Friday, September 14, 2007

Kidless Nation

"Where are all the kids?"

That's the question survey groups are asking Americans these days. Gallup reports that under 50% of Americans think 1 or 2 children is the ideal number for a family. These statistics have dropped from 66% in 1986. That's a decrease of nearly 20 percent in 20 years!

When it comes to defining the purpose of marriage, only 1 in 3 of us think of "bearing and raising children." The other 2/3 claim the sole purpose of marriage is "mutual happiness and fulfillment."

Beyond America, the United Nations Population Division estimates that by 2050 the total population of children will be 35 million fewer than today, while the population of those older than 60 will increase by 1.2 billion.

That explains where all the kids have gone. But why? Why are Americans content with such small families? Why aren't we having more children?

Because we hate children.

I realize that's a bold statement (though killing nearly 4,000 unborn children each day should be ample evidence), but think about it. Have you listened to parents talk about their children lately? As a new father, the advice I hear leaves me feeling like children are life's biggest inconvenience, and our family's recent addition marks the end of all joy in life! Kids require things of us. They cost us. And we'd rather not tie ourselves down. Instead, we want bigger houses, newer cars, and cooler gadgets. I mean, how is a guy supposed to pay for his iPhone when he's having to dish out money to pay for his daughter's braces?

We hate children because we love ourselves. We embrace a "do for yourself" mentality and despise a "sacrifice for others" message. So our advice for young couples is, "have fewer kids in order to have more stuff." That's why American couples have prolonged the amount of time between getting married and having their first child. Anything you read on the issue points back to finances... money... stuff!

I agree that marriage isn't simply for the purpose of procreating. I agree that having and raising children is hard work that requires a lifetime of sacrifices. But God tells us in Ps. 127:3-5 that "children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward... Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!". The sleepless nights, the financial obligations, the absence of peace and quiet, the heartaches of teenage years are all worth it! Children are not a burden; They're a blessing.

This is a truth that we must regain... and it starts with Christian men and women. When God says, "be fruitful and multiply," we cringe! When a couple with 6 children joins our church, we make them feel like freaks. When we plan to have children, we have to make sure they fit in the budget first. Our beliefs about kids are just like the sinful society in which we live!

Please understand... I'm not advocating being irresponsible. I'm not saying that waiting to have kids makes you a horrible person. I'm simply calling on all of us to examine our hearts on this subject. We honestly have an unbiblical view of children. And if that unbiblical view is keeping us from having kids, then we should repent immediately.

Today, we look around our great nation and wonder where all the kids are. In years to come, our kids will look at a globe and wonder where the United States was.

A kidless nation is an endangered nation.


Anonymous said...

Amen! More kids! More! More! More! More kids = more birthday parties!


Anonymous said...

A hearty amen to that! After a long night with my 8 week old I can say that he STILL is a blessing and I would love to have another (the Lord permitting). My husband has 10 siblings and a lot of people ask,"Do they know what causes that?", "You don't have to have so many, you know?" I think it's sad. I've never met such a loving family and it is a blessing just to be in their house. The consequence of this idea, that one kid is enough and sometimes it's one too many, is kind of scary if you think about it. Do the American people know what Muslims think about birth control?

Thanks for the post. It's encouraging to know there are Christians out there who still think children are a blessing, one or twenty!