Late last year many news outlets reported China’s replacement of its one child policy with a two-child policy. Some who heard this news might have thought that this signaled a fundamental, positive change. However, even though Chinese law has slightly changed so that couples are now permitted two children, things are mostly the same as before. The Chinese government remains proudly convinced that it, not God, is sovereign over marriage and the family. The Chinese government continues to reject and deny the wisdom of the biblical mandate to mankind to be fruitful and multiply. Being fruitful and multiplying, which is good according to God, is bad according to the Chinese government. So-called “overpopulation” in the thinking of the government is detrimental to the economy and to the environment. So rejecting the wisdom of God the “wise” men” in power in China continue to seek to control the population of its citizens which means more of the same when it comes to forced abortions and sterilizations. With its “new” two-child policy the Chinese government will bring continued misery to its people under the judgment of God.
Adam Taylor does not mention God’s judgment on China in this article published by The Washington Post, but it is what he describes when he writes about the “human suffering” caused by China’s one-child policy. He points first of all to the forced abortions and sterilizations that that “were reported as recently as 2012.” Most people would probably agree that a society where rulers are authorized to drag a seven month pregnant woman to a hospital to have her child ripped out of her womb, is a troubled society.
In Chinese society boys are valued more than girls. Allowed only one child, parents kill their daughters determining that they will only keep a boy. Taylor writes, “This has had a remarkable effect on Chinese society. According to the latest census, men outnumber women by at least 33 million.” Millions of single men are unable to find wives, and the government understands this is a serious problem. Taylor reports that “polyandry (one woman with multiple husbands) has even been mooted as a potential solution to the problem.”
Because of the one-child policy an inordinate amount of children have no siblings. Taylor reports that this has led to what is called the “4-2-1 phenomenon” where a single grandchild is born to two parents and four grandparents. Taylor writes, “These children were once criticized as pampered brats, but the financial strain on them as their family grows older is a whole different problem.”
The one-child policy has also had a devastating impact on parents who lose their only child and are unable, perhaps due to age, to have any more children. Taylor writes, “For parents, who place all their hopes for the future on a single child, the death of that child can be especially devastating.”
Most western countries do not have population control laws—yet. But the idea that the world is plagued with “overpopulation” is gaining in popularity. And already in the United States there are some who defend China’s one-child policy as a good idea that was simply wrongly implemented. Surely the US could implement a one-child policy in a more humane way. Surely our rulers are even wiser than the rulers in China, and therefore, also wiser than God. Such thinking leads to men attacking God and his will with regard to marriage and the family, which in turn leads to the spread of misery under the judgment of God.
As the people of God it is important that we take note of these developments so that we are mindful of the age we live in and ever look for the coming of Christ. We are also warned—and we need this warning—never to think that we are wiser than God. Let us continue to trust that God is right and wise in how he has designed marriage and the family and in telling us to be fruitful and multiply.