In November of 2022, the human population hit eight billion people. That means eight billion people need food, shelter, and energy for transportation and protection from the elements. In Genesis 1:28 and 9:1, God told Adam and Eve and later Noah and his family to “be fruitful and multiply.” Then the text uses the Hebrew word “mala” the Earth. Mala can mean fill, replenish, satisfy, accomplish, or confirm, according to Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
God’s command to early humans told them to take on the responsibility of caring for the planet. It does not mean their only purpose would be to have lots of children. God expects us to control and care for the creation, not merely endure its challenges. There is a fundamental difference between the biblical concept of our relationship to the planet and our present state, which has caused poverty and starvation.
The Christian system teaches a one-man/one-woman system of marriage as opposed to polygamy. It also teaches that being a father places responsibilities upon men. Passages like Ephesians 6:4 and Colossians 3:21 make it clear that fathering children gives men a responsibility to encourage and guide them.
The quality of life for Earth’s eight billion people depends on how we manage the issues of population control and caring for the environment. The teachings of Christ support the nurturing of the Christian family. The selfish and reckless placing of pleasure above all else brings pain to the individuals who embrace it and tragedy to human society. Promoting and following the Christian system of values is essential for human flourishing, and the collateral damage produced by not following it is becoming increasingly evident.
— John N. Clayton © 2023