I was shocked and saddened at the news, yesterday, that Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar had miscarried their twentieth child, seemingly so soon after they had just announced their pregnancy.
Even more shocking were the droves of scoffers and the morally indignant who flocked to Facebook and Internet comment threads to capitalize on the tragedy.
Their message, of course, was clear: it was her fault for having so many children; she had it coming.
It was the last statement, in particular, that had me up in arms.
No one, not even Michelle herself, I think, would dispute the fact that her age and previous miscarriage put her at a higher risk for another failed pregnancy.
That is not the issue.
The comments were not simply "she had a higher risk of miscarriage so I'm not surprised" but also "she deserved her miscarriage for having so many children".
Sex before marriage? - Sure! - Cohabitation? - You bethca! - Abortion? - Why not?
How about being the loving parents of nineteen, well-behaved, well taken care of children without government help?
*Gasp* Surely not! Why that's "immoral", "unethical", "irresponsible", and "selfish"!
Not surprisingly, the Bible is at odds with contemporary wisdom on "family planning" and the ultimate controller of life and death.
Scripture is clear that it is God who gives life ( 1 Timothy 6:13) and sets the measure of a man's days (Job 14:5).
We also read that children are blessings (Psalm 127:3-5, John 16:21).
God has also given us a charge to procreate (Genesis 1:28, 9:7, 35:11).
This is a blessing AND a command.
One doesn't have to think to hard whether or not the Duggars have any biblical for their family planning philosophy.
Heck! As far as I can tell, their "unusual" family is exactly what we should see if the biblical perspective on procreation is played out in the lives of someone who can properly raise and take care of many children.
This is not hard to imagine when one understand that we are to have and raise children for the Lord and His glory. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Or that God wishes to share Himself and His absolute goodness and splendor with as many people as possible in our world. (2 Peter 3:9)
I have to ask why anyone wouldn't jump at the chance to have and raise children (adopted or natural) in the hope that they may one day have the privilege of glorifying God and enjoying him forever.
Unselfishness and responsibility preclude abusing God's blessings not accepting them gratefully with the intention of bringing Him honor.
As long as a person is in position where they can fulfill God's command to procreate, rightly and with integrity they should have no qualms about doing so.
I must say that while birth control divorces sex from its procreational purposes, it is not explicitly condemned in the Bible and, therefore, must be treated accordingly.
In short, no child, born or unborn, should be denied the opportunity to have and share the glory of God here on earth and in heaven, especially not for selfish purposes.
Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are doing nothing but obeying the Word of God and others would do well to take notice and follow their example.