Psalm 127 tells us that children are a blessing. There is no doubt about it, but they also bring luggage. Each child is unique and each child is complicated. Some of them are easy, some not so much. We've had our challenging children, and we've had our easier ones, and we love them all the same. This post is not about criticizing or critiquing the number of children a family decides to have, I love to see big families.
The issue, as I see it, is that as a family expands trouble is inevitable, and that doesn't mean we should not have more children, or do something different, unlike the legalisticly bent churches I believe this is a matter of conscience, and each family should do as they choose.
Here is where I'm going with this post. I predict that legalistic churches (GFC for sure) eventually get top heavy. We live in the 21st-Century, and kids are inunndated with pressures and things of the world coming at them like no other time in history. Legalism tells them, "don't touch, don't taste," and guess what happens when that is how they are controlled? Why, yes, they rebel.
Churches like Grace Fellowship have made it "almost" mandatory to have as many children as you possibly can. It is in this directive of leadership that trouble is on the horizon. GFC is relatively young, and the children are relatively young, there are not a lot of them into the teenage years yet. As those teen years come upon them, those kids will want to do things, and in most cases they will probably be restricted. This will be a future recipe that will have a damaging consequences on the families and on the church itself. For one, I say, great, let it be so!
Additionally, the church has its resident "parenting experts" who don't have teenagers yet. When you are an "expert" but haven't gone through the teen years yet, you have a couple surprises in-store for you. They don't know that yet, but they will find out.
One of the things I've learned about parenting and I'm by no means an expert, in fact, the more I parent the more I know how little I know. Children need positive outlets. This is something I know for sure, and even in this world, we can allow our children to be in activities that stimulate their minds, provide physical activity, and foster friendships. This is not a bad thing, by the way. Control-oriented churches, and their leaders don't like this, but I can promise the more this stuff gets shut down the harder it will make it for them. And in that I rejoice that legalists don't generally learn from their mistakes.
We will watch as future families depart because their children start taking the brunt of the legal tendencies. Join me in praying for them, that these children will grow up well-adjusted, and be encouraged in outside activities.