There is no picture to present that will adequately express the question. In light of the question, pay close attention to the following words of Jesus Christ; “And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!” Matthew 24:19

This verse is part of a prophecy where Jesus tells His disciple what the world will look like before His second advent. The whole point of these descriptions, in Matthew chapter 24, is that Jesus is saying that the end times would be solemn and terrible, especially for pregnant and breastfeeding women. A prediction of misery to them that are with child. Christ does say, “WOE!”

A large number of people have a theoretical knowledge of prophecy. But if we take a historical view, it reminds us that this prophecy was fulfilled in type in AD69 when Christians fled just before the final Roman siege of Jerusalem began, prior to its complete destruction in AD70. Jesus knew that those with small children and nursing babies would have it especially hard. For them it was indeed a time of woe. Will this type of event happen again? Ecclesiastes 3:15 answers this question, saying, “That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.”

Knowing that the end is near, when should couples make the decision to stop having babies? While the world approaches this subject with fear and speculation, as Christians we should have a different perspective. Since no man knows the day or the hour of our Lord’s return, it behooves all to watch and pray. Husbands and wives need to consider this prayerfully as they plan their families.

Another point here needing to be considered is, how babies are born. Consider allowing time for conception, gestation and birth. Then add two years of nursing. Then walking, talking and potty training should also be factored in, since in the prophecy we are instructed not to go into the house for anything, even diaper bags! How do couples consider effective family planning before this upcoming upheaval?

Today, husband and wives should study the prophecies and understand where they are in the chart of events in these last days. Paul implies in 1 Corinthians 7 that in times of great distress a man and woman should not marry because their focus needs to be on God alone.

Of course, Paul later understood that Christ would not return in his lifetime, but will He return in ours!

For believers, it should be with great joy that we can look forward to the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So this warning in Matthew 24:19 is primarily to women, since they will be the ones most affected. Yet it is not uncommon for a husband to be callous and insensitive to his wife’s needs and desires. Many consider only their own pleasures or desires. Others are just careless of marital privileges, even when it has been decided between a couple that it is the husbands’ responsibility.

When a couple decides that the time has come to heed this warning from Jesus, husbands should be very sensitive to and considerate of their wives. Or, if only she has reached this conclusion, a converted husband will submit to her, as Paul admonished in Ephesians 5:21 — especially since she is the one in the greatest jeopardy. Conversely, if only the husband feels this way, the wife should submit to him, even against her own desires for children.

In 2024, is Matthew 24:19 warning premature? Or, is it several years or months to come? Each individual must reach their own conclusion. Only through the inspired Word of God do we have light on it. Therefore, we should “study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15). When we get it rightly divided, then we should accept it as it is, plain, clear and easy to be understood.

Can anyone else make the decisions on what they should do? Emphatically, NO! We must work out our “own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). In personal matters we must consider these warnings on our own with, of course, the guidance and the counsel from other scriptures and the Holy Spirit.

Each of us is a free moral agent of his own salvation. But God does say “Woe!” to those with dependent children. Naturally, such circumstances would be especially unpleasant and dangerous for such women as were about to become or had just become mothers, since quick flight would be attended by many difficulties. For them, they would have the most difficulty.

Eventually, history will come full circle. God’s people will have to flee and Christ will return in someone’s generation. Jesus says so. Let us fervently watch, hope and pray it will be ours