“I’d like another baby, but it worries me to bring a child into a world like this,” I once heard a woman say. That was twenty years ago. I wonder if she ever had that baby.
The world hasn’t gotten any better since then. But when was it ever a perfect time to bring a child into the world? I’m personally glad I missed the entire pre-disposable diaper and pre-automatic washing machine era. Oh and antibiotics; those make parenting easier. And sunscreen. Air-conditioning too. Come to think about it, we live in a world where it has never been easier to have a baby. Still, whatever time we live in, it’s never easier to have a baby than not to have one—just better.
It’s not about whether the world is good for babies but the fact is that babies are good for the world. Love has the power to change the world and babies bring love. We cannot change the whole world, but we can begin with our own world.
Could it be that much of the world’s problem stems from the loss of love that is resulting in the loss of babies? Abortion comes from a lack of love for babies in place of selfishness. Thus, on the macro scale, abortion leaches love from our world. On the micro level, it wounds a heart. When women confront the damage of their abortions and heal, they learn to love anew.
Between abortion and contraception, people are closing themselves off to babies and becoming more selfish leading to declining populations in much of the developed world.
In the most recent U.N. count, twenty-four nations registered a decline in population. Governments around the world have started to pay for babies. In Australia, a baby bonus nets about $6,000 during the baby’s first year. In Germany, a mother can earn up to $35,000 during the first year of maternity leave. Japan, Spain and much of Southern Europe are also offering financial incentives to have babies. But money cannot buy love and thus, no baby boom is in the offing.
Love is the only reason to have a child and love begets love and expands hearts. A child forces us to die to self and live in a bigger world of giving and caring. There are other ways but not an easier one because through a child, giving becomes less of a task and more a desire.
Children stretch our limits and often are a factor in leading a person closer to religion. With such a love as this, God and eternity grow closer because through a child, both begin to matter more. No all people respond to that nudge but enough do that the connection is clear.
Through the love of a child, we become better. We do not simply wake up better one day just because we are a parent. But we always want to be better for the sake of our child.
Assessing the condition of the world is not how to determine whether to have a child or not. The world is still here and that is enough because babies are always a miracle. More miracles and more love will make the world a better place but never a perfect place.
It is not up to us to determine the viability of the planet but rather to be open to what God is asking of us. Is God calling you to open your life up to another child? Having one more child is scary in many ways. But ending our life and learning we missed out on other children that God had planned for us, is a scarier thought. The only way to know the plan is to ask God then to stay close to him so as to hear his voice.
© 2013. Patti Maguire Armstrong. All Rights Reserved.