As Christians, it is our duty to proclaim to the world the gospel of babies. Babies are a blessing. God loves babies, and God holds particular love for the innocent.
We see God’s love throughout the Bible. In Exodus, God gives the death penalty to negligent homicide of the unborn baby.
Exo 21:22 “If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.
Exo 21:23 But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life,
Some people claim that this does not refer to the unborn baby, but the text is very clear. A woman has a premature birth and the text links this to the harm that may follow. The birth causes the assailant to pay restitution. But Exodus adds, if any harm follows (as opposed to “no harm” against the unborn baby), then it is a “life for a life”. Killing unborn babies, even accidentally, was a capital crime.
Elsewhere, when God sees Israel sacrificing their own children to a false God, He laments that their actions are so evil that He never even imagined they would do such a thing:
Jer 19:5 (they have also built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or speak, nor did it come into My mind),
All major versions of the Bible were translated by Calvinists, and their dedication to Calvinism masks the true force of this verse with jumbled language. But God is proclaiming the deepest sorrow, hurt, and rage. He next proclaims that because of this (and other sins) He would slaughter them all:
Jer 19:6 therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that this place shall no more be called Tophet or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.
Elsewhere in the Bible we see God working with babies in the womb. God is said to have formed David in the womb. Jeremiah was called by God when yet unborn. John the Baptist is said to have leapt in the womb. Unborn babies are personified because they are valuable people. God loves babies.
However, modern Americans tend to hate babies. One or two children are seen as ideal. More than that, people receive glares, ridicule, and negative comments. “Wow, I am glad I am not the mother.” “You do know how babies are made, right?” “You must be Catholic.”
The perception of babies is a perception of “users” or “leaches”. Each additional baby is seen as an extra polluter or an extra consumer. Government programs are instituted to control population. Various classes of people are encouraged not to have children.
So how, as Christians, do we fight this assault on babies?
The first thing Christians must do is fight the stigmatization of children. At all points, encourage people to have children. Explain to people that “waiting to have children” is a terrible strategy that sometimes results in childlessness. If someone has more than three children, offer congratulations and encouraging words. Ask and encourage them to have more. Always point out that no one regrets having a child. In old age, no parent looks back as says “I wish little Susie was never born”.
Even unwed mothers never regret having their child. If an unwed mother is talking to you about the struggles of being unmarried with children, ask if they would undo their decision. They will think of their child, and say they cannot imagine life without their baby. They lose their regrets. When they think of their baby and weigh it against what they gave up, they choose the baby.
Our gospel should be forceful, direct, and strong:
Babies are amazing. They are little people. They are little “you”s that wander around, learning and living. They have their own little thoughts and dreams and desires. You get to watch them experience the world anew. They are creative and innocent. You get to talk to them and teach them. They are precious.
Single mothers. When you find out someone is a single mother, our first response should be happy approval. In this country it is legally permissible to kill your children. A mother with a child chose life. Our eyes should beam because there is another soul alive on Earth, another human being with their own thoughts, dreams, wishes, and desires. This is a beautiful thing. The events leading up to the baby are in the past. They have resulted in this innocent child. Even if we hold scorn for premarital sex, our love of the child should trump our negativity.
Our first questions to unwed mothers should always be about the child. Instead of “how old were you when you got pregnant” ask “how old is your child?”. Focus on the child. What is the baby’s age, gender, name? Women beam with pride when talking about their offspring. We need mothers to feel good about their children.
If critics talk about population, cost, time, or anything else negative about child rearing, they should be pointed to Economist Bryan Caplan’s book: Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids
Never before in all of history have kids been as affordable, valuable, and safe. Children are not as expensive or time consuming as people think they are or make them into. Parents have much less long term effect on their children than they would like to think, so even “bad parenting” is not a concern. Environmental concerns and population concerns are definitely unfounded and easy to refute.
There is no better time in all of history to have children.