"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD:
and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows in the hand of a mighty man;
so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate" Psalm 127:3-5).
There is a lot of good teaching around today about prosperity. Preachers take great delight in quoting passages from the Bible which promise prosperity, and enthusiastically apply these promises to their lives. They are happy to claim fiat money, houses, cars and clothes as examples of ways in which they can expect to prosper, based on these passages of Scripture - and there's nothing wrong with that.
But many of these same passages also talk about having large families - in terms of it being a blessing. So when was the last time you heard a prosperity preacher claim that particular "blessing"?
It seems we don't really consider it a blessing to have a large family nowadays, even though the Bible calls it a blessing. We've thought that to safeguard our prosperity, we better limit the number of children we have.
The church largely reflects the thinking of contemporary secular society, on this matter. But the Bible says that God's people ought to be blessed with greater fertility than non-covenant people!
Another way in which we differ from the Bible in modern society is in regard to inheritance. We consider it normal in our society for a newly married couple to have to spend half their working-life paying off the mortgage on a quarter-acre block. And then when their kids get married, they have to start from scratch as well, going into half a lifetime of debt - and we think that's normal.
It doesn't sound to me like that's what God had in mind. There has to be a better way.
The Bible says that His covenant people should be "above only and not beneath", the "head and not the tail", that we would "lend...and...not borrow".
How is this achievable? In this article I seek to illustrate how a return to old, Biblical values could vouchsafe prosperity to us, to our children and our children's children for generations to come. Children and inheritance (land) could be two keys to prosperity.
Imagine a young couple marrying at around age 21. Let's say the couple likes children and they end-up producing five children over the next say 21 years. Then imagine each of their children marries at around the age of 21 and has five children as well, over say the next 21 years. Then each of their grandchildren has five children over the following 21 years, and so on...
Considering each person lives between 70 and 80 years, and each person finds their spouse outside the family, after approximately 100 years there would be somewhere in the vicinity of 625 families with a total of 4,678 people. That's almost the population of the centre of Gatton, Queensland. All from one couple, in only 100 years!
Imagine the influence for good that an extended family of this size can have! That's influence. That's wealth. That's prosperity. That's blessing.
But how can couples afford a "large" family (of five) these days? Consider the following Biblical approach to inheritance as a possible answer.
Let's say, instead of purchasing a nice house in the City, the original couple are willing to go just a bit further out of town, and purchase a small house on inexpensive acreage - zoned rural or semi-rural. For about the same price as a nice house in the City, the couple can buy hundreds of acres - and some properties even already have multiple titles and dwellings.
"But who would want to live outside of the City?" Well remember that some people already have to drive 40-minutes to get to work anyway, even though they live in the City! So it's not all that different.
So the couple starts-out living in a small house - just a bit of a shack perhaps, with only one or two-bedrooms. Then as each of their children is born, they add an extra bedroom onto the house, as it's needed.
At a cost of between $600 - $2000 per square metre for an extension, the family can afford to save-up and probably pay cash for each extension without having to borrow money, when each new baby arrives.
As each new child comes along, the couple keeps extending the house, one room at a time, as they can afford it.
Then when the time comes when their firstborn gets married and moves out - a simple, inexpensive dwelling can be built for the young couple somewhere down the far end of the property, where they can live their own independent life.
As each child grows up and gets married, he prepares a dwelling for his bride, down one end of the family property.
The advantage for each of their kids is: they never have to buy land: they only need to build a small dwelling. To begin with, they would construct a simple one or two-bedroom home, at a cost of only about $28,000 after receiving the Government's $7,000first home-owner's grant.
Then as each of their children comes along, their house can be extended in stages as they can afford it, adding one extra room at a time - just like their parents did.
When their children grow up and marry, houses can be built for them also, on the property - and each of these houses is similarly extended in small stages to accommodate each child that comes along, and so on...
After approximately 100 years, there would now be around 625 houses on the property and each house would end-up having six bedrooms or more. That's a bit of a mansion!
At no stage would any of the children ever need to buy land, or ever need to borrow money from any financial institution outside the extended family. Each new home would be highly affordable, because the land is already owned by the extended family and because each family has the luxury of being allowed to start with a small structure which can be extended in stages as they can afford it.
Since they won't ever need to go to the Banks, a total of nearly $400 million in borrowings and interest can be saved by the extended family over the 100-year period.
And that figure is not even considering that by 100 years, some families wouldn't need to build at all, as a number of houses would by then have become available for inheritance.
But even if each new couple borrowed money for each stage of building, at no time would they ever need to borrow more than approximately $12,000 (compare that with the average mortgage in the City).
And consider quality of life. If the original couple had bought say 1000 acres, and the land now has 625 houses on it, that means each house would have its own one-and-a-half acre block. That's seven times the size of most residential blocks in the City.
And there would still be 62.5 acres of spare land remaining, which could be developed into parks, walking tracks, a lake, farms, family businesses, roadways or a community centre.
And all of it would be owned by the extended family! The fathers would be able to look out over the estate saying, "How's the serenity!"
The financial burden on couples to borrow money from outside the family is eliminated. Land was only purchased once. Money was never borrowed from a Bank to build the houses.
All this is possible simply by each family having five children and by following the Biblical inheritance pattern in which rural land, once inherited, could never be sold outside the Tribe. Real Estate in the City could be sold, but rural land always stayed in the Tribe - it could be leased, but never sold.
Population + land = influence = power = prosperity.
In this way, one man can become a village or a township of 625 families totalling 4,678 people.
God's plan was for a man to become a family, for families to become a tribe, and for tribes to become a nation.
In 100 years, the City will have grown out to meet the land which was once a 40-minute drive from the City, so by then the 1000-acre estate will have city value. And in the mean time, the family isn't too inconvenienced because, like I said, many people living in the City are already driving 40-minutes to get to work anyway.
Adapting the Principles
Sounds good. But of course it's a bit idealistic and there are reasons why it probably wouldn't work-out exactly like that in practice - and we're probably not meant to try to follow it to the letter either.
However, the model serves, in an over-the-top sort of way, to illustrate concepts which could be a blessing to us, even if we only adopted some of them to a small extent.
There are some principles in it which I think are worth considering. Maybe some couples could apply parts of it, in varying degrees - depending on what's appropriate to each family's unique calling, circumstances and culture.
As Paul said: "Every man has his proper gift of God." We're not all called to do the same thing in life, nevertheless we can each trust God to prosper us despite the varying sacrifices of our callings.
One reason why it wouldn't always happen exactly like that is because not every child will stay in the vicinity of their parents: some will become more closely connected to their spouse's side of the family; others will move away to follow a call of God, or for education, career, or missions, or simply to feel more independent.
Statistically however, a large number of children do end-up living close to the vicinity of their parents.
Even if just half or a third of the couple's 4,678 descendants stayed somewhere on or near the original estate, that's still 2,339 or 1,559 people.
A man with this many descendants in one Shire is still considered a man of considerable influence - not to mention that his children who have moved away will be a blessing wherever they are as well.
Even considering two-thirds of the children will end-up moving away, the model is still financially beneficial, in the following ways:
The ownership of the land always stays in the extended family.
So each individual family, even when they move away, remains a perpetual joint-heir to the land, no matter what.
Each family would still individually own both a share in the land plus they would own outright and individually any improvements they had personally built on the family land.
For example, if they'd built a house, they can continue to derive an income from it by letting it, or they could use its collateral.
The point is that each family, even if they move away, is given a tremendous head-start in life, by the opportunity to own land and house pretty-much debt-free, back at "home".
Blessed to Be a Blessing
4678 people. Imagine the influence for good that a man can have through having this many descendants. What a blessing!
The above calculations are based on five children per family - because five children per couple was the average fertility rate in Australia in the 50's, before the introduction of the contraceptive pill.
But since we believers are covenant people and have the promise of becoming "blessed above all people round about" us, therefore we can reasonably expect to have even more than five children per family.
(Fertility is a blessing, according to the Bible).
So let's say each generation, instead of having five children, ends-up being blessed with the average fertility rate that existed in Australia in the 1800's - which was eight children per couple.
The population after 100 years would now be 42,000 (instead of 4,678 if they only had five children).
That's a town bigger than Mt Isa, Queensland; or about the size of the City of Armidale, NSW.
Imagine the combined economic power of an extended family this size!
(Townships of a similar size already contribute a sizable percentage of Queensland's overall Gross State Product).
Now consider if, instead of five or eight children, each family had the same number of children with which the Lord blessed Jacob - that is,12 children.
The result after a hundred years would be almost a half million people, or more than the population of the entire Gold Coast, or about 12% of Queensland's total population, in just 100 years!
All from one couple.
Then imagine if not just one couple but every Christian couple was similarly blessed.
If you want to talk about church growth, or revival - that's a pretty effective strategy right there!
I'll show you some figures on that further down.
(Christians ought to be more fertile than non-covenant people!)
But considering one family for now, and for the sake of being conservative, let's use the lower figure of only five children, and let's only count one-third of his 4,678 descendants since two-thirds could move away - which comes to 1,559 people.
Imagine the influence that a family of 1,559 people can have in its local Shire (ignoring the influence the other two-thirds of the family will have wherever they go).
This number of people - 1,559 people - belonging to one extended family, is a significant enough number to be able to influence the morals, faith, law, government, business, education, health, arts, media, and religion of their particular Shire.
That amount of influence sounds like prosperity to me.
Do the maths and find out how many descendants a couple will have if each generation only had two kids instead of five. You'll be shocked how big the difference is after 100 years.
And then do the Maths and see how many descendants there'll be if each generation has only 1.79 children (the national average in Australia at the time of writing).
As you'll see if you do the Maths, the couple will eventually reach a point where the population starts going down, and finally, will breed itself out of existence.
That trend is already happening in most developed countries.
Is that what God wants for you?
God's will for Israel was that they become as numerous as the sand on the sea, or as the stars in the heavens.
Nevertheless, God promised: "More are the children of the desolate than of the married woman".
And, "I will give them a place and a name in my house better than of sons and daughters".
God makes the desolate woman a "joyful mother of children".
Abraham only had one son who was his heir - yet God made him a father of many nations.
Paul called Timothy, "My own son in the faith" and he said of the Corinthian church, "I myself have begotten you through the Gospel".
So spiritual children are of the essence, and the real tallying of a man's prosperity will take place only in eternity in the Kingdom of heaven.
Notwithstanding, a man's natural children are like arrows in the hand of the mighty, and happy is the man that has his quiver full of them.
Besides wealth and influence, consider some advantages of this lifestyle to the family itself:
•Each young family receives support from the collective wisdom of the older families. The elders are available to give guidance whenever it is asked for by younger families.
•Children can safely play outside until late afternoon without their parents ever worrying where their children are - because after all, they'd be with relatives!
•The property could include trees, wetlands, grazing paddocks and agricultural areas promoting a a non-toxic environment and yielding healthier nutrition.
•Fathers bring-up their children in the ways of the Lord, and the children pass it onto the children's children.
•God's blessing abides on each family because they continually obey His principles in matters of faith and morals - and in physical things as well.
I'm not sure if any statistics are available which tell us the percentage of children of Christian homes who continue serving the Lord throughout their adult life.
Let's assume conservatively that only half of this family's descendants will remain active Christians in adult life. That's still a sizeable number of church members being contributed from one extended family!
As for the half who may not remain active Christians, most of them would still hold to the general values instilled in them by their Christian parents. So either way, the family makes a valuable contribution to future society through all of its children.
Hopefully an environment will have been created where many of the new families will see clear advantages to preserving the family's values on faith. And many of the children will see advantages to staying on or near the family Estate.
A Perpetual Inheritance
The land itself would be owned by a Family Trust, with each descendant becoming a beneficiary.
The value of the land could be used as collateral for outside investment, with the profits of that outside investment coming back into a growing Fund, the profits of which could be made available to the beneficiaries.
So each individual remains a beneficiary of the family Trust, even if they move away to do missionary work, or for business, or for education, or simply for greater independance.
Even if a family moves away and buys a house or apartment in the City somewhere, they would always have the assurance of knowing they own their share of the family estate in Trust.
And any improvements they personally make on the family property would be continue to be their own private title.
Only the land itself would remain in Trust. But the improvements would be privately owned.
The land itself would never be sold, but would be held in Trust as a perpetual family inheritance for generations to come.
But any privately-owned improvements on the land (houses) could be leased outside the family.
This means that each family who chooses to stay on the family estate has complete independence. It is not "communal" living that is being envisaged here, for God said, "Therefore shall a man LEAVE his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh".
Each family has separate ownership of their own house and they can either live in it themselves or let it.
But it means that each new family doesn't have to start from scratch and spend half their working life paying off a mortgage on a quarter-acre block - because the land is already there.
Each family has the option of building their first home without having to pay a thing for land. They can build their nest on the land which is their family inheritance.
Of course not every descendant would want to build their first home there, but the option is always there, if it suits them. Even if they never choose to build their home there, they remain a beneficiary of the land itself because it is held in Trust.
Of course there are so many reasons why this is impractical if we tried to apply it to the letter to our family.
That's because Moses' Law that tribal land had to remain a perpetual inheritance was not a blueprint for each new family that ever started in Israel - Moses was founding a new nation, so his statement is probably meant to be understood on a tribal or national level, rather than on an individual or family level. So that's a bit of a disclaimer, or a caution not to try apply the letter of the Law in a way that perhaps wasn't intended and that may not be required of us under a new and better covenant.
But sometimes God likes to start whole new "nations" from within an existing nation. He has promised to do it for Abraham, therefore He has promised to make a nation of you and I too - because we are in Christ, and Christ is the seed of Abraham.
What if God wanted to make of a family a tribe and of a tribe a nation, even today?
Taking it to a National Level
Let's see what would happen if not just one couple - but believers in Christ all over the country - adopted this lifestyle.
If we achieved Christian women becoming the most fertile 20% of women in the country, then as early as the second generation one half of all the children in the country will belong to Christian families.
That's quite a statement. It's called the law of Heritability of Fertility. It works like this, and I quote from David Burbridge:
"...suppose that out of every 10 women in the present generation, 3 have no children, 3 have one child, 2 have 2 children, 1 has 3 children, and 1 has 4 children.
The total number of children is 14, and the average per woman is 1.4 [which is about how it is...in many developed countries. In Australia it has recently risen to 1.797 - J.E.].
Now suppose that...every female has as many children as her own mother.
On these assumptions the average number of children born to each female of the second generation will be 2.57
Average fertility has almost doubled in a generation.
This largely reflects the fact that in this model the most fertile 20% of women contribute half of all the children in the second generation (7 out of every 14), and we assume that the daughters from these families inherit their mothers’ high fertility."
- David Burbridge
Notice that half of the children in the second generation come from the most fertile 20% of women.
(Second Generation 0 + 3 + 4 + 9 +16 = 32 children. 16 out of 32 come from the top 20% most fertile women.)
If those most fertile 20% of women in the country happen to be Christian women, then half the country's children will come from Christian homes, in the second generation.
Is this achievable? Could Christian women become the most fertile women in the country? Can half the nation's children come from Christian homes by the second generation?
It's really a matter of choice for the Church in Australia - and a matter of our values.
"The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it."
And you know what - we talk about wanting to reverse abortion laws - well there's one way we can achieve it within a couple of short generations. All we need to do is say nothing, and simply lift our own birthrate. 50% of the country's voters could be our own descendants, after the second generation grows up, after our women become the top 20% most fertile in the country. No political activism would be necessary.
Evangelical Church Growth
Let's look at some figures relating to the Church in Australia, and see what can happen.
Approximately 32.25% of Australia's population are females within the ages of 21 and 42; and approximately 2.9% of Australia's population are Pentecostal and Evangelical believers.
If each Pentecostal and Evangelical family produced an average of five children per couple, whilst the rest of Australia continued producing at the current national average of 1.797 per couple - within approximately 50 years the women of these Pentecostal and Evangelical families will become the top 20% most fertile women in the country.
So in the generation after that, half of all the children born in Australia will belong to Pentecostal and Evangelical Christian families.
That means, in approximately 100 years, about three-quarters of all the nation's children would be from Pentecostal and Evangelical families!
Then, in a democracy, Christians would have the voting majority to reverse or enact any laws they like.
Assemblies of God
Now let's narrow it down even more to just one denomination. Consider the Australian Assemblies of God (AOG), for example.
If every new couple of each generation in the Australian Assemblies of God alone had five children, after 100 years the denomination would have a total of 16,366,875 new members, comprising of 2,015,625 new families, living in 3,225 family estates like new "villages" spread out all over Australia.
That's not even including the results of church growth through evangelism.
Between them, a combined $1.29 trillion would be saved through not needing to borrow and pay interest - money which could be invested in the Kingdom of God or which could contribute to their own prosperity as well.
If ever there was a country in the world that has the space for this, it's Australia.
God has promised to turn the desert into a fruitful field when the nation meets the conditions.
We haven't even begun to see the prosperity that God has planned for His servants in this country!
National Fertility Improves Prosperity
So that illustrates how raising the birthrate can be great for our country spiritually.
Fertility can also be beneficial for families financially, as follows:
The fertility rate in most developed countries is currently below the replacement level (in Australia it is 1.797 babies per couple).
This means we have an ageing population with fewer people in the working age bracket to support the aged population, causing an increasing strain on the economy.
But if we lift the birthrate we will have more young people in the working age bracket and a larger labour force to derive the highest possible benefit out of our rich natural resources.
Governments of developed countries including Australia are now starting to offer incentives to couples to have more children, because economists understand the importance that lifting the birthrate has to our future prosperity.
In short, if we lift the national birthrate, we will all actually be better off!
This is the exact opposite pathway to prosperity that many of us were told, since the introduction of the contraceptive pill in the 50's. We were told that the Pill would safeguard the prosperity of our children when, in fact, economically, our nation's low fertility rate is now threatening our children's and our own future prosperity.
" ...my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa.55:8,9).
Returning to Old Values
Obviously the picture painted above is very Utopian and a bit larger-than-life and probably impractical and probably isn't exactly the way the Bible is meant to be applied. I've made the illustration deliberately extreme, in order to demonstrate the far-reaching effects that some of its principles and core values can have.
Perhaps there is some basis in Scripture for us to have a change of values.
The Bible says that influence can be achieved and material prosperity can be measured by two things: children and land.
Of course great ministers like Paul and John Wesley who had no children, have been of unsurpassed influence. So wealth and influence can never be measured by children and land alone. Each of us has his proper gift of God.
Some will make their mark for eternity through being separated to apostleship. Others will make their mark for eternity through raising their own children. Some may be do a mixture of both. There is any number of varieties in the grace and callings of God.
For many of us in post-modern society though, it may require a paradigm shift - a re-evaluation of values - to think that wealth can sometimes be measured by children and land, rather than by jewelery, cars or even by the amount of spare time that we have.
The above model is extreme - but deliberately so - because it illustrates how we today are actually living with the opposite extreme sense of values - and maybe it's time for a change.
Maybe we don't have to swing back to the opposite extreme - but to swing back somewhere towards the middle might be good for our society, and for the church, and for our family.
There has to be a better way than for each new family to have to spend half their working-life paying off the mortgage on a quarter-acre block of land!
And I'm yet to meet the mother of a large family who looks unhappy!
Maybe we could apply the Bible's principle that tribal land was to remain a perpetual inheritance of families, at least to some extent, and of course with some variation.
Maybe it could make the "Australian Dream" to own your own home that much easier on each successive generation.
Children are a heritage from the Lord - a blessing, and not an obstacle to our prosperity.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God"
- Romans 12:1,2
Making it Easier for the Next Generations
As conceded above, inevitably many descendants would move away to live in other places, for education and career, or in order to fulfill a call of God.
However, no matter where each person ends-up living, he would know that he always has a place to call home and a house of his own, back on the land which remains his perpetual family inheritance - land which may be leased, but never sold.
This would be a lavish foundation and a huge load off the shoulders indeed, for any young couple starting out in life together.
I once visited an elderly Filipino couple in Brisbane, and on their lounge room wall were individually framed photos of the couple and of each of their twelve children.
One-by-one the man pointed-out with pride what each child is now doing.
One is a Pastor in Norway.
Another is a Pastor in Manila and Founder/Principal of a school with 700 students.
Now he's sending church-planters out.
Another founded a humanitarian aid program in Australia benefiting the Philippines.
Another has an itinerant ministry training children's workers.
Another lives in and works in America.
One-by one he told me what each of his children are now doing, and I couldn't help thinking, "Here is a man of influence!"
He said to me, "I can't understand why Australians say they can't afford more children. If I could bring-up twelve children in a poor country like the Philippines [and they adopted one too], surely they can do it here in Australia".
I asked, "But in the Philippines, don't you have help from your extended family to look after all those kids?"
"No!" he said, "We raised them all ourselves. Sure - I had to work a second job at times. But we got through - the Lord got us through."
Neither he nor his wife seemed worse for the wear, and again - I couldn't help thinking, here is a man of influence.
His wife is like a matriarch who exercises her prophetic gift and gift of tongues and interpretation to speak to and intercede for all her family.
Working Smarter, Not Harder
Another couple who wanted to become missionaries already had two children when, after a significant gap, she became pregnant again with their third.
They told me how their Pastor, trying to be helpful, had advised them not to have any more children.
So when he heard she was pregnant again, he said with exasperation, "How will you ever have a world-wide ministry? Now you'll have to wait even longer for all your kids to be off your hands!"
I simply asked, "Would you say Benny Hinn has a worldwide ministry?" then pointed-out that he has four children.
See, you can still influence the world, even when you have a large family.
In fact, what better way to influence the world than through the lives of your children, whom you have with you full-time all those years.
Sometimes people say they want to have fewer children so they can give more time to ministry.
Every man has his proper gift of God, one after this manner and one after that.
But keep in mind than when you minister to others - let's say as a Youth Pastor - very often what you end-up doing is contributing some things into the lives of kids which really their own parents should have contributed.
Therefore perhaps a good strategy for youth ministry in our nation would be for our own families to begin to model a return to more traditional values.
Sure the couple mentioned above may need to adjust the way they operate in the ministry at times, now that they have an extra child.
Perhaps they could train local leaders to share the work of evangelism.
Or they could add a TV ministry, if the Lord willed.
That way they could widen their influence without being away from home so much.
Besides, why does a couple always need to wait for their children to be grown up before they can go to the mission field anyway?
It occurred to me one day that there are already children living in those countries where we want to go as missionaries - lots of children, lots of them. If the children there are surviving, then surely our children will too - and even more so, because we have the promises of God on our side!
It amazes me that some believers have the faith to feed multitudes on the mission field, yet they find the concept so impossible that a large family could become a missionary family.
The first thing they say is, "How could we afford it?" And yet they propose to teach the locals on the mission field about trusting God to get them out of poverty.
Moses looked-after an estimated two million people in the howling wilderness for 40 years. That's one large family!
I recently heard about an Australian family with six children who have gone to flood-ravaged Mozambique to minister amongst orphans. Not only do they have faith for their own children there, but they have begun to foster local children as well.
What message are we missionaries going to take to the mums and dads in these countries anyway - that my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus? and yet we're reluctant to demonstrate faith in that promise in our own family's lives.
God can look after your kids on the mission field just as well as He can look after the kids you're going to minister to.
But of course, God may strategically lead a missionary family to return home, for the sake of their kids.
Each of us needs to hear from the Holy Spirit concerning his plans for us individually.
But can you see that maybe we're having difficulty seeing the advantages that the Bible places on having a large family?
Are Large Families Disadvantaged?
Children of larger families seem to have a stronger sense of identity and belonging.
And it doesn't seem to disadvantage them socially or financially.
For example, my father knows a man on the Gold Coast who has ten children, and nine of them have become millionaires and the tenth is on her way!
Issues & Considerations
Could Australia's future prosperity be impacted by whether or not society adjusts its view about having more children?
Many have thought they could safe-guard their standard of living by restricting the number of children they had. And with the introduction of the Contraceptive Pill in the 1950's, the fertility rate plummeted from an average of 5.0 per couple to the 1.797 it is today.
It's beginning to make a serious financial drain on our economy. Sociologists are therefore asking whether the ideology has backfired on us.
• We are not even replacing ourselves.
•We now have an ageing population and a diminishing workforce that will be unable to sustain the way of life that society has become used to. Eventually the population will start declining - yet we already have a shortage of skilled labour in Australia and already need workers to come from abroad.
Many of us complain about immigration, because we don't know what sort of people are coming here or what problems they bring with them.
A simple solution for Australia is, have more kids! That way we know what we're getting.
At the end of the day, people means power, for any economy - despite the vastness of its natural resources.
Even though it seemed we could give a better quality of life to our children by having fewer children, that is actually not a sustainable situation beyond a couple of generations.
Plus - has it really been a significantly better quality of life for our children anyway?
Large families seem to enjoy happy memories.
Could we as a society benefit from a return to the old sense of values - that sees having more children as a good thing?
Declining birth rates are happening in most of the developed, democratic, Western societies - such as the USA, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand and Europe - all the countries that have traditionally been the bastions of democracy, human rights, civil liberty, international security, and faith in Christ.
These are the Allied countries which, because of their ideology and faith, were able to save the world from evil during the First and Second World Wars - but only just, because of their numbers.
These are the countries from which most missionary work and humanitarian work has emanated.
On top of the lowering birth rate, these countries also have the highest abortion rates in the world (Australia has one of the highest abortion rates in the developed world).
Meanwhile, it is the Muslims and Hindus in Australia that continue to have a high fertility rate.
The Muslim population of Australia increased at a rate five times higher than Australia's overall population growth, in the period between the last two censuses. This applies similarly to Muslims all over the world, not just in Australia.
For example, in both Israel and Russia, the Muslim population will reach more than 50% within our lifetime, if the current trends continues. Jews could lose their rights through democracy, without one bullet even being fired, unless Jewish women raise their birthrate to match that of the Palestinians.
So what could Australia's and the World's demographics look like in a couple of hundred years - politically, socially, ideologically, economically, domestically, internationally, and religiously - if the current way of thought concerning the value of children in these countries continues??
As our Western countries spiral downwards towards the point of negative population growth, would we be able to once again stem the tide of evil, should another worldwide conflict break out?
What's at risk is human rights, freedom, civil liberty, and Christian society.
All because we though we were better off to have fewer kids.
I'm wondering whether we could enhance our future prosperity in Australia by having more children - even of it means adjusting one's view of what really constitutes a better standard of living.
This doesn't mean that every couple, even with God's blessing, should produce some 20,000 offspring within approximately 100 years because "...every man has his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that" (I Cor.7:7).
But perhaps if more Christians decided to have a more natural number of children, there would be a future benefit to Australia's way of life both economically and religiously - as each child grows and takes their place in future society.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts"
It seems to be the white, "Christian" societies that are having fewer children. Meanwhile some white people complain about their Government's policy of foreign immigration. Could one solution be to simply have more kids themselves?
In Moses' Law, God gave a pattern for family land ownership similar to what's been described above. God also imprinted his plan for childbirth in nature itself - and we interfere with it to our own detriment, as sociologists and doctors are now discovering.
Mothers of large families invariably have a glow of happiness and fulfillment on their face.
The list of possible side-effects that accompany the contraceptive Pill is of some concern. Not that I'm saying it's wrong.
Some articles also claim the contraceptive pill may act as an abortificient up to 80% of the time (by preventing an egg which may already have been fertilized from successfully embedding into the uterine wall). If we believe life begins at conception, surely for conscience sake, that is a claim we ought to want to research.
Many of us wish there was more we could do to stop abortion in our country. A simple way to eliminate abortion within a short period of time is for Christians to lift their own fertility rate. (The birthrate in Western countries is below the replacement level. This means they are breeding themselves out of existence. If Christians lift their birthrate, all those who practise abortion will, in process of time, be a diminishing population. Abortion is a self-enacted judgment, because it robs those who practise it of a posterity. In no time, Christians will become a voting majority Abortion could be illegalized without any political activism - simply by lifting our own birthrate.).
God's plan was that a man would become a family, a family would become a tribe, and that a nation would be made up of tribes - and He is still into making nations out of us!
More importantly, by our spiritual children - but remember, our natural children can become our spiritual children, and become like arrows in the hand of the mighty.
Happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them.