Adam and Eve were commanded to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth" (Genesis 1:28). Noah and his sons were commanded to "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 9:1). Jacob was commanded to "be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 35:11). And Christians today are commanded to "be fruitful and multiply."
Or are they?
We learn from scripture that Adam and Eve, Noah, and Jacob all obeyed God's command. They were very fruitful and multiplied greatly. But does this apply to all believers?
The reason I bring this up is because there are those who will tell you that command is just as valid today as it was in the Old Testament. In fact, that is precisely why some Christians condemn all forms of birth control and try to have as many kids as possible.
My wife and I have no biological children. After two failed pregnancies, we decided to grow our family through adoption and are currently in the process of adopting three kids. But if we are indeed commanded to be fruitful and multiply, can our actions be considered obedient? After all, we weren't all that fruitful, and the method by which we are adding to our family won't contribute to our other obligation to "fill the earth," which was why God gave the command in the first place.
What do you think? Are Christians today commanded to be fruitful and multiply, or was that a specific command given to specific people at a specific time for a specific purpose?
While you ponder that, think about this: The Apostle Paul said that it was good for some to remain single as he was (1 Corinthians 7:8). Surely he must have been aware of what God had commanded, so how then could he teach singleness as a virtue?
In fact, we are commanded to be fruitful and multiply. Christ himself gave that command when he told his followers to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:19). Yes, children are a tremendous blessing, "a heritage from the Lord" (Psalm 127:3), but one could argue that the Old Testament command was merely a prelude to the Great Commission, for it is through the gospel that Christians today exercise dominion, subdue the earth, and grow God's Kingdom.
If that's the case, then I think every believer -- those with biological children, those who adopt, those without children, as well as single men and women -- can be obedient.