In the fifteen years since I wrote my first book on child rearing, the state of our children has changed only for the worse; the world is in crisis because we do not love our children enough.
God has been just about completely pushed out of schools and other public places. In many districts sex education is mandatory right down to the first grade, and because of divorce and remarriage, cohabitation, and same-sex unions, the word “family” is used for almost everything. As a result the true meaning of Christian marriage – and thus the true picture of the family – has been blurred, if not destroyed. The tragic results can be seen everywhere.
Deep down we all long for the family as God created it, and it is this God-given family order that can bring stability back to our culture and our children. Sadly, we often do not want to submit to God’s plan, and are instead distracted by lofty educational, societal and professional ambitions. There is tremendous pressure to turn children into miniature adults.
All of us were created in the image of God, but children are unique because they most closely mirror God’s original creation. Returning to that first creation is going to be a tough battle, but it is my hope that this book will give both vision and courage to parents, grandparents, and educators along the way.
When God created Adam and Eve, he gave them – and us – the commandment to be fruitful and multiply and by so doing, conquer the world. This command is more important today than it was then. It shows that children matter to God and should matter to us. As long as this world lasts, God wants children to be born. He needs each one of them for his coming kingdom. Young families should take heart in one of God’s most beautiful commandments.
Bringing a child into the world today is more daunting than ever, and raising a child has never been more difficult. But it is well worth the challenge, and our future depends on it. As the well-known Hasidic saying goes, “If you save one child, you save the world.”
We live in a time where there is not just fear but even hostility toward families and children. And though governments and policy-makers worry that the world is becoming overpopulated, children are still part of God’s plan.
When the British commentator Malcolm Muggeridge asked Mother Teresa if she thought there were too many children in India – where many die of disease, starvation, and neglect – she gave him this remarkable answer: “I don’t agree, because God always provides. He provides for the flowers and the birds, for everything in the world that he has created. And those little children are his life. There can never be enough!”
Founding new families and bringing children into the world will always be a step of faith. But it can give purpose to our lives and will be rewarding beyond all other ventures.
From Why Children Matter by Johann Christoph Arnold.