that will best afford you the ability to care for that number of children.
In previous eras some children did die, but people did not usually have more kids because they thought some would not make it. They often had more because cultures were of such a nature that the family typically practised a trade and stayed in it. As a result, having more children allowed for more workers in the family business (especially if the family worked in agriculture).
Concerning special needs children, they are fully created in the image of God. All people are equally valuable, regardless of gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or even mental or physical capacity. In other words, a child with special needs is just as valuable to God as anyone else. So if a family has a child with special needs, that child is equal in value with any other children. Furthermore, if the couple desires to have more children, there should be no stigma attached to the idea of having another child who could have special needs.
The number of children you have should have less to do with whether or not they will be healthy — and more to do with how many children you believe that God wants you to have.
A child with special needs is equal in value with any other children. There should be no stigma attached to the idea of having such a child
I know a family that recently had a child who was born with several handicaps and the family knew before they ever began trying to conceive that the problems were a possibility. When the child was born, they quickly realised that the health concerns were a reality, but the couple loves the child. They are blessed by his birth and he is a very special part of their growing family.
Just because we can run tests now to determine if a child will likely be healthy does not mean that we should abort those that are less likely to be healthy. It does not mean that we should encourage couples not to have children because they might need special care, and it does not mean that we should see special needs children as any less valuable, lovable, or needed in our world.
All life is valuable, all people are created in God’s image, and all children are a blessing from the Lord.
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