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In Theory: Does America need more babies?

September 05, 2013

The birthrate in America has fallen to an all-time low, with one in five women not having children in 2010, compared to one in 10 in the 1970s.

In Orange County, the rate has dropped from 50,000 a year in the '90s to about 38,000 in 2011. Many couples defend their childless lives, pointing out that it's their choice, it means more time to do what they want, and the world's population is rising too fast. They also point to the cost of raising a child to adulthood, estimates of which range from $200,000 to $300,000. Pro-family advocates claim that those who choose not to have kids are selfish, are contributing to the decline of the American family and depriving the country of consumers and taxpayers.

Q: Does the drop in births worry you in terms of what it means for the future of America?

The husband-wife-children family unit established by God from mankind's very beginning has always been the essential building block of every society. Any harm to or deviation from this clearly defined unit and its God-given purposes is a step toward the downfall of any nation or culture. God created one man and one woman and commanded them to "be fruitful and multiply." As a blessing, they would "fill the earth and subdue it; and rule...." God tells us that "children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward" (Psalm 127:3). A healthy population size means strength: "In a multitude of people is a king's glory, but in the dearth of people is a prince's ruin," says Proverbs 14:28.

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America's drop in births worries me because of the negative and even sinful reasons it's happening. It's dropped due to the violence of abortion. It's dropped due to people's fear that God won't provide for them. It's dropped due to self-centeredness and self-pleasing as the major goal in life and the false belief that children will ruin a person's life. In contrast to these, compassion and faith and self-sacrifice are the positive, godly virtues that will help our nation nurture life and ensure a secure future.

Pastor Jon Barta
Valley Baptist Church
Burbank

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Absolutely not. I am childless by choice, so my response here may be seen by some as selfish. However, I was very much influenced in the 1960s by Paul Ehrlich's book, "The Population Bomb," and I decided then that if I didn't truly, passionately want to have kids, I shouldn't; and I didn't.

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