Home church/children's ministry Dear Christian: You Can’t Be For the Great Commission & Against Growing Families

Dear Christian: You Can’t Be For the Great Commission & Against Growing Families

by Kelly Crawford

When you’ve written at the same spot for 11 years, sometimes you think you’ve said all the things. But then again, unless people are digging into the archives, some things bear repeating. So hear goes part of my heart…

I recently listened to a Voddie Baucham sermon that reminded me of the Christian’s double standard when it comes to the Great Commission. (Totally worth the listen–at least the first 13 minutes.) He reminds us of the story of Jim Elliot and the other 4 men who lost their lives ministering to a remote Auca tribe. Then their wives. They went back to the savages who murdered their husbands in order to share the gospel with them. The Great Commission. Worth the risk even of life itself. We call them heroines, unanimously. 

Then he told the story of his Christian friend, “Jane,” a faithful mom, who just had her 6th VBAC. Her friends call her irresponsible. Why?

The Great Commission is nothing more than sharing the gospel with people who don’t know the Lord. The savages in Ecuador and the children born here in America have one thing in common: they need the gospel. Is one more important in the Kingdom than another?

Christians have largely and colossally missed the boat on their understanding of children. While the Great Commission urges us to disciple the nations, our own children surely stand first in that line. Throughout Scripture we see, over and over, His directives about children:

“Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them…”

“And why did He make them one? Because He desires godly offspring.”

“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine, and your children like olive shoots around our table.”

And yet the church focuses on evangelism of the lost–out there, simultaneously scorning the Christian family who accepts the children God gives them. The irony is blaring. Can you see it?

Dear Christian brothers and sisters: our job here is to glorify the Lord and advance the Kingdom of Christ. We do that by both bringing the gospel to the lost around us, and bringing the gospel to our own children, welcoming them as the gifts God says they are, and one is not greater than the other, though our job as parents, I believe is the weightier job.

If Christians everywhere saw their own responsibility to bring up children to know and love the Lord, as part of the Great Commission, by sheer numbers (yes I said it) we would see Christ’s Kingdom advance and His authority and dominion rule. Disclaimer: does it mean every child a Christian brings into the world will become a Christ-follower? No it doesn’t. It means the odds are in our favor that our faithfulness will bear fruit over the course of history. We’re in a long-term battle here.

Love the gift of children. Encourage it among your fellow brothers and sisters. Don’t claim to hate abortion but poke fun at the mother with more than 3 children. That is hypocritical. Christians were given instructions to be fruitful. To multiply. To fill the earth. To raise those children to glorify God. The church’s first growth is through families. Don’t despise the fruitfulness of the womb that God created.



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Danielle July 9, 2018 - 10:10 pm

Thank you for this! Well said. I am currently pregnant with our 8th (and 6th VBAC), and I was actually nervous about telling our church (my husband is a pastor) because I have had awkward reactions in the past. It can be lonely, even in the church, to be “that” family, but it’s worth it and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Kelly Crawford July 9, 2018 - 10:17 pm

Blessings to you, Danielle! The Lord sees.

D. July 9, 2018 - 10:52 pm

Right on, Kelly! As we raise our children to know and love the Lord, we are increasing the chances of potential evangelists, Christ followers, who will live out the Gospel and continue raising a godly seed.

I feel so frustrated with the mentality of previous generations who left their children behind, as though the “heathen” in another part of the world was more lost than their own “heathen” from the womb! It is so true what you say that somehow being a missionary in a third world country trumps being one to our own children and neighbors. I believe God just wants us to be faithful no matter where we live.

Thanks for being a voice for truth.

Kelly Crawford July 9, 2018 - 11:05 pm

Thank you, D! I agree completely.

Layne July 10, 2018 - 12:19 am

Cute kids AND cute grandbaby!? How fun to see! All beautifully made in God’s image! Thanks for the picture AND the post!

Mrs. D July 10, 2018 - 1:27 am

Excellent post! Thank you!

Klecia July 10, 2018 - 6:16 am

I am pregnant with #7 and I’m 42 (will be almost 43 when baby comes). I am concerned with telling my parents, they reacted negatively last time and “forbid” me to have anymore All my pregnancies so far have been straightforward with no real issues, so not sure what they’re problem is, but I’m tempted to not tell them until they ask (I’m praying about it), my parents visit us every week that’s why it’s a bit of a bg deal, if I hardly saw them I probably wouldn’t care as much. We do get all of the other comments from various strangers too, that doesn’t phase me as much. Also hospital visits aren’t so fun since most drs don’t like my age or number of kids and seem to want to tell you how “high risk” you are.

OG July 10, 2018 - 8:34 am

Klecia, huge blessings to you and keeping you in our prayers. I come from a family od 17 kids (all biological). My parents and even us children had and continue to experience what you have. I can tell you it helps being strong and to have faith. I love big families and enjoy hearing of them. We just had our first, labor wasnt easy for us and I really pray and hope God can help me with other babies. This baby has definitely changed how I feel about having our own and leaning more towards foster parenting and adoption. I know God has a plan for each and everyone of us and pray that I have strength like you, my mom and all the moms that have as many as you do. Thank you for loving on your babies and not being afraid.

Lisa July 10, 2018 - 9:49 am

Thank you for writing this, Kelly! We are expecting our 7th baby. I agree with you wholeheartedly!

Em02 July 10, 2018 - 10:32 am

I needed this today! My husband and I were moved to support and encourage large families after the illness and death of my grandfather. He had 1 biological child and 3 step children whom he loved as his own. We were struck with the truth that had he only the 1 child his last days would have been spent alone much of the time. Instead he was surrounded by (step) kids, (step) grand and great grand kids. He was hardly ever left alone. It was such a reminder that the best investments are made in people & relationships! We are now expecting #5 and delighted that the Lord saw fit to bless us again after some reproductive health issues.

Kelly Crawford July 10, 2018 - 10:46 am

Em02–I love this revelation. Yes, the truth of the importance of people is not seen anywhere as clearly as in the life of the elderly.

6 arrows July 10, 2018 - 11:17 am

Thanks for writing this, Kelly. Such an important reminder.

When the younger of our two pastors came to our church a couple of years ago, his and his wife’s five children were approximately ages three to eleven. When I first met his wife, she told me how relieved she had been to see a picture directory of our congregation before moving here and to find our family’s picture with my husband and me and our six children.

No one in their previous congregation had anywhere near the number of children they had, and I think she was glad to find another family who welcomed God’s gift of children as He chose to give, even when that number goes beyond cultural norms.

Sad that that is so rare. In the general culture, I can understand. But in the church? What a precious opportunity we too often miss to spread the gospel right in our own homes, and to be an example to those outside our homes of the blessings of trusting God as He works His will.

Kelly Crawford July 10, 2018 - 11:55 am

6 arrows,

Yes and amen. As more Christians see the importance of children and embrace the broader definition of the Great Commission, I am encouraged that we will begin to see His Kingdom and its effects spread across the world.

Amanda July 11, 2018 - 12:06 am

I am always so blessed by your writing! I recently experienced my first miscarriage out of 6 pregnancies and it has brought home all-the-more how precious each of my children are. I am thoroughly convinced that I am a missionary to my children and desire to raise godly adults who will carry the gospel to the next generation. As some of the other commenters have said, it saddens me to see the negative reaction in the Church toward families who give God authority in their life in the area of reproduction. It seems like such an oxymoron as a Christian since we are always told that God should have authority in our lives (except in that area, of course! lol). Anyway, thank you for always being a breath of fresh air to this momma of a growing tribe!

Kelly Crawford July 13, 2018 - 11:35 pm


I’m so sorry for the loss of your baby! Yes, life is so precious. Thankful for women like you who understand the weight of it.

Liz April 5, 2019 - 1:37 am


Former Planned Parenthood Director, Abby Johnson, says in this video that 60% of women getting abortions identify as Christians. If that doesn’t reveal the wrong attitude of the church toward children I don’t know what does.

Mrs.Momof9 March 23, 2020 - 3:07 pm

I am the homeschooling mom of 9 kids, 17 and under. This summer we anticipate the arrival of twins. There have been times when I have asked God if I should keep pressing on… I have had to stand against/make a defense to: my own family, my friends, my church, complete strangers (and sometimes even myself) in order to have children. It’s not for the faint of heart. I bear these children for the same reason you stated in the article, “Why I have So Many Children”. My life is crazy somedays. But this is Kingdom work. Conviction, and a love of Christ can cause people to do crazy things… like willingly stand in the flame of being burned at the stake (I have forgotten which martyrs have done this, but more than one!), or to have as many children as the Lord brings. What really gets me though, is all the believers I know who say they would willingly give their lives, or are ok with their kids becoming missionaries in dangerous places, but shame the mother who presses on in bearing children when it wears out her body, and may have its own difficulties. How is it less godly to give up my life for these little ones, than it is to give up your life for the heathen in the Amazon? I’ll have my crown in heaven, and I’ll enjoy the treasure that is children eternally; as will you. God bless!


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