Zach and I always understood that we were going to have kids, we never questioned it, it was expected. While we were engaged we had the conversation of how long will we wait to have kids. We knew we wanted to have them before 5 years of marriage, definitely not the first year of marriage, but we decided to take it year by year. As you know, planning didn't go our way and low and behold we had a baby before our first year of marriage and two before three years! Although we were thrown into parenthood, I find it beneficial to know why we have (wanted) kids.
This is something we never talked about. We both agreed that children were a blessing and that one reason for marriage is procreation, but we never went further than that. Not that we really needed to, but there is a lot more to it. We hear a lot of people talk about reasons why not to have kids, but never really why to have kids. Therefore, I want to explain why we have kids, why you should have kids, and encourage others who have kids.
The first reason we have children is that it rocks your world. Not in the way that it knocks your socks off amazing because let me tell you, it is very grueling... but in that it shapes your soul. I know I have talked about this before, but you change, for the better. You become more selfless and other-centered. Your view of life changes. You view culture, society, family, work, friends, pets, almost everything differently. There was an article recently that Al Mohler wrote titled Pornography-The Difference Being a Parent Makes. One of the head guys at Apple, Steve Jobs, was arguing why they do not sell pornography applications with a guy named Ryan Tate. Tate was arguing that there is no freedom when placing restrictions on what Apple sells, but Jobs argued there is freedom, freedom from bad things, such as porn. Tate wasn't buying it, so Jobs replied with "you might care more about porn when you have kids." He's completely right. Those that even think pornography isn't bad before kids, think differently once they have kids because they don't want their kids watching it. Personally I think that having kids shapes you into the person that God has designed us to be.
Second reason, children are priceless. Nothing compares to the joy your kids bring to your life. They do have the fair share of stress, but their smiles, the laughs, the love... priceless. We tend to look at children as a major expense. They definitely are an expense, but through having to adjust your financial situation to fit these little bundles into your life, you learn to value other things. You learn that having "nice" things doesn't really matter, you get to share life, teach life, and love a person instead. This is a much greater reward than material things. Children are far more valuable than riches.
Third reason, children bring hope to a hopeless world. Let's be honest, this is not a happy place. There is so much evil in this world, it truly saddens me. I hear so many stories, and even after teaching in a public high school, I am saddened by what I see. I can't wait to leave this place, but I know more work needs to be done. I have definitely felt sad to bring children into this fallen world, but then I think of the purpose of having children. God calls us to "be fruitful and multiply." One reason being that we bring and raise children up in the Lord, and fill the world with children of God. This is what brings me hope. I hope that I will raise up children who love and glorify our Lord. Who will shout His name to those who do not know Him. Children that will count all thing loss compared to knowing our Savior, who will not look at this earth as their home. I have hope that my kids will bring Him glory and leave a legacy... making this world a better place because of them.
My final reason for having kids, they are just so darn cute!
It's awesome to look at another human being and say that they are part of you. They have my DNA, I taught them what they know, I've helped shaped them in who they are. Kids are pretty much amazing, that's why I have kids!