Why a Child is a Good Idea

Today, in “Annie’s Mailbox” newspaper column, a woman who admitted having no desire for children wrote: “Babies are messy, leaky, smelly and noisy, as well as demanding and expensive.”

The woman is accurate. It is not logical to have a child. A baby will drain your bank account and rob you of sleep.  It will be twenty or more years before he begins to truly appreciate all you do for him.  He will fight your authority and push the limits. Your lights will be left in the “on” position, long after he has has left the room. Then, there’s all the mess and the stress. Yes, life will never be the same if you have a child.

The reasons to have a child defy logic because love is not logical.  Having a child will gently nudge you closer to God from the start as you gaze into newborn eyes and marvel at the miracle of life.   As the miracle unfolds you will become intensely aware of how fragile life is; one bad fall, an illness without a cure, a lapsed moment of care … so many ways, so much responsibility.

But love is not logical and a child grows love in your heart. Thus, your heart grows less logical and more spiritual. Through your child, you feel your own helplessness since you cannot guarantee that the world will always go round.  Instead, you watch your baby and feel your own dependence on God. As your child grows and sometimes chooses defiance, you remember so many times you thought you knew better.  And then, you begin to understand how God could still love you in spite of your childishness.

A child forces you to die to self and live in a bigger world of giving and caring.  There are easier ways but not better ones because through a child, giving becomes less of a task and more a desire.

Children will stretch you to your limits and push you on your knees to depend on God and reach for eternity. For a child, you care more about getting your own soul in order to better lead him to higher ground.

It is true that you will not simply wake up better one day just because you are a parent. But you will always want to be better because you are a parent. And if your “wants” fuel your ambition, then you will strive harder for heaven. Ultimately it is the best you can want for your child and your children are the only things you can take with you.

Yes, you know people who have not experienced life and God on a deeper level after the birth of their children, but it is understood that such people are wounded. It is not the way it was meant to be.

So amid all the struggles and insecurities, amid strife and fear, the love of your child will draw you closer to God. Sometimes you will be reaching and other times you will be pushed, but your sights will be set on heaven.  And that is why a child is such a good idea.


Patti Maguire Armstrong, is the mother of 10, and has a B.A. in social work and M.A. in public administration. Her newest book is Holy Hacks: Everyday Ways to Live Your Faith & Get to Heaven. Others include Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories from Everyday Families and the Amazing Grace Series. Follow her at @PattiArmstrong and read her blog at PattiMaguireArmstrong.com.

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