I was recently watching a beautiful music video with a female lead vocalist, and I was struck by her simple, perfect beauty. This simple, common, yet luscious beauty was combined with her natural musical talent. And yet, just as I was admiring her for all that she is, another thought entered into my mind; You’re beautiful, where are your children?
At first, this might seem a strange thing to think–especially against the politically correct script that we are forced to read from. Why is she pursuing this instead of passing on her beauty and talent? And it entered into my mind that it was a common issue, for men and women. It’s the problem of selfishness.
Isn’t it better, isn’t it the highest thing, to teach what you have learned, to pass on what you have experienced and to try and make another life richer and fuller?
So much of modern culture teaches us to pursue what we want. You never hear about the joy and the fulfillment of having and raising children. Outside of the church, I don’t think I have ever heard about the duty to raise children. It was never taught in school; in school, we learned that there was absolutely no difference between boys and girls, and that thinking each might have a different role to play in the dance of life was wrong, backwards thinking. And yet, when I speak with my parents and my friends who are parents, I see the richness that having children has brought to their lives.
I often joke with newly wed couples by asking if they are pregnant yet and jokingly add that the population is not growing like it used to and that they need to do their part. But I also say this with the most sincere intentions as well. A part of joining in marriage is to partake together in the joy of having and raising children. Children brighten our lives, in the big ways and in the small ones.
Children are healthy for us as individuals. They force us to think not of ourselves, but of the helpless and needy little bundles clamoring for attention. Children are healthy for their communities, because they force everyone to act their communal part. Children playing and running give joy to both the old guys down the street and the grandmothers who take their little dogs on walks, and these people give knowledge and examples to our children. It is a tragedy that we deprive our elders of the joy of seeing the next generations in everyday life, and it is nearly a crime that we deprive our youth from being in close proximity to the wealth of knowledge and experience that our elders hold and can freely give.
Perhaps more people would have children if more children were present in their daily lives.