Are Christian Couples Required to Have Kids?

Though I recognize this is a very sensitive question, I think on the balance the biblical answer is a firm yes. Christian couples are required to have kids. 

When you combine passages like Genesis 1:27-28 and Genesis 2:24 

27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” 

 24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. 

and read them in light of 1 Corinthians 6:16,  

16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”

You will observe that the Bible makes a close connection between three things; Marriage first, sex second, and having children third. In other words, according to the Bible none of the following represent God’s original plan or desire for married people; 

Sex without marriage 

Marriage without sex 

Kids outside of marriage and related to our question, 

Marriage without kids. 

So, what’s wrong with deciding to have kids even though married? It’s about unity. You see God’s design for people in love is to express and seal their unity first in marriage and then continually renew that same unity with sex. When fruitful, this sexual unity produces children who are an embodied human expression of that unity. Now I’m not saying this is the only use for sex or the only measure of fruitfulness but by design scriptures point to having children as one of the primary reasons sex exists. 

You see according to Genesis 1:28, having children continue the extension of God’s plan to make more of the world than what those children met at birth. But we’re not told exactly how many children married people should have but I do have to deal with some objections, one theological and biblical and three practical ones. 

Theologically, some say Matthew 28:19-20

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teachingthem to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

fulfills Genesis 1:28 because Christians are now mandated to produce spiritual children. It is true that these verses do fulfill Genesis 1:28 but they do not consummate it. The old and new creation still dwells side by side. Christians still have the old man in us, but it is when the old creation passes as told in Revelation 21:1 that Jesus in Mathew 22:30 says there will be no marriage and by implication, no having of children but there are practical objections of health, age, and economic hardship. 

You see health issues like infertility or womb disorders are involuntary lifestyle choices. They are malfunctions, not violations of God’s original design.  

Two, older couples unable to have kids is once again due to an inability beyond the control of the individuals not a voluntary lifestyle choice and finally while economic hardship may be acceptable causing delay in childbearing perpetually using this as an excuse is a problem, because we’ll have to logically conclude that poor people should never have kids. Besides, will you be an unfit parent if you have kids in good economic times and then got into difficult season after having children? 

You see ultimately, the original biblical design, requiring parents to have kids while also acknowledging the exceptions in a fallen world is the most suitable answer. 

 


Femi Osunnuyi is lead pastor of City Church, a gospel-centred urban church in the city of Lagos. Because of his passion for church planting and leadership development he also serves on the Lead Team of Acts29 and the Advisory Team of City to City Africa. He is happily married to Tosin and is father to Tofunmi and Timilehin.

info@citychurchlagos.com, +2349076700860