And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
In the beginning, and after the great flood, God said to replenish the earth. That has already been done. Don't feel that you are required to have lots of children.
HOW CHILDREN SHOULD BE RAISED
CHILDREN SHOULD BE RAISED TO BE OBEDIENT AND RESPECTFUL
Children, obey [your] parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.
Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
CHILDREN NEED TO BE TAUGHT ABOUT GOD AND JESUS
Give ear, O my people, [to] my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide [them] from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know [them, even] the children [which] should be born; [who] should arise and declare [them] to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation [that] set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God. The children of Ephraim, [being] armed, [and] carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle. They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law; And forgat his works, and his wonders that he had shewed them.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God [is] one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
2 TIMOTHY 3:15
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
CHILDREN NEED COMMUNICATION
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:
CHILDREN NEED BOUNDARIES
1 SAMUEL 3:13
For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
God, our Father, gave us rules and boundaries because He loves us and knows that we need them. God made it clear to Samuel that it is not good to raise children with no boundaries.
I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
The steps of a man are from the LORD, and he establishes him in whose way he delights;
Just as we need God's direction and guidance, He is the one that sets boundaries and limits on the right way to go.
CHILDREN NEED CORRECTION
He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.
Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.
The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left [to himself] bringeth his mother to shame.
Foolishness [is] bound in the heart of a child; [but] the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.
Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
ALL DONE WITH LOVE
Fathers, provoke not your children [to anger], lest they be discouraged.
1 CORINTHIANS 13:4-7
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
"This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you."
1 JOHN 4:20-21
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
COLOSSIANS 3:8-9, 12-14
But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices.....
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, and patience, forbearing one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
from Albert Barnes
A command addressed particularly to "fathers," because they are at the head of the family, and its government is especially committed to them. The object is to show parents that their commands should be such that they can be easily obeyed,
or such as are entirely reasonable and proper. If children are required to "obey," it is but reasonable that the commands of the parent should be such that they can be obeyed, or such that the child shall not be discouraged in his attempt
to obey. This statement is in accordance with what he had said EPHESIANS 5:22-25 of the relation of husband and wife. It was the duty of the wife to obey - but it was the corresponding duty of the husband to manifest such a character that
it would be pleasant to yield obedience - so to love her, that his known wish would be law to her. In like manner it is the duty of children to obey a parent; but it is the duty of a parent to exhibit such a character, and to maintain such
a government, that it would be proper for the child to obey; to command nothing that is unreasonable or improper, but to train up his children in the ways of virtue and pure religion.
"Provoke not your children to wrath" by unreasonable commands; by needless severity; by the manifestation of anger. So govern them, and so punish them - if punishment is necessary - that they shall not lose their confidence in you, but
shall love you. The apostle here has hit on the very danger to which parents are most exposed in the government of their children. It is that of souring their temper; of making them feel that the parent is under the influence of anger, and
that it is right for them to be so too. This is done:
(1) when the commands of a parent are unreasonable and severe. The spirit of a child then becomes irritated, and he is "discouraged."
(2) when a parent is evidently "excited" when he punishes a child. The child then feels:
(a) that if his father is angry, it is not wrong for him to be angry; and,
(b) the very fact of anger in a parent kindles anger in his bosom - just as it does when two men are contending.
If he submits in the case, it is only because the parent is the strongest, not because he is right, and the child cherishes anger, while he yields to power. There is no principle of parental government more important than that a
father should command his own temper when he inflicts punishment. He should punish a child not because he is angry, but because it is right; not because it has become a matter of personal contest, but because God requires that he should do
it, and the welfare of the child demands it. The moment when a child feels that a parent punishes him under the influence of anger, that moment the child will be likely to be angry too - and his anger will be as proper as that of the parent.
And yet, how often is punishment inflicted in this manner! And how often does the child feel that the parent punished him simply because he was the strongest, not because it was right; and how often is the mind of a child left with a strong
conviction that wrong has been done him by the punishment which he has received, rather than with repentance for the wrong that he has himself done.
"But bring them up" - place them under such discipline and instruction that they shall become acquainted with the Lord.
"In the nurture" means training of a child; hence education, instruction, discipline. Here it means that they are to train up their children in such a manner as the Lord approves; that is, they are to educate them for virtue and religion.
"And admonition" means a putting in mind, then warning, admonition, instruction. The sense here is, that they were to put them in mind of the Lord - of his existence, perfections, law, and claims on their hearts and lives. This command
is positive, and is in accordance with all the requirements of the Bible on the subject. No one can doubt that the Bible enjoins on parents the duty of endeavoring to train up their children in the ways of religion, and of making it the grand
purpose of this life to prepare them for heaven.