When God created the universe and put this little ball in space in the metaphorical middle of it, he created these things, us, we call human beings. After he created man, “male and female he created them,” we read:
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth.”
God commands things for a reason. Skeptics are fond of asserting that God’s command’s, if they believe in him or not, are arbitrary. He commands them just because, that’s it. But a few minutes of thinking will reveal how ludicrous is such an assertion. Would not the creator of something know what is best for his creation? Of course he would! God made reality a certain way, to work a certain way. It’s not rocket science, but sinful human beings always seem to think they know better, and thus multiply their misery.
Nothing has brought more misery than the hubris of Western thinkers and culture makers who insist that human sexuality and the family are whatever we want them to be. The latest consequence is what Kay Hymowitz in City Journal calls “a loneliness epidemic” which is a direct result, she argues persuasively, of the decline of the family. Family breakup and breakdown, along with lower fertility rates, have radically transformed family life in the last 50 plus years, leading to “the exploding number of deaths by suicide, alcohol abuse, and drug overdose.” She points to the disturbing fact that opioids themselves are “now a larger cause of American deaths than car accidents,” and that “a majority of them are unmarried or divorced men.”
If you grew up in the 60s and 70s like I did, you would be familiar with the constant refrain in the media that overpopulation was an existential threat to human existence. Mass starvation was just around the corner, the Chicken Littles warned, because there will soon be too many mouths to feed, and not enough food to feed them. That has proved laughably untrue, just like “climate change” alarmists’ predictions today will be too. World population has doubled since 1970, and yet there are fewer people in poverty and less starvation than at any time in human history.
Unfortunately for many lonely people, the overpopulation myth still has it’s influence in Western culture. Not that people consciously think that overpopulation is a real problem. It’s more pernicious, and subtle, than that. Instead of people being seen as a resource that leads to human flourishing, they are seen as an obstacle, as something that gets in the way of our happiness. Think of how many young couples believe it’s a good idea to putting off having children until they can “afford it.” Yes, children are expensive to raise, but guess what happens when you have them? You generally find ways, no matter what it takes, to support them! It’s sad that so many Christian couples have the culturally acceptable two children. Christians, especially when it comes to life, are called to be radically counter cultural, especially in a secular age which sees children as a challenge to our personal autonomy and self-fulfillment.
Which brings me back to God’s command to Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. God’s commands are specifically given to us as a blessing, to make life what he intended it to be. Both his positive and negative commands are given to help us live life as he intended, to flourish. That word means to “grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.” And as challenging as family can be, there is no more favorable environment for human flourishing.
The sexual revolution which promised freedom and fulfillment, has brought untold misery not only to those who embrace it, but to it’s victims, not least the lonely among us. The insightful folks at Breakpoint have a favorite saying: ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have victims. And there are few more bad ideas than that “old fashioned” marriage and family, and the monogamy that undergirds, is passe. Read Kay Hymowitz and I think you’ll agree. There is no better way to counter bad ideas than with good ones, so I encourage Christian couples to obey their Creator and be fruitful and multiply!