A Child Custody Devotional – Genesis 1:28
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.” Genesis 1:28
In our line of work we often hear the joke, “you know how this happens, right?” My wife can’t stand it, and though we at Foxtrot can’t do what we do as well as we do it without a healthy sense of humor, I’ve begun to lean more and more her way. It’s not that I don’t think there are optimal circumstances to start a family, and of course it’s perfectly fine for folks to not have children for whatever reason. The way I read it, it’s just that God thinks children are a good thing, plain and simple.
But I don’t think God was being redundant when saying “be fruitful and multiply.” He was talking about two different but related things. We have the obligation to bear fruit, to yield positive results. And, like burning our ships behind us, we raise the stakes when we have children. Being lazy was never okay, but now it’s worse. Abusing drugs was never okay, but now it endangers someone besides you. This is accountability; this is also a good thing. If we have no one to fail and fall short for but ourselves then it’s much easier and more tempting to be…you know…fruitless.
People move heaven and earth for their children; they beg, borrow and steal. They work two jobs. They finish their degree. They stop drinking or at least drink less. There are a million things that are inherently good about kids, from the obvious fun and cute parts to the complex, macroeconomic benefits of “fill[-ing] the earth” discussed by folks like Matt Ridley in The Rational Optimist. What has meant the most, at least to me, is that helping committed parents and caring relatives be effective in Child Custody cases just became more important, not less.
But that’s my fruit, not yours. That’s my mango to your manzana. My hope and prayer is that each parent or caring relative blessed with a child can look in the mirror and say “[i]f you thought I was serious about _________ before now then you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” This is the NFL, and it’s game time.