"It's foolish, short-sighted and selfish to leave a physical inheritance at the cost of a spiritual one; foolish because it ignores God, shortsighted because it ends at the grave, and selfish because it elevates our own interests above our children's. Working to accumulate a material inheritance is far easier, because it is less intrusive, less demanding. It allows men to safeguard their time and their preferences. It bears temporal fruit with an eternal price tag." - Lawrence R. Lucas (The Things You'll See)
At no other time in history is it humanly wiser to have less children. Throughout history it literally paid economically to have children. Having more children would lighten one’s workload as well, and allow one to have an easier life, especially as an older person. But today many look at children as a burden, as a roadblock to personal dreams. It is no question that parenting means making many sacrifices. Even teaching Sunday school or babysitting will mean a sacrifice of time. We will have more anxiety and less free-time and money caring for children, but we will also have much much more joy.
When we look to Jesus, we see that, “for the joy that was set before him he endured the cross...” (Heb. 12:2) We must believe that in taking the harder path, there will be a greater reward.
In Hebrew 11, God says that seeking the greater reward is the essence of what faith is: “He who comes to God must believe that exists, and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
Jim Elliot, that great missionary to Equador said it very well when he famously said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep (namely his life) to gain what he cannot keep.” (eternal life, and a greater closeness to God)
Jesus went through great agony to give birth to us spiritually. But for him he counted it all a joy. The joy on Earth comes from multiplying our own joy in God’s goodness into the lives of others.
1 John says, “I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in the faith.”
There is no greater eternally lasting joy than to give our lives to build up children in the faith.