There are plenty of reasons, inscribed in articles everywhere, not to have children. Things like “poop, sleeplessness, hectic trips to Disney World and giving up a thousand freedoms.” And of course, “to have more time and energy left for the dogs.”
Those things are true. In fact, there’s a never-ending list of things children cost a parent.
But all costs aren’t equal. I’ve noticed most of the reasons to not have children hover in the “now” and are relatively shortsighted. There are expenses and there are investments. The temporary expense of children pales in comparison to the value of their investment.
So I offer you 10 reasons to have more children:
1. Companionship. They’re a barrel of fun when they’re young, and as they get older, they become your best friends (if you’re investing in them). Has anyone ever wished they had fewer best friends?
2. They share the load of life. Whether it’s emptying the dishwasher, or sharing the grief of a lost loved one, more is better, every time.
3. Each one changes you. Every child in a family has a remarkably unique personality. I could never have guessed how different 10 children from the same family could be. But the difference in each personality meets yours at a different place and refines you, grows you, expands you.
4. Children give you vision. Whether it’s thinking about tomorrow or ten years from now, children force you to look ahead and make better decisions about your today with their tomorrow in mind.
5. They take you outside of yourself. Every time a sweet-smelling newborn has been placed in my arms for the first time, it’s like the first time. The realization that a new, incredible, helpless human has been placed in our care is overwhelming and important. There is no love like parent love and the more we must live outside of our own cares, the better, I think.
6. They show us the world. Life loses its real meaning without the fresh awe and wonder of children. Children teach us to see the good in people, to forgive easily, to let a sunset thrill our senses. They make us kinder and teach us to appreciate simplicity. Each new child that comes along refreshes our perspectives all over again.
7. They keep you from watching TV. TV is fine sometimes, and I like watching it. But it also takes up a lot of time we could be talking or reading or helping someone or making something. And it bombards us with ads for things we don’t need and desensitizes our faculties. A full house keeps us too busy and too entertained by little ones to watch it and I’m grateful.
8. You get lots of gifts on holidays. And that’s fun.
9. As they get older, the investment returns. Whether its monetary, emotional, physical or spiritual, a family works like a body. When one part needs something, the others help compensate. We’re connected, and we all thrive or not depending on how we contribute and take care of each other. It starts in small ways–older ones pitch in for gas, insurance, food. But it may end up with adult children pouring into the lives of their older parents, just as those parents poured into their children.
10. You get to partner with the Creator of the universe, becoming a vessel through which the love between husband and wife becomes flesh, and a one-of-a-kind, fresh, new idea of God, full of possibilities is placed in your arms, positively soft and beautiful and captivating and unbelievable. A thing you could never do too many times.
Too important to include in a list, the all-encompassing reason to have children, for Christians at least, is to make disciples and expand the Kingdom through the first, natural means given to us. More than just propagating a civilization, we propagate an army for Him.