Be fruitful and multiply

Whether you are young or old, able or disable, married or single, a parent or not, you can be fruitful and multiply. Your witness matters. People are watching you. God is using you to make an impact far greater than you could ever imagine.

The earliest commandment God gives to His image-bearers is in Genesis 1: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it …” (v. 28). The most common interpretation of this commandment is familial. God is commanding Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply the inhabitants of the earth through childbearing. 

But there’s another angle to this commandment as well. Genesis 1:28 — and subsequent commandments to “be fruitful and multiply” — instructs us as Christian to make disciples. We should all — married, single, with kids, without kids — be fruitful and multiply followers of Christ among the nations.

The Great Commission at the closing of Matthew reaffirms this commandment to make disciples.

I have witnessed many people fulfilling that commandment throughout my 26 years, but I want to give specific attention to a few special people today.

Legacy of grandparents

I’ve been blessed to have grandparents on both sides of the family who love God and are passionate about gospel service. 

My mom’s parents, affectionately known as Ah-mommy and Ah-daddy because I couldn’t say granddaddy and grandmommy, have lived lives of gospel ministry.

To this day, they serve their church with joy and Christlikeness. From serving with the food pantry and bill assistance program and volunteering at the front desk, to teaching Sunday School and leading the choir, they have been models of Christian service both in the church and in the community.

My dad’s parents, affectionately known as Nen and Papa, led me to Christ at 8 years old. 

They lived locally, so me and my brother would spend most of our days with them while our parents worked. They would pick us up from school, take us on adventures in the summer and pour the love of Christ into us. 

Even now, 18 years later, that same gospel passion is evident in their lives. Postcards from missionaries cover their refrigerator, and prayer lists lie on the coffee table where they have spent time covering each concern in prayer. 

God’s glorious plan

There are so many other people who have shaped my faith who deserve mentioning as well — my parents, aunt, uncles, Sunday School teachers, friends, mentors, etc. To try and list them all would be a vain attempt. 

So I encourage you to continue forward — be intentional to be fruitful and make disciples. God allows us to be a part of His glorious plan to reveal Himself to every nation, tribe and tongue.

Whether you are young or old, able or disable, married or single, a parent or not, you can be fruitful and multiply. Your witness matters. People are watching you. God is using you to make an impact far greater than you could ever imagine.

Jessica Ingram

Jessica Ingram is a regular contributor to The Rope. She also is the event coordinator for The Alabama Baptist/TAB Media. She graduated from Mississippi State University in 2017 and is a member of The Church at Brook Hills, Birmingham.

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