On July 16, God blessed Cassidy and me with a handsome, healthy, hearty, hefty, and hilarious little boy. We may be only slightly partial, but we do think Wallace is the cutest little man we have ever met.

The Reason for This Post

After we got married on September 1, 2017, we received many questions like the following: “How many children would you like to have?” “How long are you waiting?” “How far apart will you space your children?”

The answer to these questions lies within scripture and the godly legacy of our parents. Before marriage, Cassidy and I decided to allow God to bless us with as many as he would see fit. We chose to do so, not just because we love children, but most importantly, because God’s Word defines children as a blessing.

Not A Given

Even though we opened ourselves to God’s blessings, we knew that was no guarantee that the Lord would ever bless us with children. Graciously, he gave Wallace Bradford to two sinful, undeserving parents.

We hope and pray God blesses us with more, while recognizing that Wallace may be the only child He ever gives us.

Though we can’t manufacture God’s blessings, we do know that Wallace Bradford would not exist had we chosen to close ourselves to God’s blessings.

Following are three Biblical reasons why we chose to allow God to bless us.

1. The Doctrine of Blessing 

James points out, “Every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). What have we done to deserve His gifts of food, family, modern conveniences, health, or freedom?

The answer is simple. Nothing.

Jacob’s testimony was this: These are “the children which God hath graciously given thy servant” (Genesis 35:5).

David complained that the wicked were “full of children” (Psalm 17:14).

One of Job’s greatest blessings was his children. The Lord took his ten, but then gave him ten more.

Hannah prayed earnestly for children. After blessing her with Samuel, the Lord gave Hannah five more children (I Samuel 2:21).

When Christ saw his disciples turning away children, “He was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:14).

Christ promised, “Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me” (Mark 9:37).

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

Truly, as Psalm 127:3 states, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward.” 

2. The Attitude of Blessing 

While raising ten children, my parents often heard these objections: “If I can’t handle two, how can you handle ten?” “How can you provide for so many?” “How can you spend enough time with each one?”

If you were to ask them these questions, they would tell you that the difference lies in one’s perspective. If you love and train them according to God’s Word, they will not be burdens, but blessings.

About twenty-five years ago, God convicted my parents through a Christian judge they heard on the radio. This judge explained that God’s Word viewed children as a blessing. The judge believed that Christians often had the attitude of abortion, asking, “Are we really more anti-abortion than we are pro-life?

His influence caused my parents to allow God to bless them with as many children as He desired.

Not only did my parents open themselves to God’s blessings; they treated every child God gave as special and unique.

Never did I or my nine siblings feel unwanted. My parents loved, encouraged, affirmed, and spent time with each one of us. Their attitude mirrored the attitude of God, who deeply loves each one of His children.

As my siblings and I played, sang, and worked together, we discovered the blessed joys of living.

“Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 18:10).

3. The Impact of Blessing

When environmental alarmists worry about overpopulation, they miss a vital Biblical principle: God never intended us to destroy His earth by following His commands.

Psalms 127:4-5 states, “As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemy in the gate.”

Malachi 2:15 claims that God instituted marriage so He could leave “A godly seed.”

As my parents, siblings, and I have discovered, a strong, godly family is one of the greatest lights in this dark world.

How would the world be different if we opened ourselves up to God’s blessing of children and intentionally trained and discipled the next generation?

Like the Egyptians of old, maybe the pagans today would wake up realizing that we were more powerful than they (Exodus 1:9).

Children are the greatest weapon in God’s arsenal, designed to prick Satan’s warriors and to advance God’s kingdom. To us he has entrusted the sacred responsibility of receiving and discipling them. May we pray that we would view children as He views them–as incredible blessings.

Throughout history, God used families, like the families of Noah, David, Rechab, and Abraham to change the world. Could he use your family as well? Will you open yourself to receiving as many or as few as He may give?

Categories: Family

17 Comments

Allison · July 24, 2018 at 1:23 pm

Amen!!! Excellent post, Josh. I am so grateful for the legacy of our parents. You and Cassidy have a beautiful, Biblical perspective as you trust the Lord for your family.
Love you guys!
Alli

    Joshua Bontrager · July 24, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Thanks Alli! We do have much to be thankful for!

Ron Cornelius · July 24, 2018 at 1:41 pm

As a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather I can say your post is brilliant!

ChelsyRenee · July 24, 2018 at 1:50 pm

I’m changing my favorite posts from last one to this one. =) So good…I give a hearty AMEN to everything you said! So blessed by our legacy of blessing, and so honored for the opportunity to carry that on for generations to come!
Also these pictures are adorable!!

Ann · July 24, 2018 at 3:18 pm

In truth, the question of allowing God to choose the size of my family was one I never thought I would need to consider – I thought He had already answered it by ensuring I would never have a child biologically my own!

Then 4 children came into my home via difficult circumstances, my husband and I will adopt them once the necessary processes have been completed. The Lord has many ways of creating families, where hearts and minds are open to His will and guidance.

    Joshua Bontrager · July 26, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Ann,

    Though I don’t know the details of your situation, one verse comes to mind. Psalm 68:6 says, “God setteth the solitary in families…” His perfect plan is for children to be raised by parents, whether biologically or through adoption. I pray that God will bless you and your husband with these four children!

Chad Anderson · July 24, 2018 at 3:44 pm

Wow! Great theology Joshua! I agree with and amen every posted comment thus far! Subdue the earth with godly seed! Brilliant idea! I wonder who came up with that?

    Joshua Bontrager · July 26, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Chad,

    That’d be God’s idea, not mine!

    We must do our best to be faithful with receiving and discipling the children He has given, while praying that He would use them to make an eternal impact.

    We often forget what God can do with one child and one life.

Jared · July 24, 2018 at 5:16 pm

I couldn’t have said it better myself! Very well put! Sadly, the concept of receiving God’s blessing in the form of children is almost nonexistent in society today, even among “christian” circles. But I believe that could change through the compounding affect of passing on these fundamental truths from generation to generation. And I believe we see you and your Love building that next generation on these sacred truths! Keep it up, my friend!

Marion · July 24, 2018 at 6:28 pm

A Beautiful post.
Marion

Bianca Jago · July 25, 2018 at 12:08 am

Thanks for sharing! And congratulations on your son’s arrival!

I wonder if WordPress has a button for sharing to Pinterest?

    Joshua Bontrager · July 26, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Bianca,

    Thank-you! I just added the sharing button to the bottom of the post.

Mary · July 25, 2018 at 3:34 pm

That is perfectly said! Children are a huge blessing, (I come from a large family, on both sides,) & I truly believe that with all my heart!
Congratulations to you & Cassidy on the arrival of your precious boy!
Blessings,
Mary

Marie Griffin · July 25, 2018 at 10:14 pm

Congratulations on your new baby boy!!! What a beautiful post !!!

Hannah · July 28, 2018 at 11:44 am

So much truth in this article !
I’m one of ten myself : )

    Joshua Bontrager · August 1, 2018 at 6:49 am

    Hannah,

    Not everyone is blessed to grow up with so many siblings, but those who experience a joy-filled party! I’m sure you have many fond memories with your siblings.

Anna Peet · July 29, 2018 at 10:54 pm

Yes! Go Josh! Wallace Bradford is so gorgeous 😍

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