God's lieutenants...

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This morning I was reading John Calvin's sermon on Genesis 1:26-28 and was encouraged. In an age when parents see children as commodities for their own self-actualization and happiness (this will only become more pronounced following the Obergefell decision), distractions to be hormonally fought off, or curses to be destroyed before they steal a young woman's ability to get a college degree, Christians need to be reminded about the reason God gives women wombs and blesses the marriage bed with fruitfulness...

Through the propagating of a godly seed, fathers and mothers act as God's lieutenants in this world. 

With regard to God's blessing, this is what we are to observe: by virtue of that word which He spoke once and for all, children are born now, the world is sustained in this way, and generations succeed one another from age to age.

In addition, this blessing carries with it a much greater privilege than the beasts have, for the oxen, asses, and dogs will beget young, as will the wolves and all the rest. But do their offspring enjoy the same dignity as man's? Therefore, when God gives men and women offspring, He establishes them as lieutenants, for a man cannot be a father unless he is there as one representing the Person of God. There is only one Father, properly speaking, as our Lord Jesus Christ said (Matt. 23:9). And that is understood to mean Father of both souls and bodies. That very honorable title, therefore, belongs only to our Creator. That is, He is our Father, yet we are permitted to say 'my father' and 'my mother' in this world, though that results from God's gift whereby He is pleased to share His title with creatures as frail as we. Therefore, let us know that the privilege God gives those who produce a posterity is that He wanted to make them His lieutenants, as it were. Therefore, we ought to prize and magnify His grace all the more.

- from John Calvin's sermon on Genesis 1:26-28

Andrew Dionne is the pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Spartanburg, SC. He and his wife Sarah have six children. Read more from Andrew here.