Dr. James Dobson in his April 2007 Newsletter says, "Raising children requires every spiritual, emotional, financial and psychological resource that parents can muster. It is a journey fraught with potential pain and disappointment, but also unspeakable joy and satisfaction." The parent grows and the children grow, not always because it is easy but because it is developmental as you work to solve problems together.
I have told my children that there is more joy and satisfaction in a family than found in any other endeavor. Only as the babies have come, have they understood.
What a thrill it has been for me to see the joy my sons and daughters have displayed in each stage of development of a new baby. One of my sons said, "Really, Mom, don't you think my twin boys are the cutest babies you have ever seen?" I assured him that they were.
In my opinion, those couples who choose to have no children because they want to remain free to travel, to accumulate wealth and buy cars and bigger houses, don't really understand what all of this is about. And I want to acknowledge here that some people are left in a single situation of one kind or another through no fault of their own. There are those who haven't been able to have children.
A report, titled "Life Without Children" by Drs. Barbara Dafoe Whitehead and David Popenoe, confirms that "demographically, socially and culturally, the nation is shifting from a society of child-rearing families to a society of child-free adults. . . .The rise of 'lifestyle' childlessness is a new thing among human beings. . . . This thinking has entered even Christian thinking which generally encourages the blessing of children and the high calling of parenthood." (Ibid.)
The nation's birthrate bears this out. In 2004 the American total fertility rate stood at 2.049. This rate is below the 'replacement level' of 2.1, the level at which the population would be replaced through births alone (Ibid.).
The nation's attitude toward children can be seen in a demographic shift which has produced an adult-oriented, self-centered mindset reflected in a proliferation of "no kids allowed" housing developments, health clubs, stores, and so on. Social and travel groups are organized for DINK (dual income, no kids) couples, and I am told that anti-child Web sites abound (Ibid.)
This attitude in the nation may even raise your taxes. According to Dr. Dobson it is foolish and self-serving, given the financial burden that rides on the shoulders of today's young parents, that Congress is seriously considering a series of sweeping tax increases that will make parenting even more difficult.
I congratulate you who are developing spiritual and moral strength as you carefully guide your children through the cultural jungle so full of materialism and selfishness that seems to be out there. Hopefully you'll try to be counter-cultural by promoting the significance of bearing and rearing children.