I was very saddened to read an article in the Guardian news website recently that was headlined: “Want to save your marriage? Don’t have kids.” How tragic that we have now reached the stage where we are blaming our offspring for the break-up of relationships!?
Children are, yes, hard work, but so much fun (I speak as a husband, and a parent of one with hopefully more to follow). Of course, sleep-deficient nights and less one-to-one time with my other half are challenging, but my little 18-month-old girl is just amazing: bubbly, playful and brilliant.
Moreover, the article completely ignores what would happen later in life without children and, thereafter, grandchildren. There is a real likelihood of those who are out celebrating their ‘freedom’ today, feeling incredibly lonely in the 80s and 90s with no-one to brighten-up their old age.
I also am encouraged by the fact that my children will be shaping this planet’s future. You could even go as far to say there is a moral imperative to have children. Who do today’s happy-go-lucky singletons think will pay for their pensions and care for them in retirement?
The way this research has been dissected and presented creates a dangerous myth that scares people away from having children, which would be the worst possible outcome in our world. Just think of the bleak, dystopian future in “Children of Men” where there are no pregnancies and no-one under 30. Is that the kind of society Matthew D. Johnson (or the headline writer) wants?
Truly, “children are a gift from God” (Ps. 127:3). We need to treasure and guard them, not denigrate and scapegoat them.