My wife and I have been trying to get pregnant for well over a year, and have experienced loss in the form of a miscarriage while on this journey. One of the troubling questions I have frequently heard is “Why would you want to bring a baby into this world?” What people are really asking is why we would want to expose our baby to the dangerous elements of this world. They seem to forget (or neglect) that our child will one day be an adult. And that adult won’t just be influenced by the craziness of society; our grown offspring will make choices that affect what the world’s culture will become.
We need to stop forgetting that our children will influence just as much as they will be influenced. They will be empowered to make their own choices, not doomed to suffer the repercussions of others.
What Are We Afraid Of?
We view ourselves as a victim of the world around us. The world is dangerous, sad, and corrupt. And all of this evil piles up at my doorstep. It keeps me from going outside. It keeps me from letting anyone in.
This is a pattern of the world. ‘They’, ‘them’, ‘it’ are all boogie monsters coming for us, tearing us down, pulling us under. Keeping us from the life we want to live. Preventing us from thriving, even threatening our very survival.
We are creating an excuse for our children. Perhaps we are justifying our own feelings of ineptitude and hurt. We are ushering in a long-established pattern of victim mentality. We inherited it, and we are subconsciously passing it along.
Fear cripple us, and it feeds the insatiable hunger of victim mentality. Our victim mindset tells us that we cannot be ok, let alone productive or excelling, unless the things around us change. Well-meaning parents spoil their children to control their circumstances. Our victim mentality produces perpetrators in us because we start to think that if we can force people to be what we need them to be, then we might have a chance at being okay. The cycle spins around and the layers run deep, all because of the fear produced and re-enforced by our victim mentality.
We sometimes forget that babies do not stay babies forever. Kylie and I are trying to have a baby… that grows into a mature adult. They will not be helpless. They will not be without choice.
Our children, if we are lucky enough to have some, will not just be at the mercy of this world. The reality of the world is only the setting for the life of a child. It is not the whole story.
Bringing a kid into this world is not providing another tragic casualty for the way things are. It is providing an opportunity for a hero, or heroine, to make things better. To live their story. A child isn’t a target. It is a weapon.
Jesus came as a baby. Moses floated down the river as a baby at a time when firstborns were literally being hunted and slaughtered. Helpless infants become capable adults.
But some of us, as adults, can’t shake the idea that the world owes us something. We’re afraid of anything not exactly like us. It is the fear, not the world itself, that keeps us from the life we were created for. Perhaps this question about bringing children into the world reveals more about our perspective and worldview than it does about a child’s potential.
We are foolishly waiting for the world to sort itself out so that we can feel better about things, better about ourselves. But the world is us. It is me, you, and the decisions we make. The world won’t change from one politician, one great moment of sporting glory. The world changes as each of us decide to move from a place of fear to a place of love. When we each take up the mantle of our lives, guided by the Holy Spirit, and move forward with purpose and love, we will find that the fear and the terror are just cardboard settings like the kind in the cafetorium for a middle school play. It is easily changed if the life around it takes action.
The world is without doubt a dangerous place. But it is a beautiful one as well. It is a paradox, to be sure. We’re not hoping to bring the world into our baby. We’re hoping to bring our baby into the world.