What does Jesus say about having children? Do you have to have children or not?
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John record only three comments that Jesus made about children. Most of Jesus’ statements about children were illustrations in a parable. Only Matthew 18:3 and Mark 10:14 are significant. In these two verses Jesus talks about each of us coming to Him as little children. But nowhere in the gospels does He talk about family size or if it is acceptable to not have children.
God never answers your question with a “yes” or “no.” But it is clear in the Bible that He expects us to have children and to want children. His first command about having children is found in Genesis.
And God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it . . .” (NASB) Genesis 1:28
God also commands Noah to have children after He has destroyed the population on the earth with the flood.
And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it. (NASB) Genesis 9:7
God tells us that children are His gift to us and that children are a benefit to a righteous husband.
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they shall not be ashamed, When they speak with their enemies in the gate. (NASB) Ps 127:3-5
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine, Within your house, your children like olive plants around your table. Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed Who fears the LORD. (NASB) Ps 128:3-4
God assumes that we will want children and gives them as gifts.
So is it a sin to not have children? The answer is no! I would encourage any couple not to have children if you are not going to love them and give them your time. But in such a case, this can be selfishness, and that is a sin. At this point it is time to talk to the Lord about your heart attitude. There are also too many couples who have children to save a marriage. This is a wrong reason for having children. The health of a woman should also be considered by couples in having children. If there is a concern over the wife’s health, then I would encourage the couple to go to God, the great healer, for healing. I would also encourage you to ask God to guide your decision. Children are a blessing when our hearts are right with Him. That is the meaning of scripture!
There are two previous questions about children that you may want to read at link #1 and link #2. The second link provides some more guidelines in determining how many children, if you chose to do that.