An elder must be “blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accused of dissipation or insubordination.” Titus 1:6
Many people have studied this passage and have arrived with different conclusions. Some teach that elders must have multiple children while others hold to the idea that one child is enough to fulfill this qualification. What is the correct answer? Some make the statement that if you ask to hold a meeting with all the parents of children after worship services even those who only have one child will come to the meeting. As is always the case, the bible is its own best commentary. Notice the following verses:
Genesis 21:7 She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”
Genesis 30:1 23 Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, “Give me children, or else I die!”… And she conceived and bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach.”
Leviticus 25:41 And then he shall depart from you—he and his children with him—and shall return to his own family. He shall return to the possession of his fathers
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it
Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
1 Timothy 5:4, 10 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God…if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.
Ephesians 6:4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord
Colossians 3:21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged
1 Corinthians 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
In each of these passages, the number of children is not as important as the fact that children are present. Instead of worrying about the number of children a man has, we need to concentrate more fully on the way his children were raised in his home, 1 Timothy 3:5.