Our previous issue featured a short piece by Gracy Olmstead on why we should continue having children despite the looming threat of climate change. Here’s another short essay on children, this time by Wesley Hill, a celibate seminary professor and god-parent.
In the ancient world, children were viewed as “links in a generational chain that will preserve the church’s family name or guarantee its future flourishing.” Despite dramatic cultural shifts over time, we often view children in a similar way today — as a way to “ensure we won’t be alone in old age and that our history won’t die when we do.”
Both of these perspectives make children “the solution to some problem” — a means to our own ends. How might Christianity enable us to receive children as gifts of grace?