Reader Dan in a comment points to this article that documents Japan’s crashing birthrate, to go along with virtually all other major developed nations. The problem is mainly one of men and women who, in my opinion, have no desire to grow up.
- Nearly 90 percent of unmarried Japanese women in their 20s and 60 percent of single women in their late 30s still live with their parents…. “I feel like this is the only time I can enjoy my freedom, and use the money I earn on myself without obligations, without having to support others,” Komami explained one night over pizza. “Besides, the reality is if I got married, I’d have to choose between my career and a baby. Today, more women are choosing careers.”
That whole statement is about as far from the Christian ideal as you can get, and it’s not unique to Japan. I hear it here in the US and see it in reports from Europe and the urban areas of Latin America.
I think the declining birthrate is primarily a problem of people who think their worth is in some job, who have no desire love—by which I mean true love that sacrifices self. They are concerned with material wealth and pleasure: cars, expensive vacations, homes, and so on. A baby (or even a half-dozen kids) is treated like a pet: a burden that you are willing to let into your life, but God help him if he makes “unreasonable” demands on your time. Self-fulfilment is now found in money making and the dubious respect of your co-workers than in loving and being loved in return.