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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Why have children?

Last week some of my high school students asked me, "Why have children?"  Tomorrow is my son's birthday.

So, some thoughts on why we should have children beyond the obvious - to carry on the species.

First, children are a delight.  Not all the time or every one of them, of course.  But overall children are wonderful.  Their enthusiasm, energy, questions, and delight in the world are contagious and help us older people enjoy life.  They remind us that God has given us every gift to enjoy in this life.  They are full of laughter, joy and they are care free.  (Yes, I know there are exceptions.  I'm speaking in generalities.)

Second, children are precious.  The energy, love, and resources that go into bearing and nursing every child (hats off the women at this point!!) make every child extremely valuable.  I don't understand Obama or the "pro-choice"  (which really means pro-killing your own child) point of view.  Punished by having a child?  No, children are a reward.  Yes, they will consume resources and they will cause pollution.  But people also create solutions to these problems. 

Third, children help give us purpose in our lives.  Now that my children are grown and adults I find it easy to plod along without seeing a trend in life or a reason to continue every day.  Children's growth and maturing help us to anticipate every new day and celebrate milestones more often than occur in middle aged and older people.

Fourth, children are trainable and moldable.  Adults are called on to give something back as we model good lives and train and teach children the skills and knowledge that they will need to be good people when they are adults.

Fifth, children are our gift to the future.  Most of us will leave little impact on the world and the world will take little notice of our existence here once we are gone.  It is unlikely that we will cure cancer or poverty or even save someone else's life.  Perhaps the major way that most of us can impact the future is to have children and raise good quality children.  Some people ask why we should have children when the world's future looks so dark.  To me the dark times are the times when good people should have children.  Otherwise, what hope does the future have?

Sixth, children teach us to be less selfish.  Women in particular give up a lot for their children.  When we give up our bodies, energy, time, money, and other resources for other people we become better people.  Children teach us to be better people.

So have children (but to give them the best future possible, get married to their other parent).  Enjoy them and train them.  Thank God for them.