I found this awesome article over at Resolved to Worship. Such a great analogy. Encouraged me greatly. Let me know what you think!
"The fruit of the ground is a reward and a blessing."
"The fruit of the womb is a reward and a blessing."
If a farmer plants as many seeds as he can without consideration for the ground, the health of the plants, etc.
...and thinks the fruit of the ground should be God's area and we should NOT get involved whatsoever in the number of seeds planted, or the spacing of the seeds, or the size of the garden which he can reasonably and responsibly care for...
...the seeds will produce fruit of course (it is the nature of the creation) and he will have more plants!
However, the ground will suffer, the plants will not be healthy (because there are not enough nutrients in the soil to supply that many plants), and the plants will ultimately be neglected since there are more plants than the farmer has time to weed, prune, fertilize, and care for.
If a man plants as many seeds in the womb without consideration for his wife's body (the ground), the health, training, discipling, educating, providing, and loving of the children, etc. and thinks the womb should be God's area and he and his wife (the farmers) should not get involved in the consideration of the number of seeds planted, or the spacing of the plants (children), or the size of the garden (family) which they can reasonably care for, the seeds will produce fruit (children--it is the nature of the creation)...
...they will have more children.
However, the wife's body will suffer as well as her emotional state, the children will not be healthy (because there is not enough emotional, spiritual, and physical nutrients in the parents to supply that many plants/children), and the children will ultimately be neglected to some degree since there are more children than the couple have time, energy, and resources to weed (rebuke), prune (discipline), fertilize (teach, train, disciple), and care for (love and meet their emotional needs).
The farmer is responsible before God to be a good steward of his land and the fruit of the land.
The husband and wife are responsible before God to be a good steward of the womb and the fruit of the womb.
They are responsible in God's Word to provide for them, bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, keep their hearts turned to each of them, and provide a rich example of the love of Christ for the church as the children observe their love for each other and how they relate to each other.
Therefore, since we want to walk in a manner worthy of Christ and the gospel, we must have the same attitude as He had (emptying ourselves, humbly serving, and willing to lay down our lives for others) and to think about the interests of others (our wives/husbands first, and then the other children) more than our own interests (reputation or self-esteem or own desires).
Parents should remember, having children is not about them, it's about Christ. And if all of life is about Christ, then it is about others. So the question about how many children should a couple have can only be answered by each couple accurately understanding their abilities, gifting, health, and God's provision with an attitude of stewardship before God for His glory.
One farmer may have planted 10,000 seeds in his plot and there stands 10,000 stunted corn plants because the farmer did not accurately assess what the ground could supply and he care for.
Another farmer may have planted 1000 seeds in his plot and there stands 1000 healthy, fruitful corn plants because the farmer did accurately assess what the ground could supply and he care for.
Which farmer brings more glory to God in his stewardship?
One husband plants as many seeds as he feels like and his wife allows in her womb and there stands # of children (the number is not important) emotionally, spiritually, physically, neglected children because the couple did not accurately assess what they could reasonably care for.
One husband plants seeds wisely and lovingly guided by the Holy Spirit in the womb of his wife and there stands # of children (the number is not important) emotionally, spiritually, physically healthy children because the couple did accurately assess what they could reasonably care for with the Lord's fulness and strength.
Which couple brings more glory to God in their stewardship?
One couple may not pray or seek the Lord in his (their) stewardship because the law (what is being taught by some as God's law) is "have as many children as God wants you to have". On the other hand, another may have their children conceived and birthed out of faith in fellowship and prayer with Jesus Christ. They may have 1 child after many attempts or they may have 10, but they come together freely and with excitement because they are living by the Spirit, in fellowship with God, and with His attitude for His glory.
So the most important consideration isn't how large the family is, but are they walking by faith, in love with God, living with the attitude of Christ for His glory..."