40 Reasons to have Children

As Karen Edmisten did, I wish to respond to this woman’s 40 Reasons not to have Children with an equal number of reasons to have children.

I appreciated that Karen chose hers to respond to the original 40 complaints. It freed me to simply examine myself and make this personal.

For any who protest that some of these are benefits rather than reasons (I can’t imagine I’ve the only personality that would make that quibble), I’ll point out that when enough benefits accrue they tend to become reasons, and the dividing line becomes a bit hazy. So here they all are.

I first saw this on Sarah’s blog, love meaningful lists (I’ve already done a couple– like those about about my husband and someday-dreams), and thought this was a beautiful opportunity for reflection and encouragement.

My 40 reasons to have children.

  1. Small warm snuggles
  2. Seeing marital love incarnated
  3. Countless useful images and analogies to the family of God
  4. Newborn-hair softness
  5. Finally learning the words to all the songs and rhymes we’ve only half-remembered for 15-years
  6. Understand your own parents
  7. Become the measure of all things wonderful
  8. To learn grace– because now you *know*
  9. The fresh motivation to “live in a manner worthy of our calling”
  10. Invest in the future
  11. A glimpse into the heart of God, as His heart aches for those who are still separated from him
  12. An inkling of the rejoicing He feels when a child accepts the sacrifice of His son
  13. Spontaneous smiles
  14. Finally learning delayed gratification
  15. Sharing delight with others– learning and teaching simultaneously
  16. They grow into friends
  17. Proving to those pre-child that children aren’t scary
  18. Finding out how strong you really are
  19. A reason to reexamine any assumptions you may have held
  20. An automatic (and captive) audience for your cooking and humor experiments
  21. Grocery shopping and going for the mail become moments of wonder and high adventure
  22. Little mirrors to show us what we really look like (no more kidding ourselves)
  23. The delight of hearing them read
  24. Knowing you’re being the right kind of obedient
  25. Keeps you young (if you let it)
  26. Creates more opportunities to admire your husband or wife and marvel at how perfectly different God made him/her from you
  27. Teaches you to get over your feelings of self-consciousness
  28. Warns you what complete self-centeredness looks like
  29. Mind-reading is an acquired skill
  30. Who wants a hobby that’s not challenging?
  31. Teaches a type and level of maturity that is otherwise unattainable
  32. To play around and have yummy things (Natasha’s contribution)
  33. Because it’s fun to love them (Melody’s contribution)
  34. Because them can run and play in the snow in the yard (N). Because they can play (M)
  35. Fun clothes for everyone
  36. To convince the unenlightened that, yes, it is possible to have too much of clothes
  37. Baby-dancing
  38. Real social security
  39. Creating your own photography subjects and opportunities
  40. Learning countless things from their elemental components– conversation, logic, reading… peacemaking

6 thoughts on “40 Reasons to have Children

  1. Amy Jane: Thanks for stopping by my site to read my “40 Reasons to Adopt.” Making that list reinforced for me that, in many ways, adoption can be every bit as thrilling a means to experience the joys of parenting as giving birth. I also wanted to congratulate you on your willingness to foster parent. The world needs more generous souls like you! Blessings, Heidi

  2. Very nice list, but I don’t know about #21 — the grocery store has always had a strange effect on my boys, instantly turning them into hyper, jabbering, jittery spazzes… so now it’s a threat of punishment: “get that room clean, or we’ll go… grooooocery shopping!!!”

    wonderful blog, thank you for sharing…

  3. Yes, I do love this list! Although I haven’t experienced all of these yet, it helped me put into words what I was feeling. 6, 9, 10, 31 — and I’m looking forward to the other reasons/benefits/whatever!

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