Among many other benefits, Ross Douthat writes that raising a family helps you become more holy.

For the average sinner, though, for me and maybe for you, life with children establishes at least some of the preconditions for growing in holiness, even if there's always the risk of being redirected into tribal narcissism. If I didn't have kids there's a 5 percent chance that I'd be doing something more radical in pursuit of sainthood; there's a 95 percent chance that I'd just be a more persistent sinner, a more selfish person, because no squalling infant or tearful nine-year-old is there to force me to live for her and not myself.

I've definitely found this to be true. I'm a much better person than I used to be, significantly because of my family. (Not that I'm all that great, mind you.)

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