One of the biggest goals a married couple can set in a new year is starting their family. Even though financial challenges and uncertainties might make this seem like a bad time for such bold a goal, there are surprising reasons to make this the year to get started.Read More
“You’ll need proof. Can you get a copy of the death certificate?” I remember the awkwardness of trying to answer that question while booking last-minute plane tickets to North Carolina for my father-in-law’s funeral. Who would fake their dad’s death just to get a discount—and not a very good one at that—on airfare?Read More
Forming a family, raising children, being faithful in the daily tasks of home keeping and baby nourishing can feel draining. But there is hidden treasure in the making. Here is a moving reminder of the real wealth in family relationships: Watch this video
"Do you hope to have children?" That's the question I've started asking the young married women God brings into my life. It's not as bold as the question Mary Morken asked me,but it gently opens the conversation about babies — enabling me to go, by God's grace, where most would say angels fear to tread.
Why press for information about such a personal decision? In part because I know how much I needed someone to ask me that question. Once married, Steve and I were on a path of delay. I also ask because we live in an age when there are a hundred reasons not to have babies and very little encouragement to have them; and because I'm convinced, from Scripture, that by God's design, babies are not only uniquely the work of marriage, but also a blessing from God. I want to encourage Christian couples not to miss the blessing.
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The world says babies are expensive, that they diminish your happiness, and that they limit your spontaneity. They are, they do, and they will — just like a whole host of other things (some worthwhile and some not) that you'll say yes to in your lifetime. Those negatives are not the whole story. And they're not reason enough to delay starting your family. Babies are wealth. They increase your joy, and any challenges they may bring are God's means for your sanctification.
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It is the right of little children to have individual love all day long and to have more than the tag ends of affection. But this situation will not change until the family is seen as an institution so precious that men and women will sacrifice something, even in excitement and personal expression, in order to maintain it.
Fifty years ago today, Betty Friedan released the book The Feminine Mystique in which she described "a problem with no name." She described how educated women felt trapped in suburbia, gazing longingly toward unrealized opportunities in corporate offices. Today, women enjoy those opportunities in the workplace, but are now experiencing a new problem with no name as they find themselves looking out their corporate windows wondering about life with a family. Writers ranging from conservative Danielle Crittenden to liberal Sylvia Ann Hewlett describe women who find it tragic that their corporate success came at the expense of having the opportunity to invest in children. Crittenden writes, "In the richest period ever in our history...the majority of mothers feel they have 'no choice' but to work." In just 30 years, Hewlett says, "we've gone from fearing our fertility to squandering it--and very unwittingly."
This is what it's come to. The successes of women in the twenty-first century are diminished by their sacrifices. For all our relative wealth, we can't afford babies. For all our learning, we don't understand the limits of fertility. For all our advances as women, motherhood seems unreachable.
Adapted from Start Your Family: Inspiration for Having Babies