The 'Friends Life Financial Institution' has recently conducted a study among British women on when they decide to have children and what factors influence their decision. It was found that 42% of women in their 20s, who are at the beginning of their career, postpone their decision to become mothers due to several factors such as financial pressures, career ambitions, tension, uncertainty about the life partner, etc. The same trend also compels them to delay the decision to have a second child or even decide not to have a second child at all. Their main worry is about the inconveniences and increased cost of living a child can bring to their already stressed and tensed life and the damage it can cause to their career.
One should read this report against the background of people who desperately long to have children, who spend huge amounts of money on fertility treatments, who pray God fervently and with deep longing and visit every shrine they can have access to. For them children are simply signs of God's blessings. They are aware that the most important purpose of marriage is to cooperate in God's creative process and nature's way of perpetuating human life. For them, as Rabindranath Tagore says, 'every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of humanity'. A child brings joy and angelic beauty as he/she is the most wonderful masterpiece of God. The Book of Genesis in the Bible speaks of this human sentiment in a masterly manner: “Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebecca became pregnant” (Genesis 25:21).
The beauty and thrill of parenthood is the greatest reward God gives to couples for taking upon them the responsibility of bearing and rearing children. Financial stress and career related considerations can be overcome with the indescribable joy of being a parent. The presence of children – the joy they bring and the beauty they radiate are far beyond all other negative considerations in this regard. The more the couples delay this decision or reject the possibility of bringing forth new lives within the legitimate matrimonial contract, the greater the loss of these blessings.
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)