Over the past couple of weeks, we have been able to learn together from Zacharias’ family and how they became an exemplary family. Along with his wife Elizabeth, he was able to raise a prophet who Jesus spoke of saying, “For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist…” For Zacharias and his wife, John’s arrival to their home signified that God was with them.
Today we will be talking about what children represent in marriage. I think that it’s not necessary to highlight what many today, even within the Christian community, say about children. These are some of the things I’ve heard: "A child is a big financial burden", "a child demands a lot of time and won’t leave me time for ministry or to do my things", "Raising godly children is very difficult", "the world already has so many people, why have more?" It’s incredible that within the Christian realm we let ourselves be influenced so much by the mentality of people who don’t have Christ in their hearts, today many prefer to have dogs instead of their own kids! We must go back to the Word and constantly examine our thoughts and motivations to reflect the culture of the kingdom.
After having studied the Word for several years, this is what I’ve found that the Bible tells us about children. I want to compare it with what John signified for Elizabeth and Zacharias’ home.
BRING JOY AND GLADNESS
John’s arrival represented a new stage in this couple’s marriage. A child brings joy and gladness to the marriage.
" You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.”
I can assure you that with 3 kids at home, there’s no time to get bored! We have laughed in and enjoyed every stage with our kids. They have truly enriched our home.
THEY ARE GOD’S REWARD
Children represent the inheritance that God has saved only for marriage.
“Behold, children are a [a]gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.”
THEY ARE GOD’S BLESSING
When many people in the church hear that God is going to give them an abundance of goods and riches, they’re the first to raise their hands and shout "Ameeen!”. What a difference response there is when making this same statement in relation to children!
“Blessed shall be the [d]offspring of your [e]body and the [f]produce of your ground and the [g]offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock” (Deuteronomy 28:4)…“The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the [j]offspring of your [k]body and in the [l]offspring of your beast and in the [m]produce of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you” (Deuteronomy 28:11).
I can testify that each of my children’s arrival has opened doors that I never thought would open so fast. The day my daughter Chloe was born, God spoke to me and said that just like the ark of God arrived to Obed-Edom’s house and brought many blessings to his family, this is what Chloe’s arrival represented for us. It represented the presence of God dwelling in our home!
THEY EXTEND AND EXPAND THE WORK OF THEIR PARENTS
Zacharias was able to touch his generations for God thanks to the legacy he raised through his son. Look at what the Word tells us about John’s ministry:
“For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit [a]while yet in his mother’s womb.”
I think the reason the Lord compares children with arrows is because the arrow can go much further than what the person or warrior can in a shorter time. The arrow is an instrument of war to defeat the enemy. Through our offspring we are making the kingdom of God advance!
THEY REPRESENT THAT WE HAVE FOUND GRACE