Have More Kids
Children are a gift from the Lord;
they are a reward from him.
4 Children born to a young man
are like arrows in a warrior’s hands.
5 How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them!
He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates.Psalm 127:3-5
Do you believe this? Do you think that a “quiver full” of children is a joy? Apparently, fewer people believe this than in the past. American birthrates are at record lows, according to the LA Times. I started noticing a few years ago that more and more couples are having dogs instead of children. I have no objection to the pets, but anybody who has had pets and children knows that the joys of children exceed the joys of pets. The sorrows of children exceed the sorrows of pets, also. The depth of the relationship is deeper all around.
So why are people now having fewer children? Later age of marriage is certainly affecting the birth rate, as is the lack of stable jobs for many younger couples. But there are also negative thought currents affecting it, from the belief propagated over the past few decades that the earth is overpopulated to the nagging fear that children will be a drag on the adventurous lifestyle that is now sought and celebrated.
But what about us Christians? We live counter-culturally, so it doesn’t really matter what the current climate is toward child-bearing. We should be celebrating every child who is born and rejoicing in all new life. And when it happens to us, we should have complete faith that is not a burden or accident or mistake: it is a blessing.
Randi, one of my friends who has birthed four children and taken on four siblings as foster children, lamented to us at church that she is judged and treated with contempt and disapproval when she is in public with her eight kids because her foster kids look like her birth kids. What a travesty, that our society would unknowingly mock a foster mom. But also what a travesty that our society would mock any mom with more than the socially accepted three children.
Years ago, Wayne sent me a quote from a father of several older kids (he had at least five). People would ask him his parenting advice or one thing he would do differently if he did it over. He said that after much thought, his only regret was that he didn’t have more. There was so much joy in each child that he wondered why he didn’t create that much more joy with more kids. What a wonderful perspective.
Let us go out into the world with the same perspective, seeing God and joy in each child.