Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where Are All The Fathers?

Recently I have become aware of a new phenomenon.  Men who refuse to allow their wives to bear more children!  For a long time I thought that the women were mainly the ones who chose to cut short their fertility after just one or two children.  While I disagreed, I could see that the women may have felt over-burdened with the work involved of caring full-time for the children,the sheer physical toll that pregnancy and labour take on her body or simply pressured by society.  I felt bad for the husbands who were clearly upset over their wives choices...but for whatever reason felt unable to do anything about it.  But as I mentioned already, recently I have become aware that more and more men, seem to be preventing pregnancy in their wives either through insisting their wives take hormonal contraceptives, permanent surgical methods and/or avoiding intimate relations!  It should be mentioned that all the above mentioned methods are un-biblical!  God does not want His people to cut off their fertility!

I began to ponder the reasons why this might be happening. One reason may be that we are now in the midst of a culture that glorifies the man-boy,  a man who still behaves like a boy: prefers to go out and have fun with his friends than tend to his duties at home, one who puts his own needs before that of his wife and children, plays computer games or other unproductive activities that waste time.  Perhaps he wonders why he should be the one 'lumbered' with the responsibility of being the sole financial provider of the home and argues that his wife should 'contribute' financially.  The root of all the above attributes of the man-boy is selfishness!  I will also mention that biblically it is said to be the mans responsibility to be the sole provider for his family, it is  the womans responsibility to keep the home.

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:17-19

Another reason maybe due to the man feeling financially burdened.  In an ideal world, perhaps it was unwise of the man to propose marriage to a young lady until he was able to provide (needs not wants) for said wife and any children that may come.  Perhaps he wrongly avoided taking his headship over the financial spending of the family and allowed his wife to make unnecessary purchases that have financially burdened him/them.  This could include the buying of the family home, perhaps the wife wanted a fancy home with a large mortgage, only to realise at a later date that in her foolish decision she unwittingly cut off her future children.  Perhaps the man simply wants a 'normal' lifestyle and in doing so needs a larger amount of money to fund such, that he feels he cannot afford more children.  Maybe his wife is the one doing all the spending and leaving him feeling financially burdened...either way he should be the one to take responsibility and either put a stop to his own frivolous spending or his wifes and instuct her to be more frugal with the family money!

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. 1 Timothy 5:8

Perhaps he is frustrated and over-burdened with the journey of each pregnancy.  It is widely known that a pregnant womans hormones often lend her to feel more tired and physically sick than usual at certain times, this could leave her behaving unreasonably toward her husband.  The man may resent his pregnant wife refusing to have intimate relations with him during her pregnancy.  He may also be afraid of hurting the baby in this way, so he may instigate the period of abstinence but still resent it.  Perhaps he is exhausted with the sleepless nights, the baby/child may be a poor sleeper or perhaps the wife needs guidance in scheduling the babies sleep or coaching in breastfeeding/co-sleeping.  Either way again he needs to be the one to identify were his wife needs guidance and lovingly encourage her to amend or seek guidance in these areas from more experienced mothers.  Discipline is another area that may leave a father doubtful of having more children...if the children are not disciplined consistently by the mother (who obviously is with them more) then their unruly and disruptive behaviour may be leaving the husband feeling that he and/or his wife would be unable to cope raising more children.  But again the father needs to be the one who, in his headship undertakes the responsibility of disciplining his children effectively and encouraging and supporting the mother in doing this also.

He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Proverbs 13:24

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Malachi 4:6

It must be said that these men are only cheating themselves out of the honour of fathering many children.  Throughout the Bible there is a strong emphasis on the passing of the family name and we are often given detailed breakdowns of certain bloodlines which indicates to us that God in also concerned with these things.  In the Bible it is mentioned many times that when the Lord wishes to bless a faithful servant He most often increases a mans descendants first and foremost, followed by the multiplying of a mans cattle and harvest.  What a gift!  Why would anyone say no to such a blessing?

The wives of such men as these should have our sincerest sympathies.  However, perhaps I have possibly touched on some issues were it would be possible for women to amend such things as to soften her husband toward having more children.  Praying to the Lord also, that He may change the husbands heart is the first and foremost things that should be done in this matter.


Twinkle Toes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chelle said...

I am with you. Love your post. I'm glad there are others out there who are like me.

His bondservant said...

I couldn't agree with you more! Somehow we have given up teaching our men to be men...they prefer to have their freedom and do not want the "burden" of children. We have raised a generation who would rather play with video games than to disciple children for God's glory. And we are a world reaping the benefits.

Elizabeth said...

Psalm 127:5-Happy is the MAN that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Although we, as women enjoy the reward of children also, it is clear that children are foremost a source of happiness given by God for MEN. (but mine sure make me happy, too)

This was fantastic Sarah. Thanks.

Zsuzsanna said...

Great post!!!