The Christian Old Testament concludes in Malachi with another huge statement about multiplication. Malachi 2:15 tells us why God joins us together in marriage: “Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring.” God did not design marriage only for companionship; he also designed it for reproduction—so that we will fill the earth with godly disciples in the faith. As one of my mentors, Wayne Mack, has written, “Scripture seems to indicate that unless there are good physical and spiritual reasons for not having children, God wants Christian couples to produce and raise godly offspring” (Your Family God’s Way, 38).
I get strange looks from couples during premarital counseling when I smile and say to the couple, “You are planning on having children, right?” Western culture today wants to shift childbearing into the purely optional “if-it-suits-my-lifestyle” category. Society separates sex from procreation and reduces pregnancy to a disease. But we must let God’s Word shape and govern us instead of the culture.
For those families unable to bear their own children, the AIDS orphan crisis in Africa presents us with a crucial opportunity to adopt and raise up godly offspring. May God cause an “adoption revival” in our churches (cf. Jam. 1:27; can also apply to families who have biological children)! And may every kingdom-minded Christian home multiply soldiers to fill the ranks in Christ’s army, to be salt and light in this decaying and dark world, and to continue a legacy of magnifying the true and living God.
Multiplying in the NT
Mary, the mother of Jesus, experienced the joy of childbearing to the full. She got to bear the deliverer that every mother in the line of Seth had been hoping for. She sang, “My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For he has had regard for the humble state of his bond slave; for behold from this time on all generations will count me blessed” (Luke 1:46-48). Her body got to be the home of the God of the universe. She got to cradle the man who would save his people from their sins.
Timothy and Titus
In the New Testament we see that every Christian woman now has the opportunity, like Mary in a sense, to help reverse the curse. In a puzzling phrase, 1 Timothy 2:14-15 says, “it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” It was through a woman that mankind was led into sin, but it was also through a woman that God graciously sent a Savior. So I believe 1 Timothy 2:15 means that God has uniquely given mothers the chance to free women from that original stigma by raising a generation of godly children in a way that only a mother can do.