Christians, listen up; if you are tired of the secular culture asserting a worldview that doesn’t align with God’s truth, then you must reject it and all of its lies that seek to steal, kill, and destroy your future and the future of your family.
One of the most destructive and pervasive lies of our time is the lie that individual autonomy ought to be valued above all else. As it relates to having a family, this lie subtly whispers that having children will somehow stunt our personal growth, prevent us from attaining our career goals or rob us of a meaningful and fulfilling life.
As a married millennial mother to four school-aged children, an attorney, a writer, and a spokesperson (accomplishing the three career goals after having children), I’m here to tell you – don’t believe the lie! Motherhood is a gift. Fatherhood is a gift. Don’t be fooled into walking away from one of the greatest blessings of your life – raising children.
We don’t have to look very far to see what happens when the cultural lie that personal goals, careers goals, or even couple goals are incompatible with having children is accepted as truth. In 2020, Michelle Williams won Best Actress at the Golden Globes. During her acceptance speech, she boasted that she wouldn’t have achieved the award or her professional success if it wasn’t for her abortion. Sadly, her testimonial was received by the audience with thunderous applause.
Celebrities aren’t the only ones who have been duped. Indeed, the data confirms that birth rates in the U.S. are declining. The United States Census Bureau reported in December 2021, “The U.S. population grew at a slower rate in 2021 than in any other year since the founding of the nation…” and declining birth rates were a contributing factor.
In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, research collected by economists Melissa Kearney and Phillip Levine shows that between 2007 and 2019, U.S. birth rates declined by approximately 20 percent. They believe the drop in birth rates reflects a change in societal values – a shift away from marriage and parenthood towards personal autonomy.
Pope Francis made headlines last month when he criticized couples who chose not to have children. He asserted that raising a child is one of the highest forms of love we can offer. He also declared that the denial of fatherhood or motherhood diminishes us as a civilization because it results in a loss of humanity.
Indeed, it does – in more ways than one.
Having children will not stop your growth as an individual, attainment of career goals, or rob you of a meaningful and fulfilling life. Growth as an individual is inevitable. If motivated, career achievement will come when the timing is right. And the meaning and fulfillment that comes from raising children is beyond expectation. The truth is every area of personal growth is sweeter when it happens in the context of marriage and parenting because it was achieved together, and the joy is shared together.
I’ll never forget being sworn in as a licensed attorney with my husband and our four small children right beside me (an infant, two-year-old, four-year-old, and five-year-old). It was one of the proudest moments of my life because we did it together. It was infinitely more meaningful than if I had arrived at that moment without them.
Parenthood is a high calling. It requires our best efforts. To do it right, we must become our better selves for someone else.
For Christians, parenting is a path that helps us reflect more of the character of Christ in our own lives. Opportunities present themselves daily to demonstrate self-control, love, patience, compassion, mercy, justice, empathy, joy, kindness, peace, perseverance, and that’s just to name a few!
Parenting done right enriches the soul and inspires the next generation to live life well.
I love the “Thank you, Mom” Olympics campaign commercials put out by P&G. Here is one of my favorites and another. They point to the inherent truth that the love of a mother (and father) makes the world a better place. To lovingly raise a human being, what the Pope called one of the highest forms of love, will naturally transform the giver of that love, but it also transforms the recipient. And the love shared among the family inspires the community, which inspires a nation, and in turn, inspires the world to love better. It preserves our humanity.
There will never be the “perfect” time to start a family – so don’t delay waiting for a moment that’s not ascertainable. And of course, there are never any guarantees that it will be easy or even possible to have biological children. But families are knit together by love, and that happens in more ways than one. Today, approximately 117,000 children in the U.S. are waiting to be adopted.
Motherhood and fatherhood are the leading roles of a lifetime. If we are faithful in those roles, the ripple effects of our love and devotion will be a legacy of blessing we pass on to the next generation.
As followers of Christ, we must not make decisions about our futures based on fear. Instead, we should ground ourselves on the promises of God found in scripture.
The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
Scripture also proclaims the truth about the future God has planned for us. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Do you want to live counterculturally?
Do you want to make this world a better place?
Get married and have kids. Lots of kids. Do it while you are young. Love them well. Teach them to love Jesus and others. Follow Jesus together as a family. This is the recipe for a meaningful life.
Photo from Shutterstock.