One could define this year in a word: chaotic. A global pandemic, violent riots across the nation, devastating wildfires, and an election season marked by bitterness and intolerance have contributed to a season of mayhem in our country.
And while many retain hope in the future and the belief that life is worth living, far too many others are descending into a crisis of doubt and despair. One tragic repercussion of this crisis is the misguided decision to not bring children into this “crazy world” — a decision that’s becoming all too common.
Once upon a time, children were seen as gifts, as hope for the future, as the beautiful and natural outcome of a marriage. Now, they’re decided upon in the same manner that one considers purchasing a vehicle, accepting a new job, or refinancing one’s mortgage. They’re no longer viewed as a gift, but as a commodity that must be “purchased” at the proper time — or not at all.
This miserable perspective stems from our culture of death. Our culture asserts that animal lives matter more than human ones and that relatives of an ill elderly person can choose to “end their suffering” by ending their life. It stems from a belief that the environment is a god paramount to human life.
It stems from a suffocating ideology of “me first” — an ideology that preaches selfishness in the guise of happiness. The chaos of this year has simply become an easy justification for this viewpoint. It is, however, an unsound argument.
Children are Hope for the Future
To not have children because evil, sickness, and disaster exist in this world is comparable to a farmer’s decision to no longer sow seeds because weeds and pests and droughts exist. Mankind is a fallen race, subject to vice and destruction. This has always been the case.
Raising kids who can become forces for good seems a far better solution than simply acquiescing to evil.
However, man is also created for — and is therefore capable of — great good. Should we not raise children with this understanding and the conviction that they have the ability to change the world for the better? Bringing up those who can one day become forces for good seems a far better solution than simply acquiescing to evil by refusing to propagate the world with those who can turn back the tide of evil. If farmers ceased to plant their crops and gardens, the world would become entirely choked with weeds.
Life is Worth Living
It’s hard to believe that all those who proffer this argument for remaining childless truly find life intolerable. If they looked about them, they would recognize the beauty of life — all of those things that pull them out of bed in the morning and give them cause to carry on. To ignore all that is good and true and beautiful and to withhold such things from new life is both ignorant and selfish.
To ignore all that is good and to withhold such things from new life is both ignorant and selfish.
Every day, there are a million and one sources of love, hope, and joy springing up all around us. We must not just focus on the bad and conclude that life is not worth living and sharing and giving.
End the Human Race?
The ultimate end of the decision to not have children in this climate is the slow and steady destruction of the human race. If we cease to have children, mankind ceases to exist. Such ideas should belong only to the wild plots of dystopian novels. Even a pandemic and months of political and social divisiveness can’t be considered reasons to forsake the entire human race.
Our world and our lives are a gift to us. We don’t have the authority to destroy that gift.
If people had made that decision during the Bubonic Plague or the World Wars, we wouldn’t be here today. It’s not our rightful decision to end that which we haven’t created. Our world and our lives are a gift to us. We don’t have the authority to destroy that gift.
The Truly Heroic Decision
Those who subscribe to the belief that we shouldn’t be having children may honestly feel that they’re making a selfless and judicious decision. Their intentions may be good.
The truly heroic decision is to look around at the sorrows of our world and to choose to bring light into it.
However, their decision is not the truly heroic one. The truly heroic decision is to look around at the sorrows of our world and to choose to bring light into it — to choose to raise children who will harbor a deep understanding of right and wrong, good and evil, and who will devote their lives to ensuring that good continues to be victorious. The world needs parents who will, through their vocation, shape a brighter future for our world. The task may be full of challenges and trials, but the fruits of such labor will be of the greatest sweetness.
The decision to have children is the decision to mount a beautiful fight against evil, to plant flowers amid weeds, and to illuminate a world too often cast into shadow.