Baby Bust: Episode 273

Baby Bust: Episode 273

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Listen to this week's show!

Roundtable: How's Your Serve?

Do you wish you could serve more in the causes you care about? Or maybe you’re not sure what you care about? Or perhaps you’re wondering what opportunities are out there, and how to get involved? Listen in as we share practical ways for stepping out your front door, building relationships and being the hands and feet of Christ right where you live.

Culture: Population Projection

Are we on the verge of a population bust, or would fewer people on the earth be a good thing? Journalist and researcher Jonathan Last thinks that fewer babies equals more problems for future generations, and shows that current trends in some countries are already spelling disaster. A fascinating conversation that will get you thinking beyond today.

Inbox: Strange Bedfellows

She likes her sleep, and won’t sharing a bed after getting married just mess things up? Tossing and turning, stealing the covers and snoring: no, thanks! She wants to get over this fear, so Focus on the Family marriage director Jackson Dunn offers some advice.

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  • I don't know about Jonathan Last's numbers.  I just wiki'ed the U.S. fertility rate and found 2.05, 2.06 and 2.1 depending upon the source used.  So I don't see this "been stuck below 2.1 since the 1973" (the 1.6 among Middle Class I have no data on, in part because of the vagueness of the definition of "Middle Class")

    America is going to be fine mainly because of our immigration and there will always be an influx of people coming in.  Contrast this to Japan which maintains its tight immigration policies (which will adversely affect it).

    The fact is the World population is ever increasing by the billions, so I don't really believe all this population crash scare in the next 50 years.  It's just that it's increasing in different parts of the world (i.e. poorer nations).  

    He is correct that education and money are huge factors in determining a desire and timing for children.  Although he does not touch upon it, would he recommend that women marry/have kids sooner since they are the ones who are more restricted with biology in terms of fertility?  And from a Christian standpoint, that naturally by extension means marrying earlier.  Does he suggest that?

    Finally, his implying that marriage is equating to "starting your adult life" is a bit condescending.  Some people choose to do other things by choice other than marriage (advanced schooling, starting a career, etc).  True, that I agree that most people should marry sooner rather than later and should always consider it part of the equation in any major life choice.  Yes, there are "adult kids" who are single, but there are also "adult kids" who are married or have children too.

  • MikeTime, for additional information on this topic, I recommend this article "How Fertility Drives the Health of Nations": www.focusonthefamily.com/.../the-empty-cradle.aspx

  • I thought the inbox question was funny^^ But legitimate. So my boyfriend is Japanese, and a lot of Japanese people use surgical masks for a variety of health problems...many people wear them in public during flu/allergy season. Anyway, it came out once that he wears a mask when sleeping, apparently because he drools a lot. At first I thought it was really weird...I didn't know what I'd prefer, the unromanticness of a masked husband, or soggy pilows. But then I strained my voice just starting a teaching job (too much talking lol) so I started wearing a mask at night and it works wonders keeping my throat from drying out. So I guess if we marry, we might wear masks in bed together, lol! Starting to realize marriage isn't just romance but sharing the mundane everyday humanness together.

  • THANK YOU for addressing the "sharing a bed" question!  That is the exact same fear I have had for years.  (And no one talks about it!!!)  It was so interesting to hear that yes, a newlywed admitted she had problems for 3 months sharing a bed with her new husband, but eventually adjusted.  

    So I am trying to adjust my expectations, to know that I will go through a period of sleeplessness/transition pains, but I think that's like any major life change.  Nothing can be 100% easy but you have to assume that the rewards are greater than temporary pain.  

  • Really great Podcast this week.  A lot of interesting things to think about, and the segment on population ended up sounding more reasonable and normal than I was honestly expecting it to be.

    I will admit that I probably need to serve more.  A lot more.  But there are a lot of things that end up stopping me, like not being informed about what stuff is going on around me (but I could do some more googling) or time (but I could sacrifice some more of my free time) or feeling like the opportunities that are available aren’t really compatible with my skill set.  In the past, two of the things my college/young adult group has done as service projects is going around and talking to and helping the homeless in the downtown area, or helping build or do maintenance on homes for groups like Habitat for humanity.  And neither of those things are things I’d be really good at or enjoy, lol.  I’m terrible at conversations, and I’d probably be scared to live in a house I’d helped build, considering that construction isn’t close to being my strong suit.  Last time I helped with a physical labor type job (painting a house) I ended up getting drafted into setting up a VCR instead, because I was a total 5th wheel when it came to getting the painting done.   But it seems like most of the service projects I hear about are things like that, things I wouldn’t really be the best at.  The time thing is also a big issue sometimes.  I have often found myself thinking things like “If I didn’t have a job, I’d be more involved”.  “When I’m retired I’ll definitely do more”.  Even with stuff that I do now outside of work I feel that.  The other day I ended up being drafted into helping my dad do yard work and run some errands, and I was a little annoyed with it, and then  I realized that I was mainly annoyed because the next day would be a work day.  If he had gotten me to help on a day when I would be off work the next day, I would have been much less irritated.  Because I think I sometimes have the mindset of like “I put in my 8 hours at my job, now I’m free”.   But I still feel like I should be doing something…which is one of the reasons why I often really wish I could have a job where I felt like I was making a difference too, like if I worked for an organization like World Vision or  Focus or whatever.  Getting paid and making a difference at the same time.

    Also I think something that keeps me from doing this stuff is not wanting to do it alone.  It’s a lot easier to go volunteer at a soup kitchen or such if you have someone going with you, as opposed to going alone.  But I don’t really know very many people outside my family, and lately I have had very few opportunities to get to know new people, and the people I do know are always so busy, with their jobs or with their families. (going back to that previous topic of friendships between married and single people lol.  Many of the people in my church group are dating or married or engaged, and I’m single).

    I like those focus questions you guys asked about what we are passionate about and what gets us really angry.  “Doing what you’re passionate about and making it count” is definitely the ideal situation.  But sometimes it seems like there isn’t any way I can make my passion count ^^.  The thing I enjoy best I’d say is “story”.  I know that sounds kind of abstract; what I mean is, I love reading books, watching movies, TV shows, listening to music, playing video games; any medium where I can experience a great story or an immersive experience like that.  Liked it so much that I minored in film studies in college (would have liked to major, if not for my great fear that a degree in Film Studies would leave me with no job prospects at all ^^).   I really would like to use this passion in some way to serve and/or also as a job, but it never seems like there are any chances here, or they all fly over my head when they do come.  As far as a “local organization doing things I’d like to be a part of” goes, I’d say its…you guys lol, or at least the PluggedIn branch.  Being a reviewer on a site like that would be a dream job for me ^^.   As for what issue really makes me angry, I’d have to say…bullying.  I hate bullying.  Was bullied as a kid in school a lot, and I hate seeing/hearing about other kids getting the same treatment.

    The segment on population was a lot better than I thought.  A Few months ago I heard James Dobson talk on the radio about the same topic, and I read his book Fatherless.  I enjoyed it enough, but I honestly thought it was a bit too political and conspiratorial.  I believe at one point in the interview Dobson said that the low fertility rate was driven partly by our “anti-child culture”, which to me doesn’t really seem to ring true.  Do boundless readers really think our current culture is “anti-child”?  I was happy that this segment in the podcast didn’t really get political and stuck to the more social aspects of the issue.  The situation does seem to be kind of catch 22.  We want to encourage men and women to be educated and to pursue good jobs that will help them take care of themselves or provide for families and set good examples of hard work and dedication, but that emphasis on education also leads to delays in marriage and family and children.  But we definitely don’t want to encourage families but end up sounding like we’re against higher education, especially women pursuing education and careers.  I really liked his suggestion that we should encourage college to be more friendly to students who have families or might be planning families.

    One thing I was wondering though was how legal abortion may have affected the birth rate data.

  • My husband and I had a "sharing a bed" too at first!   Fan on?  Fan off?  2 covers?  1 cover?  Touching while sleeping?  Left side of the bed for me?  Right side of the bed for me?  We eventually figured it out!

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