Is it for fear to wet a widow’s eye,
That thou consumest thyself in single life?
Ah! if thou issueless shalt hap to die,
The world will wail thee, like a makeless wife;
The world will be thy widow and still weep
That thou no form of thee hast left behind,
When every private widow well may keep
By children’s eyes her husband’s shape in mind.
Look, what an unthrift in the world doth spend
Shifts but his place, for still the world enjoys it;
But beauty’s waste hath in the world an end,
And kept unused, the user so destroys it.
No love toward others in that bosom sits
That on himself such murderous shame commits.
This poem is another of Shakespeare’s “fair youth” sonnets. Basically, Shakespeare is asking the youth if the reason he fears marriage and children is because he is afraid of causing his wife pain should he die. I suspect that this is a legitimate concern for some, but I think it is just a lame excuse for many. Commitment, especially marriage and having children, is scary, especially for a young person. To say that you do not want to marry because your wife might suffer if you die is no reason to deprive yourself or another of the happiness of marriage.
When my wife and I began discussing having kids, I was unsure. I did not view the world as a great place and had genuine concerns about bringing kids into a world that seems to be crumbling before my eyes. But now, I am so grateful for my children. They are a blessing and my glimmer of light and hope. I could not imagine a life without them.
Fear should never prevent you from doing what you know in your heart to be right. Whenever we are confronted with fear, we should counter it with faith and courage, and place our trust in the fact that we are doing what is best.