Proverbs 27:17

Proverbs 27:17

Friday, May 24, 2024

Genesis 1:28 (Daily Verse and Comment)

  Genesis 1:28

(28) Then God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth." 
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God provides marriage to produce children, and evidently, He wants many of them! The Catholic Church teaches that the primary reason for marriage is to produce children, but spiritually, it is secondary to God's higher purpose. Certainly, marriage is the only union so authorized and blessed to produce children. This purpose contains all the sexual aspects to marriage relations, as regulated by the seventh commandment, "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14Deuteronomy 5:18).

Children produced outside of the marriage union will automatically be burdened by severe disadvantages. Beyond the emotional troubles inherent in illegitimacy, single-parent households are typically poorer than the average and are powerless to improve. The harried single parent is forced to work long hours at his job or several jobs, decreasing the precious time that every parent needs to give to his children. In this situation, children often spend a great deal of time alone and undisciplined, frequently finding themselves in trouble with teachers and administrators, neighbors, and law enforcement. As a result, they often feel unloved, abandoned, and at odds with the world, and many end up repeating the sins of their parents.

Only within marriage and the traditional family can children have the best environment to produce, not just secure, peaceful, useful lives, but also the discipline and character to have the image of God created in them. This does not preclude a child produced outside of marriage from God's calling, although it can make matters more difficult. By the same token, not every child who grows up in a traditional Christian family will answer God's summons to belief and repentance. However, marriage provides the best and the only God-sanctioned relationship for the conception, bearing, and rearing of children. If a child begins his life in the proper environment, he has a head start on reaching both his physical and spiritual potentials.

These purposes of marriage always seem to return to the idea that God is reproducing Himself. The lawful union of man and wife is a vital first step in this process. Once God binds them together and they conceive a child, they bring into being another individual who has the potential to be a member of God's Family. This is the way God intends the process to begin.

Then, after parents train them up in the way that they should go (Proverbs 22:6), they turn them over to God for further development as His children. This is one of the great ironies in all of creation: that God gives often young, immature, inexperienced human parents "first crack" at producing children in His image. He places upon them the tremendous responsibility to mold and shape the next generation into the moldable clay that He can work with to shape righteous sons and daughters for His Kingdom.

Nonetheless, it all begins with marriage, the best environment to turn out the ideal product for God to use in reproducing Himself.

— Richard T. Ritenbaugh

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