"Why did God create the world?" has been an often-asked question. While some will say we do not know why God created, there is a uniform agreement that God did not create out of need. One traditional answer from Christians is that creation comes from an overabundance of God's love and goodness. Beyond the armchair arguments of theologians, the answer has implications for everyday life. Is God's relationship to us unknown, or based on his need, or based on his generosity and grace? His reasons for creating us form the basis for the whole relationship with us. So for us, it matters very much whether our existence is based on God's overflowing love and goodness.
Scripture encourages us to view God as the model for earthly parenting. And that is where it connects to our own relationships with our children. When we bring new life into the world, why do we have children? Our reasons affect our relationship with our children.
Of course there are happy couples who want children. Then there are couples who have children to try to save their marriage. There are women who have "atonement babies" to try to recoup their emotional losses and family losses after an abortion. There are people who have children to fill the voids in their lives. There are people who have a sense of duty or obligation about having children. There are couples who simply find themselves expecting a child without serious forethought on the matter.
From all these reasons why a parent might have a child, none of them would prevent a parent from loving a child. But some motives would put the relationship on hazardous ground. Some reasons would risk turning the relationship into something about meeting the parent's needs rather than the child's.
I do not write to cause any anxiety or distress, but simply to raise awareness. The more we can meet our own needs, the more overflow of grace we will have for our children.