by Linus Farias
As we celebrate the Annunciation on March 25th when the Angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and asked her to be the mother of our Lord, and then will remember the newborn child in a manger at Christmas, I am drawn to reflect on children, and why we respond to this life-sustaining exercise for humanity. We live in an age where we, particularly those fortunate to be well educated, are considered successful through careful planning and execution of every part of our lives; if we don’t, we are at risk of being vilified, ridiculed or even ostracized. This applies especially to a married couple’s decision to bear children.
This exercise was initiated by a wonderful conversation I had with a young mother who recently returned to the workforce after bonding-time with her second son, the fresh news that my nephew and his bride learned that they were becoming parents in a few months, and the inherent irony of life as a friend’s wife died a few days before their newest grandchild was born.
The new mother asked me a tough question: “Why did you have four children?” I don’t have a good or clever answer, but as you go about your lives, I hope that you can ponder this incomplete list as some of the retrospective reasons why my wife and I had our four (now adult) children, and encourage you to bravely be open to bearing as many children as you are able to…
Reasons to HAVE children
● Every child is a blessing,
● A Child: We may be able to choose when to have them, but we cannot choose their individual identity
● Every child provides a couple the opportunity to bring new life into the world
● Each child demonstrates innocence and purity
● Each child is born without filters: they provide immediate, open & honest & transparent feedback
● A newborn child cannot be intentionally hurtful
● Every child reminds us of our humanity
● Each child shows us that there’s more to life than material success
● A child can make us materially poor but WILL make us spiritually rich
● Each child helps us realize that there is hope for the world
● A child shows us that each of us is unique
● My child could become famous, popular, rich or destitute…but s/he will always be MY child
● A child shows us how to accomplish what appears impossible
● Each child shows us how much we have to learn in life, many children show us how little we really know
● A child gives us a reason to live, especially when it’s difficult
● A child who overcomes a hurdle reminds us how rich we truly are
● A child teaches us the value of living virtuously
● Children secure our future
● Every child teaches us how to Love
Being open to, conceiving, caring for and loving children is one of the greatest investments & risks in life that promises a return on investment that is more valuable than anything else in the world.
WHY NOT ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE TO RAISE AS MANY CHILDREN AS YOU CAN?