Ask Your Preacher
Is it Biblically wrong for a married couple (with no fertility issues or anything like that) to simply choose not to have kids? I know in the Old Testament that God said to be fruitful and multiply; is anything like this found in the New Testament?
Just The Two Of Us
Dear Just The Two Of Us,
No, it isn’t a sin. Although there is some debate over whether the command to be fruitful and multiply – which was given to Adam and Eve (Gen 1:22) and also to Noah’s family (Gen 9:1) – still applies, it is generally understood that this command does not apply to us today. The world has been “replenished” from the days of Noah, and the concept of multiplying to fill the earth is not addressed in the New Testament. Although the most common pattern will always be for married couples to have children, it is not a sin for a couple to have no children.
Is it possible to be a Christian and not spank your children? Doesn't the Bible tell us that if we spare the rod, we hate our children?
The verse you are referring to is Pr 13:24. It is true that parents must discipline their children. It is also true that the Bible has absolutely no problem whatsoever with spanking (Pr 22:15). Spanking won’t kill your child, nor will it hurt their little psyches, no matter what today’s current psychological theorists might say (Pr 23:13). So if you spank your children, you are making a perfectly sound Biblical choice.
However, your question didn’t deal with those who spank their kids; it dealt with those who don’t. We wouldn’t use any of the previously cited verses to say that you must spank your child to discipline them. Proverbs teaches general principles, not specific techniques. If we use those verses for specific techniques, then we would have to say spanking with anything but a rod was unbiblical. The principle of Proverbs is that children need discipline – sometimes firm discipline. It is a parent’s job to train their child for the way that they should live (Pr 22:6). Each individual parent must decide on the specific techniques needed to reach the goal of properly disciplining and training their children up in the Lord.
I have a friend that is a christian, but the father of her child is not. They no longer date, but she still cares for him. He will not work or spend time with his child. He does not give the child financial support. He studied the Bible for a short time but lost interest because nothing changed in his life. Apart from her own interests, she still wants to be with him for the child's sake. He wants to control her and does not want her to date other guys. He becomes very upset when she dates christian guys. What does the Bible say about their relationship? And what advice can I give her according to the Bible?
Aiding A Friend
Dear Aiding A Friend,
As we often say when we answer these types of questions – we here at AYP will avoid the details of the personal aspect of this question and deal primarily with the Bible one. There is no quick and easy answer for the personal side that can be addressed through a website. These kinds of problems take godly friends, faith, and time to sort out.
The emotional baggage involved with this situation is sticky, but the Bible facts are simple. She is not married to this man and has ZERO responsibility to date/court/marry someone that meets his approval. An ungodly man disliking godly choices is nothing new (Jhn 3:20). Without dwelling upon the past choices that led her to having a child with a man she is not married to, it is fair to say that she will only find a good life for herself and her child if she makes better choices… godly choices (Gal 6:7-9). She needs to begin sowing a better life for herself. The only hope she has of finding a life that is good for herself (and for her child – Pr 22:6) is to begin to fear God and keep His commandments above all else (Ps 111:10). Only when we prize God above all other relationships do we succeed in life. Serving Christ often brings great strife into our lives, but ultimately it bears the fruit of long-term peace (Gal 5:22). Even though it sets us at odds with those around us, including loved ones, we must press on and endure, so that we might be found worthy of Christ (Matt 10:34-38). Christianity is about making Bible choices regardless of how hard they might seem.
How do we appropriately ask for God to intervene in the life of a sick child? Should we ask for the child's sake, for His glory, or on the family's behalf?
Dear Worried Sick,
All three reasons are wonderful. James gives an example of praying for the sick, purely because they are sick and want to feel better (Jas 5:14). Elijah prayed for a child's life for the mother's sake (1 Kgs 17:20-21). Paul prayed that Christians would be blessed so that God might be glorified (2 Thess 1:12). We have examples of all three motivations for asking for God's help. God states that human life has an intrinsic, precious value (Gen 9:6) The desire to preserve life is reason enough to ask for God's help.
Should you co-sign for your adult children to purchase a car? Or illegally rent a car in your name for them to drive?
Dear Loan Agent,
You should never co-sign for anybody, and you should never do anything illegal. God tells us to obey the laws of the land (Rom 13:1-4). If you commit fraud in renting a car for your child, you are sinning.
Co-signing is similarly wrong. Co-signing is the act of agreeing to take responsibility for paying the debts of someone else. In essence, the bank has said that your child is too high of a risk to loan money to. When you co-sign for them, you are saying that you are taking the risk that the bank is unwilling to. God says that this is a very bad idea (Pr 17:18). He also promises that you will suffer for it (Pr 11:15). If you have co-signed for something, God tells you to do whatever it takes to get out of that situation (Pr 6:1-5). Eventually, your children will be able to purchase that vehicle on their own. It is a good thing for them to bear the burden of working for things on their own (Lam 3:27). As it’s been said, “It builds character.” Of course, you also always have the option of simply giving them the money if you feel they need it so badly.