Part 4 “Fruitfulness Must Precede Multiplying and Filling the Earth”
Being fruitful in life must precede multiplying and filling the earth, as marriage and child rearing are the ordinary fulfillment of this creation mandate. They both require personal generosity, faithfulness, and stability in order to be a nourishing and meaningful part of life. Marriage has fallen on hard times because fruitfulness has fallen on hard times. As America has slipped further and further into a society of consumption personal generosity has been sacrificed. Consumers consume and use, they are by nature takers not givers. Words like duty and obligation are now by-words in our society. Vows are made lightly. Personal sacrifice, which is the giving of one’s self, is uniquely related to being a generous person. People are taught that it is happiness that brings them satisfaction, yet happiness is a fleeting feeling, so satisfaction in life is elusive. We become unhappy in our marriage, but since we believe happiness brings satisfaction, we end our marriage. Children, we believe will understand when they are older, and so we teach them the same malicious lie about happiness and satisfaction. And happiness is as elusive for them as it is for us. Popularity, the right clothes, the right friends, the newest tech products, and multiple sexual liaisons all bring fleeting pleasure and momentary happiness, but they do not result in satisfaction. They are taught the ethics of a consumer and grow to be takers too. Thus multiplying and filling the earth with consumers results in a destruction of the culture and society rather than a flourishing of them. This is what we are all experiencing in America today. Consumers consuming one another in pursuit of satisfaction. When there is nothing left to consume, the civilization perishes.
Fruitfulness must precede multiplying and filling the earth. God’s dominion is brought about by personal generosity and the sacrificing of self. It is the pattern of Jesus Christ, King of all kings and Lord of all lords. He has dominion, “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to” (Matthew 28:18) Him by the Father because of His person generosity. Salvation was brought to the human race through his sacrifice of himself for us all. He is the pattern for all human persons. Husbands and wives are to emulate His Gospel to each other by giving themselves too each other and for each other, modeling their relationship after Christ’s relationship to His church.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
If ever a passage of Scripture called for the Gospel obedience of personal generosity and self- sacrifice it is this one. For a wife to surrender herself to an extremely flawed husband is impossible and senseless if she is a consumer married to happiness more than her Lord or her husband. For a husband, who is himself a consumer, to be willing to die for his extremely flawed wife is as equally impossible and senseless. This is how marriage and family have really been destroyed among us. Two unfruitful consumers marry and have children in a search for personal happiness, and find both difficult, with periods of deep unhappiness. So they end the one and begrudgingly continue the other because it can’t be easily dissolved. Children grow to adulthood with a resolve to not endure the unhappiness of their parents, which they believe marriage contributed to, and so they cease to see marriage as a desirable arrangement for life. Some come to believe that marriage as an arrangement for life is still desirable, just not with someone of the opposite sex. It was the abusing male or the conniving female that was the issue. Sexual satisfaction can be gained in other ways. Men don’t need women. Women don’t need men. Homosexuality, Misogyny, and Feminism all find their root in consumption and the pursuit of happiness. I can’t say it too often or emphasize it too much, Biblical fruitfulness is being personally generous and living a life of self-sacrifice. It must precede multiplying and filling the earth.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Discipleship and Christian Discipline Part 3