Who’s Planning Your Family?

American society uses words like “family,” “family planning” and “family values” loosely, very loosely. Bonafide family values include far more than approving of marriage, appreciating children, giving place to quality time, looking forward to extended family gatherings on holidays and teaming up with spouse and children to provide a comfortable lifestyle. The plain fact is that unless God’s values constitute your family values, your family values are worthless and futile. That’s precisely what Solomon tells us in Psalms 127:1.

Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it.

Commenting on this Psalm, David Jeremiah writes:

If you are going to be successful in building a family, you have to place God at the head of your home…God, who had the idea of the home, is the One who wants to be at the head of the home. Until God is at the center of your home, all your attempts at making family life what you want will be attempts in frustration.*

So much of our family values and decision making are formed by perspectives, philosophies and goals that are not according to the plan of God. Rather than asking what God expects for a marriage, parenting and family practices and priorities, we easily rely upon handed-down perspectives, faddish trends, popular books and the unreliable thinking of our own hearts. And sadly, so much of our decision making is driven by another undisguised factor – money, or materialism (1 Tim. 6:10).

Call it wisdom if you like. But whatever wisdom is not according to the wisdom of Scripture is a wisdom of a different and harmful kind. So how much of your “family values” and “family planning” is based upon clear, biblical principle and precedent?

Consider Psalm 127, for instance, which gives special attention to what God thinks about procreation. In particular, it seems that:

  1. Children should be viewed as a blessing from God to desire, not a curse to avoid (Psa. 127:3).
  2. They accomplish strategic purposes in life (Psa. 127:4).
  3. God encourages childbearing early in marriage, rather than postponing it (Psa. 127:4).
  4. Raising multiple children is a blessed experience (Psa. 127:5).
  5. Parents who raise multiple children will enjoy multiplied influence in the world at large (Psa. 127:5).

Now, the Bible teaches more than this about childbearing and child-rearing to be sure. And the key to all five of these thoughts from God about children, of course, is that we need to rely on God to guide our families. But are you doing this? Apart from Psalm 127, Scripture offers a wealth of teaching about proper family values and planning. Will you allow God to shape your perspective, and guide your family according to His desires?

*David Jeremiah, Sanctuary: Finding Moments of Refuge in the Presence of God (Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers, 2002), 220.

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