DINCs, this is for you

First there were Yuppies (Young Urban Professionals). Then came the Boomers, the Busters, the Boomlets, and Generation X. Now we have the DINCs, which stands for Double Income, No Children. I'm not talking about those who are unable to have children or who postpone having children until their financial crisis or mega-time-commitment to career has stabilized. I'm referring to those who are determined not to have children. Ever. Period. If this is your situation, please consider what follows.

Those of us who have crossed the Rubicon into parenthood know all about the liabilities involved - expenses, additional stress, unasked-for criticism, awakening to cries at 3 a.m. We also know its joys - a baby's smiles, that first step, the first words, clapping for the little league big play, giving away the bride to a worthy man. And, well, yes, we know about the challenges it presents us - having to be more responsible and less impulsive, coming home on time, planning ahead, having to set a good example, having your inconsistencies and little hypocrisies exposed.

It is in this last area - parenthood's challenges - that its greatest blessings lie. Children force us to become less self-centered, to think of another person's interests ahead of our own. It is true that God will also be teaching DINCs to become unselfish, but the learning process will probably be more drawn-out and difficult for them. What I'm saying is that children can be the chisel God uses to sculpt us into the image of Jesus Christ. Those loving relationships you form with your children can pull you through any trials.

The Bible is quite clear about the value of children: "Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate" (Ps. 127:3-5 niv).

All of this, and we haven't even mentioned relieving the emptiness felt by all of those PODWOGs (Parents of DINCs Without Grandchildren)! Think about it.

—Steve Singleton