The Bible tells about certain people who will be put to shame when they speak  with their enemies. Today’s Christians are a lot that fit this  description very well. They have turned into a   community  who bow their heads  before their  enemies. It has become their habit to  surrender when  their basic  tenets of faith are attacked from all four sides. They remain mute spectators when  they are  denied their rightful  share and when  others encroach upon  what   their children should have  otherwise inherited.

What is the reason for this pathetic state of things? The sole reason is that we are not effectively using the weapons  given by  our  Heavenly Father. It is God’s desire that we should fill our quiver with weapons sufficient to face our enemies. The strength to fight the enemy comes from the confidence that we have the required weapons ready with us.

Then what is the weapon that God has  given us? The Psalmist has written about it centuries ago. ‘Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the sons of one’s youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate’ (Ps 127:4-5). Our children are the most effective weapon  granted by  God to be   employed in the fight against our enemies. The very first blessing  in the Holy Bible reads; ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it’ (Gen 1:28). The Psalmist also reminds us that  being fruitful is what  God wants  from us. ‘By his blessing they multiply greatly’ ( Ps 107:38).

But the Christians of the  present generation have intentionally turned away from   this divine blessing. We cannot expect more from a community that has strayed into the false belief that it is  possible  to  serve  God and Mammon at the same time. Today many Christians think that  there is nothing wrong in limiting the number of children if they feel that more children will  be an obstacle in their pursuit to make  money and  enjoy  the pleasures of this  world. In that process, ‘the wife who should be like a fruitful vine in the house’ (Ps 128:3) has turned into a tree  that  yields money. As a natural corollary, our children who should have shone like  ‘olive shoots  around our table’( Ps 128:3) have become dry trees.

We should mend our ways.  Let our children be our cause of joy like olive shoots around our tables.  No family has ever complained that because the  number of their children were more, the  joy and  peace of  the family was disturbed. Equally important, no family has  ever claimed that  their family became  a better place to live because   they limited the  number of children.

This is time for introspection. Unless we   correct our ways,  the gap created by  our dwindling numbers will be  filled  with  those who  come from   cultures that are totally alien to what  we preach and practice. And in the end they will subdue us. No, it is not a pessimist’s lamentation, but a reflection of what  we witness today.

We Christians are a nation called to become a blessing to the whole world.  ‘And your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the  west and to the east and to the north and  to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring’ (Gen 28:14). Peter also says; ‘It is for this that  you were called- that you may inherit a blessing’ (1 Pet 3:9)

Our Father in  heaven  keeps his hands open  at all times to shower blessings upon us. It is a tragedy that  there are not  enough hands to receive those blessings. Such a community will  have to face the ignominy of being put to shame at the gate, when they rise to speak with  their enemies. To avoid it  we should fill our quivers with the children of  our youth.

Let us pray for the grace to accept  more  children from the hands of God, acknowledging that the fruit of the womb is truly a reward and  a  heritage  from the Lord.