Why Have Children?

 

By Ron Hindbaugh M.A.

 

Have you ever wondered why people decide to be parents? I have questioned parents on occasion as to their motive when deciding to bring a child into this world. There are about as many answers as there are parents to this question, but let me give you some of the reasons I think make no sense at all before we consider the real reasons children should be brought into this world.

1.        I’m lonely and having a child would make me happy.

2.        I just want someone to love me.

3.        If I get pregnant with a child then he will marry me.

4.        I want a child because my biological clock it ticking and soon I will be to old to have a child.

5.        A child would give me a tax write-off.

6.        Having a child will prove I’m not getting old.

7.        I want a child because all my friends have kids.

8.        I want a child to show my husband/boyfriend that I really love him.

9.        I want a child because babies are cute and cuddly and fun to dress up.

10.     If I have a child maybe he/she will succeed where I failed.

11.     I want a child because I need someone to need me.

12.     I want a child so people will notice me.

13.     I want a child because it will cause my mate to “grow up.”

14.     I want a child so that I can have someone to care for me when I am old.

15.     I want a child to prove that I can handle a child and a career at the same time.

16.     I want a child because we need to continue the family line.

17.     I’m having children because it was a mistake.

18.     I want children to get my parents and in-laws from bugging me.

19.     I want children so that my failing marriage will be repaired.

20.     I want children so I can move out of my parent’s home into subsidized housing.

21.     I want children so everyone will know that I am a “Man.”

These reasons seem absurd when you really think about how precious and important children are. Yet many national surveys report that about half of all births are not planned and classified as “unintentional.” This does not make sense to me. I really don’t think that pregnancy is an accident. I do not think that individuals who have children do not know how children are made. I think, rather, that we live in a world in which immediate pleasure becomes more important than maturely planning for children. This doesn’t seem right to me. I think that children deserve to be brought into this world because parents want to be parents.

Let me share a reason for having children that makes much more sense then those listed above.

To me this question, “Why have children?” is best answered by deciding why we are here on earth in the first place. After thinking about this question I have concluded that we came here to grow and become, to learn to emulate God’s attributes of kindness, mercy, forgiveness, being slow to anger, quick to forgive, etc... The way in which a person can best acquire these traits is to be married and have children – in other words, to become responsible for others, to learn patience, to learn to place the importance of others’ needs ahead of your own. Ultimately, this is the purpose of mankind……

In other words, a parent’s role is to make the world better by having an influence on future generations. To bring new young people into the world and to raise them with proper values and to counter-balance the craziness in society. Someone has to raise and influence individuals who will contribute to a peaceful society, individuals who will be caring, kind, moral human beings; or else we may as well throw in the towel.

Perhaps by so doing we can repay our parents for the love and caring and giving and sacrifice they showed to us. Parenting allows us the privilege of dong the same thing for our children and in so doing honor our parents and our God.”

The thing I like about this answer is that it puts everything into its eternal perspective. As parents we should feel that bringing a child into the world is a “mission.” It helps us remember and keeps us aware of the fact that we can make this world a better place because we have chosen this path. It helps us remember that as parents we mimic God by doing what He does; assisting His children become all they can become.