Why Christians Should Have More Children

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Let you, your yoke-fellow, your children, and your servants, be all on the Lord’s side; sweetly drawing together in one yoke, walking in all his commandments and ordinances, till every one of you “shall receive his own reward, according to his own labour!” (John Wesley, Sermon 94)[1]

Perhaps few Protestant theologians have spoken more sweetly on the role of family than John Wesley as he closed out his aptly titled, On Family Religion.  For Wesley, the family was not merely a conglomeration of people who share physical space, bloodlines, and emotional sentimentalities.  The family was a small church of sorts; a society in which each individual lovingly works toward the Spirit-infused perfection of her own soul.  Such a pursuit for Wesley cannot be accomplished in isolation.  Rather, the believer takes on Christian virtue by living out faithful ideals among other people.  This virtue for Wesley is most practically and fully lived out in the home.

It seems to the writer that the church may do well to ask whether this vision of the Christian home remains today.  We might further consider whether the decline of the Christian home has fed the decline of our churches.  For the past many years the church has conducted its fair share of hand-wringing over where all the people are going. We pine for the glory days when our pews were full.  Maybe we long for times when babies were crying during worship, when strong-handed fathers were requiring compliance of their rambunctious little ones, and when moms were getting together on a regular basis to talk about what a handful little (fill in the blank) was becoming.  We reminisce about such times, wondering where the youth and the vibrancy have gone.

Much of our response has focused on getting the people “out there,” and into the community.  We are trying to be more fruitful congregations, have written calls to action, and many of us now have statistics we load each week to track our progress in being more outwardly focused.  Perhaps, though, church flight is only partially due to the fact that people are rushing out the doors, or that we have not invited enough people in.  Do people leave churches when they perceive nobody cares about them?  Yes.  Do churches that reach out to un-churched folk do better on the whole than churches with no evangelistic emphasis? Yes.  Our lack of outward focus, however, does not tell the whole story.

Very simply, it is hard to hold onto children in a congregation if Christian husbands and wives are not conceiving children.  I suspect that a bunch of cultural baals just mooed, but the statistics on this matter do not lie.  One of the greatest enemies of the church has not only been a profound lack of caring for the un-churched, but a profound lack of procreation among the churched.

At some point the church bought into the idea that 2.3 kids is the ideal.  In speaking with an older and wiser friend about this the other day, I was informed that this might be a sort of generational bleed-over.  When everyone was worried about overpopulation after the baby boom, Christians joined in the cause and largely kept their families at about 2.3 children.

Fast-forward a generation, though, and it seems that the overpopulation piety has led to another phenomena.  Folks, including Christians, began to manage their lives to such an extent that the goal was not only 2.3, but 2.3 when “I” am good and ready, if I am ready at all.  Children became optional to Christians.  Like our secular peers, not having kids freed us to pursue other interests.  We fell in love with careers, large homes, and cars.   Self-fulfillment through Godly relationship in the home was replaced by self-fulfillment in the workplace.

Now the rooster has come home to roost.  In February, a USA Today article noted that birth rates in the U.S. have decreased to 63.2 births per 1000 people, the lowest since 1920.[2]  National Journal similarly offered, “The birth rate reached 122.7 in 1957, the peak of the Baby Boom. After the mid-1970s, the birth rate stabilized at about 65 to 70 births per 1,000 women annually, until the beginning of the Great Recession.” [3]

The church is no different.  Even our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters are having difficulty in this area.  In a 2008 article by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Monsignor Vittorio Formenti noted, “while Muslim families, as is well known, continue to make a lot of children, Christian ones on the contrary tend to have fewer and fewer.”[4]

The recent trend of intentional infertility is problematic for a number of reasons, and emptier pews are symptomatic of a spiritual sickness that has crept into the Christian home.  The church has traded a Biblical and theological approach to the family for secular reasoning.  We may not say it as such but, very simply, we have come to assume like our secular peers that the good life looks like a satisfying career, McMansion, nice cars, and a healthy retirement fund.  Children can get in the way of all those things.

Fortunately, Scripture points us back in the right direction.  Child rearing is the ideal in the Bible, and no reading of Scripture I am aware of, in connection with historical interpretation (Protestants concluded), can lead one to conclude otherwise.  God’s first command before all other commands is to be fruitful and multiply.  To separate children from marriage is as artificial as separating God from the Creation narrative.  God created because it is in His nature to do so.  God calls on humanity to be fruitful because we exist in His image.  To live in the image of God is to love in the image of God; within community and fruitfully.  Entire Biblical narratives are built around the sense of tragedy experienced when couples cannot conceive.  Biblical couples long for large families in the Bible, and mourn when the womb is closed.  Save Onan, whose example is hardly commendable from a Jewish cultural milieu, Biblical couples are not finding ways to artificially force infertility.

Having said all that, must we remain sensitive to people who cannot conceive?  Absolutely.  We do not say that a couple incapable of conceiving is somehow less Christian, or inferior.  Ask that couple, however, whether they experience loss due to the fact they cannot conceive and you will have a sense of the proper order for the Christian view on children.  People who cannot conceive tend to mourn, and they learn to work with a sense of loss.  We should mourn with them, but in true mourning, we do not use the tragedy of one circumstance to validate our lack of fidelity to the Christian norm.  There is no Christian honor in re-shaping God’s view of marriage.  We simply cut ourselves off, and the church off, from the blessings of fruitfulness.

As of 2008 my denomination’s mission has been to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”  May I offer that Christian husbands and wives would do well to take this mission a bit more literally; as in, go and make some disciples.  Imagine, for a moment, a scenario in which the Christian husband and wife viewed their highest calling and blessing as fruitfully (physically and spiritually) raising children to be icons of God’s love, creativity, peace, and joy.  Honestly, that is hard to find in the church today, and perhaps we have lost our sense of the joys that children bring because we have forgotten how to joyfully live as Christians within the context of family.

Here’s my trust, though.  If we will give ourselves over to the Biblical and Wesleyan narrative of children as blessing rather than burden, we’ll have happier marriages, happier children, and happier (and more full) churches.  Why?  Because, on the whole, the Christian life is about giving ourselves over fully to the love of God.  We are to reflect the Nature of God.  He loves in Trinitarian family.  He expanded His family in the Creation Narrative.  He formed that family through reconciliation by Jesus Christ, the head and fountain of our universal church family.  Similarly, our homes should be about loving like God loves.  He was fruitful.  He multiplied.  So should we.


[1] Wesley, John. “Sermon 94 – On Family Religion.” Global Ministries: The United Methodist Church, n.d. Web. 01 July 2013.

[2] Overberg, Paul. “As U.S. Birth Rate Drops, Concern for the Future Mounts.” USA Today.

Gannett, 13 Feb. 2013. Web. 01 July 2013.

[3] Czekalinski, Stephanie. “U.S. Birth Rate Hits Record Low.” NationalJournal.com. N.p., 30 May 2013. Web. 01 July 2013.

[4] “Muslims More Numerous than Catholics: Vatican.” | Reuters. N.p., 30 Mar. 2008. Web. 01 July 2013.

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Adam Roe is pastor of Corydon United Methodist Church in Corydon, IN. He married much better than he deserves, and has been blessed with three very active, amazing sons.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Adam, first of all congrats on the seedbed post 🙂
    As a person who hopes for a large family, I don’t disagree with your premise. I would, however, be interested in taking some aspects of this discussion further. You mentioned parenthood as the highest calling, and I have to disagree somewhat because parenthood isn’t a lifetime calling (unless you’re fostering/adopting or the Duggers, of course). While parenting is certainly one of the most important tasks we will have, I think we have to be careful that parents don’t get so hyper-focused on parenting that they neglect the work God may have for them outside of the family structure. In my circles, women seem to really struggle with that. I’m also curious about where you would stand on quantitative vs. qualitative parenting- which is what started driving the family planning movement of the progressive era. I agree with you, but I feel like I need some qualifications. Personally, I don’t think I can be as good of a parent to eight children as I can to four. I’m also not convinced I could feed them all!

    You brought out a good point that Christians need some revitalization in the family. We need to actually disciple our own children (which few families in the church actually do), and it definitely would hurt to have some more. I think this shift would necessitate some changes in the family structure too. Co-parenting over father/mother parenting would have to become the norm if we’re going to accomplish this. Just some rambling thoughts lol

    Good work, Friend!

    • Thank you, Kate! It s wonderful to hear from you, my friend. I’m not sure, personally, that I place as much weight on God’s work outside the family structure (for people who have families) as I used to. Personal balance has worked best for me when I see pastoring and school as jobs, and husband and father as Christian vocation. In this sense, I’m willing to fail at everything except the God-given roles of husband and father. To be clear, income is important, and I do love being a pastor! We also experience seasons in life in which the parenting will be far more hands-on than in other seasons. Perhaps this is why the healthiest family relationships I have seen are ones in which mom and dad put all considerations second to child-rearing (in that season of life), and then sort of blossom professionally after the children are grown.

      God bless you, Kate! I hope to see you soon. 🙂

  2. While this is one of the more convincing and well written posts I’ve seen regarding growing the Church through biological procreation (truly) and you make some really good points, I agree with Kate (previous commenter) that we should be careful not to call procreating/raising children the “highest calling” of a Christian married couple. Please help me understand where that thinking comes from as it’s not from Scripture. In fact, looking at the New Testament, the last woman said to have her womb “opened” by God was Elizabeth, but even before that blessed event, the focus was already on growing the Kingdom of God through relationship, not biology. I’m all for Christians having large families and filling the pews, but let’s encourage couples to focus on not only growing our families through biological procreation, but also through adoption (which also happens to have very strong representation throughout Scripture) and/or devotion to developing strong relationships in the community and making “family” that way. Let “be fruitful and multiply” (which I understand was never given as a universal command, per se) inspire us to imagine and then carry out all the many ways that we can grow the Church for the glory of God. Of course, those who do choose to procreate, care for a large family, and disciple them into the Church–good on them!

    • Hello Elizabeth! It’s very good to hear from you. I think you make some very fine points, and I certainly hope that I have not given the impression that I do not value relationships. Indeed, I do not think the quiver-full perspective can work outside a mindset in which mother and father are all about relationships; both within the home and in relationships outside the home. The underlying principle behind what I wrote above (I hope) is that relationship is awesome, and more relationship is even more awesome.

      As to the Scriptural questions, I must admit that I very much feel the historical weight of Scriptural interpretation on fruitfulness bearing into my conscience. In previous generations (up to 1930 Lambeth), the idea that we could be fruitful spiritually without being open to fruitfulness maritally and literally, just didn’t make a lot of sense. Of course, the sexual revolution has shifted the conversation from one in which fruitfulness is thought of in almost entirely spiritual terms now rather than physical terms.

      Thanks so much for writing, and many blessings!

      • Thanks Adam for your article and careful responses. You wrote:

        > I very much feel the historical weight of Scriptural interpretation on fruitfulness

        Your approach is in tune with much of post-16th century Christianity.

        However, the earlier church did not emphasise biological reproduction, and the fruitfulness verses in Scripture were interpreted spiritually.

        For example, Eusebius devoted part of Demonstratio Evangelica to the question: “Why a numerous offspring is not as great a concern to us as it was” for the Old Testament patriarchs: the reasons for “the ancient men of God begetting children cannot apply to Christians today.” In the new covenant era, celibate “preachers of the word … bring up not one or two children but a prodigous number” by spiritual birth. This new way of Jesus is more effective as, Eusebius observed, Christians now are “multiplying daily, according to the divine commandment, ‘Increase and multiply and replenish the earth’ which in them is fulfilled more truly and divinely” (through evangelism and teaching) (Demonstratio Evangelica 9.3 tr. Ferrar p. 157).

        Tertullian similarly affirms that the new covenant “abolished the ancient command to increase and multiply” (ANF 4.40).

        Augustine wrote that “This propagation of children which among the ancient saints was a duty for begetting a people for God, amongst whom the prophecy of Christ’s coming had precedence over everything, now has no longer the same necessity. For from among all nations the way is open for an abundant offspring to receive spiritual regeneration, from whatever quarter they derive their natural birth.” (nupt. et conc. 1.13)

        best wishes,
        John.

        • Hello John!

          Thank you for the responses. You raise a very good point. The fruitfulness to which the early writers speak is often tied to the fruitfulness of evangelism. Indeed, the quote you offer by Tertullian is new to me, and certainly gives cause for some consideration. At the same time, the early writers seem to almost universally express the sentiment that being closed to physical fruitfulness is a spiritual defect at best. Enclosed is a link that expresses some of their thoughts on the matter.

          http://bibleandbirthcontrol.com/earlychurchfathersonbirthcontrol.html

          Thank you so much, and have a wonderful day!

          Adam

          • Hello Adam – interesting that you linked to a website sharing material from Charles Provan – his book got me started on this topic.

            As we’re talking about early period, for the moment I will set aside their Luther quotations (it’s odd they include Luther and Calvin under the heading “Early Church Fathers”).

            1/ First, I agree that those quotations* show an absolute prohibition of the use of contraceptive techniques, by Christian writers.

            (*At least the relevant ones: the first is something else, applying OT priestly purity rules on bodily perfection to clergy.)

            Their context is patristic Christian thought on virginity and marriage – which often went something like this:

            Their ideal is that a Christian should choose singleness. They advise young people to stay single, and those widowed (a more common status in the premodern world, with higher mortality at all ages) they advise to not remarry. For those who feel too weak spiritually, it is better to marry, to avoid falling into fornication.

            Within a marriage, the justification “covering” sex was reproduction, and even then some thought copulation was still a minor sin. It followed that if a married couple wanted to have sexual relations they must not use contraception.

            Provan extracts a piece from a complex of early Christian thought, and ignores the rest.

            2/ Second, anti-contraception is not the same thing as pro-natalism (the advocacy of a higher birth rate).

            Some modern Quiverfull advocates adhere to both ideas, but those two ideologies do not always sit together. For example, Augustine was anti-contraceptive but not pro-natalist. Conversely, some of the modern Evangelicals who call for people to have larger families are happy to allow the use of contraceptives for spacing, to avoid temporary crises, while still aiming for a large number of offspring.

            Therefore (as I guess you know) anti-contraceptive quotations do not support the pro-natalist aspect of your article.

            Among those quotations you linked the only pro-natalism is from Martin Luther – and even those are mis-used in Provan’s book. I devoted a chapter of my PhD to critiquing modern natalist use of Luther’s writings.
            http://www.katav.co.uk/files/Chapter_3_McKeown_PhD_Thesis.pdf

            A short version was published as “Receptions of Israelite Nation-building: Modern Natalism and Martin Luther” Dialog 49.2 (2010): 133-140. http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123521987/abstract

            However – I accept that after the 16th century pro-natalism can be found among Protestants (though not often as strong as in Luther’s early writings), and by the 19th century (maybe earlier) Catholics had also turned that way (perhaps in context of nationalisms), but rarely among earlier Christian writers (Clement of Alexandria is a possible exception).

            P.S. interested in what you began with about John Wesley and it would be good to hear more from you about Wesley’s view of family.

            best wishes,
            John

  3. Adam thank you for your thoughtful words. I understand where they are coming from and I think in many ways you hit on some good points. I think one of the problems that occurs in discussions like these is that we presume that population around the world can continue to grow indefinitely. Part of the problem is that all of us have been living in a very interesting time within history in which cheap non-renewable energy has aloud us to grow economic output, consumption and human population to levels that would otherwise not be sustained. It is because this we fail to recognize and respect that we live on a finite planet where there are simply limits to growth. It was in October of 2011 that the UN estimated that worldwide population levels surpassed 7 billion. Further analysis also shows that global population will hit 9-10 billion by mid century. This exponential rise has all occured just in the last two centuries alone and it has been the major catalyst for much of the ecological degradation we see around the world. It is the combination of overconsumption along with overpopulation which has caused significant loss of biodiversity and degradation of our land and oceans. This in turn creates feedback loops where then the land and oceans can no longer sustain healthy human population.

    I think a larger discussion must be had around respecting the limits of the earth. All biological/ecological systems have a finite carrying capacity that once crossed have unintended consequences for all. In the 21st century, our discussion should move towards having a more heathy nuclear family that is smaller in number (quality over quantity). Rather than having Christians increase in number biologically, the discussion ought to be around helping other groups reduce their overall number to more sustainable levels (muslim, hindu, etc). If Christians desire a larger family (which is wonderful), then adaption is the most responsible way of doing this.

    There are many powerful metaphors in the scriptures for the importance of adaption which can and should be used to help challenge how we understand the concept of family in the 21st century. I think all good ideas must be viewed from multiple dimensions. I am simply suggesting here that we have to look at larger factors at work in our world and not just the pews on Sunday morning.

    • Hello Joshua! Thank you so much for the response and, let me say, that your concerns are the primary and only reason I had hesitation in writing this article. I do not take lightly the resources issue, and I appreciate that you brought it up. I will address that in a moment.

      First, if I may clarify one issue that I have seen addressed both here and in other venues regarding the focus of the article…The article’s primary emphasis is not meant to be pews on Sunday morning. Perhaps I did not transition well in the article, thereby giving the impression that rear-ends in the pews are my focus. While I would offer that procreation is at least as valid numerically as converting un-churched folk, my primary emphasis is not in numbers but in the way we envision family. I do think that when Christian couples regard child-bearing in the light of scripture, that it naturally leads to larger families. We tend to see child-rearing as a wonderful blessing and, as such, we naturally want to raise more children and share with those additional lives all the blessings of God. The numbers in the pews are a byproduct of a healthy view of family, in my opinion.

      As to the resources. There are a couple reasons this concerns me less than it used to. First, and perhaps foremost, I am not naive enough to think that a quiver-full view will be embraced by most, or even many, Christians. The sexual revolution’s focus on sexuality as a means toward self-fulfillment rather than physical fruitfulness has won even in our churches, which is why we struggle to find our sexuality voice. The recent rash of sermon series focusing on how to have a better sex life are indicative of this. Notice that Protestants don’t tend to talk much about what sex is for, but how to be more fulfilled. On the whole, we don’t think much differently about sex than non-Christians and, perhaps cynically, I do not know that the cycle will change. As noted in the article, even Roman Catholics, who have continued to hold the line doctrinally, are not hitting the hearts of the faithful.

      The second reason I am not as concerned about the resources issue is that I have grown convinced that we have distribution and irresponsible consumption issues rather than resources issues. The resources are there, and more people does not by necessity lead to sloppy consumption and care of the earth’s resources. There are a number of reasons for brokenness; governmental corruption, lack of sustainability knowledge, and carelessness toward God’s good creation being a few. This is not, in my opinion, a matter of population but of sinfulness. If a warlord hates his neighbor and has the means to control the food supply, or if a country continues to gorge itself on non-renewable fuel resources, we have sin issues.

      Having said all of that, I absolutely agree with you regarding adoption. For all my talk, the worldview I am offering is one that is entirely counter-cultural to how I’ve grown up, too. As such, I am not sure that what I am advocating is possible even within my own home. I do, however, believe that adoption is a wonderful option for couples who aren’t sure about expanding their families through childbirth. Lack of trust regarding physical childbirth takes us, of course, into other spiritual trust issues, but perhaps that’s another issue for another time. 🙂

      Thanks again, Joshua, and many blessings on your day!

      • You are brave to write this article! I have to say I strongly disagree with your article both from a sustainability point of view and the underlying premise that merely having children will revitalise Christian marriages and fill churches. There are limits to growth and we are approaching them. There is also something in the argument that it matters where that population growth is. If it in Africa then the consumption of the earth’s resources is low per person. If it is in the West (and increasingly BRIC countries) then it has a disproportionate effect on consumption per head since we consume a lot more. Of course this this is the opposite of what peple want to think.

        I fail to see the argument that breeding Christian children will help fill churches and I attend a church with huge numbers of children), the problem we have is they leave in droves in their teenage years. As for family life its more likely that both parents will work longer hours to maintain living standards. I have 3 children.

        Dr Neil Hollow co-author of “No oil in the lamp: fuel, faith and the energy crisis”.

        http://www.theoillamp.co.uk

        • I’m not sure I have anything scholarly to add to this discussion, as I’m no professional in anything; all I know is what I see. And what I THINK I saw Adam saying wasn’t so much, “Make more babies, church gets better”, but rather, “Dedicate yourself to home discipleship, and in that context make more babies, THEN church gets better”. If the goal is holy disciples, and you raise 5 of them instead of 2, it seems to me that this would be better for the church. Of course, this assumes that all 5 (or 2) grow up to be born-again, Christ-loving believers.
          As far as the droves that are heading out of the church in their teen years, I think (I’m trying not to brush too broad of a stroke, here) that it’s because the family discipleship isn’t happening. There’s no authenticity in the words of the parents because it’s not seen consistently in the home, yadda yadda yadda…My baby girl isn’t born yet (2 more months!), so my paradigm has a lot of shifting to do.

          • Yes I appreciate your comments Nate but still disagree with Adam’s article. Part of the issue is being British I live in a small crowded Island in which we are struggling to fit everyone in. In addition the Ulster Unionists have promulgated the view that protestants in northern Ireland should outbreed Catholics for political reasons (I’m not Catholic).

          • As I said, I speak from a place of little experience.
            I can see how a. space, and b. political manipulation would both make what Adam wrote less…believable.
            All the best to you, Neil. Go in grace.

      • I appreciate your feedback.

        I believe you and I agree on most things. Where we will disagree is on the range of resources available and I think it all comes down to what metrics you are looking at and how you are interpreting the data. I would simply want to suggest that what we have here is not an either/or scenario but a both/and situation. You are right in saying that there are distribution problems, irresponsible consumption and underlining sin at work. Agreed. However, I would add to this list resource depletion caused by overpopulation. The reason is simply because there are fundamental limits to what any biological system can sustainably produce or maintain. Contrary to popular opinion, the earth’s biological system is not a subset of our global economic system (as many economists would argue). Instead, global economic output and consumption levels are actually a subsystem of the earth’s larger biological system (as many geologist and biologists have argued). This means we all live on a finite planet with finite resources which can and do get depleted. As a result, there are limits to growth not only in consumption, but with all species population levels as well. This is why ecological systems always have a “carrying capacity”because resources are not infinite, but finite in nature.

        Ecological systems are wonderfully dynamic, interconnected relationships that rely on a fragile balance of all the parts working together harmoniously. If one of those parts gets out of sink with the whole, then this is where we start to see stress markers; signs that the system is unhealthy and out of whack. That is precisely what we are seeing today, but on a global scale (exponential rise in extinction rates of other species, mass deforestation, degradation of land, depletion of ocean fisheries, climate change, etc). These are all signs (stress markers) that earth’s biological system is off balanced. On this we may have agreement. Where we may disagree is on causation. Even if, however, we were to increase consumption levels in the developing world while dramatically lowering consumption in the developed world, we’d still have the same underlining problem, overconsumption caused by overpopulation. It is this intricate combination of overconsumption plus overpopulation, which becomes one of the main problems at work. That is because the two are married to one another. The reality is that both need to come down slowly over time so that we have an equitable amount of consumption for all, which does not (at the same time) destroy the planet. If we destroy creation, we ultimately destroy ourselves in the processes. As such we have an important role to play, one where we are called to be hospitable to all creatures; to make room so all of God’s good creation can flourish, not simply because of what it can do for us (a anthropocentric utilitarian view), but because of the intrinsic value God has placed on all things.

        You and I can certainly continue the conversation elsewhere if desired. I think the larger issue at work here is that much of this goes against the fundamental narrative which has been told and retold here in the West; a narrative that says there are no real limits to growth because humans will always find a way. This of course comes straight to us out of the enlightenment and modernist perspectives. The problem is no one wants to be told that one of their most deeply held underlining assumptions is fundamentally flawed because it is an inconvenient truth.

        All healthy relationships have at their core healthy boundaries. The same is true with our relationship to the earth. What I am suggesting is that our relationship to the earth has real boundaries that need to recognized and respected. Overpopulation is one of the factors contributing to the problem and so we need to be looking at creative ways of slowly reducing populations to more sustainable levels. This can be done thoughtfully and respectfully with very little effort (growing awareness, education of women, family planning, etc).

        This is why I would want to say that if Christians desire to have larger families the best why to do this would be through adoption otherwise we may very well be working against other important biblical values such the healing of the earth’s biological and ecological systems. The beautiful thing is that adaption itself can be seen as apart of creation care!

        In the end, how we choose to relate to the earth will be (in hindsight) one the defining issues of the twenty-first century.

  4. Adam, just a comment about numbers of births and deaths.

    > birth rates in the U.S. have decreased to 63.2 births per 1000 people

    But the death rate is even lower. In the U.S. in 2011 (I think 2012 death data are not published yet) there were:

    3.95 million births, compared to

    2.51 million deaths (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss.htm)

    True, births are slightly decreasing, and deaths are slightly increasing (due to age structure),
    but there is still a large difference, that results in U.S. net annual “natural increase”.

  5. I found this article by looking for information about why Christian families have so many children. I guess I got my answer. The problem with this line of thought is that there is no guarantee that a child who is raised as a Christian will continue to be a Christian as an adult. I am a perfect example of this. I was raised in church, but as an adult I do not consider myself a Christian. I will not even go to church with my family on Easter or Christmas. My concern is that these children are forced into the Christian belief system without any other option for engaging in their spirituality. I have experienced this first hand and it has been very damaging to me on many levels. Having more children might help fill the pews and increase attendance numbers for awhile, but in the end will only further overpopulate the planet. I have personally chosen not to have children because I think it would be very selfish of me to do so when the planet is already overpopulated.

    • Hi April,
      I go along with you. I was raised Christian, I consider myself methodist but also wonder why so many Christians have many children even now. My husband doesnt practice any religion. I believe that (even as Christians) we should response to the reality our world is living in these days. It’s difficult to decide not to have children, I admire you and respect you. I’m triying to do the same and don’t bring more children to an already overpopulated planet…sometimes its difficult. People think I don’t want kids but they don’t understand that I shouldn’t (and neither should they…of course I never go so far in triying to explain. They simply won’t understand) maybe that is the dictation of the conscience. At least I still can not decide with clean conscience for more humans in this earth.

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