Two separate, seemingly unrelated stories caught my eye these past few days.
The first is the somewhat surprising, although hardly unexpected news that Prince William and his wife Katherine are expecting. It was reported that Katherine was hospitalized experiencing a severe case of ‘morning sickness’, possibly indicating that she might be carrying twins.
The second was an op-ed piece that reported on the declining birth-rate in the United States over the past few years. This was hardly surprising, although the reason of the continuing decline of the economy was an interesting reason put forth as to why; as was the assumption that when the economy picks up, so too will the birth-rate.
Now on the surface, they seem unrelated. One deals with a new heir to the throne in England, the other deals with the overall population situation in the United States. But the connections are there.
It is somewhat ironic that people are rejoicing over Prince William and Katherine conceiving a child; I can think of several who would have advised them to wait until they had been married a few years to see if it was really going to last; not to mention a few others who would have told them not to have children at all due to the pressures of royalty and the demands of the press, particularly when both the pressures and the demands are so etched in the mind of Prince William around the death of his mother.
But perhaps this goes to show that despite the declining birth-rate and the unwillingness of so many to have children of their own; there is still much joy and excitement when someone announces that they, or their wife, is pregnant. Why? Because in our hearts, we still know that children are a blessing, that they are a gift from God, and that they are a benefit to society.
The challenge now is not to convince people that other people’s children are a blessing, but to convince them that having children of their own would be a blessing as well.
Prince William and Katherine are not going to change the birth-rate in England or in the United States; but perhaps when the world watches them go through the process, some otherwise childless couple may just feel the strings of their hearts tug, and maybe there will be a few more who decide that children are a blessing that they would like to have as well; and then maybe the birth-rate will turn around; and not because of the economy.