“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.  
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide what to do with the time that is given us. And already, Frodo, our time is beginning to look black. The enemy is fast becoming very strong. His plans are far from ripe, I think, but they are ripening. We shall be hard put to it. We should be very hard put to it, even if it were not for this dreadful chance.”  
From chapter 2 of “The Fellowship of the Ring” by J.R.R. Tolkien

I remember when I was younger and looking at the state of the world. I knew I wanted children, but I couldn’t help but think, “Do I really want to raise kids in a world that looks like this?”

I am going to struggle to afford housing. How much more will my children struggle? The economy is bad now. If I work hard, I might be able to support a family. But will my sons be able to do that? I made it through school without being indoctrinated, but certainly my children will have to be home schooled. But what if that is outlawed, as some demand? What if my wife has to work and so homeschooling isn’t an option?

What if this world succeeds in destroying my children?

I’m sure that these are fears all parents have (I don’t have children yet and I already have these fears). It is not wrong to worry about these things, but I did make an error in my thinking, and it is a common one.

The Bleak State of Things

Let us first examine the world that drove me to my error. How did the world come to such a bleak state?

For a start, we live in a post-Christian society. The Christian faith has been abandoned by many and forced out of the public sphere. Instead of living for the glory of God, it is the norm to live for your own personal pleasure. As would be expected, this has made life meaningless and depressing. It has caused people to indulge in all sorts of wickedness and debauchery, and our society is being destroyed.

But it is not just the abandonment of Christianity that is causing so much harm; the culture has been captured by pessimistic ideologies. The climate hysteria is a prime example. How many times have we been told that the world will end if we don’t change our entire way of life?

As it becomes more difficult to live a normal life, many are hyper-focused on the economy and their various struggles. They are convinced that nothing they do can change their circumstances, so they wallow in despair.

A significant amount of the political discourse is centered around “oppression.” Anyone who isn’t a straight white man is told that they are oppressed, and that this oppression holds them back from achieving their true potential.

Even within the Church, there are many who believe we are doomed to suffer endlessly until Christ finally returns to put an end to it. And As a result of the bleak state of the world and pessimistic ideologies that have captured so many minds, we are often told to simply give up.

The masculinity/red-pill influencers such as Andrew Tate (and even some women such as Pearl Davis) tell men to abandon marriage. What is the point when a woman can divorce you and take half of your money and assets? Instead of marriage, sleep around with women you’ve made no commitment to. That is sure to turn out fine.

The world tells you to stop having children. They claim we are overpopulated (we are not) and that having children is destroying the environment (it is not).

Within some Dispensational circles, many are told not to put effort into anything. “Why polish brass on a sinking ship?” they ask. Many men have been told not to worry about building a career or any lasting legacy (sometimes they are even told not to worry about marriage or children) because we are about to be raptured anyway.

Unless you want to live a depressing life, this “black pill,” as it is called, must be resisted. Listening to these teachings will not lead to flourishing, and it will distract you from your duties.

Do Your Christian Duty

This brings us to the main point we must understand: we all have duties given to us by God.

There are obvious duties, like the Great Commission, the duty to attend Church, and the duty to slay your sin. These apply to all Christians, but there are also duties that relate to your role in life. A pastor has a duty to faithfully shepherd his flock. A father has a duty to protect and lead his family. A mother has a duty to nurture her children. Children have a duty to obey and honor their parents.

“The world is getting worse” is not an excuse to abandon any of these God-given duties. Of course the world is getting worse in many ways–that is to be expected because Christ told us this would happen.

And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.  
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.  
Matthew 24:4-14

So then persecution and tribulation is not surprising. But does Jesus then say, “Because of these things, you should give up and abandon the things I have told you. Don’t worry about getting married or building a legacy, just worry about yourself in this moment.”

No. He says “the one who endures to the end will be saved.” So instead of giving in to despair, we must remain strong. We must learn to persevere, and joyfully attend to our duties.

Coming to this conviction is what changed my mind about children a few years ago; I realized that I would be abandoning one of my primary duties. And yes, having children is a duty for those who are married. One of the very first commandments we were given was to be fruitful and multiply, and that command was never rescinded. Those who refuse to have children because of selfish reasons are in sin. And those who refuse to have children because of a dim future are refusing to trust God.

Another mistake I made was worrying about whether it will be possible to provide for a family. Scripture makes it clear that men who fail to provide are in sin:

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  
1 Timothy 5:8

It is currently very difficult to provide for a family on one income, but it is not impossible. I do not believe God would say that failure to provide makes you worse than an unbeliever, then place you in a world where provision is impossible. Of course there are exceptions to every rule. We may fall on hard times. But in those times, lean on your church, trust God to provide, and work harder.

Instead of lamenting the fact that it is difficult to provide because of the current state of the economy, pray and do the work that God made you for. As Gandalf says, we do not choose the times, but we can choose what we do with our time. You can use your time to wish the times were different, or you can use your time to overcome the obstacles the world places before you.

When it comes to raising children, my fears that the world would destroy them are very valid. But that should not drive us to cutting off our bloodline, it should spur us into action. We must fight for our children and work diligently to train them in righteousness.

When there are dragons, you must raise dragon-slayers.

To Fix the Problem, We Need Optimism

A lot of the men I listen to and have great respect for are postmillenial (Brian Sauve, Doug Wilson, etc.). This is the belief that, before Christ returns, there will be a resurgence of Christianity across the world. Many will be saved and we will live in an age of flourishing.

I am yet to be convinced of this position, but I agree wholeheartedly with the convictions that come with it. We must preach the gospel and build a Christian culture, and we must do so with the intention of winning.

The dominion mandate still stands. God gave us this world and instructed us to rule over it. We are to glorify him in all that we do and preach the gospel to all nations. If this is true, we have a responsibility to build a legacy for our children that glorifies God. We must not let the pagans rule the world because we are betting on a rapture.

I do not believe that our efforts will result in worldwide revival; I believe we will continue to face persecution and evil will continue to grow; but I also believe that we have a responsibility to live as we are commanded to. If God chooses to bless us in our efforts, then it will yield great results. If God elects that we will be persecuted, may our persecution bring further glory to him.

If we abandon our duties, however, our persecution will be for nothing.

Slay the Dragon, Raise Dragon Slayers

We must be prepared for bad times; we have been warned that we will face them. But we must not assume the worst, and in doing so neglect our duties.

Men, act like men. You were made to be a leader. You were given the task of protecting and providing for your families. This is no easy task; our culture seeks to make it as difficult as possible. But you were not made for an easy life. Bear your burdens with strength. Be a rock your family can rely on. Love your wife, train your children in righteousness, and protect them from the evils that exist in the world.

Women, respect and submit to your husbands as you aid him in this mission. Your job of bearing and raising children is a most essential one. Without you, building a legacy is impossible. So perform your duties with joy and be the glory that God made you to be.

So with everything said, my charge is this: resist the black pill. Get married. Have children. Raise those children to slay dragons. Do it all to the glory of God, who reigns over all things.