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3 reasons you shouldn't have kids
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Aside from choosing the right person to marry, having children is the greatest decision you will make in your life. Its an important decision with more factors and variables involved than can be put into an article. - photo by Emily Johnson
Aside from choosing the right person to marry, having children is the greatest decision you will make in your life. Its an important decision with more factors and variables involved than can be put into an article. This is by no means a definitive guide, but here are three reasons you shouldnt have children balanced with three reasons why you should.

Three reasons why you shouldn't:

Because you feel pressure from others

In every birth, there are only three decision makers: you, your spouse and God. No one else should be involved. No one elses opinions matter. Deciding to have children is an extremely personal matter to keep within the sacred relationship of a marriage. As someone once told me, No one can tell you how, when, where or why to have a baby. This includes your friends, your parents, etc.

You shouldnt use this reason as an excuse to get offended by those who toss light-hearted baby jokes your way. Theyre going to come no matter what. Laugh them off, and remember the three important people here.

You. Your spouse. God. Thats it.

Because its part of your culture

Traditions are a wonderful part of life. Theyre what create a sense of belonging and connecting with everyone around us.

But there are times when cultural traditions shouldnt rule personal decisions; e.g. having children. This decision is too important to be ruled by cultural traditions that shift from decade to decade or from year to year.

Because youre bored

Youre at home. Youre unemployed. You have nothing going on at the moment. Whatevers happening or not happening you may be tempted to think, Hey, why not make a baby?

This kind of boredom-induced thinking works with getting a puppy; not with making a human. Having nothing going on in life is not a good enough reason to bring a child into the world. Creating life is so much more serious than picking up a hobby. Its beautiful; its sacred; its serious. And it should be treated as such.

Three reasons why you should:

Because youre prepared

First, a disclaimer: When I first married my husband, my father gave me this advice: You will never be fully prepared to have children. Keep that in mind. He wasnt discouraging me. If anything, he was encouraging me to start a family. He was saying that preparation is essential, but perfection in preparation is not.

While its true that youll never be fully prepared, you can come close. Preparation comes in many forms: financial stability, emotional maturity, spiritual solidity, etc. Having a child requires a tremendous amount of responsibility, much of which you can prepare for.

Because it feels right

Ultimately, the decision of when to have children hinges on how you and your spouse feel. How you come to that feeling is, like everything else, personal and between you, your spouse and God. It may come through late-night conversations, innumerable sincere prayers, or a shared simple and knowing look. The feeling may be calm, exciting or inspirational. Whatever it is, youll know it when you feel it.

Because you have love

Parenthood without love is like cookies without chocolate chips. Its possible, but it isnt nearly as pleasant. The best parents have love. Its a special kind of love; an unlimited, unconditional love full of bedtime stories, boo-boo kisses, dating advice, empathy tears and infinite hugs. Children need this love.

They need preparation. They need surety. Above all, they need love.