This week the United Nations announced that the world has reached a population of 8 billion people — a staggering number that has made some question the size of their family, or their desire to have children at all.
In fact, if you look over the last few decades, the number of large families has been steadily decreasing, so much so that if you have three children in France and Spain, you’re considered to have a “famille nombreuse” — or “large family.” As one of nine children, this has always made me chuckle.
So with large families considered a bit of a “no-no” these days, those with more than a couple of kids are often faced with criticism.
Thankfully, Fr. David Michael Moses came up with the perfect response on social media for what to say to someone who questions your family choices:
It’s simple. What does the world need the most right now? I think it’s pretty clear: We need good people. Holy people. People of integrity and high moral character. People who are joyful, and hopeful, and courageous. And we don’t just need a few of these people — we need a lot of them. So, have a bunch of kids, and raise them to be good, and holy, and joyful, and courageous people, who will one day become the husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, priests and sisters that our world so desperately needs. Have a bunch of kids, and raise them to be good, and you’ll have made the world a better place.”
Fr. David Michael’s response is an acknowledgment that if parents raise a family in faith — large or small — these children can be “leaven in the dough,” making the world a much better place.
This is something echoed by Pope Francis, who shared in 2015: “Healthy families are essential to society. It provides us with consolation and hope to see so many large families who welcome children as a gift from God. They know that every child is a blessing.”