The Gift of Children

“Offspring convert us; they force us to become different beings. There is no way to prepare for them completely. They crash into our lives, they soil their diapers, they upset all our comfortable arrangements, and nobody knows how they will turn out. Willy-nilly, they knock us out of our complacent habits and force us to live outside ourselves; they are the necessary and natural continuation of that shock to our egotism which is initiated by marriage itself. To receive this great blessing requires courage. But any so-called intimacy which is deliberately closed to new life eventually becomes a mere collaboration in selfishness” (J. Budziszewski, What We Can’t Not Know [Dallas: Spence Publishing Company, 2003], 92).

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6 thoughts on “The Gift of Children

  1. Amen.

    I once told an engaged friend to hurry up with the kids when she got married. When she asked why she shouldn’t wait I said, “Because marriage fools you into thinking you’ve learned to sacrifice, but you haven’t. You’ve only learned to compromise because your spouse will be able to reason that you’re sinful and give you grace. But your child will not be able to reason at all, and only knows that its needs must be met at all cost. You don’t know sacrifice until you’ve washed poop off of your hands and clothes at 3 am, again.”

  2. I think that the quote speaks to the truth that kids are definitely part of the purpose of marriage. It does need to be noted though that not every couple will be ready for children the instant that they are married.

  3. Devona and Andrew, thank you for your comments.

    Andrew, I ask the following question with sincerity and honest curiosity: when is a couple ready for children?

  4. I do not think there is technically a “right” time for a couple to have kids. I guess it would have to be taken on a case by case basis. But to insist that having kids “right away” because of all the benefits unless knowing the person it would be hard to say whether they are at a stage where having kids would be good for them.

  5. Insisting on having kids right away would be making the blessing of God into law. It is no more correct to force married people to have children than it is to force God not to give children to married people.

  6. According to the findings of social scientist Robert Michael of Stanford University (hardly a bastion of conservativism)couples who have children within the first two years of marriage and then others to follow have statistically longer marriages.

    Were they ready for kids? Not sure. Are kids difficult to have? Yes. Do kids do something to the married couple that is inherantly healthy? It appears so.

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