The Her.meneutics blog often has provocative content, and this week was no exception. It featured a piece entitled “Thou Shalt Have More Kids” by Jen Pollock Michel that I found helpful. Michel makes the case that Christian families should not be driven by economic concerns, but by a better vision of the good life than this world provides.
Here’s a selection I enjoyed:
Regardless if yours is a small family or a big one, we need to ask ourselves: Do we continue to allow culture to shape our vision of the good life? Does the state of our bank account take priority over all things?
Marilynne Robinson, in The Death of Adam, laments the way economics imperiously rule in our culture today. “Suddenly we act as if the reality of economics were the reality itself, the one Truth to which everything must refer.”
Unfortunately, I can’t say that my husband and I believed in the benefits of a large family before it became our reality. Even today, as I sit in our basement playroom to type this article, I realize what the mathematical factor of five does to a life. (It’s a mess.)
If the good life is measured by financial security, economic flexibility, even Pinterest-perfect homes, having more kids may indeed jeopardize these goals. But if we take our cues from Scripture, we can’t help but admit that children aren’t liabilities. They are assets (Ps. 127:5).
Family sizes can vary among Christians. There’s no number outlined for us in the Bible as the godliest. We need to show grace to one another in this regard. We also need to see that God loves the family, and desires for it to be a center of worship of him, a little theocentric culture.
The good life is God-scented, and God-shaped. It doesn’t smell or look like the culture. It’s thicker, stronger, more durable, more lasting, more sacrificial than the various models on offer in the world.
I really appreciate Michel’s point-of-view, and I think Christians need to keep working to recover a God-centered view of the family, and to take whatever steps we can to leave a money-driven perspective behind.