My wife and I long ago decided against having children. We are happy with our lives and don't feel that we need the added burden of parenthood. But recently we saw a documentary about a Jewish family with 17 kids, and it got us talking. Although my opinion hasn't changed, my wife is not so sure. What do you suggest?


My suggestion: do not delay having children any longer. You owe it to yourself, your future children, your parents, the universe and G‑d.

For yourself: A parent experiences boundless love. While you can love your spouse deeply, the unconditional and uncontrollable love for a child is unmatched in creation. And the miracle of watching an embryo become a live being with feelings, needs and a personality that is an extension of yours is an experience that no one should choose to miss.

For your future children: Although we only meet them when they are born, our children's souls are waiting in a celestial transit area for their time to come down to earth. There are souls that are destined to be parented by you and your wife, eagerly awaiting their chance to be born. I can almost hear them egging you on, hoping that your decision will turn in their favor.

For your parents: You can only appreciate all that your parents did for you by in turn doing the same for your child. And the best "thank you" you can give your parents is giving them grandchildren.

For the universe: Our parents may not have been perfect, but whoever they were, they bothered to bring us into this world. And they were brought into this world by parents who were willing to go through the same thing, and so on throughout the ages. The fact that we are here is a result of countless generations of procreation. They have given us the greatest gift of all — the gift of life. Are you honestly saying that you are willing to break this chain of giving in order to maintain your current lifestyle?

For G‑d: For whatever reason, G‑d wants us to feel what it's like to be like Him. So He invested in us the power of creation. The drive to procreate is the most powerful instinct because it is the most G‑dlike. G‑d has offered to share His divinity with you by becoming a parent. Will you turn down such an offer?

Sadly there are those who for medical or circumstantial reasons are presently unable to become parents. They can find other means to bring love and life to the world, and many of the world's greatest souls were childless. But if you do have the option, can you possibly pass up the chance to participate in the most profound act of love that a human can achieve?

Parenthood means sleepless nights and a major lifestyle adjustment, but it is the most humbling and rewarding adjustment you will ever make.