It is a mitzvah is to Be Fruitful and Multiply.
What does that mean? Do I have to eat a lot of fruit and do math? Should I eat apples, pears, oranges, cumquats, pomegranates, watermelon, star fruit, bananas, or pineapples while I memorize my times tables?
“Be fruitful and multiply” is a fancy way of saying, “Get married and have children.” It is a mitzvah to start a family.
Wow. But why is it a mitzvah? Doesn’t everyone want to get married and have children?
Unfortunately, not everyone does.
Getting married is scary. It is hard for some people to make commitments. It is hard for them to say, “I am going to be with you for the rest of my life.” “The rest of my life” is a long time.
And raising a family takes effort, commitment, time, and money. You have to be responsible. You have to make sacrifices. If the Torah didn’t command it, some people would never do it.
And that would be terrible.
Starting a family is great. A family loves you. A family supports you no matter what. A family is home. A family is stable, helpful, caring, warm, and unconditional.
A family is where you learn how to be a good person. You learn how to give, share, help, compromise, apologize, and sacrifice. If your wife burns the toast, you eat it with a smile. If your husband loves football, you let him enjoy it. If your kid wrecks the car, you love him even though it will cost you a lot of money. You don’t get rid of your family, even when they do something stupid.
And families are important. Families are the backbone of society. Families preserve traditions and culture. Families are a source of values. And there wouldn’t be a next generation without them.
It is a mitzvah to get married. It is a mitzvah to raise a family. It is such a great thing to do that the Torah commands you to do it, even if you are afraid.
Don’t be afraid. Be fruitful and multiply. You will be glad you did.